Episode 59 – Beef Workshop

KevinBeef, Butchering Beef, Charcuterie, From Local Farms, From the Cellar, Kevin TV14 Comments

Pork workshop [Ep 50] went so well that there wasn’t much question about whether there would be more. This time around: beef. The kill was an old cow whose new destiny laid in Jeff Senger’s family’s freezer, while the cow we cut was a beauty of an organic cow from a local farmer. So the day: kill, skin & gut, break down into primals, cut into retail cuts, afternoon of charcuterie, followed by dinner and wine. Epic days, they are. And yes, we ate thinly sliced raw heart sandwiches for lunch.

Had lots of positive feedback about the pork butchery music track by the AwesomeHots, so this one features a shiny new track of theirs: Wayfaring Stranger. I love the vibe – really well tracked piece – and it gives this edit a somber side that made some of the gorier footage work in editing. If it’s too gory for you, blame Daniel Klein over at the Perennial Plate – he advised I go for it. Yeah, that’s a massive passing of the buck. Fact is, this is still tame relative to what goes down behind the scenes of a fast-food hamburger, say. Daniel’s work is extremely cool, btw, if you haven’t checked out his work, do. Here.

Just fyi, the trial of workshops this season was more successful than anticipated, but since my time doesn’t allow me to pursue it alone, I’ve teamed up with a bunch of rad people to start a company called Shovel and Fork. We’re essentially trying to do some good by offering folks a chance to engage with food in ways they wouldn’t normally get a crack at. These workshops will be a part of that. Should be a fun gig.

14 Comments on “Episode 59 – Beef Workshop”

  1. Chad

    Maybe my favourite video to date. This band should put on some shows at Sangudo Custom Meats; it’s just so fitting. Maybe they could play in the loft?

  2. Danny and Shannon

    Amazing as usual! Who was videoing the shots you were in? They did awesome.
    What was Elyse doing when she skewered the the beef and threaded it through?

  3. Elyse

    It’s a common cut in the uk called rolled brisket. It’s the flank, boned out, trimmed and stitch rolled. It needs long slow cooking and has the best flavour.

  4. Elyse

    Sorry I should have said flank, plate and lower chuck. It’s basically the bit under its belly rolled into tasty goodness!

  5. Jeff

    Wow another artistic rendering of what meat processors do every day! And plenty of gore, too. I’m worried about how people may take that but all I can say is: 5,000 head per SHIFT at the big plants. Their deaths don’t even have time to be contemplated at that rate, whereas this one old cow could have made the biggest difference to food philosophy that any cow has ever made, thanks to Kevin and the team. Thanks guys.

  6. Sherri

    Wow. I watched the video last night but wanted to think about my response before I commented. There are so many issues and emotions going through my head. To name a few:

    respect, nutrition, sustainability, health, safety, locality, sharing, economics, education, relationships, support, freedom, choice, politics, trust…

    Anyone who eats meat NEEDS to see this video. As a society (in general), we are horrifically detached from our food. For all the insanity that is commercial ag (and the “food” supply), there is an equal amount of insanity in our own minds to blindly shop from “the store” without ever giving a moment’s thought to the animal that was slaughtered to fill the styrofoam package, or the manner in which that animal was fed, housed, transported, killed and butchered. THAT needs to stop.

    The FIRST step to healing our food supply is to educate ONESELF. Your blog (and your own food journey) has been a large component in OUR education and we thank you, Kevin.

    Beautifully done.

  7. Elyse

    I think its important to note that watching “a kill” is not something everyone is comfortable with, but that does not mean you don’t care. I think as long as you don’t pretend this process doesn’t happen it’s ok to admit that this is beyond a lot of people’s tolerance levels.

  8. Alan

    Great stuff guys,

    Having just put away the pigs and elk for the year I love the work your doing. The process should be real, it should touch you
    when death occurs. It is not something anyone wants to do but is a necessary step in the process. What was once common place in our daily lives needs to become that again. Being in touch, literally, with your food from start to finish is important. Just as important as having a hands on approach raising your children. Education is paramount to the future of both good living and wholesome eating. Great work and always waiting for more. Thanks..Alan

  9. Mark

    The first job I ever had was helping a butcher in a small supermarket, this brings back good memories. If only more people knew the process of slaughter and butchering.

    ps. I know you’re excited about the music but it was mixed really loud, I couldn’t hear anything being said.

  10. Rebecca

    Another great video – the beginning was gripping. Hadn’t ever seen it captured in such a way. Thanks for sharing this, Kevin. Important for meat eaters to see.

  11. Sweetgum

    Even with winter coming on, your Shovel & Fork offerings make me wish I lived about 1000 miles farther north. Amazing!

  12. Verne

    This remarkable video combined with the pork workshop are extremely sobering, reminding us of the sanctity of life and the reverence that should be part of the sacrifice. We are all far too removed from our food sources, and often forget that for us to live, someone (animal or plant) has to die. The easy solution is to deny this by focusing only on plants; becoming a vegetarian or even vegan. It is, of course a solution that benefits only the individual, to the detriment of the environment. It takes real fortitude to slaughter, break down and eat an animal you see alive. Love your site!

  13. Louise Baker

    Wow! Thanks so much for uploading — it was a revelation and I feel really fortunate to have had a glimpse into what the process was to get my freezer full of farm-fresh beef!

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