Lamb Butchery

May 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

In addition to growing 80% of the produce we consume at home, another food-related dream of mine is to learn how to be a butcher. I know nothing about it, but I love buying a whole chicken or bone-in cuts of meat and slicing through the sinews and skin and bone and realizing through doing how the animal is put together.

So, I took one small step toward this dream by attending a lamb butchery lab at Local Mission Eatery, a restaurant that is one of my latest loves.

(Sidebar: Local Mission Eatery is a fantastic spot that opened earlier this year in…yes, the Mission. They offer lunch daily — delicious local ingredients prepared in sandwich, soup and salad form — dinner twice a week, a cookbook library, and learning labs. I had an incredible asparagus, bacon and poached egg open-faced sandwich there for brunch one weekend, and a smoky/sweet strawberry-and-grilled-Meyer-lemon lemonade…I’d go back for that alone.)

It was a demonstration, not a hands-on, class, but Jake (one of the co-founders of Local Mission Eatery), taught us where the different cuts come from on the animal, how to wield a knife and what appeared to be dangerously sharp scissors to “process” the lamb’s legs, loin and ribs. After watching the deconstruction, we enjoyed what that lamb offered up to us: quickly grilled chops, tenderloin sauteed in butter and loin pan-seared with an amazing mint chimichurri sauce.

A friend who accompanied me said it was the most random thing she’d done all year. I’m always glad to provide those opportunities.

Slicing the lamb in half

Taking off the leg

The next day I went back for lunch to eat the lamb sandwich, since I knew exactly where the meat had come from — a delicious combo of thinly-sliced lamb, a spread of smoked greens, and a mess of paper-thin fennel and fennel fronds.

Local Mission Eatery, 3111 24th Street (at Folsom), San Francisco, CA. 415.655.3422

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