Irish mountain lamb, or ‘hill lamb’ is becoming one of the most sought after speciality foods produced in Ireland. Coming from areas such as Connemara, Kerry and West Waterford, where a rugged terrain with heathers, wild herbs and grasses produces a distinctive texture and herbal flavour, Irish hill lamb is smaller and leaner than its lowland cousins and its season is much later, usually running from late summer to early winter. It is now recognised as a delicacy – and one with added health benefits at that - and is increasingly seen under regional branding.
Comeragh Mountain Lamb was singled out for a Euro-Toques award in 2011, and it’s easy to see why - championed by Michael Quinn of Waterford Castle Hotel, the award gave recognition to “a food with true ‘terroir’, a product of its natural surroundings, something that could not be recreated anywhere else, because the flavour results from the unique combination and variety of foodstuffs and environment.”
Comeragh Mountain Lamb is owned and run by sixth generation shepherd William Drohan and his business partner Aidan Dunwoody. William Drohan’s Scottish Black-Faced lambs roam freely over extensive areas of mountains.
They graze varied landscape and they eat grasses, herbs, wild flowers and heathers and drink natural spring water on the mountains, all free from chemicals and pesticides. Due to their terrain and natural rearing, they have significantly more omega 3 fatty acids in their tissues than average lamb.
Prepared locally by an artisan butcher and dry aged for ten days, Comeragh Mountain Lamb is sold in late summer through to winter as a fresh, not frozen, product. These factors combine to give this lamb its unique, delicately herbal flavour.