When you are a small producer like we are here at Sunnyside & you want the to butcher some of your own meat & you hear of a friend who is getting the mobile on-farm butcher to come & do theirs, well you just can't resist at jumping at the chance to ask them if you can add a few of your own sheep to the line up! Especially when the said butcher has a proper cool room (or 4 actually ~ this is all he does), a butchers shop on the back of his truck (properly cleaned & sterile ~ no more of the butchering outside with animals wondering around & flies buzzing) & makes perfect rolled shoulder roasts!!! Spending the day with one of my closest friends was definitely a bonus as well!!
|The setup ~ coolroom behind his truck!|
A few weeks ago our friends Damo & Corinne were nice enough to add our lambs to their lineup totalling 11 lambs & one cow to be butchered. We were surprised that the butcher left the beasts hanging in the cold room for over a week & a half, but he definitely knew what he was doing. With 30 years of butchering experience he knew this would age the beef perfectly & the lambs would be delicious as well. After a count-down, the big day finally came. It was a perfect Autumn day ~ not that it really mattered what the weather was like due to his big airconditioned truck which during the middle of the day was cool to enter, but by the evening it was warmer inside (our autumn evenings were decidedly freezing this year :)!
The day started off with the Sunnyside 3 lambs being cut up. Lots of chops, cutlets, roasts, ribs ( for BBQing) and plenty of offcuts for sausages! It was quick work when a professional wields the knife. By the end of 11 lambs we probably could have done it ourselves....NOT ..... he tried to show us, but it was all so fast & confusing ~ I think the little extra money to have him cut it up is definitely worth it!
|Corinne packing meat!|
He really came into his own when he started on the beast. There is a whole lot of meat in them! I do believe Damo & Corinne are going to be swimming in steaks for a while, but they sure aren't complaining. When we sampled it for a very late dinner after the butchering was complete, let me tell you it is the most delicious steak I've tasted! We are now looking at getting a beef cow for ourselves here at Sunnyside with the intention of butchering. Not sure if we'll start off with a heifer to breed or just raise a calf.
|The mince ~ it really doesn't look that much, but we ended up with many, many kgs of sausages & rissoles from that ~ the sink is huge and you can see the grinder underneath ~ this is set up so it is impossible for fingers to get caught in it!|
Finally last in the evening was the rissoles & sausages. The butcher finds that pure lamb sausages don't work, so he mixes it with beef mince (which was very convenient since there was a cow done as well). It worked out the mince was about half lamb, half beef. I never truely appreciated the process that making sausages is. Grinding a couple of times & then putting through the sausage machine & finally tying them off. Maybe because it was the end of the day, it seemed particularly time consuming.
It was a long, tiring, but very fun day of packaging meat & the only thing we would do differently is send the 3 younger kids to a babysitter for the day ( we didn't realise just how displaced we would be from them ~ thankfully Damo's Nan was there for most of it & let me tell you she earned her sleep that night!!!). It was a fantastic experience for Zai & Ellie who worked (tagged team) most of the day with us. They now have an even further appreciation of the butchering process of meat!
COSTINGS: (I always find it interesting when people share their costings of home produce, so thought I'd share in case you are like me ~ if not please skip:)
We got 25kg of meat from each lamb.
We sold that lot of lambs at around $100 each ( inc gst)
The butchering came in at about $40 per lamb,
= $5.60 per kg of meat.
When you consider that you can't even buy sausages for that generally, then you appreciate the savings producing your own meat is ~ especially since we got all the cuts including the ones you generally pay very dearly for.
Of course since we didn't pay for the lambs as they were born on Sunnyside & we have been supplementing them on barley that we grew here ourselves then the cost really is minimal (~$1.70/kg ).
What a blessing a freezer full of meat is!!!!
Have a wonderful day