Home Butchering Picture Tutorial (Lamb)

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by monkeyman, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Guns, food storage and so on is great but the stored food will run out and if you starve to death the guns do you no good, so in my opinion butchering is one of the most basic skills there is for survival and it also has the perk that you can eat great cheap. My family has a very low income and yet we eat steak, lamb, bison, sirloin roast, ham and so on as our standard fair because we can buy the animals from farmers or at auction and butcher them ourselves and put even the most expensive cuts of meat from the most expensive animals, in our area that would be porterhouse steaks from bison and lamb chops or rack of lamb, in our freezer and on the table for $0.75 or less per pound. Thats cheaper than the cheapest clearance hamburger at the store. So I decided that as I do my butchering this fall I will take pics and post them here with captions of what is going on so any one interested can learn to do this for them selves.

    While better tools will make the job a lot easier you can do this with tools as simple as a hacksaw, a hunting knife, a butcher knife, and freezer paper and duct tape. The tools I most commonly use is a hand bone/meat saw thats a little over 2 feet long, a GOOD skinning knife and boneing knife from the cutlarey shop, a sharpening steel, a gun to shoot the critter, a hoist of some kind and a tree limb or something to hang the critter from. I recently built the 'gallows' that show up in the pics since I will be doing a beef in the next month and dont have a limb that would support it as well as that its just a bit nicer since I butcher reagularly.

    I generaly keep the cuts simple. I count both T-bones and porterhouse steaks as T-bones since they both come from the back bone, but the basic cuts I normaly get are as follows: T-bones/porterhouse (chops from pigs and lambs), ribs, round steaks (called ham steaks on pigs), various roasts, and burger and stew meat as well as some soup bones for the dog or to season a soup or stew.

    So, lets get this started with the 250 pound lamb I picked up the other day for $100 (the most per pound I have ever paid for an animal) and butchered.

  2. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I forgot to get the camera out until I had already started but you start by imagining an 'X' on the animals head from the base of each ear to the middle of the opposite eye. Shoot the animal where the 2 lines cross. As soon as the convulsions slow enough to be safe cut about 2-3 inches deep from the chin to the sternum then near the head cut out to each side toward the skin to sever the arteries and let the animal bleed out, you will know you've done this when blood starts to flow like you turned on a faucet. Then cut parallel to the leg bone in both back legs between the tendon and the bone so you can put a gambrel (this can be as simple as a stout stick or a pipe with cable run through it) in the slits and hang the animal off the ground by the back legs. Then being careful (as you needed to be any time you cut through the skin) to cut from the inside out and not to cut into the meat, make a cut from the rectum down to meet the cut in the throat at the sternum. At this point you use the knife to loosen the skin from the meat starting at the ankles and pull the skin once you can get a grip on it using the knife as little as possible so as not to damage the hide (especially in a SHTF situation this could be very useful to tan and use for many things including clothing) this brings us to the first pic which shows a method called 'fisting' to remove the skin where you hold the hide out from the animal with one hand while forcing a tight fist between the skin and meat.
    a_106. a1_633. a3_467. a4_284. a5_465.

  3. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Once the skin is off you can remove the foot at the ankle joint with just the knife and a twist. On larger animals, especialy on the back legs this takes some practice but will give a neater finished product than sawing it off, as is shown later on the sheep as well as deer I saw the back legs but on beefs its best to do it with the knife on all the legs as well as on pigs.
    First bend the foot up and follow the line of the bone by the foot into the joint and cut down to the bone then trace the joint around with the boneing knife.
    a6_160. a7_133. a8_612. a80_139. a81_148. a82_143. a83_150. a84_104. a85_605. a86_635.

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  4. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Heres what the tounge looks like once removed, it can be used on its own or after skinning it makes great stuff for grinding into the burger.
    a87_105. a88_876. b_770. b02_934. b03_952. b04_136. b05_105. b06_144. b07_171. a89_200_701.

