ladebrouillard.com

Out With the Old, In With the New.

For almost a year, www.ladebrouillard.com served as Camas Davis’ meat blog and the Portland Meat Collective’s temporary website.  Camas Davis has finally launched the PMC’s website, and thus most if not all activity has ceased on this website. We will leave this website up in the name of archiving. However, for the Portland Meat Collective’s up-to-date news, musings, class schedules, and more, go to pdxmeat.com.

A barn. Two Live Pigs. Ten Students. Crusty Bread.

Not all that long ago, in some not-so-far-away land, communities and families used to gather in barns each winter and collectively harvest the few pigs or goats or steers they’d been raising all year. They’d work ceremoniously, together, in both seriousness and celebration, sipping small glasses of bracing, homemade liqueur to keep them going. Killing, then bleeding, and cleaning their animals. Cutting and salting and canning and preparing the resulting meat so that it would last them through the year. In the midst of all this, someone would inevitably set out warm plates of much-needed sustenance for the day: salty slices of cured ham, creamy vegetable gratins, maybe a platter of buttery pasta, some crusty bread, pungent, crumbly cheese. And everyone involved, whether they held the knife, or the gun, or the bottle of wine, knew they were part of an important, respectful cycle, one that would feed many people through several seasons.

However, we need not wax too nostalgic. Today is today. There are still barns standing. I know of quite a few small families and communities and farms raising animals to sustain themselves throughout the year. There are plenty of knives and bottles of wine and crusty loaves of bread to be wielded too. And, it’s our guess, that there is a good number of people who want to be a part of such an experience. Thus, THE PMC’s FIRST-EVER COMMUNAL PIG SLAUGHTER ON MARCH 18.

If learning how to butcher your own pig, make your own sausage, and hang your own prosciutto isn’t quite enough, if you want to take on yet another part of the process of getting meat to your table, or maybe you just want to understand better how meat gets to your table, this event is for you. A collaboration between Bubba and Sarah King, two of a growing number of new, ambitious, young farmers in Oregon, the PMC, and Levi Cole, a regular PMC instructor, this class will help participants find out how to raise their own pig, slaughter it, and prep it for the butcher’s table. Bubba and Sarah have spent the last 10 months raising a couple of pigs in Newberg, Oregon. One went to Seattle recently to take part in Cochon 555. But there are two left. They’ve been feasting on food scraps from the Allison Hotel, on green veggies, on bread from the Pearl Bakery, and lots of hazelnuts. And now they are ready to be eaten. Levi will lead Bubba and Sarah along with a small group of students in the process of slaughtering and then prepping these animals for the butcher’s table. As it should be, there will be plenty of food and drink to sustain the group throughout the day’s work and celebration. SEE BELOW FOR CLASS INFORMATION.

On an equally important and related note: Please take a moment to check out an exciting event coming up in Salem next Tuesday, March 15: Family Farmer and Rancher Day! I’ll be there and I hope many of you will be too.

Last, but not least, we’ve still got a few spots open in just about all our March/April classes, so sign up now!

Home Pig Slaughter

March 18, 2011

Time: Noon until we’re done

Place: Newberg, Oregon

Cost: $65

Class Size: Limited to 10

Registration: info@pdxmeat.com

March/April 2011 Schedule

0083-880x5860181-880x5860093-880x5860152-880x5860103-880x5860192-880x586Three words. Basic Beef Butchery. Followed by five words: Bob Dickson is the man. The PMC finally held its first beef class last Saturday. 12 students. 5 volunteers. One hindquarter. One forequarter. 300 pounds of meat and bone. It had been so long since I’d seen anything resembling a beef carcass (so used to lamb and pig and rabbits am I these days) that it’s largesse made me feel a little bit like a dwarf attempting to take on Moby Dick with a less-than-perfunctory letter opener. Not that I did much cutting. We let Bob Dickson, of Dayton Natural Meats and Pacific Foods, a man with way more decades of experience than any of us in the room that day, do just about all the talking and cutting. It’s hard enough trying to wrap the mind around deboning a pork leg for the first time, so the student’s eyes were that much bigger when they watched Bob pull out the dinosaur bone that made up one of the steer’s back walking sticks. There was so much meat to contend with, so many muscle groups to keep track of, and yet the students (and the volunteers) stuck in there, asking questions, rather gracefully slicing rib-eyes, and sawing marrow bones so that everyone would have at least one or two to take home. It was an important day for the PMC, proving that beef didn’t have to be the intimidating beast it is believed to be. With a graceful teacher like Bob and open, curious students like the ones we had on Saturday, we discovered that carving up a steer is graspable at the very least, and very doable–with a little practice and good guidance–at best. Keep your eye out for more beef classes–focusing on whole carcass as well as smaller primals–come April.

After successfully introducing our first beef class, our first rabbit class, and our first ladies-only butchery class in January and February, we’ve got more new classes to offer in March and April, as well as several trusty classics. Lamb cookery with Park Kitchen’s David Padberg anyone? Ready to try your hand at terrines and pâtés? Learn the secrets of emulsification with Grain & Gristle’s Ben Meyer–who, on an entirely unrelated note, just recently served me the best pickled duck tongue I’ve ever had.

Adam Sappington will return in April to share his pig butchery skills, Gabriel Claycamp is back for more charcuterie antics, and, I’m very excited to announce that my French mentors, Dominique Chapolard and Kate Hill are traveling to Portland all the way from France to teach another French Seam Butchery class in Portland. I haven’t even announced the latter yet, and people are already wanting to sign up!

