There are many ways to skin a cat and just as many ways to break down a carcass. Here I demonstrate how I broke down one of the lambs that Trent Hendricks and I bought in November. I don't butcher them this way all the time. Sometimes they come back from the slaughterhouse split in half down the backbone, which makes them easier to cut (because I don't have to split them) but makes it difficult to determine the yield of salable product and waste from each animal.
Since I don't have unlimited time to take pictures while I'm working and there isn't anyone who has enough free time to shoot them for me, I limited my photo shoot to show how I broke the carcass down into primal and subprimal cuts. I did not, for example, show how I cut rib and loin chops, boned out butt roasts etc.
Tom Schneller who teaches meat fabrication at The Culinary Institute of America and is the author of two terrific books on meat and poultry butchering, reminded me to tell readers of A Hunger Artist that if you are planning to use a meat saw to cut lamb (or any other carcass) be sure the blade is very sharp. If the blade is dull, it will tear up the meat, bounce off bone and make lots of coarse bone dust -in other words, it'll ruin your day.