How to Trim Fat When Cooking Lamb
A quality cut of lamb will not have much fat. However, before cooking you may wish to trim any excess that you do find. There are two types of fat associated with lamb; intramuscular fat and external fat. Marbling through the meat is known as intramuscular fat and it makes the lamb juicy (and tasty!) throughout. External fat is fat to be removed before cooking as it can cause spitting and is generally unappetising. Here’s some useful tips on how to cut fat from different cuts of lamb.
Chops typically only have a rind of fat. Place them on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut off any white chunks around the edges, getting as close to the red meat as possible.
Leg of Lamb
Typically, a leg of lamb will have marbling throughout with a thick layer of fat to one side. It is important to remember that a little fat is good to keep the meat moist as it cooks however if more than a desirable amount has been left on by the butcher simply lift the layer of fat off the lamb and slice along between the fat and meat until the meat is left with a more desirable level of fat.
Start by trimming off any visible outside layers of fat on the meat. Once completed look to the bones – if there is a layer of almost plastic like skin then remove it as this can reduce flavour.
Lamb Cutlets or Rack of Lamb
Slice into either cutlets or three bone portions for entertaining. Do not remove all the fat, just the excess on the back of the joint. To French Trim the rack, cut away the meat and fat from the last 3cm of the bones back towards the meaty part. Trim in between the bones so that they are free of meat and fat. The trimmings can be used for stock. Remove the chine bone at the base, keeping as much meat as possible on the rack. Remove the line of gristle that lies between the rack and the now removed chine. Finally, clean the bones of all excess fat and scrape the thin film of sinew off.