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.
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