butcher board



A butcher is someone who prepares various meats and other related goods for sale. Many butchers sell their goods in specialized stores, although in the Western world today most meat is sold through supermarkets.


Butchery is a traditional work. Primary butchery consists of selecting carcasses, sides, or quarters from which primary cuts can be produced with the minimum of wastage, separate the primal cuts from the carcasses using the appropriate tools and equipment following company procedures, trim primal cuts and prepare for secondary butchery or sale, and store cut meats hygienically and safely. Secondary butchery involves boning and trimming primal cuts in preparation for sale. A butcher will also manufacture meat products for sausages, pies and stir-fries.


From a professional standpoint it is extremely dangerous not to wear a bellyguard (made of plate, chain mail, or Kevlar in some cases) and a safety glove (made of chain mail or Kevlar). The tools of the trade usually consist of a scabbard, a couple of boning knives and a meat hook. Some butcher positions require they use a food grade band saw or other types of knives.

The top consists of four main parts: 'silverside', eye of silverside 'topside', 'feather', and 'hind shin' also the knuckle and rump. These are more commonly boned out: first the 'shin' is removed, then the aitch bone followed by the 'feather', which is 'seamed out' (achieved by cutting the connective tissue between the muscles of the animal, as there is no actual bone removed during this stage), and then the 'Top bone', 'Ham bone' or 'H-Bone' is boned out, and the 'topside' and 'silverside' are separated using the seaming technique earlier described. The excess fat and cuts that are not used as whole cuts are then removed then minced and spiced to produce sausages and mince the whole cuts are usually 'hung' to age or vacuum-packed to age until the required stage is reached, this often determines the quality of a butchers shop, it is then stored or used.

Dependent on where the hindquarter was split the Rump is either left attached to the sirloin or the top. It is taken off to leave a 'Rump' of beef, this has a large flat bone on the inner side of the animal. Cornish butchers will often slap the rump with the back of a knife to break up the fat. This is known as "Slap Rump". This is then followed closely down and thus removed separating the meat from the bone.

The 'sirloin' also consists of two main parts: the 'sirloin' and 'fillet'. These are boned out from the 'striploin', which is in effect the lower back of the animal. the resulting cuts are then trimmed, and cut into steaks. They can also be served 'bone-in' for roasts and T-bone steaks.

In Judaism

Under Jewish Law, for meat to be considered kosher, the animal must be slaughtered and butchered in a way that the animal feels no pain and the meat has been drained of all blood before it may be eaten by religious Jews. This has caused some debate over steak tartare

Sausage making

Sausage making was first conceived as a use for leftovers of meat. Originally, the meat was minced, salt was added, and the resulting mixture was filled into intestines. Queen Victoria had her butcher roughly chop the meat so the sausages had more texture. Today, sausages are made with different types of meats, fat, sausage casings, packaged seasonings, fresh herbs and spices, rusks or breadcrumbs, water or ice.

Metaphorical use

In various periods and cultures, the term "butcher" was applied to people who acted cruelly to other human beings or slaughtered them. For example, Pompey - a prominent Roman general and politician of the First Century B.C. - got the Latin nickname adulescentulus carnifex, translated as "The Teenage Butcher" or "The Butcher Boy", due to brutal treament of political opponents in the early part of his career.

Chapter 25 of the Biblical Book of Kings describes various atrocities committed in Jerusalem after its conquest by the Babylonians, under direction of a high Babylonian official named Nebuzaradan. His title is given as "Rav Tabahim" (רב טבחים) which literally translates as "Master Butcher" or "Master Cook," but is sometimes translated (from the actual acts attributed to him) as "Chief Executioner" (see ). In modern Hebrew, the term is reserved for the perpetrators of particularly horrendous massacres.

The term "butcher" has also been applied to Italian football defenders like Marco Materazzi, Claudio Gentile and many others because of their rough tackles, man marking and elbow punching their opponents.

In addition, to butcher something can mean to treat it in a harsh, crude and degrading manner. Typically the thing being butchered is something of value to the speaker, and there is usually an understanding that both the speaker and their audience are of a higher social standing, skill or knowledge than the "butcher". For example, an aristocrat might consider a working class person to butcher language by ignoring traditional grammar, or a Classical music fan might consider a poorly-trained soprano to butcher an Aria through lack of vocal skill and control.

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