I read a very interesting story in Braeside Meat Market’s newsletter this morning. Braeside is considered to be one of the absolute best butcheries in Johannesburg, and they only sell 100% certified free range and grass fed meat produced in South Africa. Local is truly lekker here!
But did you know that not all South African lamb comes from the Karoo, and not all lamb from Karoo is “Karoo Lamb”? Here’s what I learned from Braeside today:
Professor Johan Kirsten spent years investigating what makes Karoo lamb so unique in flavour and texture. He discovered along the way that there are 6 specific bushes that make Karoo so unique. When sheep have roamed freely and eaten on at least 2 of these bushes then they develop that lovely herbaceous flavour we all know as Karoo lamb. Every farmer who claims to be producing Karoo lamb is therefore inspected by independent auditors to ensure that at least 2 of these bushes are present on more than 60% of the farm where sheep are grazing in a free range system, and these bushes are: silverkaroo, skaapbossie, kapokbossie, rivierganna, ankerkaro and perdebos. Karoo lamb has been registered as a trademark worldwide and to ensure you are getting the best lamb from the Karoo look out for their unique “MOOK” roller mark and large square “Certified Karoo” stamp on all meat.
Want to try a truly South African lamb dish? This recipe for Spiced Braised Lamb Neck from Chef Reuben Riffel, shared on the Karoo Meat of Origin website is perfect on a chilly evening together with a good bottle of red: