by Bob Arson
This is a step-by-step guide on how to break down the human body from the full figure into serviceable choice cuts of meat. As in any field, there are a number of methods to the practice, and you may wish to view this as a set of suggestions rather than concrete rules.
You will notice that the carving of the larger or “commercial” cuts down into smaller specific or “retail” cuts will be only mentioned in passing, and not concentrated upon. Also, the use of human fat and viscera is generally avoided, and left only to the most experimental chef.
These choices, along with recipes and serving suggestions, are nearly infinite in variety, and we leave them to you. We’ve found these guidelines to be simple and functional, but recognize that there is always room for improvement and we welcome your suggestions.
Before getting to the main task, it must be mentioned that the complete rendering of the human carcass requires a fairly large amount of time, effort, and space. If the consumer does not wish to go through the ordeal of processing and storing the bulk of the entire animal, an easy alternative is as follows.
Simply saw through one or both legs at the points directly below the groin and a few inches above the knee. Once skinned, these portions may then be cut into round steaks of the carver’s preferred thickness, cut into fillets, deboned for a roast, etc. Meat for several meals is thus readily obtained without the need for gutting and the complexities of preparing the entire form.
The human being (also referred to throughout culinary history as “long pig” and “hairless goat” in the case of younger specimens) is not generally thought of as a staple food source.
Observing the anatomy and skeleton, one can see that the animal is neither built nor bred for its meat, and as such will not provide nearly as much flesh as a pig or cow (for example, an average 1000 pound steer breaks down to provide 432 pounds of saleable beef).
The large central pelvis and broad shoulder blades also interfere with achieving perfect cuts. There are advantages to this however, especially due to the fact that the typical specimen will weigh between 100-200 pounds, easily manipulated by one person with sufficient leverage. Read the rest of this entry »