    Alanaana, Ganado, Mr.C and 2 others like this.
  5. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Great stuff so far mm...
  6. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Then you remove the sach as shown and discard it.
    b08_319. b09_159. b10_414. b11_504. b12_420. b13_340. b14_192. b15_161. b16_741. b17_765.
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  7. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    staying centered. You want this cut to be as centered as possible since this forms the top of your T-bones. If you get off a bit just do your best, even if your off they still eat just as well they just aren't as pretty.
    b18_477. b19_164.
    kellory and Brokor like this.
  8. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Idealy this is all being done when iether the weather will cooperate or you have a cold room (I hope to build one in the next year which can be a refrigerated trailer or truck that is no longer road worthy and can be picked up reasonably or like I expect to do, build a small shed and insulate it well then install a large window type A/C with the thermostat removed so it will keep the temp around 35- 40) so that you can leave the meat hang over night to cool properly. If it is much under 30 it will freeze and be hard to work with and much over 40-45 and it wont cool properly and will also be 'crawley' and near impossible to get nice clean pretty cuts, but if the weather wont cooperate it can be cut at this point. For large animals like cattle they should hange for at least 2 or 3 days but for sheep and pigs and such 12 to 24 hours is generaly fine at these temps.
    b20_110. b21_485. b22_609. b23_826. b24_460. b25_538. b26_771. b27_864. b28_128. b29_182.
    Ganado, kellory and Brokor like this.
  9. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Now you cut at the small of the back or pin bone to cut loose the loin, the the sirloin is cut where you seperate the top of the legs from the body.
    b30_193. b31_989. b32_143. b33_149. b34_384.
    Ganado, kellory and Brokor like this.
  10. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Now I suppose you could cut steaks from the back legs like you would a beef, cutting across the back leg is where the round steaks come from but we kept them whole for big dinners when we have folks over. This is where I seperate a bit from 'proper' butchering since I dont much care what you call it a good steak is a good steak and so on but you follow the ribs out from the back bone to where the meat thins to the ribs, You should be able to look at the end and see where the ribs stop and the 'T-bones' (also porterhouse once behind a certian point and sirloins once behind the ribs) and cut the ribs loose from the steaks, cut the ribs to the size you want to package and cut the 'T-bones' to desired thickness, I generaly make each vertibrat or rib one steak which is nice and thick. On a sheep these are the lamb chops and on a pig these are the pork chops (oh and the round steaks from a pig are the ham steaks).
    So there you have the info to cut a critter into 'T-bones', sirloins, ribs, round steaks, roasts and all the scraps along with any roasts you would rather bone out and grind than have as roasts are what becomes your burger and if you add spices and such your sausage.
    Here are a few pics of some of the cuts we ended up with and the reason the animals all get excited when I put on my butchering cloths.
    b35_981. b36_324. b37_725. b38_966. b39_690.
    Ganado, KAS, kellory and 1 other person like this.
  11. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Not counting the time it was left to hang, the whole process from the time I shot the sheep to the time the last of the burger went in the freezer took around 6 or 7 hours and put around 150 pounds of lamb in my freezer for $101.25, a roll of freezer paper, some duct tape and a little bit of my time. I also butchered some in the back yard when I lived in the city and cut the meat (from the heavey cuts) on the kitchen counter, so it can be done without haveing a big place out in the country all nicely set up for it.
    If there is anything I didnt cover or you have any questions let me know. Also if there seems to be much intrest I will make this kind of a series and add the same type of thing for pork, beef, can do chicken and whatever, (deer, elk and buffalo are done the same and have the same cuts as beef) so also if you have any suggestions on how to make the others better let me know on that as well. Hope this helps some of you at least know how to do this if you NEED to and maybe even for some of you to get a chance to find like I have that butchering your own meat can be a great way to eat well above your budget.

    BTW, If you take the animal in to be processed you can generaly expect to pay over $100 for processing on a pig and over $200 on a beef plus they keep the hide as part of thier fee, so you can pay yourself well for the time to do it your self.
    JohnSteven, Hanzo, Mike and 2 others like this.
  12. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Thank you!

    This is great information!!

    When you're pulling out the heart and lungs above; what did you forget to loosen?
  13. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    This was great! I think we will all be looking forward to the other tutorials.
    SOme of the captions got cut off, must be a character limit. Maybe you could add some of it back somwhere. A few real cliff hangers there!!


    [winkthumb] [winkthumb] [winkthumb]
  14. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Yeah I noticed that after I was done on some of them. I fixed some but with my PC and connection it had taken about 3 or 4 hours to post so didnt get around to fixing them all. Ill see what I can do as far as fixing them.
  15. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Ok I THINK its fixed now to a point that should allow for continuitey. If you notice anything that is still cut off or needs more info let me know. Haveing tried to find this info myself and finding very little and outrageous prices on the rest,Im even considering putting the full series when completed, along with some recipees and info on cureing hides, then trying to desktop publish it. I know I have looked off and on for several years and found very little and what I have found skiped steps I didnt know how to do or was poorly writen with few or no pics and/or priced over $40, so you all are kind of my beta readers on this project also, so while I know my spelling sucks if there is anything as far as the info or pics that needs work dont hold back, let me know if there is ANYTHING thats not totaly clear. I will also try to add more on the future tutorials on getting each of the table cuts from the heavey cuts.

    BTW; on piece of equiptment I didnt mention that you need is a meat grinder. You can spend what ever you want on one of these from under $5 at yard sales (these may need the blades sharpened) to $20 on up for a new hand cranked one or if you have loads of money to spend you can do the motorized ones starting around $100 and going to well over $1,000.
    My basic set up of the 2 high quality knives, top shelf sharpening steel, bonesaw, and hand grinder would run around $100-$125 all together, but you can go about as far in iether direction as you want from there. If you are looking at this as part of a survival plan though I would sugest buying and primairily useing non electric tools.
    Mike and kellory like this.
  16. phishi

    phishi Psy-Ops Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Get post! I passed out twice just looking at the pics!

  17. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    lol Yeah, and Im sure PETA would just LOVE this thread. rofl
    Shotgunpapa and Mike like this.
  18. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    i am eating a sandwich as I look at the pictures.....MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!
    theerroneouspenguin likes this.
  19. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    CD!! CD!!! Please!!!! b::
    (I would do it, but I'm on dialup, and worse, the machine with the burner is highly ill. Damn.)

    Nice bit of work. b:: b:: b::
  20. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Ghrit, wasnt it you that had also offered to scan in that book I got on meat cureing? BTW, that was it in the zip lock bag on the table in a couple of the pics. But anyhow we got a coppier and if we ca copy it, and I can figure out how to save this thread to CD we may be able to work something out where I can send you a copy of the book to post and send me a CD of it and can also send you a CD copy of this series when its done.
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