A few years back, a movie called
BarebackBrokeback Mountain was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. It was frequently called “a gay cowboy movie”; this was not an accurate description. The two men at the centre of the film were herding sheep, not wrangling sheep. They were shepherds and not cowboys. Calling it a “gay shepherd movie” would have been more accurate, if just as much a case of missing the heart of the story.
This inability to distinguish lamb from beef seems to be a common problem here in the US. I frequently see Shepherds’ Pie listed on menus. Almost always it is made with minced beef; which means that it is cottage pie. Shepherds’ pie needs to be made with minced lamb; hence the name.
Fortunately, the lamb chops that I ate on Saturday were actually lamb meat. Moreover, they came with a side of mint-jelly – so it is possible to find lamb properly presented.