Viewers of a sensitive disposition should look away now, this post contains all the gory details of our fabulous butchery lesson last week! Philip Denhart runs the pizza cafe Saturday Pizzas here at Ballymaloe which runs every Saturday afternoon. It is really worth checking out, delish pizzas made with organic ingredients. But Philip is a man of many talents and it turns out he is also a master butcher. Last Wednesday, a group of ten of us were treated to an after hours butchery lesson where we were taught how to divide up a lamb into the various cuts that are familiar to us all.
I was worried that I would initially be a bit squeamish but I just approached the animal as if it was a joint of meat being prepared for the oven. It was fantastic to take the mystery out of the various joints and really helped me understand why different cuts are cooked in certain ways, depending on how tender they are. My partner Emer and I took turns in butchering different piece of meat and then essentially putting the jigsaw back together!
I would not be put off from buying a half animal in the future. It’s so much more economical and sustainable to butcher your own meats. It’s not something I’ll do often but I do feel it’s very important for cooks to appreciate where their food comes from and be connected to it, not assuming good simply comes from the supermarket as so many do.
I think everyone was surprised by how much they enjoyed the class and I think we all felt a bit badass too! Stay tuned for some recipes later in the week,