Many homecooks avoid meats that seem exotic or difficult to cook. The fact is many of these “exotic” meats boast long traditions of preparation and cuisine, a solid foundation for cooks of all skill levels. While many North Americans are well versed in lamb chops, racks and roasts– the same people might shy away of similar cuts of meat labeled as mutton. Read below for D’Arcy’s quick-look definitions, comparisons and contrasts of lamb and mutton.
Lamb is defined as the meat of a sheep slaughtered between four months and one year old. Low in fat content, the meat is often pink or pale red with delicate yet distinctive flavour. Not all lamb is made equal– different cuts offer different advantages and disadvantages.
Mutton is nearly identical to lamb: it’s the meat of a sheep. The only difference is the slaughtered sheep has been allowed to mature past twelve months, usually in the range of three years old. Mutton is rich in fat, bright red and intensely flavourful. Often considered an “acquired taste” in North America, mutton is extremely popular throughout the Middle East and Europe.
When preparing lamb or mutton, it is important to adjust your plans and recipes to accommodate the differences of either meat. While lamb is prized for its subtlety, a cheap cut of lamb can end up just as greasy and odorous as a mutton counterpart when prepared incorrectly. Conversely mutton has a bad reputation, but it can easily be served as part of a fine, gourmet meal.
Are you interested in trying out lamb or mutton on your dinner table? Visit or contact our helpful staff at D’Arcy’s and they will put their expertise to work for you. We will cater to you by ensuring you have the right cut of meat for your needs.