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April 2021
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Lamb and white cabbage

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1 kg of lamb from breast, neck or shoulder; fat for frying, 5 pounds of white cabbage, four peeled and chopped onions and garlic cloves each, salt, pepper, 1 pound of peeled potatoes.

The meat is cut into ragout cubes and browned on all sides in a little fat. Then put the meat in a pan without fat. The white cabbage, cut into cubes like the meat, is now browned in the fat, then added to the meat in the pan. The meat and white cabbage are fried alternately, and with the last pieces of meat the onions and garlic.

When everything is in the pan, it is seasoned with salt and pepper, then cooked on a low fire, covered. From time to time everything is stirred vigorously among themselves, so that the white cabbage collapses and enough liquid is formed. The dish is served with boiled potatoes.

Sheep, dainty as deer: Soays in Melsungen

The graduate biologist Achim Gagalik was once the environmental protection officer of the city of Melsungen. Accordingly, he knows well in the forests and fields of his hometown. The fact that agriculture is withdrawing from parts of the district and the landscape is threatening to become overgrown did not go unnoticed by his trained eye and may have been a further motive for turning to the robust sheep. This is all the more true as Gagalik now works on grazing projects for the Thuringian state government in Erfurt. He runs another one privately, together with his wife Petra, a foreign language correspondent. It revolves around Soays. This is the name of sheep that have their home on the island of the same name off the coast of Scotland, and which do not need to be sheared.

"It's all very well to be able to sell the breeding stock of Soays, but there are limits to the marketing of the meat. The animals are more suited for hobby husbandry and landscape maintenance," the breeder tells us. After all, there's not much to the Scottish sheep. "The lambs, if you want to slaughter them in the autumn, weigh times just seven to ten kilos maximum, which is of course too little to be profitable," sighs the specialist for Soays.

Then it made sense to cross the sheep with animals of a heavier breed. Namely with Wilteshire-Horn, which resemble the Soays but weigh considerably more. The animals, which are called Nolana lambs, also have gene components from Heidschnucken and Mufflons.

"You can prepare the meat like lamb or also like game by marinating it, it then has a stronger taste." Gagalik tells of how he once prepared a vegetable soup with meat in it using the meat of an already older Soay buck. Almost the entire crowd of guests, which incidentally consisted of experienced breeders, was of the opinion that it was beef.

The more intensive and systematic marketing of the meat from their Soay lambs has not really taken off and has so far been done among friends and acquaintances. "So far we have only sold the sheep as breeding stock".

Soays, by the way, can't be herded like regular sheep; you have to fence them in. If they get excited, the sensitive animals will jump off in all directions.

The meat is offered as a whole carcass or as a half. Special orders (leg, back) are possible on request. Animals are slaughtered at the abattoir and expertly cut by a house butcher. The meat of older animals is processed into sausage and ham. The carcasses hang, depending on age, between three and seven days. The meat gains quality through maturation.

 

Soay sheep breeding

Petra Heerdt-Gagalik and Achim Gagalik
Am Hopfenort 6<x><BR</x>34212 Melsungen (near Kassel)

Tel: 05661-920310

E-Mail: gagalik@freenet.de

Homepage:

www.soayschafe.de

Sale by tel. arrangement

from Waldemar Thomas

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