As promised, here are a few pics from the butchering class I took with my Dad. It was tons of fun — we learned about all these ‘secret’ cuts of meat no one knows to ask for but which are the tastiest part of the cow; we learned why it’s so important to eat grass-fed organic beef; we learned that you can ask for ground beef made entirely out of ‘chain’, and more.
I’m glad I confronted my meat. Other than the disturbing sound of muscle tearing from muscle (it’s like white noise, but more crackly), nothing really grossed me out. Certainly, it didn’t make me want to be vegetarian again, but instead gave me a new appreciation not only for the hamburgers I consume but the people — I might even say artists — who prepare them.
So, here are some snapshots:
This is the knee bone, out of its socket. You can tell this is healthy beef because the layer of fat (bottom left-hand side) is firm and white.
This is Ryan, our instructor (isn’t he a cutie?). There’s one stage of the butchering process that requires a hacksaw (pretty much the best stage).
Here, he’s explaining something I can’t remember, but it looks like he’s about to start playing a really meaty cello!
Eew, sick! (But what came off of it was yummy)
These bins are for ground beef (left), trimmings, which are essentially fat and waste (middle), and bones, which are used for broth (right)
This is me, posing with a lovely carcass in the meat locker.