The MH called yesterday afternoon to see if I wanted to come over and hang out while he butchered for me, my job was to wrap meat. It was fun, we hung out in the garage as he dismembered my antelope and separated it into steaks, loin, stew meat and then everything else went into the burger pile. The cuts don’t really resemble steaks you’d buy in the store — essentially the MH dissembled the antelope muscle by muscle, and carefully removed the silverskin for me. The other nice thing about being there while it was butchered was that he did small hunks for me — so I now have a lot of one- or two-person portions in my freezer.
I’ve also got a big bag of burger scrap in the fridge. All the odd bits. Our local butcher is closed on Mondays — I’ll head over there tomorrow and have him grind it — I’d do it with my trusty KitchenAid but Matt adds some beef fat to the burger — otherwise it’s too lean to be useful for much.
Jacques likes butchering. I wrapped some burger for the MH that he’d had ground from his son’s antelope, and well, who could resist that face? Of course he got a little taste. Eventually he settled down in the corner with a leg bone and mellowed out.
We hung out and drank a beer and chatted. He cut meat, I wrapped — it took a couple of hours. It’s too bad we didn’t work out as a couple, but I’m really thrilled that we’ve managed to stay good friends. The MH’s son, of whom I am very fond, came in and chatted for a while and told us about his weekend. Jacques and I goofed off. This conviviality isn’t something you get from buying meat in a store — and if there’s one thing I agree with the Slow Food people about, it’s this part of the equation. That hanging out with people you like creating your own food is a good thing.
And now I have this pile of little packages in my freezer. I wrapped one loin whole — I’m thinking of doing some sort of antelope Wellington for Christmas perhaps — but where a couple of days ago there was an antelope out in Pearsons field, and then there was a carcass hanging in the garage, and now there is a pile of neatly wrapped packages of lean, delicious, organic meat to see me through the winter.