Planned Leftovers with Lamb

There is a strange phenomenon here in Wales: sheep appear to be everywhere in the countryside, and lamb meat is readily available in the shops, but it’s mostly imported New Zealand lamb. I’m not entirely sure where most of the Welsh lamb goes, whether it’s off to the continent (mainland Europe) or all the way to New Zealand in massive agricultural irony, but I make a point of buying Welsh lamb whenever I buy lamb. It’s part of my philosophy on supporting small, local producers as well as minimizing food miles.

Picture of sheep running on road

Happy sheep in Mid-Wales, nowhere near any borders.

Having freed up some freezer space, we recently had the opportunity to pre-order half a lamb from one of the farmers at our local monthly market. Holding my breath at paying up time the next month, it turned out to cost LESS than last year’s (admittedly fancy breed) Thanksgiving turkey. The bundle included a whole leg (5 1/4 pounds), a boned and rolled shoulder (as per my order), half a dozen or so thick sliced chops, over a pound and a half of ground meat (mince) from the breast and a generous package of ‘bones’ with rather a good amount of meat left on them for stewing and making stock. Together, that’s a lot more portions than one turkey! I couldn’t resist roasting the leg the first time we had a few people around for Sunday dinner. There were still a lot of leftovers. Here’s what we ate for awhile (in between non-lamb meals):

Day one: Leg of lamb oven roasted with garlic and rosemary; roasted beetroot, squash and onion; boiled potatoes; gravy.

Day two: Glazed re-fried lamb with corn on the cob, steamed beans and beet tops (all veggies late offerings from the allotment).

Day three: Freshly roasted potatoes and beets (there weren’t any leftovers of these from day one) with lamb slices laid over the top for the last 15 minutes in the oven.

Day four: Lamb and butternut squash casserole, steamed beans (probably our last fresh ones of the year), apples baked with cinnamon candies.

Day five: Pasta with lamb and tomato sauce.

Plus: We also had sliced lamb sandwiches for lunch once or twice, and a couple of very nice soups using lamb stock and leftover gravy.

Now if I could just find a source for mutton…

I'm an American living in the UK, combining rural Mid-west ideas about food with a suburban coastal British reality. It's fun!

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Posted in Leftovers
11 comments on “Planned Leftovers with Lamb
  1. Gale Wright says:

    I have had lamb exactly once in my life! My grandmother made it for a very formal Sunday dinner where she set the table with finger bowls and every other kind of plate and utensil in existence. It was delicious as I recall….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m fairly sure I never had lamb at anybody’s home in the US, but only in Greek restaurants/fast food places. I think I only ever heard of people eating it at home for Easter, and then only if they were Catholic. And I certainly never saw it in any grocery store. (How did the Catholics get it for Easter?) So I still have to make a conscious effort to seek it out, even though it’s routinely available here.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gale Wright says:

    Maybe they ordered it from local farmers. Jeff works with people from all over the world and periodically they need lamb and they actually order one from a farmer and it has to be slaughtered a certain way as well. They will make a one hour drive to the country to do this. With my grandmother, I don’t remember why we had this dinner. It was actually the only time she ever did something like that when I was growing up. She was quite a cook, though, from what my mother says. It was like an art form for her.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fairy says:

    I really struggle with the concept of buying imported food, often from the other side of the world, when it is also produced in your own backyard, figuratively speaking.

    We live within 10 km of pineapple farms, yet, in the supermarket I can buy canned pineapple from Thailand. Good on you for finding the local product.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You and I are definitely singing from the same hymn sheet!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fairy says:

    The difference is that you can sing – I can’t!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. In the 1950s my parents were newly married and living in Kent. A man came round one day and my Mum bought “Canterbury Lamb” thinking it must be local. In fact it came from Canterbury, New Zealand, not Canterbury, Kent!


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Sharing a lifetime of experience of kitchen challenges. Respecting food and making the most of what's available. Read more on my About page.
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March 2015
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