Award-winning butcher and author Adam Danforth came to SUNY Cobleskill on Tuesday to discuss the virtues of using older animals for meat and demonstrate both butchering and cooking techniques with older animals.
Danforth’s presentation addressed today’s trend of eating younger and younger animals. Both pigs and lambs are slaughtered before they reach one year old, and the slaughter ages for beef continue to drop.
The workshop, “Butchery & Muscle Profiling Demo: Mutton,” included a discussion of how working muscles render more flavor, the inverse relationship between taste and texture, and how consuming older animals supports farmers and effects animal welfare. It included an overview of meat science and flavor while breaking down a cull ewe.
In cooking demonstrations, Danforth showed how to maximize the flavor of these complex meats and discussed the role chefs can play in driving market demand for the product. That was followed by a blind tasting and examination of the varying tastes and textures of each muscle cut.
Danforth is James Beard Award Winner and the International Association of Culinary Professionals award-winning author of two books about slaughtering and butchering livestock. In his work, he focuses on the relationship between people and animals, education, and “helping salvage the lost craft of butchery.”
He trained at the professional meat processing program at SUNY Cobleskill before going to work at Marlow and Daughters in New York City. He has worked as a butcher at Blue Hill, has taught butchering workshops at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture, and continues to teach and present at events nationwide.