Willow Spring Ranch Sheep Shearing Party

The Last Best Plates sent Wyatt Nelson (Meat and Seafood Manager at Bozeman’s Community Food Co-op) to cover Willow Spring Ranch’s annual Sheep Shearing Party last month. Wyatt brought fellow shutterbug and Co-op meat counter colleague Blake Dahlen along to capture the event. Here are some of the sights.

Additionally, Katy and Rich Harjes’ former Springhill neighbor, writer and former commercial director Marcus Stevens, gave us permission to show this wonderful video he shot of the Sheep Shearing a couple years ago. We think he perfectly captured the day.

Katy prepares Lamb Sugo every year for their Sheep Shearing Party, her delicious recipe is below:

Lamb Sugo
Serves 8

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds Willow Spring lamb shoulder, cut into small pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
2 leeks, sliced lengthwise, washed and sliced crosswise into ¼-inch half-moons
1 cup dry white wine
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup tomato puree
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary
4 ounces dried porcini mushrooms, soaked until rehydrated and roughly chopped.Recipe:
Season meat with salt and pepper. Heat a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the oil and then the meat, turning occasionally to brown all sides. Remove to a bowl.Add vegetables to pot and sauté until just soft. Add wine and cook until reduced by half, scraping up bits from the bottom of the pot. Add chicken stock, tomato puree, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary and porcini. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add meat and collected juices to pot. Cover and gently simmer until reduced by half, about 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Seasoning to taste. Serve with polenta and some freshly grated Parmesan.


Willow Spring Ranch Lamb is available throughout Montana in retail outlets and restaurants, as well as a few select retailers in California and Washington.

Places that SELL Willow Spring Ranch Lamb:
Community Food Co-op / Bozeman
The Good Food Store / Missoula
Third Street Market / Whitefish
Shelton’s Natural Foods Market / Healdsburg, CA
Chimacum Corner Farmstand / Chimacum, WA

Places that SERVE Willow Spring Ranch Lamb:
Blackbird Kitchen
Saffron Table
Emerson Grill
Ryan LaFoley Catering
Adour Good Food
The Ranch at Rock Creek
Gils Goods

Wool goes to:
Kami Knowles / Ranching Tradition Fiber
Becky Weed / Thirteen Mile Farm




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