Friday, February 25, 2011

Lamb Update

We have now had 23 lambs this year and only a couple more ewes yet to lamb!

2 of those died, both appeared to have been stillborn.  1 lamb was a bummer lamb and has been sold to a very nice family where he will bring many smiles.

Of the remaining 20, we have several lilacs, just over half are ram lambs, a couple that are ideally spotted, and 6 sets of twins out of 20 ewes.  so far, so good.  We have one ram lamb we are considering saving for a breeding ram, and only one of the female lambs has been disqualified from the future breeding flock because of her eye split.  Unfortunately, because I do not know who sired whom, we will have to wait another year to see just who is carrying the split eye genes.
the most fun part of lambing season?  Watching all the lamb parties while mamas are gobbling down their daily grain ration.

 This is our most unique lamb.
"Cookies & Cream" from Eggplant the Khatadin-Jacob cross ewe.  Cookie is 3/4 Jacob, 1/4 Khatadin.  Isn't it interesting how the coloring genetics worked out?  You can't see it but he even has a little white beard to go with the white on top of his head.

This is Pirate's ram lamb taste-testing the strings I used to help lamb-proof the lambing pens.  He has a beautiful spotting pattern.
Aww, Mama didn't leave any grain to nibble for us!
No worries, every lamb that can be held has been held, hugged and kissed by HannaMae.  No doubts about the love given around here!

The first lambs are beginning to weight as much as Alethea so she can't hold onto any of them yet but she does give pets to the ones HannaMae is holding.
And the best part of the day as a lamb? 

Hay naps.

Of course.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Stuffed Lamb

This Recipe comes from a book in my personal collection called "Over the Open Fire" by Pamela Alford with Johnny Nix.  This cookbook is for cooking over an open fire, usualy with cast iron however they also list how the recipes would be done in a kitchen and I always add notes to recipes I provide.

"Stuffed Rack of Lamb"

Notes: use cookware similarly sized and scaled to the amount of meat you are working with.  Also, any other cut of meat that you could stuff works as well, adjust cooking times and temperatures appropriately.  shoulder roasts, legs work well, as do chops: just cut from the side for stuffing.

Serving Size: 8
14" deep Cast Iron Dutch Oven
10" Skillet

Stuffed Rack
1 rack of lamb
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbs fresh parsley
3 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup onion, minced
3 tbsp butter

Basting Sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 cup deli mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
4 tsp lemon juice
1 tbs water
1/4 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ginger, ground
1 tbs soy sauce

With a knife sharpener from a knife block, poke a large hole all the way through the rack of lamb.  combine garlic, parsley, olive oil, butter and onion to make a paste.  stuff the paste into the hole in the lamb, as much as possible!    Stand rack bones up on a meat trivet and bake at 400' for 20 minutes.  mix the basting ingredients and bring to a boil.  reduce the oven ehat to 350' and baste every 20 minutes.  Total roasting time is approximately 1 hour 20 minutes, depending on the size of the rack.

Notes: For cuts like roasts or legs, I would monitor for doneness starting at about 40 minutes.  For chops, 20-30 minutes.  It may be a good idea, for chops especially, to consider marinating in the basting sauce after cutting for the stuffing but prior to stuffing and roasting.

Happy Eating!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Lambs 2011

Hooray!  Our first two lambs arrived this weekend!  We don't know which of our two rams are the sire this year because life got a little too crazy last fall and we didn't do separate breeding pastures.  So any that I wish to register with the JSBA this year can't be any higher than FF (Foundation Flock).  Not a terrible loss since the ones we bought last spring are all there anyways.  Next year we will do some more testing as far as what the ram's genes look like, Abe especially.

But, so far it looks like we've got good genes on at least the ewe's side!

#1 comes from one of our newly-bought ewes.  Her four horns are gorgeously set and she's nicely spotted.  Her little ram lamb is also.  He also has 3-4 horn buds as far as I can tell as yet.

 #2 came from a Khatadin-Jacob crossed ewe lamb.    Except for the eye split in one of his left eyes, he's also very nice looking as far as the Jacob genes are concerned.  In fact, the only reason I might know him to be 1/4 Khatadin would be if he was polled!  I'm not sure where the gene causing the eye split came from: mama, grandma, Abe or Tierny.  My most likely suspect I think may be from his mother's dam but I don't know who that is anymore.  No matter what, he sure is cute!

Well, I expect to post more lamb updates this week!  I'll be going to go check on them again later tonight because there was one yearling who was showing signs of labor earlier. 

So Far, so good!  *knock on wood!*