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Meat: it’s Whats for Dinner Tonight

*Vegetarians Be warned! Pictures of dead animals to follow*

OK now that that is out of the way, let’s talk meat! I have to say that for me personally Meat Fabrication (from now on know as Fab) has been a fantastic class for a number of reasons. First of all it is fun to take a half carcass of pork and turn it in to all the different cuts we buy and eat every day.  More so than this, meat is awesome in every aspect of what you can do with it. Let’s take pork for example, first of all pork is awesome! Yes that is me with a pork carcass. You really can do so much with pork because it is such a versatile food source. Because pigs are omnivorous, the meat lends itself to taking on different flavors of cooking very well. Better than this you can use very subtle flavors with pork that are lost in the strong beef flavor that we all know and love as steak.

Beef is by far the best thing we as people have ever decided to eat. It is so strong in flavor and taste, and is really good for us in small amounts. The reason for this is because of blood. The cow being a natural grazer spends most of it time moving from field to field eating grasses, this means that the muscle works harder and has more blood pumping in to it, aka more flavor. Meat Fab really goes a long way to showing where our favorite cuts of meat come from, and really drills home the best cooking method to use for that cut of meat. Something about being able to see the fats and connective tissues in the animal and how it all works together reinforces the cooking methods we learned in cooking theory.

Looking at the chart to the right  shows you the different primal cuts of beef, and the cuts of meat you can get from each primal. The best part about this chart is that it also lists the cooking method and best perpetration of that cut.

Have you ever wondered why a cut of meat is really tough or hard to eat? Probably because the person who cooked it didn’t use the right cooking method. The more connective tissues a cut of meat has in it the tougher it is going to be. This is because when you apply direct heat to the connective tissues, they contract, and this is what makes the meat tough. Seeing just how strong and hard the connective tissues can be in beef, pork, and poultry really drills home why a moist heat cooking method helps break down and make the connective tissues edible.

When it really all comes down to it, Meat Fab is all about learning how to cook a cut of meat in the best fashion. Think about it from this perspective, if you know, honestly and truly know, how to cook the cut of meat you are working with this lends you to creativity. When you don’t have to spend time thinking OK this cut has these connective tissues, you can instead think; I know I have to braise this cut of meat so what do I want to use for my braising liquid and what sauce can I make from it later?

Every day of class we constantly talked about how would you cook this cut of meat and why you would want to cook it that way. While fabricating the meat we would later sell, we learned the anatomy of animal, and how to best utilize the cuts in our own kitchens. It’s funny how some cuts of meat have a bad reputation because people don’t know how to cook that cut of meat.

One of the things we had to do for each class was to keep a journal of what we did and learned that day. My Meat Fab Journal is packed full of information and pictures about what we did in every class. This is also where you would find things we did like fabricating chicken, duck, beef, and pork. Also how to work the grinders and sausage press.

More so then anything else I want to say that meat is awesome, and with that I poke a little fun at my vegetarian friends…

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2 Comments on “Meat: it’s Whats for Dinner Tonight”

  1. Jennifer July 6, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

    Great post! So interesting. When I traveled overseas, the butcher shop was where I always ended up. It was all so fasinating and over in the States all of that is hidden. Though I don’t know why. The pictures of the support group was funny!

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  1. It’s Wabbit Season…. | Grant Klover's Portfolio - March 6, 2011

    […] of you may remember my Meat Fab class in Mod 2 and how we had to keep a journal of all the parts of things we had broken down/used […]

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