Wednesday, May 6, 2009

beef, it's what's for dinner

Getting up at 5am hasn't gotten easier the second day, but no matter how tired I am, I know when I leave school I will be full of excitement at the wealth of knowledge I gained. I was on cryovac duty today, so I had to get to class a little earlier (we all know I get everywhere early so it wasn't much of a change). We were in charge of taking out all the previous days' cuts of meat so we can review them, and lay out sheet trays for the trimmings and fabricated cuts we do that day.

So I headed into the meat walk in and saw these:

Here is a half hog carcass just waiting to be fabricated

Here are some different cuts of meat we saw that day (I won't bore you with all of them even though they're amazing):

Today we each got a Tenderloin to clean and tie into roasts:

Here is Chef Schneller cutting out the tenderloin from the entire loin of beef:

We learned a great trick when you accidentally cut a piece of meat too small or have leftover pieces. If you want to make a tenderloin medallion for example and you only have a few small pieces, why not just glue them together? They did this for the CIA graduation recently, and no one even noticed. They use a powder thats made from glutaminase, which occurs naturally in meat, and "glues" the two pieces of meat together and makes them look like one. Here is Chef Schneller with an example:

We learned a lot about meat today and I found myself not wanting to buy ground beef ever again. Did you know that if you purchase ground beef from the grocery store, that the few pounds you purchase may not even be from one cow? It can come from different cows, from different plants, possibly even from different countries. They put all the unused meat cuts and some fat together and grind it all up. That's why its so hard to trace E. coli if found, all of the different cows that could possibly exist in one burger would make it impossible to find the source. Bon appetit!

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