Girl Butcher – Charlotte shares her knowledge

When I first learned how to be a butcher the thing that fascinated me most was being told that all animals are the same; my response was ‘how can they possibly be the same?!’ 


Of course, they’re all different sorts (and I’m not including poultry) but in terms of the cuts they are made up of and the way in which their muscles move, it’s identical.

This confused me no end! Take the fabulous rib of beef for roasting which can feed many people; it’s taken from the most tender and flavoursome part of the beast, with marbling for flavour. Now compare this to a rack of lamb. Yes, the lamb is much smaller, but it’s the same cut, and it roasts beautifully and the meat is also super tender.

As we start to lean towards those autumnal dishes we think of lamb shanks and shin of beef, how often does it occur to us that those cuts are the same but off different beasts.

Due to those animals walking around all day and eating grass we have to cook them the same way – long and slow – but how rewarding is the flavour?

A lamb loin chop is the same as a T-Bone steak in beef, made up of sirloin and fillet. However due to the lambs being substantially smaller than beef they usually refer to the sirloin as fillet, as the smaller inner fillet on the lamb loin is super tiny.  Perhaps the next time you’re considering getting lamb shoulder, consider a beef chuck shoulder roast, pork collar, or lamb ribs?

When seasoned well these can be incredibly soft and they’re something a bit different for a starter or sharer.

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