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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Update: Yes, You Can Find Mutton, Depending on How You Define It

Posted By on Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 9:42 AM

In Monday's edition of Ask the Critic, I responded to a question from P.J., who was searching for mutton (meat from older sheep) to make a proper Kentucky burgoo. All the butchers I spoke to said that there's no such thing on the market. After the post went up, a reader Tweeted me a link to Marin Sun Farms' Web site. Indeed, the producer of local sustainably raised meat advertises that it sells mutton from older ewes.

Yesterday I called Marin Sun Farms' butcher shop to get more information.

According to the counter guy I spoke to, the meat Marin Sun Farms calls "mutton" comes from sheep that are nine months to one

year old at time of slaughter, which is at the upper age range of what the USDA considers "lamb." Generally, if MSF has (year-old) mutton, the meat is distributed fresh to

CSA members and sold at the farmers' markets, with any left-over

meat frozen and sold at the butcher shop in Point Reyes. "The taste is not

too much stronger," the counter guy told me. "I don't think the

difference between the [lamb and the mutton] is great."

P.J., I still contend that you should go with goat for your burgoo. But you might want

to monitor the Marin Sun Farms' Ferry Plaza farmers' market stand, and try a packet of

mutton/older lamb the next time it appears.

Have a question for the critic? Email me at or
Tweet me at @jonkauffman.

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