Anyone who is dead serious in getting into the meat business must learn the proper way of butchering.
Despite the presence of big-time meat shops in the Philippine key cities, the meat industry and its operations are still in the process of breaking away from its infant stage. Spices and Food Mix House (SFMH) Vice President and the renowned meat processing guru Lourdes S. Rivera agrees that unlike other well-developed countries in Asia and Europe, the meat industry in the country is still characterized by supply insufficiency, lenient implementation of regulations, unrestrained use of spices and ingredients and the very often mishandling of carcasses.
However, the National Meat Inspection Commission (NMCI), which looks after the meat industry and its operations, after replacing the Veterinary Inspection Board in 1972 — supervising and organizing slaughterhouses, meat establishments and meat inspection systems that operate across the country — has been responsible chiefly for bringing the yardstick of the meat shop operation standards to a cutting edge level.
Like other lines of businesses, there are opportunities in operating your own meat shop; Filipinos, after all, are meat lovers. But success in meat shop operation is rare and fleeting, unless undertaken seriously. There have been a great deal of hopefuls, but some owners, as Rivera had witnessed herself, easily feel trapped and unable to detach from the business when their shops don’t take triumphant flight.
“It’s not as simple as others think and should not be taken lightly,” said Rivera, “The meat shop business is a labor and capital intensive investment.”
A specialty store as such that fabricates meat cuts from wholesome carcasses of pigs and cows, sells meat chilled or frozen and meet as close as possible certain standards set and prescribed by existing meat institutions it needs solid foundation of at least P500,000 to take wing. This consists of at least P200,000 worth of equipment like polysealers, meat thermometers, weighing scales, slices, grinders and the like; at least P50,000 for the monthly manpower wages and other fees like shop rental and supplies.
For Best Cutting Results
Meat quality is essential in keeping one’s meat shop in business. SFMH Dr. Gracia Flores said, “Consumers must and will check the color, texture, water loss, surface and marbling of what you will sell, so it’s most important to confirm the bacteria load, pesticide residues, fat content and other pathogenic germs carcasses may have when delivered.”
Exhausted, maltreated, thirsty and warm pre-slaughtered conditions of animals will cause what experts call PSE (pale, soft and exudative). This may be due to a severe drop in the carcass’ moisture, too high muscle temperature and the breakdown of muscle sugar glycogen (sugar) to lactic acid. On the other hand, if the moisture is too high and the muscle is tough, this may be what’s referred to as DFD (dark, firm and dry), which may be helpful for meat processing but is not when they’re for sale as fresh beef and pork cuts.
For best cutting results, carcasses must be chilled overnight. In large scale operations, 24 to 36 hours is most recommendable. This allows the carcasses to cool down and slow down rigor mortis, which hardens the muscles of the bodies. Meat changes pH due to the production of lactic acid from sugars present in the muscle.
In what experts term as ‘packer style’, a pork carcass is without the pig’s head. All internal fat will be removed, including the diaphragm, if desired, but the jowl remains intact with the carcass.
- Kasim at Paypay (Shoulder) - Between the 2nd and 3rd ribs perpendicular to the top line of the body. Neck bones are removed by a cut close to the bone. Fat is trimmed 1 to 2 centimeters from the top line to the Boston butt. Kasim is the lower half of the shoulder while Paypay is the upper.
- Loin (Lomo) – Separated from the belly about 1 centimeter ventral to the blade bone. Backfat is trimmed 1 to 2 centimeters thick and tenderloin muscle must be in tact.
- Liempo (Belly) – Lower side after the removal of the shoulder, ham and loin. Trimmed on all sides to exclude mammary glands.
- Pigue (Hind leg or ham) – Separated from the side by a straight cut parallel to the shank bones and 5 to 10 centimeters in front of the aitch bone knob. Fat is trimmed 1 to 2 centimeters thick.
- Buto sa Leeg (Neckbone) - Removed from the shoulders by slipping the knife under and close to the bones.
- Tadyang (Spare Ribs) – Separated from the belly by slipping the knife under and close to the bones.
