Beef Butchering 101at Brooklyn Kitchen!

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This past Monday, I finished a two-part butchering class at the Brooklyn Kitchen and Meat Hook in Williamsburg. I’ve wanted to learn how to butcher beef for a long time now and when I found this class, I jumped at the opportunity.

Brooklyn Kitchen / Meat Hook

My dad and Mark actually got this class for my birthday, which is in a few weeks – at almost twenty-three, beef butchering seemed like the perfect birthday present for a foodie like myself! There’s so many other classes I would take at the Brooklyn Kitchen too… homemade croissants, here I come!

Beef Butchering 101

Last Monday, in the first part of this class, we covered the front half, from shoulder to rib section, of the cow.

Our second class, this past Monday, we covered the back half, from the drop loin to the leg.

Here’s a spattering of photos from both classes!

We also sampled several cuts during both classes. In the first, we tried brisket, a denver steak and a blade steak, which were all really good! In the second, we started with roast beef and proceeded to an oyster steak and a merlot steak. Everything was delicious!

I should note I had two great teachers. The first class was taught by co-owner, Brent Young, who filled in for Sara Bigelow, who was sick.

The Meat Hook, by the way, is run by Tom Mylan and Brent who helped open Marlow and Daughters, and Ben Hurley and Sara. For more information, check out their website.

In the first class, I was the only girl so it was nice when Sara taught our second class (plus we had another woman join that time around). I really liked her and it was cool seeing a woman butchering a whole quarter of a cow with precision and eloquence. Didn’t hurt that she looked quite a bit like Aubrey Plaza. I had a little bit of a girl crush on her and just want her to mentor me in the ways of butchering!

Overall, while this wasn’t a hands on class, I learned a lot and it was a great experience.

I’ve been having an ongoing discussion lately about eating meat (which I will comment more on in a few days) and I’m glad I was exposed to a company producing and working with meat that is more ethical than that I’d find in a grocery store.

The Meat Hook receives two whole cows, split lengthwise, every week from one of the two farms they work with (all independent farms vs. factory farms). Their cows are grass-fed and grass-finished, which is an important distinction in this era of commodity farming.  The Meat Hook has a good relationship with their farmers and is in constant dialogue about their product and their standards.

They also practice whole butchering – selling every cut of meat, making sausages, using bones for stocks etc.  In our second class, we actually sampled bone marrow butter made from leftover marrow bones from a recently butchered animal.

And so, if I’m going to continue eating meat, I would rather purchase it from a butcher shop like the Meat Hook than a run of the mill store where I can’t be sure where the meat is coming from or how it was raised/slaughtered.

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