Butcher or purchase already butchered...

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Butcher or purchase already butchered...

Postby Thewitt » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:37 am

One of my staff is the son of a butcher. He convinced me to buy several whole pigs - cut in half, no offal - rather than purchase already butchered, deboned meat this week.

Yes, it's cheaper.

Yes, we have the storage space and the volume to support this practice.

Before this I was using primarily pork shoulder and back fat.

This week we spent a significant amount of time butchering and then sorting meat into batch size bins, adjusting the fat added based on an estimate of the lean level of the meat. We also used fat from all parts of the pig, not just the more firm back fat, which meant mixing the fat based on firmness as well.

The sausages seemed to come out fine, and I'm getting ready to place my meat order for next week.

I am torn.

I have a large pile of bones, skin, and other "extra" parts that don't have a home in the sausage, and no other product that I plan to make with them. This is simply headed for the waste stream.

One guy spent most of one day butchering and grading/sorting batches of meat - though it still seemed to be ok as far as the production schedule went. He is very skilled however, and if I had been butchering, it would have taken me twice as long, at least.

Advice from those who have been where I am?

Keep butchering - which did increase my margins this week - or go back to buying the very predictable deboned pork shoulder and back fat...
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Re: Butcher or purchase already butchered...

Postby BriCan » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:09 pm

Thewitt wrote:Advice from those who have been where I am?

Keep butchering - which did increase my margins this week - or go back to buying the very predictable deboned pork shoulder and back fat...


Mine for what it is would be to keep on doing the whole sides and only fall back on the de-boned pork shoulder and back fat as needed (use under time constraints) This is the way I work due to being a one man operation.

The bones I donate to the Union Gospel Mission for there soup pot to help the needy most of the time its only the rind that gets tossed

If things were ideal I would cook the bones down to make pork broth/stock that could be sold and the rinds turned into bacon puffs ~~~~~~ now the waste :?: will be turned into profit
But what do I know
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Re: Butcher or purchase already butchered...

Postby Thewitt » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:33 pm

No food kitchens around here. I'm still looking for options.

I did make a large pot of broth, but just for the freezer, not for sale. I keep thinking I should be able to find someone willing to purchase pork stock for one of the local dishes - bakuteh msybe - cheap...

I'll keep looking.

These feet have to good for something locally too....

Feet are in the freezer now....

I'll order sides again for next week and keep searching for secondary markets or distribution options...
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Re: Butcher or purchase already butchered...

Postby Thewitt » Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:49 am

Had a chance to work with a real butcher and his apprentice son today.

Ordered 10 sides and the slaughter house delivered 10 whole pigs - 20 sides! I got a panic call from the shop and said go ahead and accept them, I was on my way down.

I called my employee who convinced me to buy pig halves - the butcher's son - and told him what happened. He said he would meet me at the shop. We only have 3 hours on Saturday mornings - we give the kitchen over to the owner at 8am.

He arrived with his father in tow and together they put on an amazing display of butchery. Deboned. Fat trimmed and graded. Meat separated and graded. Cleaned up and out of the butcher area in record time.

I am humbled by how little I know about taking apart the animal that makes my sausage taste so good.

I have much to learn.
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Re: Butcher or purchase already butchered...

Postby RodinBangkok » Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:22 am

we buy almost always primal cuts, here in Thailand most of the large cuts end up being small portioned out, no bones, no fat left on, so there is not a lot of call for proper western style small cuts. For instance bone in pork chops are very hard to find, unless you go to an international expat grocery, then you pay a large premium for them. So we buy whole loin primals and cut for ourselves from there. I've got a couple sources now and they know how we like the primals, so its not hard for them or us. We do full service catering and other type items for wholesale, so its makes sense, as we use a lot of different types of cuts both european and american style.

From the scraps we make:

Demi Glace and other basic sauces but pork based versus beef.

Lard

Pig Jelly or aspic

These can be very profitable with sales to restos hotels, etc, but takes a bit of special equipment, nothing fancy just space, big pots and lots of time.

We throw very little away, and what is destined for the bin is then given to an animal shelter for their use. We just give them a call and they pick up what we've separated out for them, they take it from there and are very appreciative.
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Re: Butcher or purchase already butchered...

Postby Thewitt » Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:56 am

We made stock last week for one of the local restaurants. That seemed to work out ok.

I did not think of aspic. Great idea.

I have a chef from one of the 5 star restaurants coming by to talk about what we might be able to do for him. He wants some specialty sausages as well, so it will be interesting to speak with him.

I'll also speak with the animal shelter. That's a great idea.
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Re: Butcher or purchase already butchered...

Postby Thewitt » Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:18 am

Thewitt
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Re: Butcher or purchase already butchered...

Postby johngaltsmotor » Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:55 pm

You should warn people before posting pics like that, my company discourages looking at such suggestive and arousing images on company time ;-)

I enjoy my job, but it would be seriously cool to get to work with whole primal cuts like that every once in a while.
Pigs are magical creatures.... they turn vegetables into BACON!!
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Re: Butcher or purchase already butchered...

Postby Thewitt » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:27 pm

It is a trip. I was pretty intimidated at first, but after a few sessions with a master butcher, I will have a hard time letting anyone else take a pig apart for me.
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