Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Complete Book of Butchering

I was planning to give you a thorough review of this book. The trouble is that I'm having a hard time getting it away from my husband, Tim, our resident butcher. I have been able to sneak a few peeks at the book, albeit mostly over Tim's shoulder.

Look closely at the rather long title. This book is about much more than butchering. It is also about smoking, curing, and sausage making. Butchering includes your common farm animals from cows to chickens. Wild game is also covered from Elk to fish. 

Each butchering chapter takes you step by step through the process. The pictures are detailed, but not for the weak stomached. Of course, if you have a weak stomach, you may want to reconsider the idea of butchering your own meat.

In addition to how to cut up your meat, the book provides detailed information about preserving it, using a variety of methods. I noticed Tim spent a lot of time looking at the diagrams and information about building a smoke house. He has been talking about building a smoke house for at least a year. Perhaps there is a smoke house in our near future?

One part of the book Tim was eager to point out to me was the recipes. After the butchering of each type of animal is discussed, numerous recipes are shared. Tonight we will be having roast leg of lamb, using one of the variations suggested in the book. It involves mint and grape jelly, and my mouth is already watering. 

From what I could gather from over my husband's shoulder, this book looks to live up to its title. It would be extremely helpful to those just learning the process, and obviously it is also interesting to those, like Tim, who have processed a few animals over the years. 


  1. I'll get on that smoke house. It won't take long.

  2. We butchered (aka "sent back to the Easter Bunny") our roosters a few months back...and did in our own turkey for Thanksgiving last year...I could have used a book on how to do this! Instead I just relied on my CountrySister and her husband for advice over the phone.

  3. Hi Stephanie, I was just updating some of my older recipe posts and realized I linked to your original make it from scratch carnival. I went to visit you there and see you have closed your carnival. I hopped over here to see you and am now following your blog. I do hope all is well with you and I hope you will come and visit me at a moderate life and maybe link up one of your lovely home made recipes on our hearth and soul hop on tuesdays. All the best, Alex@amoderatelife