Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pasture to plate class: lamb style

I teach classes in butchery to folks interested in getting closer to their own food, in a visceral way, so to speak.  Christian, in the picture above, is getting married, and this lamb is for his wedding reception.   He's brought three friends.  He selected a spring lamb and off we went. 
These are the tools that we used during this class.  from left to right:  Sharpening steel, .22 rifle, meat saw, (bottom row) boning knife, skinning knife, butcher knife (top right) paring knives, marine K-Bar knife. 

Christian shot the lamb to stun it, and then cut its throat to drain the blood.  After that was done we used a singletree that I made (you can see it at the top of the first photo in this post) to hang the lamb for complete drain.  It was then skinned, eviscerated, and the organs carefully inspected and packed for use in haggis

After that we broke the lamb into primals and then into the retail cuts, covering how to french the ribs, debone the legs, and various options for the other cuts.

I do this class with minimum tools and equipment, and it's aimed at people who are raising their own animals or who are interested in the process to evaluate whether they'd like to raise their own.  All four of the participants of this came away with hands-on experience and the skills they'd need to property slaughter and inspect meat for their own table. 

Oh yea -- Congratulations, Christian!


Leslie~North Bend, Oregon said...

Hi Bruce,
I just happened to stumble across your blog. I'm thrilled at what you are doing and the fact that you are documenting it like this. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Nice! Disappointing that there weren't pictures. Maybe next time, Bruce.


Across The Creek Farm said...

How are your state's regs/HACCP? Do you get around it by it being a class and letting the customers do their own?

Anonymous said...

Where's PETA?


Bruce King said...

First, the disclaimer. I'm not a lawyer, and I'm not offering legal advice here. I'm stating an opinion I formed by consulting with an attorney and reading the applicable laws myself.

It's legal to kill your own animal, and the location where you do the killing isn't mentioned in the law, so having someone kill their own lamb is legal in all respects. I'm there to help them do it and guide them through it.

Food safety is important, so part of what we go over in the class is the gross inspection of the carcass and organs, what to look for, proper handling (chill to 40 degrees within four hours, wash your hands, handle the animal in a way that minimizes contamination if you do pierce the gut,) etc.

HAACP is a set of documents that control how meat (and food in general) is handled and produced when it's for resale. It's a valuable way to be formal about looking at your food handling techniques, and required for some types of licensing -- to produce salamis for sale you'd have to come up with a HAACP plan.

Where the line is drawn in both state and federal law is resale of the meat to another party.

Robin said...

Very cool.