This is to show how I prepared both legs of lamb for the taste comparison. Pure breed Zwartbles v half Suffolk/Zwartbles. Both legs of lamb were considered delicious, tender and full of flavor. But the pure breed came out on top as more tender, sweeter, and more flavorful then the half breed.


Here are the 2 legs of lamb with ingredients set out on the kitchen table. Both lambs where about the same age born end of April, fed the same, butchered the same day and hung for the full 10 days.




The leg on the left is the half Suffolk half Zwartbles weighing in at about 10lbs. As you can see it has a bit more fat on it. The leg on the right is the pure breed Zwartbles lamb weighing in about 8lbs. Due to the weight difference I took the Zwartbles leg out of the oven a bit earlier so I didn’t over cook it. Otherwise both legs had the exact same treatment.



I used the freshest simplest ingredients. Rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil.




Fresh rosemary and garlic, coarse ground pepper and ground up sea salt. I use the olive oil to just spread across the tops of the legs as it helps the salt and pepper stick and adds a nice flavor.




I took off a small bit of the excess fat from the half breed leg of lamb. You can see the small amount I took off in the bowl.




I peeled and chopped the garlic which I then inserted into the knife cuts I made in both legs.




Here you can see what it looks like just before I put it into the oven.




The garlic is slotted in pepper and salt spread about with the olive oil and the rosemary draped across the legs.




Here are the 2 legs of lamb going into the Aga oven. Where they were roasted to perfection. I’m sorry I do not have any more photographs to show you the end results. I had 10 guests all cooks, foodies and small food producers. Both legs were thought delicious but the pure breed Zwartbles lamb was thought to be sweeter, more tender and had a wonderful flavor. Hours later when guest were leaving they sampled again the lamb, now cold and found the Zwartbles lamb even better.

4 Responses to Preperations for Roasting Lamb

  1. Colette says:

    Interesting to read about the difference in flavour between the pure breed and the half Zwarbles half Suffolk. Great detail there on how to cook the lamb. Lovely pics too 🙂

  2. Roisin says:

    My sister roasted a leg of one of your zwartbles for a new year dinner last night using the same ingredients & I can honestly say I have never had a lamb taste as succulent & so full of flavour as this one…most delicious indeed…so much so I’m sure it would convert steadfast vegetarians!

    • suzanna says:

      So glad you enjoyed the lamb. I understand you have now booked one from this years yet unborn crop.

  3. Sherry says:

    Aaaaah you’re so nonchalant about this! This post ohrbeted me so much it really brought to the forefront how much I like to play ignorant about where my food came from when I am eating meat. Which is a bit of an eye-opener for me because I thought I was okay with it, but maybe I’m not really. It’s tasty, but I could never eat an animal that I had met while it was alive, much less one that I had named do you have a hard time with that at all?On the other hand though, I think it’s wonderful to know exactly where your food is coming from, that the animals were treated well while they were alive, and that they’re not packed full of hormones, so that is definitely an upside. Reply:November 13th, 2010 at 4:56 pmIt’s different when you know the animal is destined to be food. There’s no way I could kill eat *my* dog, even though I’ve eaten dog before. And I’m sure I’d feel awful about eating someone’s pot-bellied pet, even though I love bacon. Knowing what I do about industrial food production, I actually feel a LOT better about eating a sheep I knew, whose health I could see in her shiny eyes and thick fleece, and who I know lived out her short but sheepy destiny rather than one who lived in anonymous terror and misery in a factory farm somewhere.

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