This March/April schedule is only partially complete. I’m in the process of confirming dates for another beef class, as well as some more slaughter classes: not only chickens and rabbits, but a potential pig slaughter class with two of the PMC’s trusted volunteers: Sarah and Bubba King, who lovingly raised a couple of Red Wattles that are getting just a little too big for their britches. I’ll announce the rest of the classes as soon as we’ve settled on dates. Let’s get to it, then!

NOTE: Thanks to Lisa Teso for these photos.  You can check out more of her photos of our classes at her website!

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March 12, 2011

Basic Pig Butchery for Home Charcuterie

Time: 1-5pm

Location: TBA

Previous owner of both Swinery Meats and the renegade Culinary Communion cooking school in Seattle, and the current proprietor of Alchemy in the Kitchen, Gabriel Claycamp is dedicated to the practice of whole animal butchery and charcuterie. Not to mention he makes a mean prosciutto, among other fleshy delicacies. When we first met him last spring, and told him about our classes, explaining that we provided both a restaurant and a retail perspective when it came to butchery, Gabriel reminded us that there was a third way to butcher a pig: the charcuterie method. We were exhilarated when he agreed to teach a class incorporating that method in August. The class sold out in just a few days. For those of you who are interested in making your own pancetta, coppa, salami or prosciutto, this is the class for you. Gabriel will teach you how to cut up a pig so that you can utilize all the muscle groups to produce just about any cured pork specialty you can imagine. Students will go home with their share of meat and lots of salting and brining recipes to help them along their way.

Cost: $225

Class Size: Limited to 12 people

Registration: info@pdxmeat.com

________________________________________________________________

March 16, 2011

French Seam Butchery

Time: 4-8pm

Location: TBA

On a small farm in southwest France, Dominique Chapolard and his three brothers grow their own grain to feed their own pigs, eight to ten of which they prepare every week for four local markets. At market, they sell their fresh French cuts, like roti, cotelettes, and longe, along with their housemade charcuterie like saucisson sec, jambon, and fromage de tete. Together with the Chapolard family, Kate Hill, culinary teacher and owner of the Kitchen-at-Camont, a cooking school located just a short drive away from the Chapolard farm, offers butchery and charcuterie programs in France. In March, Kate and Dominique will travel to the United States to share their cooking and butchery knowledge. While in Portland, they’ll join forces with Camas Davis, the PMC’s founder, who learned butchery from the Chapolards in 2009—to offer a hands-on class for people of all levels. In this workshop, Dominique teaches students how to transform a pig into premium French cuts, using seam butchery, a traditional European method of breaking down animals according to their muscle seams, as opposed to cutting through muscle as is often done in many American butchery shops. As Dominique guides the students, Kate teaches them how to transform basic cuts into traditional French recipes. The class will finish with a charcuterie tasting and discussion of full-circle farming methods in France, and students will go home with meat they have butchered themselves.

Cost: $225

Class Size: Limited to 12 people

Registration: info@pdxmeat.com

________________________________________________________________

March 26 & 27

Basic Lamb Butchery & Cookery with David Padberg

Time: 1-5pm (Sat) & 3-6pm (Sun)

Location: Park Kitchen

In this two-part class students will not only learn how to break a lamb into its respective, delicious parts, they will also learn how to play with the quintessential flavors of lamb in the kitchen. With instructor David Padberg, of Park Kitchen, they’ll learn how to tie a leg of lamb and how to transform lamb into ham, they’ll find out which ingredients to stuff into the center of a crown loin roast, and they’ll taste why cooking lamb over hay makes the meat even better, why lamb neck is the most underappreciated cut of meat, and why it is that merquez tastes so darn good (it has something to do with being made out of lamb). The first day will focus on lamb butchery, while the second day will focus on cooking lamb, culminating in a leisurely Sunday Lamb Supper.

Cost: $300

Class Size: Limited to 10 people

Registration: info@pdxmeat.com

________________________________________________________________

April 3, 2011

Pates and Terrines

Time: 11-2pm

Location:TBA

Wondering what to do with all those scraps of meat and other tasty bits in your freezer if you’re not in the mood for sausage? Make a pâté of course! Learn the ins and outs of preparing European-style pâtés, terrines, rillettes, and liver mousse with Benjamin Meyer of Grain & Gristle. Students will get to taste various versions, and will go home with several of their own versions ready to cook and enjoy.

Cost: $125

Class Size: Limited to 12 people

Registration: info@pdxmeat.com

________________________________________________________________

April 9, 2011

Basic Pig Butchery for Home Charcuterie

Time: 1-5pm

Location: TBA

Previous owner of both Swinery Meats and the renegade Culinary Communion cooking school in Seattle, and the current proprietor of Alchemy in the Kitchen, Gabriel Claycamp is dedicated to the practice of whole animal butchery and charcuterie. Not to mention he makes a mean prosciutto, among other fleshy delicacies. When we first met him last spring, and told him about our classes, explaining that we provided both a restaurant and a retail perspective when it came to butchery, Gabriel reminded us that there was a third way to butcher a pig: the charcuterie method. We were exhilarated when he agreed to teach a class incorporating that method in August. The class sold out in just a few days. For those of you who are interested in making your own pancetta, coppa, salami or prosciutto, this is the class for you. Gabriel will teach you how to cut up a pig so that you can utilize all the muscle groups to produce just about any cured pork specialty you can imagine. Students will go home with their share of meat and lots of salting and brining recipes to help them along their way.

