Cleaning a piece of beef

You know me right? I like to follow all sort of workshops, cooking courses or anything really as long as it is vaguely and somewhere remotely related to food. If you’ve followed my blog for a while you might even have seen the bloodiest post I’ve ever written on dissecting a rabbit at the Kookstudio Amsterdam (I just saw that that is already more then two years ago! Wow… does time fly or what??)

While this post will not nearly be as bloody as that one, it does involve a lot of meat and is therefore not so much suited for the vegetarians among us. For anyone that likes a piece of meat… you can safely read on!

Gertjan working on getting the spine loose

A few weeks ago I followed the Broodcursus by Teest and Desemzo and was invited to also follow the meatcourse which was given at a large butcher in Weesp that caters for restaurants and such, Fontijn. I was a bit intimidated by the level of the rest of the workshop followers as most have a background in food (restaurant owners, chefs etc.) but I don’t have to pass a test and I could follow everything quite allright… lol..

We started the morning in the blissfully warm cafe where we were treated to coffee and donuts before Gertjan kicked it of by showing us a little movie about a slaughter house in Brazil (I think it was Brazil but it could have been Venezuela). Not my kind of thing… Pfftt. I was glad when the movie was over. I mean; it’s one thing knowing that it happens, but it is quite another thing to see it happen. Still; I think it is good that he showed it. It only makes me appreciate the meat we eat even more. There was some technical information on the different parts of the animal, origin of the meat etc.

Pieces of liver being measured

After that we got a big tour of the company which was impressive and also very cold… πŸ™‚ Fontijn is not a slaughterhouse but they import meat from various sources and then prepare it for delivery to restaurants and stores. So the range of products that they carry is extensive. After the tour Gertjan showed us how to clean the various parts of the cow and we worked on a piece of chuck ourselves removing the silverskin and man that was hard! It always looks so easy when someone else does it, but try it yourself and it’s a lot less simple. Chuck is a fairly cheap piece of meat which has a lot of flavor. Some pieces where prepared for us as well and it was delicious.

Dry aged piece of beef… See the difference?

At the end of the afternoon we got to taste the difference in raw meat between the various cuts; from entrecote to t-bone to rib eye and we even had a sliver of raw liver (it wasn’t as bad as you would think!) as well as a tiny bit of a piece of dry aged beef.

Showing where the piece of the meat are

Where can we find each piece of meat?

All in all it was a really interesting day and I have a new found respect for meat actually. We were already at the stage where we are eating less of the supermarket meat and more of the ‘better’ meats out there, which is more expensive, but I rather eat less meat of a better quality then eat terrible meat! So if you live in the Netherlands and are interested in learning more about meat then this course (two days) might be something for you. This was day one, so I can’t wait to find out what day 2 will bring us!