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Old 02-12-2014, 02:06 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
20,999 posts, read 25,765,271 times
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Not the whole procedure, which I also do, but buying huge chunks of meat and repackaging it.

I bought 2 whole boneless pork shoulders @ $1.49 a pound. Total weight 22 1/4 pounds. Those were cut in half and 3 pieces wrapped in butcher paper and frozen. The last half shoulder went into the crock pot with dry black beans and chilies and spices. That made tacos for dinner, then I will make 3 pans of enchiladas, 1 to eat and 2 to freeze, plus a few small tubs in the freezer to use for nachos.

I will be making some home made red chili enchilada sauce for the enchiladas. (This is not cheap. Good dried chilies are high priced, no way around it.)

I bought three whole boneless pork legs (uncured ham) for $1.38 a pound. 47 pounds total. That gets cut into strips. It goes into the freezer for 30 minutes to firm it up, and then it is ground. That is meat for dog food. I made a roasting pan of dog food with yams that I bought for 34 cents a pound in a 40 pound box, pearl barley bought in the 25 pound bag at the bulk food section, and some ground frozen broccoli that was purchased for 79 cents a pound.

The cooked dog food goes into 2 day size containers and into the freezer. There is enough ground pork in the freezer to make 2 more batched of dog food.

The dog food usually contains apples or pears, but I had massive crop failure this year.

I also got a package of very nice bacon ends, and that got divided into smaller packages and put into the freezer.

The local paper had an article predicting that the price of pork will go up sharply because of some viral epidemic that is destroying swine herds. I hope they are wrong.
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:06 AM
 
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We eat a lot of chicken and it's getting very hard to find bone in skin on chicken breasts. I've taken to buying whole chickens. I cut through the back with good kitchen shears on both sides, set that aside for soup. I cut off the wings, add that to the soup pile. Cut in half through the breast, and then find the joint of the thigh/leg and cut through that. Depending on leg size -- I might put the drumsticks in the soup pile.

Since we are two people, I cut the breasts in two -- one breast feeds the 2 of us. The thighs are one meal. So out of one chicken, I get three meals and chicken noodle soup.
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Old 02-13-2014, 04:50 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,850 posts, read 57,874,473 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallysmom View Post
I've taken to buying whole chickens.
I cut through the back with good kitchen shears on both sides...
An attempt to teach this to daughter (about age 12) made her a vegetarian.
I think it may have been the comparative anatomy examples I used...

I miss having a good butcher right in the neighborhood.
J.W. Treuth & Sons, Meat Packers in Baltimore, Maryland
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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Last week I managed to purchase a Whole Sirloin Tip at the local supermarket for $1.99 a pound (on sale and I had a store coupon) and butchered it out myself. I ended up with five 1 1/2 pound sirloin steaks, two 1 pound roasts, and about 2 pounds worth of stew meat. Had I bought those cuts of meat at retail, it would have cost me around $70, but by butchering it myself I only spent ~$25 and about an hour's worth of my time.

Those are the shopping days that I enjoy
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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When I saw the thread title I assumed it meant "Start with a whole cow and ..."
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:30 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
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Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
When I saw the thread title I assumed it meant "Start with a whole cow and ..."
I've never done a whole cow because it has to be aged, but I've started with a live animal and ended up with packages of meat in the freezer with:

Pigs, goats, sheep, rabbits, deer, turkeys, chickens, geese, and ducks.

It costs me a lot more to raise chickens and pigs than it does to buy the meat. My famuily prefers home raised chickens, so I raise them. The pork is better home raised, but not enough difference to make up for how much more it costs to raise them at home.

The ducks and geese are about the same cost-wise and are much better home raised. They are a real pain to butcher, though.

With fish, I insist that whoever catches them has to clean them, and it ain't me.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:06 AM
 
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What makes geese and ducks harder to butcher than chickens? The feathers?

I thought cleaning fish isn't as bad as cleaning and butchering an animal.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:36 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
20,999 posts, read 25,765,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arrieros81 View Post
What makes geese and ducks harder to butcher than chickens? The feathers?

........
It's both the feathers and the small pelvic cavity.

The feathers are water proof and very thick so it takes some extra effort to get the scald water down to the skin. Then the feathers don't come out easily. After the feathers are out, the duck or goose will still be covered in down feathers that are small, plentiful, and difficult to pluck out.

I do the small down feathers with duck wax. Then when it is all done, the duck wax has to be filtered and cleaned for storage. It's too expensive to use once and throw away.

Both the ducks and geese go into rigor almost immediately. With chickens, you have time to get them plucked and cleaned before they go into rigor. Sometimes the ducks are in rigor even before they come out of the plucker, which means that the plucker doesn't do a good job and there are more feathers left to be hand plucked.

Only one goose at a time will fit into the plucker, so they don't tumble as well, thus more feathers left to be hand plucked.

The geese are big and strong enough to break your nose if they hit you in the face with a wing.

With both ducks and geese, it is a tight fit to get your hand into the body cavity to pull the guts out.

There is a place that will butcher poultry for a fee and they will do a chicken for $2, but want $12 to do a duck and they won't butcher geese.
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Old 02-22-2014, 04:56 PM
 
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Wow that's a real labor of love ... The costco near me has frozen halal duck for $3 per pound and it's seriously good.
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Old 02-24-2014, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Striving for Avalon
1,401 posts, read 2,001,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arrieros81 View Post
Wow that's a real labor of love ... The costco near me has frozen halal duck for $3 per pound and it's seriously good.
That's a great price.
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