I grew up on a farm, my Father was a practising veterinary surgeon, every gralloch he did was conducted like a post mortem lecture, every carcase prep involved another anatomy lesson. I was also lucky enough to have a giant of a Canadian man who was a former butcher as a neighbour.
As a result I have never shied away from a bit of butchery
I have watched a number of butchery demonstrations and videos online and one thing strikes me about some of them.
There is a prevalence to chuck away bits here and there which all add up.
I am no master butcher but as a demonstration of what can be achieved with just a single knife and an old table top this morning I butchered a yearling buck I shot at the beginning of the week.
this particular roe was head shot as he was 20 yds away behind a mesh fence. making for a very clean, if smaller than average carcase
Feet head and gralloch off on site (minus the liver and kidneys which came with me!)
Hanging the drinks fridge for 4-5 days
Skinned this morning
I don't use a saw as I really don't see the need. I have never seen the point of cutting the pelvis to then remove the cut bit from the haunch later
- Haunches are taken off the pelvis in one, no saw required, just follow the flat surface of the illium (the wide blade of the pelvis at the front), cut in behind the ischium, (the pointed aspect just above where you cut the rectum out) and cut the tendons around the hip joint. No loss of meat, no bone dust
- Shoulders taken off with the entire brisket and belly in a oner, just cut along the sternum and run the knife over the ribs whilst lifting. Cut off at spine taking care not to cut loins
- Loin taken from pelvis to neck in one go, run the knife down either side of the backbone, then cut under the loin from the ribs, peeling back and running knife along the top of the ribs and then the backbone.
- Strip loins popped out (no knife required just a thumb)
- Lap, brisket and belly stripped from whole shoulders, chopped for mincing
- Shoulders boned, nice bits cubed, rest chopped for mincing
- Haunches chopped short, shanks boned and in the stew pile
- Loins stripped, neck chopped in the stew pile. Take the sheath off the loin by laying it flat on the table and running the knife blade between sheath and loin using the table to keen the blade flat
- Intercostals (meat between ribs) stripped out in the mince pile
all in, just under an hour from whole carcase in the drinks fridge to bagged and labelled in the freezer
Total waste - 1.8kg of bone (minus gralloch, skin, head and feet obviously!)
You don't need to pay a butcher to do anything.
I use a light duty kitchen mincer (Beem Fleischwolf!)
£40 gets you a usable mincer so long as you don't ask too much of it
doubles up as a sausage stuffer
Clockwise from top left:
Two short haunches (no shank), two striploins, Two loins, Diced Stewing steak, mincing pile
i break the spine and put rear end inside the ribcage with all leg bones, fits in a smaller bag and binned.
Could even make stock with them but I am not too fond of deer stock!