SHARPENING SKILLS

#scotchbeefmeatup

As part of a recent blog trip in Edinburgh, myself & 7 fellow bloggers, spent a morning at the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School learning all about Scotch Lamb & how to de-bone a shoulder...

Following a reviving cuppa & sweet shortcakes, we gathered for a welcome & some background on the provenance of Scotch Lamb from our expert for the day, Stuart McClymont...

TAKEAWAYS ∘ Lamb is extremely seasonal to be at it's best. The animals grow with the sun & the season starts in the South moving North. ∘ Scotch Lamb is ready August-February from animals born in the British springtime, in direct opposite to New Zealand Lamb. ∘ The animals' bodies adapt to the environment in which they are raised, so feed required by by one to survive, may in (scroll ↓) fact, kill another. ∘ The last 2 weeks of the animals life influences the flavour of the meat. A lamb raised on heather would have a wild yet sweet & delicate taste, whilst a lamb raised near the sea (eg Shetland or Orkney) would be raised on seaweed giving a very different & distinctive flavour. ∘ To be 'Scotch', an animal must have been born, raised & processed in Scotland. In being part of the 'Scotch' branding, all beef & lamb is protected under strict quality assurances, ensuring the wellbeing of every individual animal throughout it's lifetime & to market.

Next, we got to sharpen our own knives & get down to art of de-boning & cutting a shoulder of lamb...

My knife skills could literally have been referred to as butchery (!) but it was interesting to see the individual cuts of meat become clear throughout the process. From the shoulder, we each produced a roll of lamb (perfect for a family roast), a fore shank (good for slower cooking or the smaller family), and a neck fillet (my favourite!) I couldn't resist asking Stuart to stand for a quick portrait before the lamb was rolled, tied, & ready for roasting...

After all that hard work, it was time for lunch. Susie Hughes, a teacher from ENTCS, shared a few different ways to use lamb. From the traditional roast or a quick stir fry, to a healthy lamb patty with pitta breads...

Whilst I perhaps may not try the cutting at home again, it certainly made me think about eating more seasonally (something I always love the idea of, but tend to get stuck in the same old ruts). And also, that I would probably rather head to the butcher than the supermarket now. Understanding more about the flavours, rearing, and cuts makes me think I'd like to purchase the meat I like, as opposed to simply all that is available on the shelf. For more info & recipe ideas, head to www.scotchbeefandlamb.com

more stories over at www.lapinblu.com IG @LapinBlu with huge thanks to our host for the weekend, @TheScotchKitchen and to Stuart, Suzie & the team at ENTCS 🍴