Last week, I butchered like a badass.
And it was awesome. That used to be a lamb. Until I got my saw on it.
And I learned that a “chump” is a “rump” as we know it in the U.S. Rump roast, rump steak, rump shaker. (I may have broken out in my awesome American dance moves in the middle of the kitchen when a fellow student put the song on his iPod to humor me. I may have scared the kitchen a bit with said awesome American dance moves.) We butchered from the outside in. First the hooves and the shank, then the neck and shoulder, followed by the leg and the chump (aka rump), then the breast, and then separated the rack from the loin.
The diagram we received during lamb demo day reminded me of the one my dad drew for me when I was about eight years old in the meat department of the ShopRite of our hometown. My dad and I did the grocery shopping on Saturdays together since my mom worked every Saturday, and he likes to take his time (with all things, but especially with buying groceries). One day when we were buying beef, I asked about the cut we were getting. The next thing I knew, he had a pen and paper out and was drawing a cow — with annotations of course. And he had attracted a crowd, as he tends to do whenever he starts talking. That day will always be met with vivid and fond memories in my mind, even all these years later. And I will always be grateful to my parents for teaching me all that they have when it comes to food (and life). They are a huge part of the reason I am here. Living on a farm. In Ireland.
Contrary to my initial attempt at using the saw, you don’t actually need to whack it like you’re on HGTV, but rather stand with one foot in front of the other, using a strong but smooth gliding motion. When I finally got the hang of it, our illustrious teacher, Philip, told me I might have found my calling. He thinks I should open a female butcher shop with my cottage mate, Erin, and call it The Blonde Butchers. Maybe I just might…