The closest thing most of us have come to butchering an animal is cutting up a chicken for dinner. Paul Carras of Taylor’s Market aims to change that – at least for those interested in seeing the ins and outs of selecting and cutting up parts of a whole hog or lamb.
Question: What is a “pork rib-eye cap” and why does it sell for $8.99?
Answer: It’s a muscle that peels off from the rib end of the loin and it has lots of flavor. It’s also called “a lifter.” These are the kinds of questions Carras will explain at the Sept. 16 Butchering Demonstration at Taylor’s Kitchen. Carras, Taylor’s meat department manager, will break down half a pork carcass and one entire lamb.
Attendees will learn about the various cuts of pork and lamb and the flavor and texture profile of each one. Suggestions for broiling, grilling, braising, roasting or frying will be offered along with pourings of wine and beer and a charcuterie board and cheese plate.
The demonstration is a fundraiser for Butchers of America, the team to which Carras and Taylor’s owner and head butcher, Danny Johnson belong. Last year, the team competed in the World Butchers’ Challenge in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Next September, Sacramento will host teams from up to 12 countries from Europe, South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand competing at the 2020 World Butcher’s Challenge at Golden One Arena.
Why Taylor’s? “We have a butcher shop, grocery store and restaurant where we can practice and have everything available to do our best cutting, slicing, grinding and cooking,” Carras says
Why the U.S.? According to Carras, “Danny pushed for Sacramento as the first American host city for World Butcher’s Challenge. I was born and raised two blocks from Taylor’s Market and have pride in my hometown andwant to showcase our team’s talents.”
For Carras and his teammates, butchering has a never-ending learning curve. “At these international competitions, it’s very cool to see how other national team make their cuts, display and cook their meat,” he says.
“Sometimes the cuts and methods of cooking are quite different than ours. Most butchers come from butcher shops but some also come from working farms and slaughterhouses. It’s great to learn from butchers in other countries.”
The Sept. 16 Butchering Demonstration begins at 5 p.m. All proceeds will help team members from Iowa and Davis defray transportation costs for monthly practice as a team at Taylor’s.
To register for the butchering demonstration, call Taylor’s Market at 916 443-6881 and ask for Carras or Johnson in the meat department. The cost is $75 per person, with a maximum of 30 participants.