Cost: $225

Class Size: Limited to 12 people

Registration: info@pdxmeat.com

________________________________________________________________

April 13, 2011

Sausage Making

Time: 5-8pm

Location:TBA

Grilling season may be over (or is it just starting?), but sausage-making season is all year round. Learn the art of preparing merguez and chorizo, French garlic links, and Italian florentines. Students will learn how to select the right meat and trimmings from the appropriate muscle groups, and how to grind, flavor and stuff their sausage of choice. Students will go home with more than enough links for their frying pans and freezers, plus recipes.

Cost: $125

Class Size: Limited to 10 people

Registration: info@pdxmeat.com

________________________________________________________________

April 16, 2011

Basic Pig Butchery

Time: 1-5pm

Location: TBA

Learn the lost art of home butchery from wunderkind Adam Sappington, chef and owner of Country Cat restaurant. Sappington began utilizing whole animal butchery at Wildwood restaurant about ten years ago, at a time when few if any of Portland’s chefs were doing so in their establishments, though it is now quite common. For this class Adam, along with French-trained PMC founder Camas Davis, teach students, how to split sides of pork into primals, and how to cut those primals into cookable cuts like ribs, tenderloins, ham roasts, chops, and coppas. The class will also include tips on how to cook various cuts, and everyone will go home with their share of meat and recipes.

Cost: $225

Class Size: Limited to 12 people

Registration:info@pdxmeat.com

Moby Dick: A Kind of Treatise on Eating Animals

imagesThis Saturday, I’ll have the distinct pleasure to be one of the readers for  Take to the Ship, Portland’s first continuous reading of Moby Dick. I’m especially excited because I’ll be reading the chapter titled “The Whale as a Dish,” which covers the many philosophical and culinary conundrums that might arise while attempting to partake of a whale.  It’s not only quite funny at times, but toward the end it provides an interesting and I’d say very relevant perspective on what it means to dine on another creature.  Here it is for those who are interested:

Chapter lxv: The Whale as Dish

page 297

That mortal man should feed upon the creature that feeds his lamp, and, like Stubb, eat him by his own light, as you may say; this seems so outlandish a thing that one must needs go a little into the history and philosophy of it.

It is upon record, that three centuries ago the tongue of the Right Whale was esteemed a great delicacy in France, and commanded large prices there. Also, that in Henry VIIIth’s time, a certain cook of the court obtained a handsome reward for inventing an admirable sauce to be eaten with barbacued porpoises, which, you remember, are a species of whale. Porpoises, indeed, are to this day considered fine eating. The meat is made into balls about the size of billiard balls, and being well seasoned and spiced might be taken for turtle-balls or veal balls. The old monks of Dunfermline were very fond of them. They had a great porpoise grant from the crown.

The fact is, that among his hunters at least, the whale would by all hands be considered a noble dish, were there not so much of him; but when you come to sit down before a meat-pie nearly one hundred feet long, it takes away your appetite. Only the most unprejudiced of men like Stubb, nowadays partake of


page 298

cooked whales; but the Esquimaux are not so fastidious. We all know how they live upon whales, and have rare old vintages of prime old train oil. Zogranda, one of their most famous doctors, recommends strips of blubber for infants, as being exceedingly juicy and nourishing. And this reminds me that certain Englishmen, who long ago were accidentally left in Greenland by a whaling vessel – that these men actually lived for several months on the mouldy scraps of whales which had been left ashore after trying out the blubber. Among the Dutch whalemen these scraps are called “fritters;” which, indeed, they greatly resemble, being brown and crisp, and smelling something like old Amsterdam housewives’ dough-nuts or oly-cooks, when fresh. They have such an eatable look that the most self-denying stranger can hardly keep his hands off.

But what further depreciates the whale as a civilized dish, is his exceeding richness. He is the great prize ox of the sea, too fat to be delicately good. Look at his hump, which would be as fine eating as the buffalo’s (which is esteemed a rare dish), were it not such a solid pyramid of fat. But the spermaceti itself, how bland and creamy that is; like the transparent, half-jellied, white meat of a cocoanut in the third month of its growth, yet far too rich to supply a substitute for butter. Nevertheless, many whalemen have a method of absorbing it into some other substance, and then partaking of it. In the long try watches of the night it is a common thing for the seamen to dip their ship-biscuit into the huge oil-pots and let them fry there awhile. Many a good supper have I thus made.

In the case of a small Sperm Whale the brains are accounted a fine dish. The casket of the skull is broken into with an axe, and the two plump, whitish lobes being withdrawn (precisely resembling two large puddings), they are then mixed with flour, and cooked into a most delectable mess, in flavor somewhat resembling calves’ head, which is quite a dish among some epicures; and every one knows that some young bucks among the epicures, by continually dining upon calves’ brains, by and by get to have a little brains of their own, so as to be able to tell a calf’s head from their own heads; which, indeed, requires uncommon discrimination. And that is the reason why


page 299

a young buck with an intelligent looking calf’s head before him, is somehow one of the saddest sights you can see. The head looks a sort of reproachfully at him, with an “Et tu Brute!” expression.

It is not, perhaps, entirely because the whale is so excessively unctuous that landsmen seem to regard the eating of him with abhorrence; that appears to result, in some way, from the consideration before mentioned: i. e. that a man should eat a newly murdered thing of the sea, and eat it too by its own light. But no doubt the first man that ever murdered an ox was regarded as a murderer; perhaps he was hung; and if he had been put on his trial by oxen, he certainly would have been; and he certainly deserved it if any murderer does. Go to the meat-market of a Saturday night and see the crowds of live bipeds staring up at the long rows of dead quadrupeds. Does not that sight take a tooth out of the cannibal’s jaw? Cannibals? who is not a cannibal? I tell you it will be more tolerable for the Fejee that salted down a lean missionary in his cellar against a coming famine; it will be more tolerable for that provident Fejee, I say, in the day of judgment, than for thee, civilized and enlightened gourmand, who nailest geese to the ground and feastest on their bloated livers in thy paté-de-foie-gras.

But Stubb, he eats the whale by its own light, does he? and that is adding insult to injury, is it? Look at your knife-handle, there, my civilized and enlightened gourmand dining off that roast beef, what is that handle made of? – what but the bones of the brother of the very ox you are eating? And what do you pick your teeth with, after devouring that fat goose? With a feather of the same fowl. And with what quill did the Secretary of the Society for the Suppression of Cruelty to Ganders formally indite his circulars? It is only within the last month or two that that society passed a resolution to patronize nothing but steel pens.

One student’s take on learning butchery.

craving_pdx_ipadRecently, one of my lovely  interns from my days as the research editor at Saveur magazine attended the Portland Meat Collective’s first Ladies-Only Butchery Class.  She’s turned into quite an elegant writer since I last saw her, and she wrote about her experience in the class on her blog.  Thanks for such kind words, Adrian!

For anyone wondering what an experience with the PMC is like, Adrian’s description should help give you an idea.

A Little Media Love For the PMC

pigThe PMC continues to get shout-outs from local, national, and international media!

If you read French, here’s an article that recently ran in the French Slate.com.

The Oregonian’s Food Day section just came out with their 100 Favorite Things List, and the PMC got two shoutouts: one for our Chicken Slaughter & Butchery classes and one for, I guess, the PMC’s general presence in the food world here.

What Happens When Butcher Shops Get All DWELL Magazine On Us?

20101204-conveyor-belt-and-rock-salt-wall-608x912I’m not sure what I think yet….Anyone else have an opinion?

See THIS BUTCHER SHOP, which just won Interior Design Magazine’s Best of the Year Retail Award.

January/February 2011 Class Schedule

January 9, 2011     Basic Rabbit Butchery     TIME: 12-2pm
LOCATION: TBA                         Learn how to raise,
slaughter, and butcher your own rabbits from rabbit rearer and
DIY butcher Levi Cole and French-trained Camas Davis. After a
tour of Cole’s rabbit habitats, and a demonstration on the best
way to harvest a rabbit, each student will be able to kill and
skin their own rabbit. Once each student has done the deed, with
respect and care, Camas and Levi will walk the group through
basic butchery of each of their rabbits. Tastes of rabbit pate
and an appropriately matched beverage will accompany the event.
SOLD OUT!                                  COST: $95     CLASS
SIZE:     Limited to 8 people     REGISTRATION      info@pdxmeat
.com
January 15, 2010
Sausage Making     TIME: 2-5:30pm     LOCATION: TBA
Grilling season may be over, but sausage-making
season is all year round. Learn the art of preparing merguez and
chorizo, florentines and weisswurst. Pastaworks meat maven Tray
Satterfield and French-trained Camas Davis teach students how to
make their own sausage. Students will learn how to select the
right meat and trimmings from the appropriate muscle groups, and
how to grind, flavor and stuff their sausage of choice. Students
will go home with more than enough links for their frying pans
and freezers.                                  COST: $125
CLASS SIZE:     Limited to 10 people     REGISTRATION      info
@pdxmeat.com
January 22, 2010
Basic Pig Butchery     TIME: 1-5pm     LOCATION: TBA
Learn the lost art of home butchery. For this class
former Pastaworks meat cutter Tray Satterfield and French
-trained PMC founder Camas Davis, teach students, how to split
sides of pork into primals using French, Italian, and American
styles of butchery. They’ll also learn how to cut those primals
into cookable cuts like ribs, tenderloins, ham roasts, chops,
and coppas. The class will also include tips on how to cook
various cuts, and everyone will go home with their share of meat
.                                  COST: $225     CLASS SIZE:
Limited to 12 people     REGISTRATION      info@pdxmeat.com
January 29, 2010
Ladies Home Butchery: Basic Pig Butchery for Women Only     TIME
: 1-5pm     LOCATION: TBA                         We hesitated on
this one. Just seems like in some ways there’s no need to create
more separation in an industry where there’s already been a lot
of separation (i.e. the meat counter has been a man’s world for
way too long). But over the course of the past year we’ve had a
lot of classes that were only attended by men, and we’ve had
none that were only attended by women. This class is just for
the ladies. Everyone cuts meat differently and approaches
learning differently, but we have noticed some major differences
in how women and men cut meat as they go about learning the art
of butchery. So consider it a science experiment, or a cultural
one. On this day, a group of women will learn from two other
women–former Pastaworks meat cutter Tray Satterfield and French
-trained PMC founder Camas Davis–how to split sides of pork into
primals using French, Italian, and American styles of butchery.
They’ll also learn how to cut those primals into cookable cuts
like ribs, tenderloins, ham roasts, chops, and coppas. The class
will also include tips on how to cook various cuts, and everyone
will go home with their share of meat.
COST: $225     CLASS SIZE:     Limited to 12 people
REGISTRATION      info@pdxmeat.com
February 12, 2010
TBA Lamb or Beef Class with Bob Dickson     TIME: 1-5pm
LOCATION: TBA                         We’ve yet to confirm this,
but we’re hoping that Bob Dickson will be able to teach another
lamb class or a beef class for PMC folks on this day. I’m
putting this in writing so that Bob Dickson will see it and say
yes!                                  COST: TBA     CLASS SIZE:
Limited to 12 people     REGISTRATION      info@pdxmeat.com
February 16, 2010
Pig Head Butchery and Charcuterie     TIME: 5:30-8pm
LOCATION: TBA                         Ever wondered what to do
with pig’s ears and snouts and cheeks and jowls? Just want
butchery practice with one of the more recognizable parts of a
pig? Come learn from the PMC. We’ll first demonstrate on one pig
head, then each student will get their own head to practice on.
Students will learn how to make their own porchetta di testa,
guanciale, and head cheese. Students will go home with their
meat, bones, and recipes to explore on their own.
COST: $90     CLASS SIZE:     Limited to 8
people     REGISTRATION      info@pdxmeat.com
February 19, 2010
Part 1: Basic Pig Butchery and Cookery     TIME: 11am-3pm
LOCATION: TBA                         This is a two-part twist
on our popular Basic Pig Butchery class. Adam Sappington, chef
and owner of Country Cat Dinnerhous & Bar, will still walk
students through a hands-on lesson in pig butchery during this
class. But they’ll also spend class time learning what to do
with all the parts of the pig that students cut. Students will
learn how to create a brine for head cheese, how to cure belly
for pancetta or bacon, how to marinate shoulder meat for pulled
pork and roasts, how to cure hams, and what to do with shoulder
scraps. Students in this class will be curing, brining, and
marinating meat for the second part of this class (see below): a
cooking demonstration and whole hog lunch which occurs the next
Saturday. Students in the first class will go home with some
meat that they have brined and cured in the first class, but if
they take part in the second class, they’ll get to take part in
a cooking demonstration and whole hog lunch made from all the
parts they processed in the first class. NOTE: While students
can choose to sign up for one or the other class ($200 for the
first class on February 19; $125 for the next class and
subsequent dinner on February 26), they can also sign up for
both and pay slightly less ($300 for both).
COST: $200     CLASS SIZE:     Limited to 8 people
REGISTRATION      info@pdxmeat.com
February 26, 2010
Part 2: Basic Pig Cookery Lesson and Lunch     TIME: 11am-2pm
LOCATION: TBA                         This is a two-part twist
on our popular Basic Pig Butchery class. After the first class
(see above), in which Adam Sappington, chef and owner of Country
Cat Dinnerhous & Bar, walked students through a hands-on lesson
in pig butchery and taught students how to cure, brine, and
marinate just about all parts of the pig, we’ll offer this
second class, in which students get to taste the results!
Students will learn how to smoke a ham or a shoulder, they’ll
learn what pancetta or bacon looks like after it’s cured for one
week, they’ll find out how to cook head cheese and sausage.
After a two-hour, free-form cooking lesson, students will sit
down to a whole-hog lunch and get to taste the results of the
hard work of the students in both of the classes. NOTE: While
students can choose to sign up for one or the other class ($200
for the first class on February 19; $125 for the next class and
subsequent dinner on February 26), they can also sign up for
both and pay slightly less ($300 for both).
COST: $125     CLASS SIZE:     Limited to 10 people
REGISTRATION      info@pdxmeat.com
February 23, 2010
Sausage Making     TIME: 5-8:30pm     LOCATION: TBA
Grilling season may be over, but sausage-making
season is all year round. Learn the art of preparing merguez and
chorizo, florentines and weisswurst. Pastaworks meat maven Tray
Satterfield and French-trained Camas Davis teach students how to
make their own sausage. Students will learn how to select the
right meat and trimmings from the appropriate muscle groups, and
how to grind, flavor and stuff their sausage of choice. Students
will go home with more than enough links for their frying pans
and freezers.                                  COST: $125
CLASS SIZE:     Limited to 10 people     REGISTRATION      info
@pdxmeat.com

January 9, 2011

Basic Rabbit Butchery

TIME: 12-2pm

LOCATION: TBA

Learn how to raise, slaughter, and butcher your own rabbits from rabbit rearer and DIY butcher Levi Cole and French-trained Camas Davis. After a tour of Cole’s rabbit habitats, and a demonstration on the best way to harvest a rabbit, each student will be able to kill and skin their own rabbit. Once each student has done the deed, with respect and care, Camas and Levi will walk the group through basic butchery of each of their rabbits. Tastes of rabbit pate and an appropriately matched beverage will accompany the event. SOLD OUT!

COST: $95     CLASS

SIZE:     Limited to 8 people

REGISTRATION      info@pdxmeat.com

January 15, 2011

Sausage Making

TIME: 2-5:30pm

LOCATION: TBA

Grilling season may be over, but sausage-making season is all year round. Learn the art of preparing merguez and chorizo, florentines and weisswurst. Pastaworks meat maven Tray Satterfield and French-trained Camas Davis teach students how to make their own sausage. Students will learn how to select the right meat and trimmings from the appropriate muscle groups, and how to grind, flavor and stuff their sausage of choice. Students will go home with more than enough links for their frying pans and freezers.

