Its name is known throughout the world. And for good reason! The Label Rouge and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) guarantee young lambs of excellent quality in terms of their foundation stocks from the Southern Alps; their diet – mother’s milk followed by grazing or fodder; and the transfer of the ewes to vast pastures as part of the summer transhumance. When producing this light-coloured, very tender and mild-tasting meat, it is more about the traditions than the process.
What you need to know
With a Label Rouge and PGI, Sisteron lamb is governed by strict specifications which start with its origins. The ewes must belong to one of the three authorised hardy breeds of the Southern Alps (Mérinos d’Arles, Mourérous and Préalpes du Sud). They must also graze for at least six months of the year, particularly on the high mountain pastures as part of the summer transhumance.
For the rams, the Charolais, Île-de-France, Suffolk and Berrichon foundation stocks are also accepted. Born in the area covered by the PGI that extends across most of Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur and in Drôme Provençale, the lambs are raised on their mothers’ milk for at least 60 days. Following natural weaning, they, like the flock, are fed grass or hay and listed supplements. GMOs are therefore prohibited. Slaughtered in Sisteron after 70 to 150 days, in the only accredited establishment, they are then checked before being marked with the designation.
How to use
In the refrigerator for up to two to three days, keeping the lamb wrapped to avoid it drying out.
While nothing on a lamb is wasted, remember that cooking methods differ according to the cut.
- For roasting: rack, shoulder, leg, short-cut leg, saddle
- For grilling or frying: chops, breaded breast, kebabs, fillet
- For braising: shoulder, leg, neck, breast, ribs
Thyme, rosemary, garlic, olives, dried fruit, celery, parsnip, figs… And for wine? We suggest a red Crozes-Hermitage.