and goats are very similar animals when it comes to preparing and
cooking which is why we have listed them together. The goat you buy from
an Australian butcher may be slightly richer in flavour and slightly
denser in texture than lamb, but after cooking few average people would
be able to tell you which is which. Thus it is pretty safe to use lamb
recipes for goat and vice versa. New Zealanders are particularly fond of
eating a third type of animal which they call "lem". Now, we at White
Hat have never seen a "lem" but have our suspicions that it is
remarkably similar to a sheep.
The following description was first published in the
White Hat Food Guide
Newsletter of 7th August 2008
Firstly we should explain what Australians mean when they say "lamb".
This is perhaps best explained by giving an everyday example.
"I'll see you later Mavis, I'm off to the butcher to buy some
lamb for tonight's tea. Now, Herbert, that leg of lamb in the
window, is it lamb?" "No, Mrs G, that lamb is mutton." "Well what
lamb have you got that's lamb?" "We have this nice tender rack here
for $12" "$12 - you've got to be joking! What about that carcass
over there? Is that lamb lamb?" "No Mrs G, that lamb's hogget. Come
over and count the teeth if you don't believe me." "You know I
always trust you Harold. I'm wanting a cheap cut so go out the back
and get me a decent leg of mutton."
"Hello Mrs,G" " Hello love. I've sent Harold out the back to
get a cheap leg of mutton. I've never trusted him you know. He often
passes off two-tooth as lamb. Just look at her out there, looking in
the window. All that make up and a short skirt at her age - there's
mutton dressed up as lamb if ever I saw it." "Well the fellow she's
with is no spring chicken but he seems happy enough." "Yes that's
all very well, but can she cook? Harold - that took long enough. Now
is that lamb mutton or is that lamb lamb? I'm not paying lamb prices
you know. It's mutton Mrs G and that will be $11. I'll tell you
what, I'll knock a dollar off if you give me a smile." ["That's
always a safe bet - she never smiles for anyone.] "Not likely,
Harold Morgan - I know your type. First it's a smile for a dollar
then who knows what you'll be wanting after that. Just wrap up my
leg of lamb and don't try passing off hogget as lamb on me like you
did the other week. I can taste the difference you know." ["Well let's see how
you go with that leg of goat you old dragon. I've been trying to
shift the last of that carcass for a while now"] "Always a
pleasure doing business with you Mrs G."
"What's for tea mum?" "Lamb."
So that should clear up the everyday usage of the word lamb in
Australia. To be a little more precise, the word lamb is often used in
everyday conversation in Australia to indicate any meat coming from a
sheep, but in a butcher's shop or a restaurant you are more likely to
adopt the precise use of words like lamb, hogget and mutton. The
following are not exact definitions and usage varies from place to place
and over time but the should serve as a rough guide.
- Lamb refers to meat from a sheep which is less than one
year old or has no adult teeth. In certain cuts of meat the younger
animal is felt to be more tender and delicate and is therefore more
highly valued. Because of the confusion in the usage of the word
"lamb" mentioned above, meat from the young animal is often referred
to in Australia as "spring lamb" - i.e. meat from an animal born
only last spring.
- Hogget refers to meat from an animal between one and two
years old and with two or four adult teeth. A common name used in
Australia is "two-tooth". It is regarded as being a little
tougher than lamb but more flavourful. At White Hat for instance we
prefer our lamb neck from animals at this age when they are nice and
- Mutton refers to meat from an animal that has passed its
second birthday. It can sometimes be quite tough (but that is no
problem with long slow cooking) and generally has more flavour than
lamb and hogget.
Some White Hat lamb recipes: