Be a French Butcher

Posted on Mar 3, 2022

There are many ways to cook a cow1.

You could cook the thing whole, but some parts would be done way before others, and your customers would be waiting a long time before they can take a single bite.

You could slice the whole thing across in great big slices. Although it would now be quicker to cook, and would make one hell of a steak, you would still end up with some parts overdone while other parts are inedibly raw.

French butchers distinguish between 26 different cuts of beef2. They know that certain parts of the cow lend themselves to different ways, styles and durations of cooking. They follow the seams of the muscles to guide them.

When you are working with your team to slice up a project, encourage them to be like the French butcher. Follow the seams of the project - what goes together? What will take a similar amount of time to get done? What is the fillet mignon we can serve up to the customer first, while the poitrine de boeuf is still cooking?

  1. As you may have guessed it, this post won’t be particularly vegan friendly. It should be said, while were are here, I definitely condone eating considerably less meat than we currently do as a species, particularly red meat. ↩︎

  2. Or at least, so says Larousse Gastronomique, and who would want to argue with that? ↩︎