Meet the Meat

Several years ago my wife and I saw ads as in billboards for this butchershop Dietrich's Meats. Not being able to resist we went in and were amazed, both at the prices, the variety and the quality. So we go back a couple of times a year. It is after all a 240 mile round trip, and we need to make a large purchase to make it worth while.

We got home, and I just packed it in the reefer until Sunday, when I spent the day doing packing for the freezer.


Now the piece furthest away is a 4.5 lb piece of uncured bacon, which will get cured in the fashion of Charcuterie by Ruhlman and Polcyn as 'pancetta. This is the best book on the subject I've been able to find, with CIA Garde Manger running a close second. Bob delGrosso did give me a name for another translated from the French, and it is in print, but it is a little dear for me at this point. I'm looking for other dry cured forms of pork belly. There are two more of those in the freezer which will become bacons, unless I get a better idea.

This is a closeup of that pork belly.

The next item, sort of peeking out is a very nice set of baby back ribs. Not enough for two, but with a couple of chicken legs will make a nice mixed grill.

Sharing the half sheet with the ribs is a 3 pound block of souse. Similar to headcheese (you don't want to know what is in it, just that it tastes good). One pound of that got turned into a very good vinaigrette for last nights appetizer, and there is more than a little left for tonight. The other two pounds got split and frozen. We don't know what the freezer will do to the texture, but we don't think a lot.

There are also a couple of very meaty beef soup bones.

And just sticking its nose out is a pound of liver pudding sausage. This got split and frozen. If these frozen sausages do well that means we can buy larger quantities and have it year round.


Isn't that pretty?

On the closer half sheet are a brisket, which will probably be rubbed and smoked this summer. We do like it and it is a lovely piece of meat.

And sitting next to the brisket is an almost 6 pound piece of scrapple. Pork liver, corn meal, and stuff. I've made this and it isn't bad, but this is so much better. They don't have a recipe book for sale at Dietrich's, at least not theirs.

Then we get the tools. These are described in other entries here, check the one on Knives.

The two left most are a pair of boning knives, the second one a bit stiffer than the first. A 12" chef's knife, a cleaver aka meat ax and the steel. Now, you ask, why do some of the knives have blue or green electrical tape around the handle. Well those knives have been to college. When I pack my knife kit to go take a course at the CIA all the tools get marked that way. It makes it real easy to tell which ones are mine, and they can easily get mixed up.

Most of what you have seen so far doesn't need much in the way of cutting, but that block of scrapple made 12 pieces each of which will do fine for a breakfast for us.

Where the knives did really get used, and a few other tools will come along here as well, was for these.

Those started as two whole pork loins, the butcher had to cut them in two to fit in my cooler. Pork isn't white by the way, the white stuff is fat, pig fat. After goose/duck fat one of the more sublime creations in the universe (although my internist would disagree, professionally that it, personally he looks like he is a good trencherman).

Notice that they are marbled. That is 40 lbs of pork loin and cost pennys over $100. Chops, roasts, tenderloin and scallopini.

Now that is the back of the loin, and the pork running the length is the tenderloin and needs to carefully be removed.

The next several pictures show more of it.

And there is one removed. The meat itself is in two distinct but connected sections. I saved the largest and cut the rest into sizes useful to make scallopini from.

then the main loin needs to be cut, I want two three bone roasts and the rest of the loin as thick chops. And the same for the second loin.

I've cut through the meat, the cleaver is that sharp, and am about to cut through the bone.

It did need a little encouragement there with the meat tenderizer, however this turned out to not be a good idea.

Oh dear, but all is not lost. There is a saying in both broadcasting and technical stage work:
"Don't force it, get a bigger hammer"

That is an Estwing 16 oz. curved claw hammer, it is about as old as the knife. Estwing is to hammers what Henckles and Wusthoff are to knives. Hammers, as knives don't go in the dishwasher. As with knives, hammers come in differnent styles and sizes. I've five different Estwings 16 and 20 oz in both curved and straight claw and a 26 oz framing hammer.

Or there is another option.

The trusty kitchen hacksaw. Yes it should be a meat saw, and perhaps someday it will be, but this works.

Well that is two pork loins, in much smaller pieces.

Ok the beef to the right is a darker red, but that is red meat. And the fat. Properly I should have trimmed the fat and frozen it separately, but at this point my feet were starting to hurt and the meat all has to go in the freezer, which means some time packaging it.

Safe and sound

Much to the disgust of Escoffier, who thinks dinner is late.


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