Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Making the Movie

There are a lot of meat fabrication clips out there on you tube; some are very well done while others are very poor. How can a chef or butcher know which ones are worth a look? I search through a lot of them and occasionally suggest one to my students or coworkers. I've seen some horrible home movies of hog slaughter where amateurs attempt to explain how its done with very little regard for food safety etc. I've also watched industry videos that over simplify the process and sanitize the view, and focus on the equipment that is being sold. Many videos are made by other instructors in culinary schools around the country. These can be informative and might show a different style or technique. Then you have the anti-meat activists that will show some poor practices done typically at slaughter houses that are not managed well. These are meant to horrify and unfortunately will often be referred to as "industry" standards while actually they are the extreme.
 My own students will often post in-class videos which I sometimes assign as pre-class views for other students to get warmed up to the lesson. As butchers, we must realize that what we do each day, is found fascinating by many. What used to be done in farm households is now distant from what we see in most stores. Not many people will cut their own chicken breast let alone a large carcass.
 Here is a set of videos that shows how to breakdown a half hog in great detail by someone doing it in their own house. It has some good detail and well worth watching.  The cutter makes cuts that are not exactly industry style but much more of a custom style of cutting that many small shops are doing today. Some of the techniques are a little out of the norm but part of butchery is developing your own style. Check it out!