Australian chef Josh Niland caused quite a stir when he released his ground-breaking debut book, The Whole Fish, at the beginning of September, detailing innovative ways to prep, cook and eat seafood, with his modern take on butchery earning him the nickname, “The Fish Butcher”.
Through this fish butchery, Niland produces traditionally meat-centric cuts such as collars, jowls and forequarter racks, teaching chefs to use as many parts of a fish as possible to cut down on food waste.
While fish is a new realm for traditional butchery terms and techniques, pig butchery has been around practically forever, with sausages, chops and belly just the tip of the piggy iceberg.
But earlier this month, 35 new pork cuts were unveiled by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), all of which are taken from the forequarter of the pig. The AHDB have said that these new cuts can be used to unlock new profit avenues from a part of the carcase that is “commonly used for lower value offerings”, with some sections even ending up in the bin.
“Consumer demands and eating habits are continually changing, therefore, there is a constant need for new cuts and product development,” said Dick van Leeuwen, AHDB business manager and master butcher.
AHDB have said that their butchery innovation focuses on providing modern, consumer-friendly cuts for both the retail and foodservice sectors, utilising seam butchery, with sustainability and reducing carcase waste also high on the agenda.
We have seen several new food waste initiatives take root over the last few months, including Adam Handling’s high-profile, waste-orientated restaurant launch – Ugly Butterfly – with a ‘nose-to-tail’ philosophy slowly being translated and adapted across the industry.
Cuts such as the Derby rib, a chuck eye joint, a Presa steak, pork Henry and Boston butt have been created by AHDB, who have taken inspiration from global butchery methods and research, all of which are detailed in AHDB’s Profit from the Pork Forequarter guide.
The release this month follows AHDB’s Meat Purchasing Guide – said to be the world’s largest digital meat dictionary – which launched in October and highlights lesser-known cuts and provides information for quality improvement.
The new forequarter usage “represents significant profit opportunities for a variety of businesses working with pork”, say the AHDB, with innovation and creativity cited as key drivers for recent growth experienced by the meat industry.
According to New Nutrition in their recently published ‘10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition & Health 2020’, the global meat industry has been experiencing growth despite veganism and the plant-based movement having established themselves as long-term trends, with “creative meat producers taking steps to reinvent their category.”