Meat from Hebridean Sheep

Tastier. Healthier. High quality. Speciality. Seasonal. Known provenance...are all terms that accurately describe meat from Hebridean Sheep. So perhaps it's not surprising that discerning customers are willing to pay a premium price for this gourmet product.

The Sociey's Producer's Map  has details of where to purchase Authentic Hebridean Hogget and other Hebridean Sheep produce. If you are a current member of the Society and wish to have products from your flock included on this map, please download, complete and return this form.

Tastier

The meat is dark, succulent and distinctly sweet with a subtle gamey flavour. Hebrideans are natural browsers and they prefer land that contains a diversity of plants which in turn adds to their meat's distinctive flavour. Similar to other primitive breeds, Hebridean are slow to mature. This allows the flavour of the meat to develop further and they are often finished as hogget (meat from lambs over 1 year of age) or mutton (from sheep over 2 years old).

Healthier - lean meat that's lower in cholesterol and higher in omega fatty acids

Hebridean sheep, like other primitive breeds have relatively slender bones and a low level of fat. This results in a high proportion of lean meat on the carcass. Moreover, a Rare Breed Survival Trust report showed that Hebridean sheep carcasses had a healthier type of fat with lower levels of free cholesterol combined with elevated levels of healthy polyunsaturated omega-6 and omega-3 DHA fatty acids.

How sheep are fed will affect the taste and fat content of the meat. Hebridean Sheep do not usually need to be fed concentrates and in general all that is required over winter is an ad lib supply of good meadow hay. Many flocks graze on low-input pastures and conservation areas where they enjoy a mixed and varied diet of grasses and broadleaved herbs as well as browsing on bushes and saplings.

In addition to being a tastier and healthier product, other factors that often make Hebridean sheep meat standout from commercially purchased lamb include

  • seasonal with limited availability
  • known provenance and full traceability
  • local with few food miles
  • medicines are only given for animal welfare reasons and the sheep are not fed growth hormones or artificial weight enhancers.

Larger, faster growing Hebridean crossbred lambs  inherit many of these positive attributes from their mothers.

For further details about Hebridean sheep meat, including recipes see our book

Authentic Hebridean Hogget Scheme

This scheme is managed by the Hebridean Sheep Society. Meat sold under it is guaranteed to

  • be a quality product
  • come from animals that are
    • kept under high welfare standards
    • from pedigree stock
    • aged between 12-24 months
    • reared naturally on pasture
  • all farmers on the scheme are members of the Hebridean Sheep Society

You can find producers selling Authentic Hebridean Hogget here

Members who want more information about joining the scheme can find details here

Butchers wishing to join the scheme to sell Authentic Hebridean Hogget can find more details here.

Tasted against locally produced butcher's lamb and some very good Welsh lamb, there was no contest: the Hebridean won hands down. Alex Barker (the Guild of Food Writers)

Charity Registration Number: 1158095
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