Some cooks wish that lambs came with one leg and four racks. As it turns out, this is not currently a possibility (although give scientists some time, and they may come up with some new solutions) and would probably hinder the lamb’s ability to walk. Lambs are so much more than the rack, and this becomes clear when you butcher a whole lamb, as we did a couple of weeks ago. When you talk to your rancher, you see how much work goes into producing each animal, and when you see the whole animal, you understand the value in each ounce of meat. Luckily, there’s more and more talk about using the animal. Check out this video on a restaurant going through a whole cow once a week…

and read this article in Meatpaper. There’s even a book on the topic, The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating. In an interview with Atlantic Food Editor, Corby Kummer, chef and owner of Blue Hill said,

I like the idea that when people order something, like a pork dish, or lamb dish, or chicken dish, that you aren’t just getting a chicken breast or a lamb tenderloin or a pork loin. That you’re getting all parts from the animal when you order it and that you really have no choice in that, because the farm gives us no choice in it. It’s a good way to look at the future of food. How do we take what our farm can provide and create a menu off of that, instead of the way most chefs think about creating a menu, which is, what do I want to cook with, what do I want to serve?

Using the whole animal is better for both the environment and your rancher. It also allows chefs to be more creative in their cooking. So consider buying a whole lamb next time you’re on our site. If you do, you’ll have plenty of resources to use, because as a follow up to our butchery class, we’ll work on a new blog segment, following us as we cook our way through a whole lamb. Check back soon for some new recipes.