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A lamb loin is a cut of meat that comes from the loin area of a lamb. It is the area that is located along the back of the lamb, behind the last rib and in front of the hip. Along with the shoulder, rack, shank, and leg, the loin is one of the five primal cuts. Meat from this area produces some of the most tender and lean cuts of lamb. This includes the loin roast and loin chops.
Lamb loin is a healthy red meat option. Nutritionally, there are 171 calories, 23 grams of protein, and three grams of mono-unsaturated fat per three ounces (85 g) of loin roast. The same size loin roast also has 227 mg of potassium, 0.23 mg of riboflavin, two mg of vitamin B12 and three mg of zinc.
An entire split side of the lamb loin is known as a loin roast. When it is not split and is still connected at the spine it is called a double loin roast or a saddle of lamb. This includes both sides of the lamb. A lamb roll is the boneless lamb roast.
Loin chops are thick chops that are cut from the lamb loin. They can be either single loin chops or double loin chops, depending on whether they are cut from a loin roast, or from a double loin roast. Single chops include meat from the back and the tenderloin and contains fat from the kidney. Loin chops are very similar in appearance to steaks. They are typically around one to 1.5 inches (2.5 to 3.81 cm) thick.
The non-split loin creates a double chop. Like the double loin, this means that it contains meat from both sides of the animal. The double loin chop can be sold with or without the bone.
As one of the leaner cuts of lamb, it is important to prepare the loin and its different cuts properly to avoid drying out the meat. Ideally, it should be cooked using methods that involve high heat. Grilling, roasting and sauteing are good choices when it comes to cooking loin meat. When preparing single or double loin chops, grilling, broiling and pan-broiling will provide good results. Roasting and grilling are good options when preparing either type of lamb roast.