Butchering a Cow
Today was day 1 of the cow butchering. The cow has been aging in my refrigerator for about 12 days. Around four o’clock this morning I switch the button from refrigerator to freezer so that it would be a little bit easier to cut the meat. We have found in our experience that when the meat is slightly frozen it cuts smoother. We have two Frigidaire Convertible Freezer/Refrigerators that we brought from Sears. These refrigerators are perfect for us because they are refrigerators and with a flip of a switch they turn into freezers.
|In the butcher shop we have 2 convertible refrigerators/freezers, one long counter, one rolling cart with a large cutting board and a Biro meat cutting saw.|
Today at 10:30 we began cutting the meat. My husband cuts the meat and I package it. I package meat by using two different methonds. One method is just placing it inside of Ziploc freezer bags and the other method is using vacuumed sealed bags.
I have a Food Saver vacuum sealer machine. It is less expensive to use the Ziploc freezer bags but the food in the vacuumed sealed bags stays fresher longer and do not get freezer burn as quickly. I package half of the meat in Ziploc freezer bags and half in the Food Saver vacuum sealed bags. I use the meat in the Ziploc bags first and save the vacuumed sealed bagged food for later in the year since the meat in them stay fresher longer.
The steak on the right is cut into bottom round steak (left), eye steak (top left), top round steak (right), and the bone in steak (bottom) which I use for soup or Mexican caldito de res.
This is only our fourth time to butcher a cow. We learned how to slaughter and butcher cows and pigs from one of our neighbors and by watching DVDs we ordered on line from Ask The Meat Man. Click on the link below for more information about the DVDs.
We finished butchering around 7 p.m. but, that also includes cleaning and sanitizing the meat saw, sanitizing counters, sweeping and mopping the floor, and washing knives and containers in hot soapy water so that we will be ready for day 2. On day 2 of the butchering process we will debone and cut all the meat we saved for ground meat into cubes, grind and package the ground meat. We will also cut the stew meat into cubes and package it as well.