- Pata Unahan (Front foot) – Separated from the shoulder on or about the knee joint.
- Pata hulihan (Hind foot) – Separated from the ham on or about the hock joint.
- Buntot (Tail) – Separated from the ham at a point close to the sacral bone.
- Pinagtabasan (Trimmings) – Lean trimmings are pieces and portions without the fat and the skin, while fat trimmings are the fat and the skin from the clear plate, backfat, jowl, ham and belly.
- Fillets – Prepared from hams, shoulders, picnics, boston butts and loins. All bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and membranous tissues are removed.
- Boston Butt Steaks – Unless specified by the purchaser, fat must not exceed an average of 1 V4 thickness.
- Chops – May be with pockets, bladeless, centercut or boneless. Prepared from the loin and the diaphragm. Loin must be cut from end to end. Surface fat must not exceed V4 inch in thickness and chop thickness must be more than 1 centimeter.
- Ground pork – Prepared from the kasim and the paypay. Visual fat should not exceed 25%. Passed through two grinders: one with 2 centimeter holes and one with 0.5 centimeter.
- Ground Pork patties – Mechanically formed into round patties and arranged in stacks with each patty separated from adjacent ones.
A single carcass consists of four quarters, which are produced by cutting between the 12lh and 13th ribs, separating the forequarters from the hindquarters.
Forequarter Primal Cuts:
- Beef Chuck (Paypay) – Fist cut across the forequarter between the 5th and 6th ribs and the sternum continuing in a straight line to the 5th rib perpendicular to the 1st described cut.
- Beef Rib (Kadera) – Portion after the removal of beef chuck. Separated from the short ribs 25 centimeters from the center of the inside. Portion of the diaphragm and all the fat remaining in the ventral surface of the vertebrae are removed.
Forequarter Other Cuts:
- Foreshank (Kinche sa Unahan) – Separated from the brisket on or about the shank knuckle bones.
- Punta y Pecho (Brisket) – Portion remaining after chuck and foreshank are removed.
- Tadyang – Separated from the rib and consists of mostly ribs.
Hindquarter Primal Cuts:
- Beef Round (Piena Corta y Lagra) – Portion after the removal of the untrimmed loin. Cut is made parallel to the outer skin surface beginning at the juncture of the last sacral vertebrae and the first caudal vertebrae.
- Beef Loin (Lomo) – Short loin is separated from the loin and sirloin by a straight cut perpendicular to split surface by a lumbar vertebrae through a point immediately anterior to the hip bone. The sirloin is separated from the short loin, while the full tenderloin is the soindle-shaped muscle removed from the full-loin intact.
Hindquarter Other Cuts:
- Kinche sa Hulihan – Separated from the round on or about the style joint.
- Rump (Tapadera) – Separated from the round by a straight cut perpendicular to the outer skin surface immediately posterior to and parallel with the long axis of the exposed surface of the aitch bone in the round.
- Flank (Kampto) – Separated from the skin by cutting through to a point in the rib.
Hindquarter Portion Cuts:
- Cubed Steaks – Produced from any boneless meat which is reasonably free from membranous tissue, tendons and ligaments.
- Rib eye roll steaks and bone-in or boneless steaks are examples of this. Fat must exceed an average of 1 1/4 centimeters.
- Porterhouse steaks are prepared from short loins where steaks are removed at a point not more than 10 cm from the cutter tip to the loin eye muscle.
- T-Bone steaks are prepared from the short loin where the flank edge is removed not more than 7.5 centimeters from the center tip of the loin eye muscle.
- Strip loin steaks, on the other hand, are prepared from short loin where the short tenderloin is removed.
- Top sirloin butt steaks can be boneless, semi-center or center cut, while tenderloin steaks are prepared from full tenderloins, with surface fat trimmed to an average of 6 centimeters.
- Ground Beef Patties – Mechanically prepared from ground beef.
See also The Meat Processing Business
author: Hans Audric B. Estialbo, Mard Digest, photos from lisburncity.gov.uk, scooterscookbook.com