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Cooking and Eating Mutton

 
gardener
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Location: Western Washington
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In my quest to diversify my stored food I'm looking to buy a sheep or two to put in my freezer. A lot of the lambs around here are selling fast though. There are a lot of adult sheep available to purchase. I've heard that mutton can be good when cooked right. Thoughts? And are rams good to eat or only wethers?


 
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We don't castrate our Katahdin ram lambs.  I have butchered a couple at 1.5 years old that tasted just fine.  We've butchered a couple of old ewes that tasted just fine as well.  Caveat-  Katahdin is know to be mild flavored and body condition seems to be more important that age.  A thin animal has never tasted as good as a nice plump one!
 
pollinator
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i lived on the Navajo Nation for a little while so i may be biased, but i love mutton. finally a meat with some flavor! stew is classic, but any kind of low-n-slow cooking, for older animals, can be great. i've done a boneless leg roast from a 3-year-old semi-feral ewe in the crock pot on low that was awesome.

 
pollinator
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Sheep can have some strong flavours, that you might not like. A large factor is what the animal has been eating for the past few months. These flavours will be in the fat. It is pretty common to cut off every bit of fat and then grind up the meat with fatty pork. You can also try it as is, who knows you might like it.
 
pollinator
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Grass Fed and grain finish works well for beef that is gamey/free-ranged. So I am sure that works for 'gamey' male sheep.

Beef loses alot of flavor if you cook it long, so the same will happen with sheep too. And as a bonus it becomes very tender vs tough (which equals gamey for alot of folks).

Adding some of your favorite seasoning goes a long way to making it more enjoyable or you can embrace and add some exotic seasoning, Curry Mutton anyone?
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