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Cooking club/workshop other stuff

Not for vegetarians – meat course part I

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!



About the author

Simone van den Berg

Food- and travelblogger from the Netherlands. Loves good food. Loves to taste good food the world over.
She also loves to share travelstories, delicious recipes and ok, cat pictures too. She sometimes feels the need to get really healthy for a while, always mingled with periods of insanely delicious sweets and other decadent treats.
Lives together with Tom and their two cats; Humphrey and Buffy.
Profession: Food photographer


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  • Simone,
    We just spent a day at a pig farm and I feel the exact same way. We eat less meat here too because we are very careful where we source it from. And I do not like those movies either but have seen them all. I think it is important to watch them and learn about how horrible animals are treated and the slop they are fed.
    It makes you appreciate your local products so much more.
    I have eaten plenty of Tartare in my life but never raw liver. I imagine the texture would be a little different? Looking forward to day 2 !

    • I loved your post about the pig farm! Such a lovely place and those ribs looked soooo good! We also eat quite a lot of vegetarian dishes (sometimes to the dismay of Tom to be honest)
      The texture of the raw liver was interesting; it was different then tartare absolutely. A bit slippery but you could still taste liver quite clearly. The aftertaste was not so pleasant however; bit bloody and iron taste in the mouth.. Yuck… πŸ™

  • Sounds great! Did they go into different cuts that are done in different countries at all? That’s what I’m really interested in. I for instance LOVE short ribs (American), but have never ever been able to find them here (and wouldn’t even know what to ask for).

    • I know! I’ve had recipes where I was wondering what on earth I should be buying to resemble the recipe. He didn’t really go into that although we did talk about it at some point but more as a coincidence I think. I’m gonna ask next time if they have a good resource to find out where to find what. I hope I remember.. πŸ™‚

  • Oh, it looks lovely πŸ˜‰ I really like courses going to basics and this looks like one of them.
    And it’s better to knowledge the fact meat is meat, and yes it’s bloody than just pretend we don’t know where it comes from.

  • Fascinating and not only you are so lucky to take all these various and varied classes but I love and appreciate that you share them with us in such detail. Cold? Yes, but so interesting. And I think Europeans are just more aware where their meat comes from, don’t you?

    • I don’t know if Europeans are more aware of where there meat comes from. I’ve heard some pretty amazing answers from kids when asked where this or that piece of food came from… Where does this chicken come from? ‘From the factory?’ I guess it’s for a large part a matter of how the parents deal with that… πŸ™‚
      I don’t always like seeing the ugly truth but I do think it’s important for sure!

  • Something I love about Mexican markets is that you can see the butchers work their magic on huge pieces of meat to make amazing cuts. I should’ve learned when my dad tried to teach me hehe.

  • I agree with you about eating less meat so we can eat the better meat. I’m not into the supermarket beef either. Now I wonder if I would have eaten that raw liver? I like to think I’m game for anything but….

    • O haha.. you know how it goes right; I initially didn’t really want to taste that raw liver but then one did it and then the next and they were still standing so I figured ok, I’ll be brave and give it a go too. It was not so bad actually but def not my favorite!

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Hi. My name is Simone and I believe you can change your life by eating the right foods. I am a certified holistic nutritional coach, food photographer, recipe developer and story teller.

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Travel calendar 2018

March: Blankenberge, Belgium
April: 3 weeks roadtrip through East USA
May: Turkey
May: Germany
June: Germany
September: Newcastle