Dec 23, 2011

Where Lamb Chops Come From

I hope it doesn’t freak you out to know that I really look forward to butchering my own meat animals one day.   I’d love to shoot a deer, and I would really love to have a whole pig to turn into roasts and chops and bacon and sausage and pancetta and head cheese and…all that good stuff!  For now, I’m taking every opportunity to observe or participate in the breaking down of large animals.  The young farmers at Glynwood farm are doing the same, and always invite me to join in the learning process.  Miso rucky. 

WARNING.  EXTREMELY GRAPHIC MATERIAL.  The photographs that follow depict a lamb being killed and butchered.  Do not read on if you don’t like the sight of blood or you prefer to keep living in la la land as far as meat-eating is concerned (vegetarians excepted).

Follow the Read More link below to see the process...



I will never look at a .22 rifle the same.  That is some serious weaponry.


A moment after young farmer #1 shot the lamb, young farmer #2 slit the throat.  


And young farmer #3 lifted the lamb so all the blood would drain.


That was that.  The lamb is carried to where it will be hung.


The skin between the leg joint is cut to make a hole for hanging the animal.


Once the lamb is hung, the skin is removed.  This animal will only hang for a day or so.


"Punching" down the skin.  


The head is removed with the pelt.


The animal is eviscerated.


Some of the organs will be eaten:  lamb liver and heart.


I wasn't present when the lamb was sawed in half, but here it is in the butchering room.


The hindquarter is separated from the rib cage.


The shoulder is separated from the rib cage.


The shank is separated from the main muscle groups the make up the hind leg.


The shoulder is further separated from the rib cage.  


Leg of lamb: this would be separated into several roasts in a larger animal.  

Separating the ribs into two major groups.


Going for the loin.


Someone is being a very patient girl.


Removing the loin.


Nicely done.


This is only half of the lamb.  Looks like at least ten two-person meals to me.  


Scraps for soup...or lamb meat pie!


It really feels like a gift to be able to wrap meat of this quality - from animals that have lived and died well.



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