Briggs Shetland Lamb

Suffolk Cross Lamb aged 16 weeks beside a Shetland Lamb aged 16 weeks. Photo, Richard Briggs

The Product

The Shetland breed of sheep is only half the size of many of the UK’s other breeds. With Shetland Lamb the butcher starts with just 8kg – 14kg compared to the 17kg – 22kg size that is normal for most of the breeds of lamb sold in the UK. This gives me the advantage of being able to supply a whole lamb within the maximum 15kg weight allowed by the postal service available to me.  As an illustration, compare an Orange and a Tangerine

INGREDIENTS – Lamb is all that is required to describe the contents of the boxes I supply. Because my croft at South Nesting, Shetland is mainly rough pasture, I produce what Shetlanders would call “park fed lamb”.

SHETLAND HILL LAMB – comes from those of my flock that live more extensively on the open hill at East Kame. (some Hill Lamb I source from my neighbours) Later born hill lambs do not grow to marketing size by the end of the autumn. These I overwinter and sell as hogget the following summer.

SHETLAND SEAWEED LAMB – is the most celebrated version of Shetland lamb. The name has been formally adopted by Shetland Livestock Marketing Group to describe lamb from flocks that normally have access to sea shore and are hefted to graze amongst the ebb. As my croft has no shoreline, I source this each autumn from my neighbours who do. Availability is determined by the date they are able to gather their flock.

BRIGGS’ SHETLAND LAMB IS A SEASONAL PRODUCT –  Please look at my News page for availability. Orders and enquiries can be sent from my website or to my email address above at any time. We do not ask for payment for orders before we confirm the despatch date.

Also valued for its wool, I believe that Shetland Lamb (PDO) is ONE OF THE JEWELS IN THE CROWN of iconic Scottish produce because of the origins of the breed and because it has evolved to thrive in the Shetland environment.

the product

In the greengrocers, oranges are displayed next to tangerines and at first sight they appear to be the same but of different sizes. It is only when they are eaten that the sweetness of the tangerine is apparent.

The situation is similar when cross bred lamb is displayed in the butchers. The cuts from cross bred lambs are bigger than those from Shetland Lambs. Celebrity chefs and food writers have described Shetland lamb as very tender and sweet.