COST: $125

CLASS SIZE:     Limited to 10 people

REGISTRATION      info@pdxmeat.com

January 22, 2011

Basic Pig Butchery

TIME: 1-5pm

LOCATION: TBA

Learn the lost art of home butchery. For this class former Pastaworks meat cutter Tray Satterfield and French-trained PMC founder Camas Davis, teach students, how to split sides of pork into primals using French, Italian, and American styles of butchery. They’ll also learn how to cut those primals into cookable cuts like ribs, tenderloins, ham roasts, chops, and coppas. The class will also include tips on how to cook various cuts, and everyone will go home with their share of meat

COST: $225

CLASS SIZE: Limited to 12 people

REGISTRATION      info@pdxmeat.com

January 29, 2011

Ladies Home Butchery: Basic Pig Butchery for Women Only

TIME: 1-5pm

LOCATION: TBA

We hesitated on this one. Just seems like in some ways there’s no need to create more separation in an industry where there’s already been a lot of separation (i.e. the meat counter has been a man’s world for way too long). But over the course of the past year we’ve had a lot of classes that were only attended by men, and we’ve had none that were only attended by women. This class is just for the ladies. Everyone cuts meat differently and approaches learning differently, but we have noticed some major differences how women and men cut meat as they go about learning the art of butchery. So consider it a science experiment, or a cultural one. On this day, a group of women will learn from two other women–former Pastaworks meat cutter Tray Satterfield and French-trained PMC founder Camas Davis–how to split sides of pork into primals using French, Italian, and American styles of butchery. They’ll also learn how to cut those primals into cookable cuts like ribs, tenderloins, ham roasts, chops, and coppas. The class will also include tips on how to cook various cuts, and everyone will go home with their share of meat.

COST: $225

CLASS SIZE:     Limited to 12 people

REGISTRATION      info@pdxmeat.com

February 12, 2011

Basic Beef Butchery

TIME: 1-5pm

LOCATION: TBA

Bob Dickson is a seasoned animal scientist and meat expert who taught at the Clark Meat Science Center at Oregon State University for 25 years before taking over day-to-day operations at Dayton Natural Meats, the PMC’s favored slaughterhouse and processing facility in Dayton, Oregon. Bob brings detailed retail, industrial, and home butchery expertise to the table and teaches students how to think about an animal from multiple perspectives.  For this class, Bob will teach students how to break down the hindquarters of two grass-fed, organically raised steers. Students will get hands-on experience learning how to work their way through a flank steak and a bavette, between a top and bottom sirloin. And students will go home with their own (very generous) share of beef.

COST: $275

CLASS SIZE: Limited to 12 people

REGISTRATION      info@pdxmeat.com

February 16, 2011

Pig Head Butchery and Charcuterie

TIME: 5:30-8pm

LOCATION: TBA

Ever wondered what to do with pig’s ears and snouts and cheeks and jowls? Just want butchery practice with one of the more recognizable parts of a pig? Come learn from the PMC. We’ll first demonstrate on one pig head, then each student will get their own head to practice on. Students will learn how to make their own porchetta di testa, guanciale, and head cheese. Students will go home with their meat, bones, and recipes to explore on their own.

COST: $90

CLASS SIZE:     Limited to 8 people

REGISTRATION      info@pdxmeat.com

February 19, 2011

Part 1: Basic Pig Butchery and Cookery

TIME: 11am-3pm

LOCATION: TBA

This is a two-part twist on our popular Basic Pig Butchery class. Adam Sappington, chef and owner of Country Cat Dinnerhous & Bar, will still walk students through a hands-on lesson in pig butchery during this class. But they’ll also spend class time learning what to do with all the parts of the pig that students cut. Students will learn how to create a brine for head cheese, how to cure belly for pancetta or bacon, how to marinate shoulder meat for pulled pork and roasts, how to cure hams, and what to do with shoulder scraps. Students in this class will be curing, brining, and marinating meat for the second part of this class (see below): a cooking demonstration and whole hog lunch which occurs the next Saturday. Students in the first class will go home with some meat that they have brined and cured in the first class, but if they take part in the second class, they’ll get to take part in a cooking demonstration and whole hog lunch made from all the parts they processed in the first class. NOTE: While students can choose to sign up for one or the other class ($200 for the first class on February 19; $125 for the next class and subsequent dinner on February 26), they can also sign up for both and pay slightly less ($300 for both).

COST: $200

CLASS SIZE:     Limited to 8 people

REGISTRATION      info@pdxmeat.com

February 26, 2011

Part 2: Basic Pig Cookery Lesson and Lunch

TIME: 11am-2pm

LOCATION: TBA

This is a two-part twist on our popular Basic Pig Butchery class. After the first class (see above), in which Adam Sappington, chef and owner of Country Cat Dinnerhous & Bar, walked students through a hands-on lesson in pig butchery and taught students how to cure, brine, and marinate just about all parts of the pig, we’ll offer this second class, in which students get to taste the results! Students will learn how to smoke a ham or a shoulder, they’ll learn what pancetta or bacon looks like after it’s cured for one week, they’ll find out how to cook head cheese and sausage. After a two-hour, free-form cooking lesson, students will sit down to a whole-hog lunch and get to taste the results of the hard work of the students in both of the classes. NOTE: While students can choose to sign up for one or the other class ($200 for the first class on February 19; $125 for the next class and subsequent dinner on February 26), they can also sign up for both and pay slightly less ($300 for both).

