We cut up some more beef, a heifer with a carcass weight of 282.4kg. It was 25-26 months old at slaughter, which means it had plenty of time to store the flavor of our pastures.
The long number in the label below is the cow’s ID, the same as is on its ear tag.
Note that Condom is the name of the nearby town with the abattoir we use. The town name really becomes something worth commenting about in a few years when my kids go to Condom High School.
The butcher drafted in his dad to help him out.
I had a hard time getting the white balance right on the camera but I think this shot is closer to reality. Just like the young bull, the grass-fed meat is darker than the cereal-fattened beef the butcher usually uses. This one was aged 23 days which gives its surface a different look to a younger carcass.
To perform regular slices the butcher used the fancy stainless steel machine on the back wall. He bought it because he’s having a hard time finding people to work with him, so he’s buying machinery to ease his labor costs. From what I can tell there are about five or six people that work there and on their farm but they are all in the family.
He has tried to hire people but they would rather get unemployment benefit than get their hands dirty. They also have fallen into the trap of believing the 35-hour week is real anywhere outside of a government department. If someone wants to learn how to be a butcher I can think of worse places to work.
In the fancy machine you load a large chunk of beef and program the panel and it does regular slices in seconds.
The locals make pot-au-feu with the ribs.
Since the animal was only fed on pasture, its fat is something I’m happy to feed my kids.
Here is the tenderloin all chopped up by machine. If this was just for me and I was being a fancy pants I’d cut it twice as thick, but if I did that we’d affect the supply of cuts available for each box.
The band saw is used to clean up some of the bones off the faux filet, although I’ve also heard it called other names like entrecôte, Porterhouse (in the UK – in the US a Porterhouse has the tenderloin on the other side like a giant t-bone), sirloin, NY strip and so on. Everywhere you go people call this awesome cut by a different name.
Some nice mountains of beefy goodness. The entrecôte steaks in the foreground are further forward on the carcass than the big faux filet steaks in the shot above. These are the favored cut of a grasspunk.
OK, I’m hungry now, but we sold out of this beef. There are a few of the cheaper cuts in the freezer to keep me going until the next beef in three months.