Monday, March 7, 2011

Mutton Mondays - The difference between mutton, mutton busting and mutton chops.

Welcome to my second Mutton Monday post!

What is mutton anyway?
Oh, you thought I made the word up? No, I'm not that clever.

There are three types of meat that come from sheep: lamb, hogget and mutton.

Lamb which most people are familiar with is meat from a sheep in it's first year. This is a more tender meat and very nutritious. Have you tried the Balsamic-Honey Glazed Lam Chops that I mentioned last month in this post yet? I'm telling's delicious.

Hogget is meat from a lamb not old enough to be mutton and with no more than two permanent incisors (or bottom teeth). Clear as mud, right? In simpler terms it's meat from a lamb between one and two years old.

Mutton is the meat from an adult sheep with more than two permanent incisors. This meat can be a bit tougher than lamb and hogget, has stronger flavor and needs to be cooked at longer lengths of time to reduce the toughness. 

I've never had hogget or mutton, but I'm putting it on my To-Do List and will be sure to report back! When we do have mutton I'll most likely try Mom’s Mutton/Lamb Stew from The Pioneer Woman's Tasty Cooking website.

Mutton busting anyone?
Mutton busting or mutton bustin' is bull riding for little kids, on sheep. J did it growing up and said it was one of the funnest things he did. This article on about Mutton Busting made me laugh out loud and made me a little disappointed that J never won a buckle.

Last but not least...mutton chops.
Who knew mutton chops are Sideburns?!
Portrait of Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside

If you want to join the ranks of other mutton chopper's here's a How To on growing mutton chops.

I wonder what a mutton bustin' mutton chopper would look like?!


Sarah said...


Erin said...

I tired Mutton in New likey

Tena said...

Wow! You learn something new every day. Apparently Farmer Hogget (from the movie Babe) was named that intentionally, as he is a sheep farmer. Neat!

Anonymous said...

Ha I love the picture of the mutton chops!! Such a fun post!!

A Rancher's Wife said...

@ Erin - was it a stew or something? How was it cooked?

@Tena- My mom is buying me the movie and sending it my way. It's been years since I've seen it! Farmer Hogget is my new pal! ;)

Jeness- Love your blog! We have such a great opportunity to share the life of ranching with our generation!