You can catch up on the “Bull Saga” by reading Part 1 and Part 2.

After about 11 days of aging in the owner’s garage, the owners were quite good at regulating temperatures using tarps, snow, and space heaters around the clock.  They were also very ready to get the job over with and reclaim the garage for the vehicles!  So, S and the owner made plans to finish up the butchering one evening.  The owner brought his knives over, and S spent several hours sharpening all the knives available.  Then, they set up a make-shift butcher shop in the garage/aging cooler.  In the mean time, the owner’s wife purchased some butcher paper and freezer tape, gathered buckets and miscellaneous supplies, and I spent some time copying pages of beef carcass cut pictures and explanations (out of a homesteading book), which the guys laid out where they could easily reference them.  Once everything was ready, the men set to work. 

Much to my utter dismay, since I was home with the kiddos, it never once crossed my mind to go take photos!!  I can’t believe it!  My husbands first whole-beef butcher, and I didn’t take a single photo!  *Kicking myself here*

Thankfully, the owner took a break at one point and got a few photos of S at work.  He e-mailed them to me, so I at least have some type of proof…

Apparently, they had a great system.  They followed the guides I had printed to cut the halves into large sections.  Then, if a chunk of meat was ugly or they couldn’t remember what part of the carcass it came from, it was designated as “hamburger.”  If it was an area damaged by the bullet or something, then it was tossed into a “Dog Food” bucket for Athena.  Otherwise, I think the quote of the night came from the neighbor who observed S slice up a portion of the carcass to create some steaks.  The owner exclaimed, “WOW!  Those look like STEAKS!!” 

I know S had a great time.  Though it was hard work, it was very educational for him, and I think he takes quite a bit of satisfaction in knowing he has now done something that, very possibly, MANY multi-generation cattle ranchers have never attempted.  The neighbors blessed us in turn with some excess milk and some of the beef cuts, in addition to a couple weeks’ worth of food and bones for Athena.  It was a welcome and enjoyable surprise.  But, I think my greatest joy comes from the fact that, now that S knows he can do a beef, he is more open to the idea of us having a milk cow and raising an annual beef when we get to Red Gate.  YIPPEE!!

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