Butchery class review: Lamb class at Turner and George, London
What’s it like
Turner & George runs 90-minute classes in lamb, beef and pork butchery on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the butcher’s shop after it’s closed. There were only three of us in the class and I felt more like an apprentice (although quite an old one) than a student.
What I learned
Andre Pereira, our tutor, introduced himself and handed out the tools: an apron, boning knife, butcher’s steel and chainmail glove for my left hand. All very Game of Thrones. We each hoisted a lamb carcass – hefty, 17kg saltmarsh lambs from Southminster, Essex – onto our shoulders to get a feel for the physicality of the job. Then Andre showed us how to use a butcher’s steel to prep our knives.
Andre jointed half a lamb while we looked on: neck, breast, shoulder, rack and chops, saddle, chump, leg, shank and more. Along the way he answered our questions and talked about the best ways of cooking lamb.
Then it was our turn. We each had a hindquarter and, following Andre’s lead, set about jointing our carcasses. First I cut through the backbone using a hacksaw and listened to the different sounds of cutting through meat, gristle and bone. Next I boned out the loin, then rolled and tied it (with a butcher’s knot). I learnt to be patient and to use my fingers to feel where to cut, using long slow strokes.
It was fun; you rarely get the chance to practise on a large cut like this. Butchery isn’t easy but if I needed help Andre was there. The course isn’t cheap, but you get to take home nearly half a lamb, as well as T&G extras (chipotle mayo, meat rub, beef dripping). I don’t need to say it, but the lamb was superb.