Why Fabricate Your Own Proteins?
Home cooking often breaks down to cooking what is the easiest, and or most convenient. I believe this to be true due to the frantic nature of the lives of many people in America and around the world. With little time to cook, well, the convenience is uncanny, with little work to do why not just buy the meats you need precut to the pieces you want. You can get just about anything post fabricated and packaged in a ready to go container. But why can’t we do our cooking just a little better at home? I don’t see any major reason as to why most people can’t or should not. Going that extra mile in cooking is that first step into understanding how to add depth to the flavors you are cooking with.
I personally always fabricate my proteins. Unless I’m preparing a lot of food for a large family gathering or party. But like I said, I prefer to buy whole cuts. Whether they be chickens, tenderloins, or something greater. The main reason for me is that often the price per lb on a whole cut of mean often beats out the price per pound on prefabricated meats. Not only that, but you will end up with more product that can be cooked in other ways. All of which I will find uses for. This is a big reason commercial kitchens may choose to purchase a whole hog and sell a special using the tenderloin and bellies for one thing. Another dish includes the shanks, and so on. Proper utilization means dollars in the eyes of chefs. But It also means something greater, respect for what you are cooking. Leaving little to no waste of the life we have taken.
To learn to properly cook these cuts, you can follow many of my recipes within the recipes page. Search for protein-specific food items, or the type of cut should return you with some delicious recipes you can make at home!.
Another aspect of food that I get when I perform my own meat fabrications is a layer of respect for the food. I hope you too get this when you take on this guide. We as Humans are often too keen towards using comfortable and easier options in life. When we do this with our food we just don’t get as good of a product as possible. In my opinion, that’s not fair to the life we are taking just to consume it. I take my chickens and do my best for each and everyone I’ve cut. Same goes for pork, beef, lamb, fish, etc. No matter if I’m at work or at home. I respect the animal for the life it was, and for the people it will feed. I hope that by using this guide you too are able to gain this respect for the food you make!
How To Use This Guide
To learn to fabricate your own meats, via this guide or any one of our other guides here, you need to find a starting point. Read over these guides in their entirety beforehand. Get your station set up and walk through each step again. Then, as you do the work follow carefully along with the photos. Doing all of this should help to ensure you do your best job possible!
The tools you need: Chefs Knife, Cutting board, Small bowl for scraps
Before you begin to set up, I first suggest that you don’t be scared. Be comfortable with your knife, your work station, the people in your surroundings, and understand what you are about to do. Afterall it is only a piece of meat. If you mess it up, well it’s not the end of the world. That being said, make sure to respect the meat. You are taking this extra step in preparing your foods. Don’t butcher the thing to pieces, instead make small educated cuts that when put together, form a beautiful meal for yourself and the family and friends you’re sharing it with.
To begin the pork loin gather your materials and have them at the ready. The loins I purchased were packaged as two loins in one. So I suggest having a tray of ice with a tray sitting on top. Place one in the ice to keep it at a safer temperature, or leave it in your fridge. Either way, you choose, you will stay safe as you work on the first one.
With a single loin on your cutting board begin to work. The goal when cleaning up a pork loin is to remove the white layer of fat, skin, and gristle so that you’re left with a beautiful and clean piece of pork ready to be cooked.
My loins also had these little knuckles at the ends, I removed them as they were not going to be apart of the food I was cooking. You can check out how I used these loins in my recipe for a Bacon-wrapped Tenderloin, and the basic mustard rubbed tenderloin.
The second step is to cut into the loin with your knife at a very low angle. To save the integrity of the loin, we only want to carve away the very outer layers. When done properly, you leave all the meat onto the loin. Max utilization is only possible if you do this properly.
With your knife at a low angle almost equal to the horizontal angle of the loin you can make a small slice to cut with the silver skin. This should give you a grip, which you can hold onto with your other hand as you slide your knife down the length of the loin. Releasing the skin from the loin.
As you can see, I have lifted the skin upwards on the pork tenderloin, and slowly but cleanly slide my knife under it to remove the ‘flap’.
The reason we need to remove this skin is because of how tough it will be. The silverskin is what holds the muscles in place within the animal. Unlike the muscle tissue we eat in our meals, it is quite tough and doesn’t render away as fat would. Removing this is the best solution to achieve the best roast we can get!
The technique mentioned in step 2, where you make a lip, grasp the lip, and cut underneath it is what I used to clean the rest of the loin.
Using this technique, move around the loin removing any excess silverskin.
Here, I began working on the smaller strands of silverskin.
After working for about 8 minutes more on my loin, cleaning off the silverskin, and gristle that I did not want in my cooks mentioned above. I am left with this loin below. The finished product.
Please note, the white looking bits at the end are the reflection of light outside. There is no silverskin left on. I’ve trimmed a majority of the fat off too. However, some fat is not bad. Its more or less bacon, so the fat will render in the cooking process and add to the flavor of the dish. But I make sure to not overdo it with the excess fat.