COST: $125

CLASS SIZE:     Limited to 10 people

REGISTRATION      info@pdxmeat.com

February 23, 2010

Sausage Making

TIME: 5-8:30pm

LOCATION: TBA

Grilling season may be over, but sausage-making season is all year round. Learn the art of preparing merguez and chorizo, florentines and weisswurst. Pastaworks meat maven Tray Satterfield and French-trained Camas Davis teach students how to make their own sausage. Students will learn how to select the right meat and trimmings from the appropriate muscle groups, and how to grind, flavor and stuff their sausage of choice. Students will go home with more than enough links for their frying pans and freezers.

COST: $125

CLASS SIZE:     Limited to 10 people

REGISTRATION      info@pdxmeat.com

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A Longwinded Thank You to Everyone Who Has Supported the PMC This Year!

(Please excuse any spelling or grammatical errors.  I’m on vacation and my copy-editing patience is, well, low.)

Last August, just after returning from my butchery internship in Southwest France, I was sharing a plate of heirloom tomatoes with Lisa Donoughe of Watershed Communications.  We were planning the very first Livestock event, an evening of live butchery demonstrations and live readings by writers concerned with the complicated meanings and emotions that surround the notion of killing your own dinner.  I’d been telling her about my very loose idea to start a traveling butchery school and meat CSA. At the time, it was a barely formed fantasy in my head.

“Come up with a name,” Lisa said. “And make some postcards, and we’ll let you market it at the Livestock event.”

Right, I thought.  Who advertises their business before they’ve even really figured out how to run it?  It seemed crazy.  But later that night I jotted down a very rough business plan and came up with a name: The Portland Meat Collective.

I called Jason Blackheart, an old design department colleague from my days as an editor at Portland Monthly magazine, and asked if he’d work his artistic magic on my insanely rough business idea in exchange for meat—which I would, um, someday be able to get for him, I was sure. He took a chance on me—with no capital or startup funds to speak of—as did the talented photographer, Lincoln Barbour.  And within a few weeks I had a handsome postcard, a bold and brilliant logo, and a general brand idea.

The Livestock event was a great success—both nights sold out, in fact—and I was able to somehow articulate for the audience what the PMC would be launching in the new year.  In the days that followed the event, I received hundreds of emails from people wanting to sign up for classes, wanting to source meat through the PMC.  I was onto something without even knowing it.

It wasn’t until February that the PMC offered it’s first class: a basic pig butchery course.

It’s an understatement to say that I could not have done that class without the unwavering and insanely enthusiastic help of Adam Sappington, chef and owner of Country Cat Dinnerhouse and Bar and Tray Satterfield, at the time a butcher at Pastaworks.  I think it’s because their both Southern: Every time I’d say something was too complicated or too difficult to do, they’d wave their hands at me and exclaim “It’ll be easy!”

For the first class, at Zenger Farm—an organization that has been extremely supportive by allowing me to hold many of my first classes there, including our first chicken slaughter class, which was not for the faint of heart—Adam demonstrated how to break down a whole pig in front of eight students.  After an hour, we split the group into two. Tray led one group through an entire side of pork on top of a very shaky table while Adam led the other.

Their confidence amazed me, first of all. But secondly, everything they were doing was completely foreign to me….

Maybe I hadn’t learned anything in France, I thought.  What was Adam doing sawing through the 3rd and 4th ribs. I thought it was the 5th and 6th ribs I was supposed to cut through?  Thus began part two of my ongoing journey into the incredibly diverse world of butchery, one in which, with every new teacher that graces PMC students with their knowledge and skills, I realize how learning butchery can also entail a lesson in history, race, class, geography, and culture, a lesson about moments of abundance as well as scarcity, and a lesson in taste and style and skill.

Adam has taught classes with the PMC ever since. And Tray has too. She’s also been willing to help me scrub cutting boards and sharpen knives, source meat, pick up pigs with her car, find other great PMC teachers, recruit students, offered advice on how to make classes more efficient, and, generally been an impressively enthusiastic PMC supporter from the very beginning, despite how hard things got.

I have been lucky enough to have been helped out by a number of other equally kind, generous, and enthusiastic people, and at the risk of being completely long winded, I want to thank them here.

In addition to the dedicated women of Zenger Farm, a few others have offered their spaces to the PMC for our classes.  We’ve been lucky enough to teach in Robert Reynolds’ Chef Studio many times and Robert has always dispensed incredibly helpful advice to me about turning my ideas into reality.  And Ken Rubin and David McIntyre at the Art Institute Culinary School have been extremely generous by letting the PMC use their beautiful kitchen on a regular basis, which has required many of their staff to spend time with the PMC on their days off.  And Yianni Doulis, your barn rocks.  ‘Nuff said.

David Padberg, of Park Kitchen fame, has been supportive from the beginning, not only letting the PMC use their private dining room, but teaching classes and drawing one of the most comprehensive pig butchery diagrams I’ve encountered thus far.

Ben Meyer, you can teach a Pig Head class, or anything else really, for the PMC anytime!

No one can carve a prosciutto leg better than Gabriel Claycamp, and the fact that every student who takes his Basic Pig Butchery for Home Charcuterie now has pancetta and lomo hanging in their closets on a regular basis makes me smile.

When Tray Satterfield told me I should meet the “Johnny Cash of the Northwest Meat Industry,” she wasn’t kidding.  Bob Dickson—who has taught classes for the PMC and taken time out of his incredibly busy days as the director of Dayton Natural Meats to tell me what I’m doing wrong and what I’m doing right and how exactly I might brine an entire leg of pork by pumping brine into the ephemeral artery—has been a Coach Taylor of meat (for any Friday Night Lights freaks out there) for me.

