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Lamb , mutton and sheep meat (regional Schöpsernes or Lammernes ) are the names of sheep meat . The different names indicate the age: lamb comes from animals that are younger than one year, mutton from animals that are younger than two years, sheep meat from animals that are at least two years old.


  • Lambs are slaughtered before they are twelve months old. A further distinction is made between:
    • Suckling lamb , animals that are at least eight weeks old but not older than six months. Their meat is particularly light.
    • Fattening lambs that are up to one year old. Their flesh is dark pink and only slightly streaked with fat.
  • Young sheep is called a lamb slaughtered when it is two years old.
  • Mutton are not older than two years. They can be castrated males or females with no offspring. Mutton has a strong taste, dark red, firm and clearly marbled.
  • Sheep are castrated females or males over two years old. Their flesh is dark red, strongly streaked and coarse-grained.
  • Bucks are male animals that are not neutered and older than a year. Their meat has a very strong taste.

In Germany today a distinction is only made between lamb (younger than a year) and sheep meat (older than a year). In the food trade, lamb comes almost exclusively, mostly from milk lambs.

Slaughter parts

Slaughtered parts of the lamb: 1st neck, 2nd breast, 3rd shoulder, 4th knuckle, 5th chops, 6th back, 7th thinning, 8th leg


  • Neck or comb - The meat is streaked with fine, white fat and very juicy.
  • It is available for purchase in one piece, with or without bones.
  • Suitable for braising goulash or neck roast and for cooking soups and stews.


  • Is offered in stores as a chest and nipple. The meat is streaky with fat and is juicy.
  • In the piece, with or without bones on offer.
  • Suitable for cooking soups and stews, as well as for braising goulash and stuffed lamb breast.


  • Also sold as a bow or leaf. Shoulders make tender, juicy pieces of meat.
  • Available in pieces, with or without bones, and in rolled form.
  • Suitable for cooking stews, braising goulash, for roll roast, Tyrolean lamb roast and for grilling meat skewers.


  • The meat is very juicy, strong and robust in taste.
  • In the trade it is offered as a piece with a bone.
  • Ideal for roasting and braising
  • Lamb knuckle is referred to by cooks as lamb shank, in French souris d'agneau.


  • There are stalk cutlets from the front part of the back with the ends of the ribs, and there are loin cutlets (with fillet attached) from the rear part. The meat of both types is very juicy and tender. The slices from the loosened chops are also called lamb chops.
  • The very small loin chops are usually only offered twice, as so-called butterfly chops. The stick chops are available individually.
  • Ideal for quick frying and grilling.


  • Rack of lamb or lamb salmon also contains the most tender meat from lamb. It delivers both lamb chops and juicy roasts.
  • Available as a piece, with or without bones, as rack of lamb, saddle of lamb fillets and lamb fillets.
  • Ideally suited for quick roasting, grilling, roasting in the oven and for braising saddle of lamb fillet.
  • Crown of lamb is a festive preparation form.


  • The thinning is the belly flap, a flat, streaky piece of meat.
  • To buy in the piece, with or without gristle and ribs, also available as a roll roast.
  • Suitable for cooking ragouts, stews, soups, for braising goulash and roll roasts.

Mace ( gigot )

  • The leg of lamb (drumstick) is lean, tender and meaty. The best roast lamb.
  • Sold whole, boned or boneless, and sliced.
  • Ideally suited for grilling steaks and meat skewers, for roasting and as goulash.

Average composition

From a nutritional point of view, lamb is a valuable food that contains many vitamins , minerals and protein . A 100-gram serving of lamb just about covers an adult's daily vitamin B12 requirement and provides around 20 g of protein . At 65 mg per 100 grams of meat, the cholesterol content is comparable to that of beef . Lamb contains an average of around 180 mg of purines .

Information per 100 grams of edible lamb muscle meat:

water 74.3 g
protein 20.8 g
fat 3.7 g
Minerals 1.2 g
sodium 65 mg
potassium 290 mg
magnesium 20 mg
Calcium 3 mg
iron 1.6 mg
copper 170 µg
zinc 2.9 mg
selenium 4 µg
Thiamine (Vit. B 1 ) 150 µg
Riboflavin (Vit. B 2 ) 370 µg
Nicotinic acid (Vit. B 3 ) 6200 µg
Pantothenic acid (Vit. B 5 ) 480 µg
Vitamin B6 130 µg
Vitamin B12 3 µg
essential and semi-essential amino acids
Arginine 1 1390 mg
Histidine 1 600 mg
Isoleucine 1020 mg
Leucine 1690 mg
Lysine 1890 mg
Methionine 530 mg
Phenylalanine 820 mg
Threonine 890 mg
Tryptophan 200 mg
Tyrosine 820 mg
Valine 1120 mg
1 semi-essential

The physiological calorific value is 491  kJ (117 kcal) per 100 grams of edible portion.


Head of lamb with polenta and green beans

In Germany, lamb is traditionally rarely eaten, e.g. B. as an insert for bean stew. Consumption in Germany is consistently very low. According to the CMA, only 700 grams of lamb and goat meat were consumed per capita in 2007 , with a total meat consumption of 60.3 kg per person per year.

It is much more popular in the kitchens of the Mediterranean, especially those of the Middle East and North Africa . Unlike sheep and goats, it is difficult to keep pigs and, in some cases, cattle in these dry areas, which have long been poorly forested. In addition, pork is considered impure in Judaism and Islam and is accordingly not very common in Israel and the Islamic world.

The Turkish snack dish doner kebab , which is often based on lamb and veal, or alternatively often on chicken or other meats, is widespread in Germany .


Roasted Lamb

Lamb is very tender and has a mild taste. Mutton and sheep meat have a very distinctive flavor and are of a firmer texture. Lamb is prepared in different ways, e.g. B. by roasting , grilling , boiling and braising . It is eaten as an insert in soups , fillets , cutlets , meat skewers , ragout (e.g. Irish stew ) or as a roll roast . Lamb is usually seasoned with garlic , juniper berries , thyme , rosemary , tarragon , oregano , marjoram , paprika , pepper , curry or bay leaves . However, it can also be marinated in buttermilk , vinegar , red wine or white wine . In the English kitchen , lamb is often served with a mint sauce .

Web links

Wiktionary: Lamb  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Reference values ​​for vitamin B12 (cobalamine) , on, accessed in February 2020
  2. German Research Institute for Food Chemistry , Garching (ed.): Food table for practice . 4th edition. Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-8047-2541-6 , p. 105 .