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Calotte Butchering Class


Michael Landrum
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Well, then. Please, if you will, share your calette du boeuf/deckle/spinalis dorsi knowledge....

I will be happy to give a butchering demonstration, including hands on instruction, on Sunday, April 1 at 3PM of the cuts under discussion here. To wit: the calette, which at The Classics also includes the complexus at times; culottes, which at The Steaks really isn't the culotte at all but rather the superior gluteus medius portion of the Strip Loin; and the Picanha, which really is the culotte, but we don't call it that at The Classics so as to not confuse it with the calette. Confused? Welcome to my world. Drugs sometimes help.

I will also provide, at cost, for interested parties a whole rib, aged 55 days, to work on and whose yielded cuts are yours to take home. Typically, bone-off ribs are 14-16 pounds and wholesale is about $9/lb right now (but fluctuates wildly) and yield three 8 ounce calettes and 8-10 12 ounce filet cut rib-eyes.

The cost for the class with hands-on training, with steaks to take home or to sell on the street, will be $25 plus the cost of the rib eye and will guarantee you a place at the table for the inaugural A Place at the Table dinner (see related thread). The $25 will go directly into the kitty for the evening's event. To observe is free.

Class is limited to 8 for hands-on training with beef, open to all to observe. PM me to reserve.

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Here's the list:

fermenteverything

ilaine

JPW

mdt

xcanuckx

waitman(+1)

sent1ent

jhl276

RaisaB

Heather's SO

I am assuming that everyone listed above is interested in purchasing a rib to work on and to take home. If that is not the case, please PM me, otherwise all you have to do is show up with $25 cash for the lesson and whatever form of payment (CC or cash. No checks!! Not for this group. Uh-uh. Noooo way.) for the meat.

If you are interested in observing, just show up. 3PM Sunday, April 1. Do NOT come high.

If any one would like to purchase a filet knife, let me know and I can pick one up (the kind I use) for $30 or so, just PM me. If not you'll have to bring your own if you have one even though I might have one or two extra for people to use.

Also, let me know who is planning to stay on for dinner, plus how many, and whether you want to sit together or at separate tables.

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If you are interested in observing, just show up. 3PM Sunday, April 1. Do NOT come high.
Damn. But you said "Confused? Welcome to my world. Drugs sometimes help."
If any one would like to purchase a filet knife, let me know and I can pick one up (the kind I use) for $30 or so, just PM me. If not you'll have to bring your own if you have one even though I might have one or two extra for people to use.
What size filet knife do we need?
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It's not you. I went back through the thread and it doesn't say.
Michael did say "...and will guarantee you a place at the table for the inaugural A Place at the Table dinner (see related thread). ". From that one could infer the location. Or not.

By the way, we were admonished not to come high. He didn't say anything about drinking. Will this event be BYOB?

This is gonna be fun. I'm going to enjoy riding the Metro with my carving knife in hand, then coming home covered in blood and hanging on to several hunks of raw meat. That won't get me on any FBI/CIA watchlists, will it?

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What a blast!! Nothing like playing with sharp objects and a large hunk of meat. We learned some great butchering technique/theory and came away with LOTS of great steaks, including the legendary calotte.

Many thanks to Michael for giving up his time to educate us, and indeed to the entire staff at RtS for putting up with us while trying to run their business. And it was special to share in the inaugural "A Place at the Table" (three courses, including dessert for $25 - you can't beat that with a stick!).

Only a minor amount of human blood was spilled. I'm sure it won't affect the taste of the steaks.

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Wow! I am so sorry I missed that! This will teach me to read ALL the posts on DR.com. Michael, I will more than reimburse you for my piece of meat. I have been asking you for years for a butchering class, I am so very sorry I missed this one.

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I loved the class, although I still am not sure what it is, exactly, that we did. I know we wound up with pieces of meat that you never see in restaurants, the calotte and some small triangular piece that Ray said is very popular in South America. He demonstrated by cutting apart two big hunks of meat, I am too much a newbie to say what they were, one I think he said was the top sirloin butt to show us the wrong cut, and one that came from the center rib area to show us the right cuts.

Then we all cut up our own rib roast section, that already had the ribs removed. He showed us in a meat book, all these huge pieces of meat have numbers, but I didn't write down the number. 118D, maybe? [Edit: xcanuck says 112D.]

We cut up our own meat, and then he wrapped it up, and most people stayed for dinner at Ray's, but a couple of us went home with the meat to cook at home. After we sectioned off the calotte, we were given the option of cutting the rest into steaks or roasts -- I opted for roast, thinking of Easter dinner. Ray said the meat might go 5 days in the coldest part of the fridge but that a cut of that quality meat wouldn't suffer appreciably by being frozen for a week or so.

