Thursday, May 26, 2011

Top Butcher Contest. Continued

Working on his Shoulder Clod, leaving the Pork for last. 

I am very comfortable cutting Pork, and this particular piece is my favorite. I was thrilled when
I learned this was one of the challenges. Bone In Pork Loin. 

Some good ol' Sausage production. These guys didn't stop to watch; These guys are MACHINES!

Looks like some heckling between the Regional guys. Jim is the feller in plaid, Steve is beside him and Lloyd is
down the way in the button-up shirt. 

Looks like this was right when I finished - all eyes on my block. 

A wily crowd!

Photos - Kaysea

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Top Butcher Contest.

My Team Leader, Beau, and I after I was announced as the winner.

I didn't get any of my own personal photos from the contest and I am waiting on the Marketing folks at work to share what they got with me, but for now I'll give a written description about how the contest went down. 

There were five contestants in the contest, one from the Austin-Gateway store, Little Rock, Arkansas store, Tulsa, Oklahoma, San Antonio and me (Lamar Store). We were each given two primals to work; Whole Bone In Pork Loin and Beef Shoulder Clod. 

The contest was judged on Speed, Craftsmanship, Profitability and Creativity. I really wish I would have taken some pictures of what I was left with, but I can tell you that I won all four categories although Shannon from Tulsa gave me a run for my money. 

On June 11th I'll be heading to Dallas for the regional competition. If I win in Dallas I'll be going to NYC for the National competition. Wouldn't that be nice?

Also! I will be cutting a Whole Bone In Beef Round for the Dallas Competition, something I'm quite proficient at. Each contestant will receive one primal to practice on and one for the competition.. I'm going to use my practice primal as an opportunity to make another 'The Breakdown' post. My buddy Josh Verduzco (http://www.joshverduzco.comwill be photographing the event so you can expect the quality of the pictures to be lightyears ahead of what I've been posting.

See you soon!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Whole Foods Market's Top Butcher Competition

This Friday, May 20th, Whole Foods Market Lamar will be hosting a butchering competition that includes the Austin, San Antonio, Tulsa and Little Rock stores' Top Butchers. I will be Lamar's representative. Come out and be merry with a bunch of butchers - it may make your day!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Young Settlers, Year Two. Whole Lamb Revisited.

This is me and my good friend Dylan. Dylan is the resident
Sausage master and Whole Foods Lamar. Him and I bought this
Lamb about a week and a half before our trip to Llano and hung
it in the Dry Aging Cooler at work. 

The original plan was to spit-roast the Lamb whole but because of the
statewide fire-ban, we had to part out the animal and cook everything separately. 

To be honest, I wasn't upset in the slightest bit about the way
we handled this animal, we were able to cook every cut and primal using
all the of different methods available to us. 

The first night after butchering the Lamb, I took the whole Loin and made
a boneless roast, wrapped the roast in a healthy layer of fat, Dylan seasoned it
and we grilled it up while we drank fine bourbon. 

Me and Kaysea took both Shoulders and Foreshanks and boned them out,
cutting the meat into stew meat and I made a healthy and quite meaty stew.
The broth was incredibly delicious and velvety. 

Kaysea has a dream of becoming a butcher, she's hit some road bumps but I'm
confident she'll find her place in a cutting room one of these days.

All in all, every piece of the Lamb was extremely enjoyable. This particular animal was the most enjoyable meat eating experience I may have had so far - The meat was extremely tender with a flavor reminiscent of honey - even the shoulder meat became very soft after a short length of stewing. This meat could turn a vegetarian into a carnivore at the first and slightest opportunity!
35mm Photo credits go to Camie Cox, a dear friend of mine. iPhone photo credits were taken with Kaysea's phone.