Mastering the Art of Brisket Butchery with Lindsey Fulton

Join Lindsey, resident blonde butcher, as she demonstrates the meticulous process of cutting a brisket off a beef front quarter. From positioning the meat to handling the weight, Lindsey shares expert insights and tips for achieving the perfect cut.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Techniques for positioning and handling heavy beef quarters effectively, ensuring safe and efficient butchery practices.
  • How to identify key sections of the brisket, such as the flat and the point, and gain insight into their culinary significance and optimal preparation methods.
  • Valuable tips for trimming and preparing brisket to enhance flavor and presentation, ensuring a delicious end product for your culinary creations.

Transcript:

Lindsey: Okay, welcome back to Blondie’s Butcher Shop. I’ve been wanting to cut a brisket off of a beef front quarter with you guys for quite a while and I finally have five seconds of quiet time here. So traditionally if we were taking this beef apart piece by piece, this is not how I would do it, we’re probably going to wreck some of the flat of the brisket because we’re not going to get it all, especially when we have to quarter animals out, like this will be a quartered animal which means two people are sharing half of a side of this animal. I have to make cats equal even, so we’re probably going to get a good chunk of brisket, but not the whole thing. So let’s break this one down.

So this is a 920 pound beef carcass. Alright! So we get the rib, short rib and plate section cut off. Now we’re going to move to the front. Okay, so I have to position my bead in order to get it on the side, like position it first on the table before I move it. They’re heavy, so just use inertia. We got it in the position. I like it. Let’s go to the saw.

So I’m 5’3 on a good day and this is over a 900 pound beef. Most of the time I can’t lift the front quarter. So I put everything on wheels in my butcher chop so I can push it closer and slide it over. We’ll break it down into our manageable sections.

Now we’re going to look right here. You can see where the brisket ends right here on this beef. So we’re going to try to hit that and catch our arm roast same time. Yeah. This is what we have. Here’s your front leg. This is your brisket. All the way around. See we clipped it perfectly. Down here. We’re gonna pivot. So when I tell you if we were to do this piece by piece and take this muscle group apart at a time individually, where we’re not quartering this animal out, this flat, this is the point right here of the brisket that you always hear barbecue people talk about. This is the point. This is the chest plate that we cut in half on the floor after harvest. And this is the flat of the brisket. So it goes flat to the point. And you can see it if I put my arm.

So we’re gonna remove this bone and remove the light from it. And believe it or not, there’s not a bone in between the two. So we’re gonna run our knife right down the middle here. That’s it, it’s just a fat muscle connection right there that leg unless I need shin bones or soup bones. I’ll probably just bone it out for burger. Then it is soup bone season. So this one’s kind of funny. If I kind of scrape it up here a little bit. This is just fat and bone dust, probably more fat than anything. I need a new blade on my saw. But watch here. Turn to the side, you see it’s been fat encompassed and then the muscle runs to here. So we’re gonna bring it up to here, to this bone and this fat is really hard.

I think brisket is, removing a brisket sometimes can make you say some swear words, and that’s okay. I feel like it’s just that cut that is super challenging and tough on a knife.

Animals that are 500 pound carcasses, 600 pound carcasses, tend to not develop the best brisket around. I don’t always recommend taking them off those animals. They look really scrappy. You know, you’re not gonna get a true good smoke flavor brisket on one of those. It’s gonna cook a lot faster, so you’re gonna really have to adjust. This is the part because his bone doesn’t sit. You kind of got to balance it. And it’s just a big hard hunk of weight, fat, and bone.

You’ll see a lot of people use the hand meat hooks and I never trained with one of them, those hooks. Honestly, I’m kind of afraid I’m gonna stab myself with it. There we go. There’s the inside of a brisket. Here’s the outside. Now the trick is we’re gonna clean all of this up. This has all been exposed to the cooler, it’s dried out, it doesn’t make the prettiest product.

So we’re gonna clean it up, but this will make a very nice brisket. And you can tell it, we got a good chunk of the flat on there. If we went to the other side where we cut it off, we could have taken more flat here, but it’s okay. We got a really beautiful brisket for this person. We’re gonna leave it as a whole. They’re gonna treat as a packer brisket of a 920 pound carcass.

Sometimes this red fat is so dense on the leaves that I throw them on my saw and I just cut the fat with my saw, especially if I have a lot of beef to cut that day and I try to save on my wrists. My wrists take a beating here. White fat is very dense. It requires a very sharp knife, and it will dull your sharp knife very fast as well. So we’re just gonna pull that off, clean it up nice.

If you are a deer hunter or a hunter of any type and you like to do your own sausages at home, you get a quarter of a beef, you can always ask your butcher to save you this stuff, bag it for you, and you can use it as your own fat when you make your sausage. I think a good majority of us butchers will do just about anything if we can on your animal. I think where a lot of miscommunication comes from is when you don’t have a finished enough animal and you want everything off of them. That makes things really, really challenging for a butcher.

This is also the part, the brisket always like gets a hair stuck on it or you know it’s right in a funky area on the animal when you’re on the kill floor with them and skinning them. So I always just like to clean it off, make it look really pretty. You know, nobody wants to get a brisket home and have a hair stuck in it, but you don’t want to take too much off that. Who’s ever getting this? Can’t trim it down to their own likings, so I just try to skim the top to get the pretty white exposed. We’ll call it a day and throw it to the wrapper.

Two little acres over here. Okay. This is about as much as I’m gonna do to this brisket.
Some people really like to leave this fat cap on. I trim mine off when I do brisket. So I don’t wanna waste this for somebody or cut it off or trim it how they wouldn’t want it. So there you go. Pulling a brisket off your custom beef, 101.

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