Meat’s Meat and Man’s Gotta Eat!!

March 29, 2013

I hate to steal cheesy movie lines from the 80’s but as soon as I signed up for 4505 Meats whole steer class, farmer Vincent came to mind from one of my favorite slasher films Motel Hell. Another gem is “It takes all kinds of critters to make farmer Vincent’s fritters!” Well, we are butchering a whole steer and not humans during this class but man that was a good movie!

I’ve already participated in two other classes at 4505 Meats. The sausage making class and whole hog class. Both fun, both different in approach and both very informative. This class is the mother of all butchery classes. Eight hours breaking down an entire local grass-fed steer in to primal and sub primal cuts as well as sinew, bones and ground beef. We leave with about a hundred pounds of various cuts of beef. So far I’ve made Cincinnati Chili which was delicious and this weekend I am making a shoulder roast. The product is premium.

The class started at 7 a.m. After a myriad of liquid stimulants to get the fog cleared, we immediately started in on this beast. Kent Schoberle was again there to guide us through the class. His patience helps tremendously with us because even though I have broken down a steer before, many decades have passed since taking this class in culinary school and everything seemed very fresh and new.

We worked with many of the same tools that we used in the whole hog class but this time the hack saw was much busier than last class. The steer was partially broken down in about 130 lb. segments so we could actually work with it. Having to handle a 600 plus lb. animal would have probably not worked very well with the class. These sections were huge but manageable. It was very interesting seeing the final product after breaking down the primal cuts in to sub primal cuts like steaks, roast and ground beef. Even cutting mistakes were quickly remedied and nothing got wasted. All in all, it was a profound experience that I hope can add depth to how I approach proteins in my kitchen and the appreciation of this craft was definitely felt after the class. I am including pictures with descriptions below to give you an idea of what was involved in the class. Enjoy!!

Bringing the beast out of the walk-in.

Bringing the beast out of the walk-in.

Huge quarter steer!

Huge quarter steer!

More views

More views

Ready to butcher!

Ready to butcher!

Kent starting the process. He wouldn't do too much since he wanted us completely hands on!

Kent starting the process. He wouldn’t do too much since he wanted us completely hands on!

Another view of the front portion of the steer

Another view of the front portion of the steer

Taking on this monster was very intimidating

Taking on this monster was very intimidating

Separating the shoulder and arm sections.

Separating the shoulder and arm sections.

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This shit was hard!!! I"m such a wimp...

This shit was hard!!! I”m such a wimp…

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Kristen getting busy!

Kristen getting busy!

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Kent guiding us through the process.

Kent guiding us through the process.

Rib portions breaking down.

Rib portions breaking down.

Let the games begin!!!

Let the games begin!!!

Sebastian getting busy!

Sebastian getting busy!

Insert inappropriate joke here.

Insert inappropriate joke here.

Nice rack baby!

Nice rack baby!

"Hoff" confidently breaking down his portion.

“Hoff” confidently breaking down his portion.

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Beautiful!

Beautiful!

Kent working the band saw.

Kent working the band saw.

Oh the carnage!!!

Oh the carnage!!!

Us getting down.

Us getting down.

More breaking down with Kevin.

More breaking down with Kevin.

Parts of meat everywhere!!!

Parts of meat everywhere!!!

Tied roasts.

Tied roasts.

Cuts are starting to take shape.

Cuts are starting to take shape.

Separating into bins.

Separating into bins.

More inappropriate meat jokes.

More inappropriate meat jokes.

MEAT!!!

MEAT!!!

Braised beef lunch. Yum!!!!

Braised beef lunch. Yum!!!!

More and more meat!!

More and more meat!!

This is my take home. Keep your hands off!!!!

This is my take home. Keep your hands off!!!!

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