Levi Cole may not know it but somehow he is the whole reason I went to France to study butchery in the first place.  Watching Levi kill a pig and roast it for his birthday so many years back switched something in me forever.  My craving for the raw, the gritty, the real, the difficult, and the dirty underside of food had until then been merely an abstract form haunting the back of my head until the moment I witnessed Levi kill a pig.  After that, all abstraction came into hard and clear focus, and just about anything seemed possible. Not only has Levi donated his time and even some money to the PMC cause, he’s helped to create a certain kind of PMC culture. I love watching Levi teach our students how to kill their own chickens and rabbits, with his unique combination of calm logic (a result of years spent as a critical care nurse), culinary passion, wry sense of humor, and a kind of antiquated homesteading confidence I rarely see these days, he helps the students work through what can often be a tremendous struggle over morality and ethics and repulsion. Plus, Levi’s the only person I know who wants to party when a sausage grinder arrives in the mail.

I want to give a big thanks to the mighty PMC volunteers who dedicated their Saturdays to helping us figure out what the heck we were doing, and trimming and packaging all that meat and having a good time while doing it: Harry, Tom, Michal, Charlie, Erika, Sarah, Bubba, Emily, Nathaniel, Stacey, Jana, Emma, and all the AI students who show up at the last minute to help and learn.  We couldn’t do it without you.

There are of course, many people who helped me and supported me in much more complicated and abstract ways.  So, thanks to Jill Davis, for instance, my feisty, opinionated, incredibly passionate, and super intelligent former magazine colleague and great friend who taught me to unleash my “awesome power” and then helped me to reign it back in when it got too overwhelming at times. Jill is someone who understands injustice and doesn’t tell me to calm down when it pisses me off.  Plus she’s going to be a great filmmaker someday and I like that her first documentary is about the PMC and killing chickens—it’s called Good Bird and if you ever get a chance to see it you should.

Thanks to the young woman at the Woodburn Livestock Auction who recognized the look on my face that said I had no idea what I was doing and took me under her wing to help me bid on and buy 10 roosters from a fast-talking auctioneer—and then helped me get all those roosters into cages, no small feat.

And to Robin Romm, my long-time friend, who somehow always gets it no matter how crazy what I’m saying is.

Thanks to Slow Food Portland for sending me to the Terra Madre conference this year.  I still haven’t figured out how to put into words what I learned there, but it was so important.

I definitely want to thank Tom Colligan—Roaster of Meats—for teaching me how to cook and eat meat again back when I was a young, ex-vegetarian who hated pork chops—and for teaching me plenty of other things too.

And Eugenie Frerichs for being so wildly enthusiastic about my hair-brained idea to go to France to learn butchery, and for taking such beautiful pictures of my experiences there.

And Chris for enduring a rough time and a complicated “pork drunk love” that maybe didn’t turn out as planned, but which nonetheless launched me in it’s own indirect way into doing what I’m doing now.

Sonya Barker for accepting me and supporting me always no matter how mucky in the head I sometimes get.  And Matt Ellis for providing me with free legal council.

Thanks to the folks at Pastaworks for letting a food writer like me cook food for people at Evoe and for letting me try my hand behind the meat counter.  It was an extremely important experience for me.

Thanks to Scott Dybvad for his “treat your meat tooth” brilliance. And Hava Terry for always making me laugh, even though she doesn’t like to eat meat.

Andrew, thanks for putting up with my non-stop work weeks, and long hours, and nervous energy, and for-naught-evenings-of-worry, and my many mistakes and moments of doubt, and for teaching me about profit and spreadsheets and how to have a good business head screwed on tight. And how to have a good time. Thanks for making that rooster in Hawaii shut up too.  He was way too loud.

A huge thanks to Kate Hill in Gascony, for letting me live with her last summer, plying me with floc and homemade meals, and setting up my incredibly valuable butchery internship with the Chapolards.

And of course a huge thanks to the Chapolards for being such loving and patient teachers, and for forgiving me when I accidentally cut up their pork leg one day as though it were stew meat.  And for telling me over and over again how important it was that I DO something with everything I learned when I got back to the states. And, quite simply, for helping to understand the true meaning of the edge of a knife.

Dad, thanks for teaching me early on about fish guts and the scent of deer, and the sound of a shotgun, and the whoosh of an arrow, and the importance of being humble and respectful in the face of hard things like killing and eating animals, and for showing me how to get my hands dirty.

Zach, thanks for teaching me how to run a business, and how to keep track of my finances, and for finding time for Cast Iron Coding to building my website (oh yeah I still have to find time to write the content!) and for generally being there during a rough couple of years.

And Mom.  For raising me to remain confident even in the face of utter doubt.  Plus, what mom agrees to give her daughter a meat smoker for her birthday even if she doesn’t really like meat? My kind of mom.

And lastly to the hundreds of students who signed up for over 30 PMC classes between February and December and taught me much about learning and teaching and the importance of reviving the art of butchery.

IACP Coverage: French and American Butchery Video

It’s been so many months since I organized a butchery and charcuterie workshop for the International Association of Culinary Professionals conference with two of my mentors: Adam Sappington of Country Cat Dinnerhouse in Portland, Oregon and Dominique Chapolard of La Ferme Beradieu in Gascony, France.  I also invited Michael Ruhlman to take part in this sold out demonstration and workshop.  It just came to my attention that a video of most of the workshop is on youtube and I wanted to share the links for those of you who are interested in learning the difference between French and American butchery and Charcuterie.

Here are the links: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

-Camas

 

 

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