This first step in our process is very labour intensive. Fortunately, we all wanted to work in an abattoir when we grew up, so it’s a dream come true. Tom and Luke's double degree in economics and finance are true assets, they never lose count of how many cuts we’ve gone through. I’ve even once heard Tom count to well over 100! Luke is very adamant in weighing everyone's off-cuts. If your meat to offcuts ratio is out, you’re forced to eat a spoon of The Burn spice.
Before we start processing, Laing applies his degree in nutrition to test the chemical composition of the meat. He assures us that his state of the art testing is absolutely vital and that he’s the only one trained in the methods. So once he’s cooked up a steak, eaten it, taken a nap and given us the green light, we get to work. I use my experience as a personal trainer to program everyone's tennis elbow rehab from cutting meat for 14 hours straight.
We need to remove the ‘eye’ from the outsides (Laing is doing so in the photo). At first we found this technical and challenging but nowadays it’s so easy; we can cut with our left hand and rub circles on our head with our right. Next, all the sinew is taken off: anything that could be too chewy must go. The cuts to the right of Laing have been cleaned up and are ready for slicing. This entire process really challenges and develops your fine motor skills. We find that the repetitive focus on such a simple task is also quite relaxing. The four of us cut at our tables facing inwards to one another and good chats always ensue.