Monday, January 2, 2012

Gourmet Butchering

Well my, my... I actually won something! I won the DVD, The Gourmet Butcher™ from master butcher Cole Ward. Many Thanks, Cole; it's a prize I will enjoy using for a long time!!

For over 30 years, Cole has taught chefs and butchers, caterers and students, farmers and food-lovers how to cut and prepare their own meat. The DVD takes you through every step of the butchering process from breaking down a carcass into primal cuts, then into gourmet or retail cuts. The lessons cover lamb, pork, and both beef fore-quarters and beef hind quarters, plus tools and safety.

Although I have no immediate plans to do any home butchering (I raise no meat animals so far), I do plan next year to start buying my meat in sides or quarters... depending on the overall animal size and how much freezer space I have available. It will be great to be able to carve up my own, and save some money in the process.

Although I buy only local grass-fed meats, I'm not happy with the quality of the ground meats from the nearby processing facility even though they follow USDA guidelines and all meat is USDA inspected. For example, USDA guidelines allow a certain percentage of bone (and who knows what else like gristle and skin?) in ground meat, which I'd sooner not have.

Bones from packing houses are sold to companies that cook them down for soups and broths, or to pet food companies, or others that process them into bone meal. It's expensive and difficult to get marrow bones anymore, but by butchering my own I can have them available once again!

I can see a lot of good foods coming from Cole's DVD tutorials!


  1. Great work! You'll get the meat just the way you like it. Do you have a meat saw? We really like the one we have - from Gander Mountain... the smaller one works better. Go meat!

  2. Thanks... your own recent butchering inspired me!

    No real meat saw yet, just a new hacksaw bought just for deer last year... but I'll check out Gander Mtn. Lots of time to accumulate tools before fall.

  3. What a great prize! I am sure you will learn alot from those DVD's!

  4. Yay! Congrats on your win!

    I started purchasing my beef from a local, grass-fed, small farm that started raising miniature cattle. That way the price and size is not prohibitive and I can afford a quarter or half. I got a hind quarter for abour $114 and the butcher fee was $28.

    The farm takes their meat to a local Amish on-farm butcher so I could ask for whatever I wanted from them. Really fantastic for the price!

    I'd love to learn about butchering like you're going to get to do, however, as I'd like to direct the process a little better than I did this time!


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