Mutton has a slightly "gamey" flavor, is there a way to prep it before cooking which reduces this "gamey" flavour?

  • Is it mutton or lamb? They are not the same. Commented Jul 26, 2010 at 3:10
  • If you don't like mutton, maybe there is another ingredient you can use instead?
    – njzk2
    Commented Mar 7 at 21:00

5 Answers 5

  1. Most of the gamey-ness comes from the fat. Unlike the pork or beef fat, mutton fat has a strong odor. You could try to trim off as much of it as possible. http://chestofbooks.com/health/nutrition/Medicinal-Meals/Mutton-Fat.html

  2. It also depends on whether the animal was grain-fed or grass-fed. The latter, although more natural, tend to produce meat that has a strong smell.

  3. As for cooking mutton, I've found the only satisfactory way of getting rid of the smell is to make a curry out of it. There are many good Indian mutton curry recipes on the web.

  • 4
    I'm pretty sure mutton is meat from a sheep, not from a goat.
    – nohat
    Commented Aug 5, 2010 at 19:29
  • 2
    Mutton is another name for goat meat in certain regions of the world. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goat_meat Mutton is also used for sheep.
    – Gilead
    Commented Aug 6, 2010 at 1:18
  • According to your Wikipedia link, mutton is a colloquial term for (adult) sheep meat in those areas, but is noted to technically refer to just sheep. Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 20:37
  • 7
    While true that the flavor comes from the fat, which depends on the animal's diet, I don't think "most people" consider mutton fat to be inedible; this attitude is probably limited to Americans or people used to the bland taste of grain fed animals. In support of this, your own link at "chestofbooks.com" describes ways of preparing mutton fat and makes no mention of trimming it off.
    – J. Win.
    Commented Apr 5, 2012 at 23:59
  • I made some edits to remove reference to goat (since mutton can refer to both goat and sheep in different parts of the world) and that "most people find it inedible"- simply not a fact.
    – Luciano
    Commented Mar 7 at 11:25

The flavor will vary greatly depending on the cut of meat and the preparation.

  • Different cuts (eg: chops and legs) taste very differently from one another (legs and tougher meat taste more gamey)
  • Ground lamb has almost no gamey flavor
  • Well done meat will taste less gamey than medium (Edit: regarding "done-ness" this how it tastes to me. Since answering, I've discussed this with someone else who says the opposite is their experience)
  • Cooking with a lot of vegetables or a flavorful starch will by contrast cut down on the strong flavor more than a bland starch. A bland starch will result in highlighting the strong gamey taste

Are you talking about lamb in general or mutton?

Mutton does have a strong flavour - this can be reduced by removing the pink skin and trimming off superfluous fat.

You can also complement the flavour by adding things like garlic, olive oil, mint, wine, rosemary and thyme, pepper, dry mustard and curry powder.


The best way to reduce the gamey flavor of mutton is to use lamb instead of mutton. In most parts of the world, lamb is meat from a sheep that is less than 1-2 years old. Mutton is meat from an adult sheep.

Lamb meat tends to be more tender and less gamey than meat from an older sheep.

  • Doesn't answer the Q as asked. But this does answer the OP concern of getting rid of the gamey flavor. Signed.. Jerry Seinfeld salad ain't got nothing on this mutton
    – Paulb
    Commented May 28, 2016 at 19:37

Before cooking,

  1. Remove solid fat
  2. Wash the meat well in cold water to get rid of blood
  3. Boil the meat and then drain the water
    a. Do this until the smell is gone

While cooking

  • Use generaous amount of ginger
  • 1
    I’ve noticed from watching ‘Dining with the Chef’ that Japanese cooking tends to do that step of boiling after cutting up the meat, then finish cooking in some other manner (in a pan or such) quite a bit. They even use it for pork, not just gamey meats (although it might also be a sign that they haven’t bred out all of the flavor like in the US)
    – Joe
    Commented Mar 7 at 16:52

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