Sunday, January 3, 2010

One way to break down a lamb

There are many ways to skin a cat and just as many ways to break down a carcass. Here I demonstrate how I broke down one of the lambs that Trent Hendricks and I bought in November. I don't butcher them this way all the time. Sometimes they come back from the slaughterhouse split in half down the backbone, which makes them easier to cut (because I don't have to split them) but makes it difficult to determine the yield of salable product and waste from each animal.

Since I don't have unlimited time to take pictures while I'm working and there isn't anyone who has enough free time to shoot them for me, I limited my photo shoot to show how I broke the carcass down into primal and subprimal cuts. I did not, for example, show how I cut rib and loin chops, boned out butt roasts etc.

Tom Schneller who teaches meat fabrication at The Culinary Institute of America and is the author of two terrific books on meat and poultry butchering, reminded me to tell readers of A Hunger Artist that if you are planning to use a meat saw to cut lamb (or any other carcass) be sure the blade is very sharp. If the blade is dull, it will tear up the meat, bounce off bone and make lots of coarse bone dust -in other words, it'll ruin your day.


Scotty said...

The mere fact that you think of your friends who are interested in such things, earns you a "well done, good and faithful servant" award. Happy New Year!

Mark said...

Hi Bob,

Clicked on video and got message saying it was a 'private video'. ANy ideas?


Bob del Grosso said...

I'm pretty sure I need to go to YouTube, change the setting and make it public. On my way now...

Mark said...


That seems to have done the trick.



Keith said...

Another great post. I'vve recommended the various butchery videos to a number of people this side of the Atlantic. Thanks, for posting them. The effort is appreciated.

Jessika said...

You made another film on how you took apart, I believe it was a beef cow (can't find it now) by taking out it's meaty parts "one by one". Anything you can do with any kind of butchery or too time consuming on a regular basis?
Sorry that I cannot be more specific, I'm not very familiar with meat, well other than eating it.

Bob del Grosso said...

I'm not sure I understand. Are you asking me to post more information about how to butcher?

Jessika said...

I was referring to this post.

Perhaps not something you do for a "complete" animal. And no, I wasn't asking for more specific info, just curious.