Mutton/Lamb Mutton/Lamb

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Thread: Mutton/Lamb

  1. #1
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    Default Mutton/Lamb

    • texas starting strength seminar september 2020
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    Rip,

    Iím a small time farmer looking to make it a full time job. I think there may be a market for sheep in my area of North Idaho. I know you are a bit of a mutton connoisseur, so I thought I would pick your brain.

    What breed of hair sheep do you prefer or have experience eating?

    At what age do you think is best to slaughter? That ties into my next question, do you prefer lamb or mutton?

    If I were to give some sample cuts to my customers to gauge their interest, which cuts would you choose?

    How do you like to cook your lamb/mutton?

    Do you think mutton is a good market for a small farm in the US, or should I utilize my time elsewhere?

    Thanks,

    Jake

  2. #2
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    The sheep I buy are Dorper. We kill them at about 14 months, at the heaviest bodyweight they can produce, about 220 pounds. This maximizes the meat production of each animal. VERY IMPORTANT: the sides hang for 3 to 3 1/2 weeks. The dry age is very important. Stew the shanks, but eat the rest of the meat at medium rare. The chops are the best meat I've ever eaten, bar none. If you can create a market for dry-aged mutton, you will be busy, and all you have to do to create the market is serve the product. I buy 5 at a time, so a chest freezer is an important part of the equation.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    T The chops are the best meat I've ever eaten, bar none.
    Interesting. Does anyone know where one could buy this quality dry aged mutton/lamb for online delivery?

  4. #4
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    No idea as of now.

  5. #5
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    The aged, double-cut mutton chops have been the signature dish at Keens in NYC for more than a century. It is better than the beef they serve most nights. Thereís most definitely a market.

    Roasted then braised shanks make an excellent tomato sauce.

  6. #6
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    Is sheep eaten by the Muslim community as a holiday meat like goat? If so, there's your market

  7. #7
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    Some years ago I visited a friend for dinner- he was serving aged mutton and I was sceptical to say the least. It was so good I now buy a butchered whole animal every 6 months and prefer it to the best beef and lamb Iíve ever tried (pork remains by favourite by a slim margin). My meat comes from the Outer Hebrides (island ranges off North Scottish Coast) but if the breed is good and you treat it as Rip suggests above you will have a superb product. Good Luck

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Boggs View Post
    Is sheep eaten by the Muslim community as a holiday meat like goat? If so, there's your market
    Goat meat -- "cabrito" in the southwest -- is in no way comparable to dry-aged mature fed-out mutton.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Boggs View Post
    Is sheep eaten by the Muslim community as a holiday meat like goat? If so, there's your market
    You have obviously never been to my neck of the woods lol!

    Safe to assume your sheep are finished on grain? Any idea how long they need to be on grain to reach that weight?

    What is the hanging and dressed weight of a 220 lb sheep? All of the USDA data is for sheep slaughtered at a much lighter weight.

    What would you suggest as a starting price per pound by hanging weight? Price per pound of dressed out chops?

    I use beef fat for sausage making, I assume considering they are both ruminant animals that sheep have a similar quality fat. Any experience making sausage with sheep fat?

    Thanks for your input. Itís hard to find info on sheep relevant to America.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Yes, grain-fed, I don't know the details. If you're serious, contact me and I'll put you in touch with my guy. The yield is about 55%, similar to a beef. As for retail pricing, I don't know, but it would probably be equivalent to premium beef. The fat is delicious.

    The problem you will have is that most people buy meat at the grocery store for immediate use. The way I buy mutton requires freezer space and planning, so my end of the market is small. Several people at the gym buy meat with me, and they have tooled up to facilitate access to this fabulous product. Any marketing plan will have to take this into account.

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