Here is our step by step guide of how a lamb is butchered. The lamb here is butchered by one of our butchers, Alan, in Fenwick.

The equipment that was used for this process was a saw, a small and a large sharp knife, a cleaver, a steel and a butchering block.

The first step is to remove the lamb hanging from the cold room and place it on the block ready for butchering. This is what an un-butchered lamb looks like:


Next he separates the fore-quarters from the hind-quarters. To do this use a sharp knife and cut in a straight line right down between the sixth and seventh rib.


Then he takes the saddle and removes the legs from it, using the smaller knife.



Now with the legs separated from the rest of the lamb, he then splits the legs by cutting straight down the middle of them, creating two legs of lamb ready to be trimmed.


He then removes the tail end of the spine from the legs


And this is what the leg looks before it is trimmed to be sold.


Next, he trims off any excess fat off the leg, which creates a whole leg ready to be sold for slow-roasting. Or it can also be cut down further to make three separate cuts.


The first extra cut which can be removed from the leg is the shank, which is a great cut for stews, soups or slow cooking. Here he is removing the shank from the rest of the leg, first with a saw and then finishing off with small sharp knife.


Next, he removes the chump from the leg using a saw. The chump comes from the very top of the leg and can roasted whole, or cut into chump chops or leg steaks, with or without the bone in and grilled or pan-fried.


He then uses the small knife and takes the bone out of the chump to create chump chops, or leg steaks.


And he is left with three cuts from one leg. The shank, the boneless chump and a smaller leg of lamb which is a great size for a family’s Sunday roast.


Next, he takes the saddle and removes the laps with a saw. The lap is also known as the breast of lamb.


Using the saw he then splits the saddle in half, to create two racks of lamb loin chops and cutlets.


This is what the split saddle looks like.


These are now ready for sale as lamb loin chops and cutlets. They can be individually removed by using first using a small knife to cut down to the bone, then using the cleaver to chop them off. Each chops or cutlet had a natural line to where the cleaver should cut through neatly.


Next. he removes the shoulder from the rib cage by using the small knife to cut alongside the ribs and then down the spine.

He then cuts down the middle of the shoulder to create two shoulder joints, which can be roasted as it is or de-boned and rolled for an easy to crave roast. Here you can see one of the shoulders, ready for de-boning.


He takes out the bones, so he can roll the shoulder ready for a roasting joint.

Then rolls the boneless shoulder and ties it up.

And here is the shoulder, rolled and ready to sell as an easy crave roast, and a whole shoulder of lamb, perfect for slow cooking.


That is the lamb now complete for selling. Our lamb comes from the company’s sheep farm, Roses Bower, up in Wark.

Keep an eye out for more posts on butchering techniques.