ON THE LAMB: Enjoying the Health and Culinary Benefits of Lamb Meat

Lamb meat and vegetables in the kitchen

Lamb is an interesting variety of meat. While common enough to be found on most dinner tables once and a while, it is far from a staple of North American diets. Often considered fancy or gourmet– a restaurant-type dish– lamb can also be the centerpiece of “low-fi” cuisine like donairs or souvlaki. Such a versatile ingredient certainly deserves a place of importance in our modern food culture.

More importantly, lamb meat is highly nutritious and offers a wide range of health benefits when added in moderation to a balanced diet and lifestyle. Read on for D’Arcy’s summary of lamb facts, tips and tricks.

  • While it has the reputation of rich, fatty meat– modern lamb cuts are actually quite lean in comparison to other meats. Advances in ethical raising and butchery have drastically improved the quality of lamb meat on the market.
  • Lamb is exceptionally rich in high-quality proteins.
  • Red meat is the most readily digestible source of iron and one serving of lamb meat can provide almost a quarter of your recommended daily intake. Iron is essential to red blood cells and many other body functions. Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world.
  • Like iron, lamb is an extremely reliable and effective source of zinc– another building block of a healthy body. Among other uses, zinc is present in over 100 separate enzymes within the human body.
  • Lamb meat contains high concentrations of other essential nutrients such as B vitamins, amino acids, omega-3 fats and thiamine. It also contains other minerals that are reported to offer health benefits such as manganese and selenium.
  • A cornerstone of the “Mediterranean-style” diet, lamb is a source of healthy, non-saturated fats– only approximately half of the fat in lamb meat is saturated.

Our list is only a partial summary and D’Arcy’s experts are always standing by to answer any question you might have about lamb and its health benefits. Introduce a new flavour to an old favourite or make a splash with a traditional Sunday dinner with lamb (it’s not only delicious– it’s healthy too)!


fresh chopped mutton

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.