Chop, chop it’s National Lamb Day

It’s 133 years since the first shipment of frozen lamb left Port Chalmers, bound for the UK.

That was the foundation of an industry which still contributes multi millions of dollars to our economy and today has been proclaimed National Lamb Day in celebration of that:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy is welcoming Sunday February 15 as ‘National Lamb Day’, a new initiative from Beef + Lamb New Zealand.

“Lamb is a Kiwi favourite so it is a great initiative to recognise this with a set day,” says Mr Guy.

“February 15 is an appropriate day given it was exactly 133 years ago that the first frozen shipment of sheep meat left Port Chalmers for London. This marked the dawn of one of New Zealand’s most important export industries.

“Lamb exports are now worth around $2.5 billion with the biggest markets being the UK, China and the USA.

“Sheep farmers have adapted to change over the years and made major improvements in productivity. It’s remarkable that we now produce the same amount of lamb meat today as we did in the early 1980s but with half the number of sheep.

“I believe in celebrating our farming heritage and recognising its contribution to our economy and way of life. A National Lamb Day is a great way to acknowledge our history and promote red meat.”

Beef + Lamb NZ has a myriad of delicious ways to cook lamb.

My favourite is French rack, salted and slow cooked over wood on the parilla. What’s yours?


7 Responses to Chop, chop it’s National Lamb Day

  1. Willdwan says:

    I like that one too. Mrs D makes incredible lamb vindaloo, better than the Indians I reckon.

  2. JC says:

    “What’s yours?”


    I’ll get me coat 🙂


  3. J Bloggs says:

    I go for the easy options – barbequed lamb chops in the summer and a nice oven roasted leg of lamb with potatoes, kumara and pumpkin in the winter

  4. RBG says:

    The Sunday roast, we all wanted the tarry well done outside pieces, then cold meat sandwiches for school lunches on Monday. How does the same amount of meat come from half the sheep? Is it because when wool was more valuable there were many sheep just farmed for wool? Am guessing sheep haven’t doubled in size 🙂

  5. jabba says:

    last week a leg of lamb was about $28-29 at Countdown. Today at the Mad Butcher, a leg was about $40. I would have thought it would have been the reverse being National Lamb Day.
    We usually do honey lamb were the gravy is to die for and even better the next day on sammies.

  6. Willdwan says:

    Ewes have more twins these days RBG, and we grow the lambs to much higher weights.

  7. Mr E says:

    French rack – a little salt and pepper only, trimmed and served like lolly pops.

    I wouldn’t care to imagine the cooking technique. It is a treat I have been served and thoroughly appreciated now and again.

    On odd occasions, I get a rack of lamb but I don’t have the patience to ‘french’ and I feel wasteful doing it.

    I was bought up in an environment where hardly a gram of food was wasted. It makes gourmet meat a philosophical challenge for me.

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