Caesar, having fulfilled his purpose in joining us for these last several months, was butchered on Saturday. All four deep red, beautifully marbled quarters of the bull are currently aging in the barn for a couple of weeks when the dividing into cuts will be muddled through. My husband built a furnace to control the temperature in there since the forecast wasn’t as warm as originally predicted and we don’t want the meat to freeze. Too cold or too warm and the enzymes that break down the connective tissue thereby tenderizing the meat don’t do their job.
My husband decided to try his hand at butchering his own meat because after some research on cost of the materials that were needed, it was discovered that the cost of the investment could be turned around as quickly as next year when the hogs are butchered. Our butcher has been inundated with orders and wouldn’t be able to accommodate our bull until mid-January. We simply didn’t expect to have him here that long and do not have an adequate supply of hay. To purchase additional hay at this time would be expensive since farmers continually raise prices through the winter. I made it very, very clear that I was not encouraging him to pursue this so that if things went poorly, I couldn’t be to blame. That said, I am so impressed with his willingness to learn a new skill and it is such a comfort to know that we can be provided for by him in such a tangible way. The virile image of my husband standing in the pasture, hands and arms red with blood is burned in my memory.
In reviewing the day, it can be said that the butchering went very well considering that is was his first time. The extent of his expertise is field dressing 3 deer and assisting someone else in the butchering. I have never seen him put so much investigation into a project that we ever done. He even read a book- a couple of times! (Home Butchering and Meat Preservation)