The Spring Lamb season is underway and this sweet, tender and very delicious lamb is back in the shop. The delicate flavours from early lamb are a real seasonal treat.
About The Spring Lamb Season
Spring lamb is by definition an animal that is under a year old. Typically these younger animals are those born in late winter and once they have finished with their mothers milk at about three to four weeks they are ready to get out in the fields to eat the new spring grass. It is is this combination diet of fresh new grass and milk that gives such a delicate taste and texture.
When the spring lamb season starts will dependent on the local weather conditions around the UK. Warmer spring weather will dictate when the grass starts growing and when the animals can be let onto the pasture. In a typical year as you might expect the first supplies come from the warmer South west of the UK and then further north as the year and the spring weather advances. At Morley Butchers we avoid some of the earliest Spring Lamb as much of it has been reared entirely indoors so lacks the flavour and texture that comes from being outside and with greater variety of diet.
We aim to source the best Lamb whatever the time of year. To do this we use a specialist Lamb supplier in London’s Smithfield Market who will select the best available at any time. You can see more about our lamb here. We also have a useful guide to the different Cuts of Lamb that explains how to get the best match for the recipe you want to cook or how much you want to spend.
Cooking Seasonal Spring Lamb
You can recognise the seasonal spring lamb by the paler pinker flesh and softer whiter fat. This fat coverage is important as a small quantity enhances the succulence and overall flavour of the lamb during cooking. We suggest that seasonal spring lamb should be cooked simply (grilling and roasting) so the delicate taste is not overpowered.
It is later in the year that lamb acquires a stronger more robust taste rewarding slower cooking techniques such as braising and stews. The meat becomes noticeably darker as the animals age.
Different Names For Lamb
Older lamb is sometimes referred to as ‘late season lamb’ and is available at the end of the year or winter time. Meat from lambs between one and two years old is usually called hogget, and anything that is over two years old is called mutton.