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Lamb breast is a cut of lamb from the underbelly of the animal that includes ribs and a part of the breast plate. This portion of lamb is relatively inexpensive because it is considered by some to be a fattier cut than traditional lamb roasts or ribs. When cooked properly, a lamb breast loses some of its fat content but retains most of the meat, though this cut is known for having less meat than others. It can add rich flavoring to braised soups or stews and can also be grilled, roasted, or ground. Some people use the lamb breast to make lamb bacon.
The lamb breast is located underneath the neck and shoulder of the animal but above the shank of the lamb's front leg. This area gets less exercise than the shoulder or the shank, which lends to it having a higher fat content than these other cuts. There is cartilage and bone in this area of the animal from the front of the ribs and the breast plate, but there is also some meat. Certain people enjoy eating fatty cuts of meat because it creates flavor and juiciness, but others enjoy leaner and meatier portions of the animal.
One of the main draws of purchasing lamb breast is its price, as it is usually much less expensive than other cuts of lamb. This is because of its higher fat content and the difficulty that some people have preparing and cooking it. Various cultures throughout history have eaten lamb breast because it works well in many dishes, such as soups and stews, where much of the fat is dissolved through a long cooking time. There are many lamb breast recipes in Middle Eastern, Indian, and Australian cuisines.
Preparing and cooking lamb breast is not overly difficult if enough attention is spent on the process. This cut of meat needs to have the fat trimmed off of it before it is marinated and either grilled or roasted in the oven. It can also be placed in liquid and stewed for a long period of time to melt the fat and connective tissues, leaving meat and bones in the dish. The most important part of cooking lamb breast, no matter what style, is the long cooking time with a relatively low heat. Whether on the grill, in a pot, or in the oven, this method ensures that the meat will be tender.
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