Before leaving Ray's, I called the husband so he could put the baking potatoes in the oven, and get the grill ready for action. He grilled the steaks cut from the calotte and the little triangular piece whose name I can't remember very simply on the grill, just hardwood, and we seasoned with just salt and pepper. It was incredibly good! Tender and yet beefy, like the essence of beef.

A good time was had by all.

Can't decide whether this cut will become a regular in the home rotation until we see how the other part of the huge hunk of meat does as a roast, or as steaks. I don't see why not, although the price of an entire number whatever it is roast retail would be a few hundreds -- this isn't cheap meat, but the only waste is fat, no bone, no icky parts, so it's not throwing money away at all. In fact, it appears to be good value for money if you have an entire houseful of beef eaters, as we do on special occasions.

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IMHO, the intent of the class was to clear up much of the confusion behind what comprises the steak that Michael has been serving as the calotte at RtC. He started off by showing us the culotte (a different cut served at RtS) and the picahna. I'm not sure if we were sworn to secrecy on the other "Brazilian" cuts so I'll omit any further mention of those :blink:

IIRC, the large cut that everyone started from was #112D (Rib, Ribeye Cap (IM) as defined in the NAMP Meat Buyer's Guide). We cut off the cap that was fashioned into the calotte. The rib meat that was left trimmed into either a roast or steaks, with a nice hunk of the complexus left over for grilling fun and pleasure.

Given what we've learned, I can now tell my butcher 1. exactly how to fabricate this, should he be willing or 2. buy the entire darned thing and butcher it myself. I can see doing the latter several times this summer. I'm pretty confident about what doing what we were taught.

I'll post pictures later this morning.

ETA: Those who attended the class may find this site interesting. It's on bovine myology and is a detailed examination of the entire cow. Lot's of great pictures, animation, and video describing how to fabricate certain cuts.

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Some pictures from class (note these are all thumbnails to larger shots):

MDT has completed the first major incision

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Meat porn

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"Too cool for school" Waitman is assisted by Mrs. B

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Production line

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(edit to add)

Michael offering instruction

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Thanks again to Michael for offering us this opportunity to learn a little something.

I had a lot of fun.

Had a couple of our rib-eyes seasoned with out "special parting gift" last night. My grill doesn't have nearly the forepower of what Michael uses, so I can't get the char that we all hold so dear. A sear and a few minutes of indirect warming still produced a flippin' spectacular steak.

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I will add my thanks as well, for the instruction, the meat, and our lovely parting gifts. I was sorry we had to rush home and couldn't stay for dinner, but being able to grill up some calotte at home almost made up for the disappointment.

I haven't tried the parting gift yet, as I am not sure what kind of salt went in, but it smells delicious. :blink:

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There can be no more sincer compliment than one uttered by a sneering, post-ironic, hormone-addled (is there any other kind?) teenage boy. And ours was awestruck once we'd grilled the thing up. Thanks, Michael.

Next stop: Easter for the "leftovers". Beyond the "Char the outside and roast slow," has there been a fuller discussion of how to deal with this behemouth?

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Heck, I'd attend another class just to make sure I got everything right. There was a lot of information that came our way.

I put our calottes on the grill last night - with the wind whipping through, it was hard to keep the temp of the grill high enough to get a really good sear, but the flavour of the meat came through loud and clear. Delicious!! The marbling was incredible. Both Lisa and I commented on how it was almost like eating a well braised brisket (in terms of the texture, not the flavour). It's definitely worth all the effort.

Waitman - I assume you're roasting the rest (instead of making it into steaks)? Michael mentioned one could make an incision to create a "flap". Open up the "flap" and smear your mustard/herbs/horseradish/garlic/salt/oil/etc mixture in there and close it back up before searing/roasting.

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Waitman - I assume you're roasting the rest (instead of making it into steaks)? Michael mentioned one could make an incision to create a "flap". Open up the "flap" and smear your mustard/herbs/horseradish/garlic/salt/oil/etc mixture in there and close it back up before searing/roasting.

That was before removing the top flap that we did to get the calottes. That is the correct name for the piece of meat, right?

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I'd love to help, but are you sure you don't want to wait for the real experts on this one?

Anyone who can sell prime cap of rib-eye (calotte) for $20 a steak sure as hell knows something that I don't, and is who you definitely want to learn from.

(Seriously, though, if all you guys want is a class in calotte, that is a piece of cake and I can do it anytime. I didn't mean to ignore you all, I really just came across this thread by accident and might not have noticed it otherwise).

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