Easter wouldn’t be same without the deliciously tender, sweet and delicate taste of roasted Spring Lamb taking centre stage when the family gathers together.
Spring Lamb is born in late winter or early spring and is milk-fed. The meat is very tender, lightly flavoured and quite sweet compared to regular lamb (up to 1-year old) or hogget (juvenile lamb over 1-year old).
We select our Lamb from farms typically across the Essex countryside as well as on our daily visits to London’s Smithfield Market. The breeds we favour are Texel crossed with Blue faced Leicester Mule, Suffolk and Dorset Down.
Texel crossed with Blue faced Leicester Mule is farmed in the beautiful Colne Valley in Essex by stockmen on small mixed farms. This cross gives excellent structure with good broad loins and meaty legs. The Texel breed of domestic sheep is originally from the island of Texel, the largest of the Frisian Islands off the north coast of the Netherlands. A heavily muscled sheep, it produces a lean meat carcass and will pass on this quality if crossbred. It is a breed of outstanding carcass quality.
Suffolk is a black-faced breed of domestic sheep raised primarily for meat. The lamb produced when a half-bred ewe is crossed with a Suffolk ram is considered ideal for meat production, since they have unusually good structure and shape. The lamb has the easy-care benefits of a mountain ewe, as well as the excellent growth of the Suffolk ram. Suffolk’s were originally developed in England as the result of crossing Southdown Rams on Norfolk Horned Ewes.
Dorset Down is produced in Bicknacre in Essex. It’s a unique breed as it can be bred all year round. Dorset Down sheep are known as “king of the prime lamb breed”, one of the oldest breeds of native sheep, known for producing early maturing lambs from grass.
Our butchers will be happy to advise on the different cuts available from our Spring Lambs and how best to season and cook them for a sensational meal. You’ll find several lamb recipes on our website with New Season Lamb, Spiced Aubergine & Chickpeas our favourite.