Duncan has added home butchering to his skill set. After helping friends Gibbo and the Worleys butchering home grown lamb, and picking up tips like wiping the carcass with lemon and herbs, he has been butchering our own lamb for about 12 months. At first he was limited to hanging the carcass in our shed (winter only), but after buying a tall fridge he now has the flexibility of hanging a carcass at a consistent temperature and can home butcher year-round. Our knife wholesalers, Tawonga were a source of quality butchering tools by Victory of New Zealand. Skinners, boners and butchers knives of all types.
Like many things these days, Youtube provided additional how-to knowledge. "One of the best videos was The Scott Rea Project
, a northern English butcher using manual tools to achieve the various cuts," Duncan says. "Still one of the biggest challenges is accurate hand sawing. He also uses older mutton and hogget, like we do, not perfectly uniform lamb carcasses." Now we have freezer bags filled with cuts of lamb marked with Duncan's handwriting, Shoulder, Loin, Cutlets, Leg, Shank, Neck.
One of the benefits of home butchering is using as much of the carcass as possible, collecting offcuts for mincing, experimenting with offal, and using the bones to make stock. All Duncan is missing is a butcher's block, at the right height and weight for butchering. Plastic trestle tables from the big box store don't cut it.
It is satisfying to have a freezer full of home grown, home butchered lamb and sitting down to a meal largely produced on our eight acres. "I enjoy eating our own meat," Duncan says. When the timing is right there can be potatoes, pumpkin, turnip, carrots and English spinach or broccoli from the garden as well.
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