Story & photo Kate O’Neill
Local sheep farmer Warren Wiggins from Bexhill describes Dorper lamb as the Wagyu of the lamb world.
Warren says they’re the best eating lamb you’ll ever come across.
Like Wagyu beef, the Dorper (an easy-care breed that sheds its fleece naturally) has a natural marbling in the meat, and this extra fat makes it more tender, juicy and flavoursome.
‘A lot of farmers will put their animals into feedlots to get the marbling in. Dorper have it genetically, so you don’t have to do that. Our animals are only grass fed,’ said Warren.
Warren and wife Marina established their farm in 2012, and sell their lamb at both the New Brighton and Mullumbimby Farmers Markets.
They also supply to restaurants, including Elements of Byron and The Byron at Byron.
Warren and Marina say Dorper has a uniform flavour and tenderness – so you don’t necessarily have to seek out the cutlets, for example, because the leg chops are just as nice.
At their market stalls they sell all cuts, including: loin chops, cutlets, backstop, fillet, rump, legs, shoulders, ribs and shanks, as well as cuts to order. They also make preservative free sausages, rissoles, mince, and dog treats.
Farming sustainably is a top priority, says Warren, and he employs regenerative agricultural practices such as rotational grazing.
He also uses fermented seaweed to improve the health of the animals and the pasture. Warren says that when the microbe-rich seaweed is fed to the sheep, it acts like a big shot of probiotic. It then makes its way into the soil via the sheep manure and that improves the health of the grass as well.