Butchery

How To Butcher And Portion Sides Of Halibut | Video Technique




This video is the start of Halibut week here on Stella Culinary. First, the video above will teach you how to take a large side of halibut and break it down into individual portions. Then on Wednesday, I'll be releasing a video on how to properly pan roast a piece of fish just like we do at Stella. The fish that I demonstrate this technique with will be a halibut fillet.

Finally on Friday, the much anticipated launch of our recipe video series "The Completed Dish," is kicked off with our top selling entrée, and the number one recipe requested by our guests; "pan roasted halibut, marinated tomato-panzanella salad and lemon caper beurre blanc."

Alaskan Halibut season usually starts sometime in early spring and will end mid fall. Right now is prime halibut season which has led us to use it not only as a signature entrée but also as one our favorite new apps; "halibut ceviche chalupa with fresh lime and cilantro." Photos to follow.

For more information on halibut, check out this great little article by Fish Ex.

More Information:
This post is part of our ongoing Culinary Knife Skills Video Series, which teaches you a wide array of knife skills used in professional kitchens. For more information, you can also view our How To Cook Video Index.

How To Butcher An Ahi Loin For Sashimi And Steaks



High grade ahi tuna is great for both sashimi and searing rare. Because of its delicate flavor and texture, good ahi should always be served raw, or at the very least, seared very quickly over high heat and served rare. This video will teach you how to butcher an ahi loin into "soku block" used for sushi, or steaks, which you can use for searing.

For a fun ahi recipe you can try your hand at making Stella's ahi sashimi, pickled cucumber, cantaloupe caviar and dehydrated sesame oil, our top selling appetizer for Summer 2011.

 

This post is part of our ongoing Culinary Knife Skills Video Series, which teaches you a wide array of knife skills used in professional kitchens. For more information, you can also view our How To Cook Video Index.

How To Butcher A Pork Rack | Video



This video will teach you how to butcher a pork rack and fabricate into chops.

This post is part of our ongoing Culinary Knife Skills Video Series, which teaches you a wide array of knife skills used in professional kitchens. For more information, you can also view our How To Cook Video Index.

How To Butcher Duck | Step By Step Video

 

Learn how to break down a whole duck from start to finish. This technique is very similar to breaking down a whole chicken, which was demonstrated in CKS 27| Butchering A Whole Chicken.

For a more detailed video on how to fabricate an airline breast (as mentioned in this video), watch CKS 28| Airline Chicken Breast.
 

Further Information
 

This post is part of our ongoing Culinary Knife Skills Video Series, which teaches you a wide array of knife skills used in professional kitchens. For more information, you can also view our How To Cook Video Index.

How To Fabricate An Airline Chicken Breast | Video Technique

 

This video will teach you how to fabricate an airline chicken breast.
 

This post is part of our ongoing Culinary Knife Skills Video Series, which teaches you a wide array of knife skills used in professional kitchens. For more information, you can also view our How To Cook Video Index.

How To Butcher A Chicken | Video Technique

This video will teach you how to butcher a whole chicken into a six part and eight part breakdown.
 

This post is part of our ongoing Culinary Knife Skills Video Series, which teaches you a wide array of knife skills used in professional kitchens. For more information, you can also view our How To Cook Video Index.

How To Butcher A Beef Tenderloin | Video Technique



In this video, you'll learn how to quickly and efficiently break down a beef tenderloin, resulting in the fabrication of beef filets. These filets are commonly referred to as "Filet Mignon," but technically speaking, the "Mingnon" only comes from the bottom tail portion and is normally cut 1-2" thick. When fabricating larger steaks, "filet of beef" is the more appropriate term. For more information about the beef tenderloin itself, please see below.


Beef Tenderloin: The Sirloin's Lazy Cousin

Located in the back quadrant of the animal just below the sirloin and above the top sirloin, the tenderloin itself is extremely tender because the muscle has a very minimal work load.

To put this into perspective, let's talk real quick about the major muscles that support our tasty, four-legged friends: the shoulders, arms and legs. Fabricated cuts taken from these regions (chuck, brisket, shank & round), contain much more connective tissue and myoglobin.

Extra connective tissue, which is mainly collagen, requires a long, slow cooking process such as braising or slow roasting. This "low and slow" technique will "unravel" the collagen's triple helix, resulting in three separate gelatin strands. Since the collagen has dissolved, it's no longer holding the muscle fibers together, resulting in a texture commonly referred to as "falling off the bone tender."

Conversely, the rib, shortloin and tenderloin do less work, making them more tender cuts of meat with very little connective tissue. This allows for fast and hot cooking methods like searing, pan roasting or grilling. These cuts are generally best served with an internal temp of mid-rare or below (135ºF/57ºC).

However, because these muscles are "lazy", they also contain less myoglobin. Myoglobin is responsible for temporarily storing oxygen delivered by hemoglobin and distributing that oxygen to fat oxidizing proteins like cytochromes. This is important because myoglobin also contains lots of flavor.

In general, the more a muscle is used, the tougher and more flavorful it becomes. The opposite is also true, especially for the laziest muscle in the animal's body, the tenderloin. While it's extremely tender, it contains less myoglobin and therefore less flavor. The reason why people enjoy filet so much is because they equate tenderness with flavor, when really they are two different things.

This is why it doesn't make sense to eat filet of beef at a temperature above medium (135º-145ºF/60ºC). At 140ºF/60ºC, muscle fibers start to tighten and extrude their juices, making them tough and chewy. I know that there are some people out there that absolutely insist on eating their steaks above medium, and my heart goes out to you, it really does. But if you're one of those people who must have a mid-well steak, buy a flat iron or skirt steak and cook the hell out of it. It's at least half the price of a tenderloin, and once you cook a filet of beef above medium, it may as well be a skirt steak anyways.

Bottom line, people eat filet for its texture, and for a chef, it's a blank canvas on which you can paint many different flavors. For me, I prefer to pan roast my filet to mid-rare. While I'm letting it rest, I use the left-over juices and fat to make a pan reduction sauce. Finish with some fleur de sel, fresh cracked black pepper and a side of your choice.

Do you enjoy eating filet of beef? How do you like it prepared and served? Let me know in the comment section below.

This post is part of our ongoing Culinary Knife Skills Video Series, which teaches you a wide array of knife skills used in professional kitchens. For more information, you can also view our How To Cook Video Index.
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