Monday, May 11, 2009

the lamb fat is smooth.. perfect for "chop"stick

Today the topic was lamb (as you can see, the full carcass is to the right). Chef Schneller broke down an entire lamb carcass and demonstrated how to debone the leg and create a frenched rack of lamb, which we all fabricated. This morning was pretty rough since I had the flu all weekend, and it was hard to get up at 5am, but I was still excited to get in there and do some meat cutting. (Especially since my knives were extra sharp this morning!) I was on cryovac duty for the third time and no one was there to help so the duty fell upon me mostly to get about 30 cuts of meat from previous days to review. I couldn't complain though, since this helps me learn all the different cuts better. 

Also saw the three little pigs in the cooler:

As many of you know, sheep byproducts include sheeps milk, which create some of the tasiest cheeses, as well as rugs (persian :)), and the native americans raise sheep that they later use for navajo rugs that are popular as well. Lamb is probably one of the more expensive cuts of meat we have worked with, the eye of the rack sometimes costing up to $20/lb, which is why it was important to get them close to, if not exactly right. Everything on a lamb seemed miniature in comparison to beef, the tenderloin butt end so small it was barely recognizable. 

One of the cuts we each received today was the leg of lamb:

Which we deboned (took out the shank, femur, pelvic bone, and kneecap):

And tied into roast:

We also each got a rack of lamb to "french," which means to expose the bone, so when you order lamb chops, they look classier (and we can charge you more for them). Lamb on the whole is more labor intensive than other meats, especially to debone or french, which is one of the reasons its price per pound is higher.

Here is Chef Schneller with a quick demo on frenching:

This is what it looks like before frenching:

And after (it was straight across even if the picture doesnt show it):

The day ended pretty well when one of my classmates, Aissa, enthusiastically nominated be to be the group leader, a leadership role I would love to have among a talented group of peers. Oh and of course when I got to lunch at Farq and told the original bakerface, Ryan, that we fabricated lamb... he proceeded to sniff me for the scent. Just another day at the culinary...

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