Meat has been quite interesting.  Each class I find that I learn more and more.  I feel engaged in class and it seems that some of the techniques that we learn come to me quite easily.  Since my last post we have moved entirely through beef, veal and pork.  We have done several different methods of fabrications.  The picture to the left shows one of my most recent trays.  Our assignment was to clean an entire center cut pork loin and break it down into several other cuts.

Once we had that removed we had to de-bone the strip loin side of the pork loin.  An interesting fact that I learned in class was that the strip loin or the eye muscle is the most expensive portion of the pig.  That was rather easy but it did take some time.  Once we had the strip loin removed we did one of two things.  We had to make pork cutlets and also tie a roast.  The cutlets were 1/2 inch thick. Over the few days of fabrications we saved the pork scraps.  The last day of pork we did something that was amazing.

Each team came in that morning and had a gray tub of ground pork at their station.  We each gathered our ingredients:

10# of ground pork with a 70/30 lean to fat ratio
3oz Salt
1/2oz Dextrose
1/2oz Black Pepper
1oz Fennel Seed
1# Ice or 16oz water
Once we had our mise en place, we mixed our ingredients together.  The picture on the right is what our sausage looked like before we stuffed it into casings.  I had done the mixing with my bare hands and since the meat and the room are both near 32 degrees I was freezing and I couldn’t feel my hands.

We then stuffed the sausage into the casings.  These casings came in units called hanks and had a total combined length of 90 yards.  Some of the casings when we separated them were no more than 6 feet.  We also had some that stretched nearly 10 yards.  The final product looked pretty amazing. 

Our unit on beef was very intensive.  We learned all about the entire animal.  We focused in on one day on the entire primal rib.  This is where we get T-Bone steaks, porterhouses, NY Strip, sirloin and even rib eye.  In this picture chef is showing us different standards of marbling.  From left to right you can see the chine bone, then the tenderloin and the striploin.  Both pieces were taken off the entire bone.  If they had been left on and cut they would be considered T-bone steaks.

This upcoming week we will be starting a new portion of Meat ID class.  It will be focusing on poultry, game meats and lamb.  We will also be having a mathematical yield final where I will be graded on some basic calculations that help you determine the cost and yield of fabricating different items.  Today it snowed, an it is still coming down quite heavily.  Check in again later to see the final spread for Meat ID!
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