Which is tastier beef or mutton

Lamb

Table of Contents

  1. What you should know about lamb
    1. origin
    2. season
    3. taste
  2. Our favorite lamb recipes
  3. How healthy is lamb actually
  4. Shopping and kitchen tips
    1. Purchasing
    2. storage
  5. Preparation tips for lamb
  6. FAQ - the most common questions
    1. When is lamb spoiled?
    2. Why is lamb so expensive?

What you should know about lamb

The meat of very young sheep is called lamb. The calorie content is similar to other meats such as pork. Overall, it is important to note which piece of the animal is being viewed. So the fat content also differs. Like most meats, lamb is completely carbohydrate-free.

Lamb is characteristic of its light to dark red color, which depends heavily on the age of the animal. In Germany, this type of meat is rarely found on the daily menu. In the Mediterranean region, especially in the Middle East and North Africa, lamb is often eaten because the animals are much easier to keep than cattle or pigs.

origin

Sheep originally come from Iraq and the history of the fluffy animals goes back over 10,000 years. In the course of time these were bred more and more and were considered the most important domestic animal until the Bronze Age. In the meantime, around half of the meat consumed in Germany is imported primarily from New Zealand, but also from Great Britain, Ireland, France and Luxembourg.

The term lamb means that the sheep was slaughtered before it was 1 year old. Mutton are slaughtered until they are 2 years old. The meat sector defines sheep meat as all animals that are older than 2 years. Therefore, depending on the type of meat of the sheep, the texture and taste also differ.

season

Lamb is available all year round in farm shops and delicatessen stores as well as in butchers and better-stocked supermarkets.

taste

Due to the young age of the animal, the taste is relatively mild compared to the other mentioned sheep meat types. Nevertheless, compared to other animals such as pigs or cattle, the meat has its own taste that not everyone likes. Depending on the preparation, this also changes a little.

Our favorite lamb recipes

How healthy is lamb actually

Lamb meat is rich in essential nutrients and ingredients. The meat also has a number of vitamins, including vitamin B12, which is only found in animal products. This is particularly important for DNA and blood formation. Large amounts of folic acid are found in lamb. At around 26 micrograms (slightly different depending on the piece) per 100 grams, beef, for example, is almost 20 times higher. Therefore, lamb is an extremely good source of folic acid. The mineral plays a major role in cell division and growth (1).

But not only plenty of vitamins, but also a variety of minerals can be found in lamb. The strong-tasting meat is bursting with potassium. One of the most important minerals is also contained in large quantities: iron. At 2.59 milligrams per 100 grams, it is one of the meats with higher iron values. The body can only produce the red blood pigment hemoglobin through iron and is also responsible for the transport of oxygen in the blood (2). In addition to iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus are also on the list of minerals in lamb.

The risk of residues from veterinary medicinal products is much lower with lamb than with other types of meat, since sheep live on pasture and are thus exposed to far less stress than animals in factory farming.

In the table below you will find the Nutritional values ​​for 100 grams of lamb(3): 

NUTRITIONAL VALUES OF LAMB PER 100 GRAM
Calories178 kcal
fat7.46 g
protein27.6 g
carbohydrates0.00 g
Fiber0.00 g

Shopping and kitchen tips

Purchasing

A good quality of lamb can be recognized by various characteristics. First, the color provides information about the freshness of the meat. Fresh lamb is light red in color. Incidentally, the age of the animal can also be recognized from this. The darker the color, the older the sheep was when it was slaughtered.

The texture also gives you information about the quality. A high quality piece of lamb has fine fibers and easily recognizable marbling. It is also advisable to transport the purchased meat home in a cooler bag.

storage

Overall, meat is of course kept in the refrigerator, including lamb. It stays here for about three days. With a marinade made from vinegar, for example, even up to five days. It can be stored in vacuum packs and in the freezer for up to two years. But ask here when buying, as the shelf life also depends on the degree of ripeness. For products in the supermarket, the best-before date provides information about what you should absolutely adhere to.

When storing in the refrigerator, it is advisable to leave the lamb in the original packaging, as this is tailored to the storage. Aluminum foil and tightly closed containers can negatively affect the smell and color. Minced lamb should be prepared on the same day, as microorganisms can form and multiply very quickly due to the increased surface area.

If you want to thaw lamb, be sure to put it in the refrigerator. The excessive temperature difference at room temperature can seriously affect the meat.

Preparation tips for lamb

In order to get the perfect taste when preparing lamb, there are a few things to consider. First of all, it is important to take the meat out of the refrigerator before processing so that the temperature difference to the cooking process is not too great. Depending on the size of the piece of meat, this can take up to an hour.

Lamb is extremely versatile and can be prepared in a wide variety of ways. In principle, fresh herbs such as thyme or rosemary and garlic are particularly suitable. Together with oil, this is a perfect marinade. Lamb is also excellent when grilled. The fatty pieces such as chops of the meat are particularly suitable for this, so that it remains juicy even after grilling.

Lamb can also be used as a roast, especially shoulder, knuckle and back. You should only make sure that it is not cooked through completely, as, as with other types of meat, the piece of meat can become too dry. A cooking thermometer can help here: at 60 degrees the meat is roughly medium, at 70 degrees it is slightly pink. Depending on the size, this takes about an hour. It should also rest briefly after cooking so that the meat juice can spread out better. This will give you an extremely delicate result.

In the form of minced meat, lamb goes very well with feta cheese. For example, meatballs filled with the spicy milk product are a tasty treat.

FAQ - the most common questions

When is lamb spoiled?

This can mainly be determined by the smell. Fresh lamb has a neutral, mild odor. Rotten lamb, on the other hand, smells slightly sweet and extremely unpleasant. In addition, no juice should leak out. However, if it does, it is an indication that the meat has spoiled. Cooked meat can also spoil more quickly. Here, too, the smell is a characteristic.

Why is lamb so expensive?

The high price of lamb is clearly justified: the workload is very high, since sheep only feed on grass and graze all year round. In addition, the amount of meat per animal is relatively small compared to, for example, cattle. Therefore, lamb costs more than other types of meat.