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Basic butcher skills


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(inspired by another thread in here)

With most meat being conveniently trimmed, cut and packaged for us, how many of us know how to clean a bird or a side of beef? Can you name all of the possible cuts and uses? I think that this basic butcher knowledge would be very powerful in not only creating wonderful dishes but in saving money, and maybe getting closer to the farmer.

I'm ok with a whole chicken, but I need much more practice. Some of that is going on today with the lovely organic chicken that I picked up. I'd like to be able to take a side of beef and butcher that up into it's distinct cuts as well. Maybe I can turn the garage into a butcher workshop?

What do you know about butchering meats? Any books, or tips that you'd like to share? I have the julia childs "mastering the art of french cooking" and jacques pepin's "la technique" which are pretty helpful for fundamentals in the kitchen.

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I grew up hunting and have shot and cleaned many partridge...maybe a goose or two....I've seen deer cleaned (skinned and cut up) but I have never done it myself. We also raised chickens when I was growing up, so I have cleaned chickens. Most of my family only eat wild game. I probably know more than most (city folk), but it doesn't really matter anymore.

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