Cambrian Mountain Lamb

Our Cambrian Mountain Lamb owes its premium quality and exceptional flavour to the traditional way in which the sheep are reared. The meat is produced for us by the Cambrian Mountain Co-operative, a group of 22 farms in mid-Wales, whose flocks roam and feed freely across miles of open hills and mountains.

Provenance

Cambrian Mountain Lamb is produced from a native breed that is smaller and yields sweeter-tasting meat. The hefted flocks are kept on Assured Farms which still use traditional farming methods originating from the Middle Ages and passed down through generations. A hefted flock is one that has been bred for generations on the same land, and the sheep instinctively return to this territory. Old traditions die hard in the Cambrian Mountains, where farmers and shepherds still often use horses to access the steep terrain and vast wetland bogs on the hill tops, and neighbouring farmers help each other with farm tasks at certain times of the year, such as shearing and Autumn gathering.

Cambrian Mountain Lamb farmers still adhere to the old Hafod a Hendre system: after a winter in the valley, the lambs are shepherded up to the hills for the long summer grazing on natural pasture rich in a variety of grasses and herbs, returning to lower pastures during the winter months. This produces a slightly lighter weight lamb (of around 16kg) with great conformation and succulent, juicy meat with a delicate, sweet flavour.

WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL

As hardy mountain animals, the native Welsh Mountain breed of sheep are allowed to grow and develop naturally on the hills, so that Cambrian Mountains Lamb matures slowly for deep flavour and a succulent texture. The long summer grazing produces just the right balance of tasty meat and minimal fat, which also improves the final texture of the lean meat. Cambrian Mountains Lamb is supremely versatile, whether simply roasted or as an ingredient in more complex dishes. We love it!

 

Notes from the team

Tom and Struan visited one of the farms that make up the co-operative in late February 2013. There was a chill in the air, and as the Land Rover climbed the winding hill tracks, we knew it would be cold as we saw a small waterfall frozen mid flow! By the time we had reached the summit, the wind was howling, and there was frost on the grass. We all stepped out to survey the surroundings before realising Tom was still in the car, sheltering in the warm. He happily sat there until we all got back in. Apparently he couldn't get out as the child lock was on, but there no child lock on the front doors Tom...

 

Butchers Tip

Try chump chops instead of loin chops - you'll get more flavour and a more complex taste.