Ground Lamb Delivery or Pickup
The Instacart guide to ground lamb
About ground lamb
Lamb refers to sheep that are a year old or less. A spring lamb is less than 6 months old. The little-known term hogget refers to a sheep that is 1-2 years old, but the term isn't used in America. Mutton refers to sheep older than three years. Mutton was popular in the United States up until the early 1900s. Since World War II, mutton consumption has dwindled. Now, sheep consumption almost exclusively belongs to lamb, despite it costing the most of the three. This is because lamb is the most tender and has a milder gamey flavor than older sheep.
Ground lamb comes primarily from the neck and shank—trimmings from other primal and sub-primal cuts that butchers can't sell are also used to make ground lamb. As in hamburgers, lamb meat is processed in a grinder that chops it finely. The lamb is then packaged and put out for sale. Ground lamb costs more than ground beef. While lamb may be less gamey than mutton, it has a more pungent taste than ground beef.
It isn't uncommon to see lamb labeled with other names, particularly those named for their diet. Common types include:
- Milk-fed lamb: Milk-fed lamb describes any lamb raised on milk. The meat has a flavor and texture finer than older lamb and is prized in the north of Spain and Greece. Milk-fed lamb is tough to find in the United Kingdom and the United States.
- Young lamb: A young lamb describes a milk-fed lamb between six and eight weeks old. Again, it is not found in the United States.
- Spring lamb: This is a milk-fed lamb between three and five months old. Spring lamb can be found more readily in the U.S. and even has USDA classification.
- Sucker lamb: This is an Australian term used to describe lambs up to seven months old that are still dependent on milk.
- Yearling lamb: This is another term for hogget.
- Grass-fed lamb: Most lamb consumed in the United States falls under this category. The lamb grazes on grass up to one year old.
- Grain-fed lamb: Not as common as grass-fed, but can be found in the U.S.
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