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If you are cooking Italian or French lamb recipes, this lamb cuts article gives you the names of cuts in English, Italian and French, explains how to cook them and what is the difference between lamb and abbacchio.
Lamb in French and Italian
The Lamb is called Agneau in French and Agnello in Italian, and it is usually 100 days old lamb.
If you are in Italy, you will also find Abbacchio, a 25-30 days old lamb which has been feed only with the milk from the mother.
The Abbacchio is considered refined and expensive meat as it is much tender and sweeter, but it has a higher percentage of fat and a lower level of nutrients.
The cuts of lamb are much easier to recognize compared to beef and pork, but it is always handy to have the exact names when you go shopping.
So here they are:
Neck (Eng.), Collier (Fr.), Collo (It.): is the part of the neck. It can be braised or stewed. Personally I never cooked it.
Shoulder (Eng.), Epaule (Fr.), Spalla (It.): this part is very fatty with some cartilages. It is perfect for stews as the bone gives the soup flavour and creamy consistency, similar to chicken bones.
It can also be used for roast or grilled cutlets. I use it to make Irish stew, and it is delicious comfort food for cold winters. Even my children enjoy it!
Loin, Rack, Chops (Eng.), Carré, Côte (Fr.), Carre, Braciole (It.): it can be cut in several ways, often with the bone. It is mostly grilled, barbecued or pan-fried. The meat is very tender and lean, surrounded by a white layer of fat.
Depend on how it is cut, the name varies:
- Rack of Lamb is Carré in French and Carre in Italian
- Lamb chops is Côte in French and Braciole in Italian
- Crown roast is Couronne in French and Corona in Italian
- Noisette (without the bone) is Noisette in French and Filetto in Italian
Lamb loin is delicious roasted and here is a great recipe from my blogger friend Beth: Lamb loin grilled or roasted to perfection. For the chops, you can try the recipe from my blogger friend Elaine: Magical lamb loin chops
Breast (Eng.), Poitrine (Fr.), Pancia (It.): It is very similar to pork bacon, meat layered with fat and some connective tissues. It can be braised or roasted.
Leg (Eng.), Gigot (Fr.), Cosciotto (It.): The upper part of the leg is lean meat while descending toward the end it becomes marbled and with connective tissues. It can be used for roast, grill or barbecue
Leg of lamb on the barbecue
When Easter comes, we know our favourite supermarket is offering special deals on Gigout d’agneau, so we always buy a big leg of lamb to cook on the barbecue.
While the upper part of the leg is lean and tender, the lower part, the shank, tends to be too tough for the barbecue.
- So we separate the leaner meat from the bone and we cut it into large chunks.
- We marinate the chunks with olive oil, coarse salt and Provencal herbs for at least 30 minutes before
- putting it on the barbecue.
- We like to eat our leg of lamb kebab with yoghurt sauce, tabbouleh and roasted peppers.
Shank of lamb for ragu
I make the lamb ragu in the pressure pan, it is much faster to make. Unfortunately, sometimes the bone is too long and it may not fit in the pan. I cut it in half at the cartilage joint.
If you want to buy different cuts of meat and you don’t speak the language, find my charts with names translated into French and Italian for beef cuts, Pork, and Sea Monsters (Squids, Pulp and Cuttlefish).
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