Sunday, October 25, 2015

Home Butchering

Three days ago three fat lambs were dispatched and skinned. While their carcasses hung in the cool room the skins have been left to soak in lime to start the leather-making process.
Today was set for the butchering. The table was cleaned, the tools found and wiped, the buckets filled with hot water and the bags readied. The spare freezer was turned on. The initial freezing will take place in this spare one so that the bags do not freeze together and so it is easier to sort once frozen.
The butchering is done by our neighbour and the meat shared. My role was to be gopher and packer.
The prepared tools

 The first job was to cut the carcass in half with a sharp handsaw. Then one half at a time is brought to the shed to be chopped. The cool room is insulated and clad with tin. The temperature is reduced with an air conditioner set to about 6-10 degrees. This is sufficient to allow the carcass to hang for long enough to taste good.
These lambs have been in a very lush paddock and have a decent layer of fat.
The leg and shoulder are cut off each side which is then cut into two with a saw. A sharp knife and cleaver separate the chops and ribs while the fat and more gristly parts are cut for the dogs and the chickens.
Two hours work and three families have plenty of fresh lamb to eat and the shed is cleaned up. At $15 a kilo for organic lamb it is a very cost effective way of producing food as well as representing zero food miles as the lambs were born and raised within a stone's throw of where they will be eaten.

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