The traditional taste of Hebridean LambThe native Hebridean is a far smaller sheep than modern commercial breeds found in today’s supermarkets, taking around twelve months for lamb to reach maturity in comparison to modern commercial lamb such as the Texel and Suffolk which are far greater in size and ready for market in only six months. This allows Hebrideans to enjoy a full and natural life. Slower maturing lambs permit the meat’s flavour to fully develop in a way we now rarely have the opportunity to appreciate.
Hebrideans, when butchered locally, weigh around 14kg - 19kg and are hung for 12 days to permit the meat to finalise its maturing before cutting is begun.
The meat from Hebridean sheep is unique. It is a rich dark hue, succulent tender texture, and a gamey - utterly delicious long forgotten flavour. The purity of the meat also offers important health advantages over modern commercial breeds of sheep – with the meat being very lean. Recent tests have shown that it has a significantly lower cholesterol level than most lamb.
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Enjoying the tasteIn cooking, Hebridean lamb should be heated gently, to secure the taste and create meat that simply melts in the mouth. Hebridean lamb stew or, for a special occasions, a rack of lamb along with herb mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetable provide a delicious combination.
The flavour has been described as:
“The meat from Hebridean sheep is unique. It has a rich, dark colour, succulent tender texture, and a gamey, utterly delicious flavour. Tasted against locally produced butchers' lamb and some very good Welsh lamb, there was no contest: the Hebridean won hands down. It was tender with a really good bite, and rich but didn't leave that greasy, fatty taste in the mouth. And it was so full of flavour that some of the young tasters couldn't believe it really was lamb."
Alex Barker: Guild of Food Writers..
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