Seam butchery is a traditional European technique used to butcher animals. The idea behind seam butchery is to preserve individual muscles or muscle groups rather than just chopping up the animal. Additionally, this technique wastes very little of the animal, as meat is removed right up to the bone. This type of butchering makes sense because different muscles ideally cook at different temperatures. Cutting up muscle groups that cook similarly enables a chef to cook the piece of meat to perfection rather than over cooking some parts and under cooking others.
To get a better understanding of how Crosswinds Grille incorporates seam butchery to their menu I went straight to the chef Nate Fagnilli.
How often do you butcher an animal?
Nate: I butcher a half pig every 2 weeks and a side of beef every 4-6 weeks.
How did you learn seam butchering?
Nate: Practice, patience, trial and error, practice, reading, reading, and more practice and reading.
How long does it take to breakdown the animal?
Nate: It takes quite a while but that’s because of self learning and constant interruptions.
Why is Seam Butchering important?
Nate: Seam butchery is important because it allows for a better eating experience and carcass utilization. Separating each muscle group allows for removal of silver skin or fascia which is what most consumers refer to as gristle. Traditional american butchery (which I believe is referred to as anglo-american) uses a band saw to cut across multiple muscle groups. This produces a cut with multiple muscle groups in 1 cut with each muscle separated by fascia. A steak full of gristle. The purpose of a band saw is for speed and efficiency, seam butchery is not new, but rather old and is the technique used in France.
You can enjoy this unique experience of seam butchering on “Butcher’s Cut Thursdays” at Crosswinds Grille at the Lakehouse Inn. Experience house butchered, delicious and unique cuts every Thursday from 5pm to 9pm.