Today I began Day 2 of my journey in Meat Fabrication and ID.  The instructor, who I refer to as chef, is a cornucopia of knowledge.  He has been working in this industry for quite some time and he has developed a high level of competency in his craft.

Watching him work with different parts of animals with ease is astounding.  During our first day demo Chef took an entire steam ship round, or the entire leg of beef, and had it cleaned and fabricated into its separate parts: top round, bottom round, knuckle, heel, shank.  One of the most fascinating things about watching Chef work was how easily he manipulated the parts of meat.  He was making perfect cuts along seams hidden under layers of fat and muscle without a moments hesitation.  It was almost like watching a surgeon perform a complex operation with his eyes shut.

Day 1 was more of a demo day.  We really didn’t do any hands on work.  We toured the the meat room so that we would be familiar with everything in it.  We also watched Chef demo cleaning the steam ship round.

Day 2 I had to jump in with both feet.  The class started with a small demo showing us how to fabricate a beef clod into different parts.  I ended up having to make beef cubes, cut our the heart of the clod, tie the heart of the clod in order to mimic tying up a roast, as well as trim an entire shank so that we could use one part for cubes and the other part for either usable trim for grinding into burgers or a roast.

I left the Meat Room with blood spattered on the front of my coat and apron as well as some blood on the sleeves of my long-johns.  I was told that each day was going to be a messy hands on experience and this is something that I really am looking forward to.  Meat ID keeps me on my toes and always focused because we are always working with sharp tools and always have something to do.  There never is a second of down time where I can just sit and wait.