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Lamb is one of the more coveted cuts of meat in culinary circles, particularly when compared to the juvenile hoggart or fully grown mutton cuts of sheep that are far gamier and less tender. Of the lamb's many primal sections, the rump is one of the more versatile, able to be roasted then pulled off the bone or cut into chops and seared in a skillet. Since a typical lamb can be slaughtered as young as a few months of age, the rump is among the few primal sections that will have endured much exertion at all.
For proper taste and texture, butchers will hang lamb carcasses from hooks for at least a week before butchering them further into four primal sections. These are the leg, loin, rack and shoulder, which are further trimmed into cuts like the brisket, flank, neck, foreshank and rump. As with other livestock, several cuts like the lamb rump can be prepared as a roast in the oven or cut into steaks, or chops. A general rule is the longer the lamb has hung and cured, the deeper the redness and flavor of the meat.
Lamb rump can be easily prepared as a roast. When the bone is removed the thin slab of resulting meat can be rolled up, often with other ingredients inside like pesto, stuffing or fresh vegetables. When the entire rump is used, from the sirloin at the spine to the hind shank at the leg, this roast is often referred to as a French-style leg, with the bone intact and the skin typically left attached. Other cuts of lamb that are suitable for roasts are the loin, saddle, breast, fore shanks of the front legs, or the storied rack of lamb at the neck.
Many chefs will marinate lamb rump ahead of time in a simple sauce that will complement and not overpower the natural flavor of the lamb. When doing a roast, this pre-marination is less effective, so the roast should be seared on all sides in a hot pan before going into the pan with other ingredients. For marination, it is best to cut the rump into steaks that can be bathed in the refrigerator overnight in any number of sauces. One chef dips chops in red wine, minced garlic and Worcestershire.
Other chefs prefer to let lamb rump's natural flavor shine through by using no marinade at all. A perfectly delectable meal can be had just by salting and peppering the roast, then quickly searing all sides in a hot, oiled pan that is infused with garlic or fresh sprigs of rosemary or thyme. After the skin has begun to crisp over, the pan can be placed in an oven set to a low temperature below 200°F (about 93°C) for no more than 15 minutes. Any longer and this typically juicy meat may begin to dry out.
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