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Farmstead Meatsmith Shares the Beauty of Butchery

February 13, 2012
This husband-wife duo brings back a traditional approach to slaughter and butchery in a charming way. (Photo by: Farmstead Meatsmith)

Farmstead Meatsmith makes me want to cut and cook some meat.

Comprised of husband and wife team Brandon and Lauren Sheard, Farmstead Meatsmith in Washington state is a butchery and charcuterie service for small farms and homesteads in the Puget Sound region that brings back a traditional—if not antiquated—approach to slaughter and butchery. The company educates farmers in slaughtering, butchering and prepping animals for full culinary use, but it doesn’t stop there; it also creates beautifully charming videos (watch below) that educate consumers with the goal of restoring traditional knowledge of meat harvesting and cookery.

“Short of apprenticing with a master, good butchery instruction is in film; two-dimensional sketches just don’t cut it,” explains Brandon Sheard in describing how the instructional videos with came about.

He believes antique tools of butchery combined with skilled use results in a far superior product than what comes from electric meat saws and assembly-line meat cutting. “I love to witness how basic use of the cleaver, instead of the saw, results in a tastier pork chop on the table,” he says. “It does proper justice to the sacrifice of the animal, it is less wasteful and reflects better stewardship of the living and life-supporting resource.”

Sheard says his favorite cut of meat changes frequently, and is “usually determined by whatever arcane, medieval recipe I happened to have stumbled on for the week.” Right now, he says, it’s the feet. “Pig feet are naturally sweet and sticky, like teriyaki. Plus nothing compares to the way they look on a dish next to potatoes and greens and good bread.”

On The Anatomy Of Thrift: Side Butchery from farmrun on Vimeo.

Farmstead Meatsmith offers classes on Vashon Island, and farms can apply to host classes as well.

Image courtesy of Farmstead Meatsmith.

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