Lamb from La Mancha
- Castile-La Mancha
Considered one of the most tender and delicate meats, lamb smells of celebrations.
Since ancient times eating it has been traditional at Christmas and Easter times, and it is closely linked to the pastoral tradition. In Castile it retains this traditional character. 'Lamb from La Mancha' must come exclusively from the native breed; non-castrated males and females, weighing between 22 and 28 kg, with lean or somewhat fatty meat, creamy white fat, and two to three months of age. They must also be fed mother's milk (during the first month), white straw and approved concentrated feeds. Once butchered, the meat is aired and sold within six days. Prepared simply and with very little dressing, when roasted it is an exquisite delicacy.
- Year-round, but especially in winter through to spring, when it is excellent.
- The main area in which the La Mancha breed is raised comprises the regions of Albacete (Mancha, Manchuela, Centro and Almansa), Ciudad Real (Mancha, Campos de Calatrava and Montiel), Cuenca (Manchuela, Lower Mancha and Upper Mancha) and Toledo (La Mancha).
- The juiciness and tenderness of the meat of the La Mancha suckling lamb require well defined wines: young, fruity, rich and full-flavoured wines, and crianza wines with body. The choice depends on how the meat is prepared. Essentially, crianza or non-crianza red wines are ideal; the latter being the better choice when the meat is heavily seasoned.
- Lamb from La Mancha is available in all speciality shops, supermarkets, and butcher's shops in the provinces of Castile La Mancha and Madrid.
- 'Caldereta manchega' (meat stew from La Mancha)