Born and bred on the beautiful hills of Connemara, Connemara Hill Lamb is a seasonal product. It has European Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status and is one of only a handful of Irish products to have comparable recognition: the use of the name is reserved exclusively for hill lamb born and reared within the designated area by registered members of Connemara Hill Lamb Ltd., and is protected against imitation, exploitation or misuse.
It is something to look out for especially if visiting the area in late summer and autumn; the unique range of Connemara’s natural herbs, grasses, heathers and wild flowers ensure a very special flavour, texture and distinctive aroma. You can taste the hills of Connemara in every bite! The seasonality of Connemara Hill Lamb is part of its charm but it can be extended, thanks to the skills of an exceptional local butcher, James McGeough, who has developed a wonderful range of smoked, air-dried and other speciality meats at his butchers shop in Oughterard, Connemara Fine Foods; keenly sought after, these products are now widely distributed and feature on top menus locally, including Ashford Castle.
Connemara Hill Lamb can be purchased through their website and at M&K’s retail shop, Market Butchers in Rathcoole, Co Dublin. The company also distribute to a small number of carefully chosen retail outlets around the country. For information and stockists, see www.connemarahilllamb.ie
Hill lamb is also a speciality of other areas, including Donegal, the Comeragh mountains and the Ring of Kerry. In seaside locations, lightly-salted vegetation creates the special flavour of the much sought-after pré salé lamb.