New Butchery Guide Aims to 'Elevate the Art of Butchery'

As a third-generation butcher, Kari Underly witnessed the art of beef cutting at a very young age. Following in her grandmother's and father's footsteps, Underly watched them hone their craft, and became a champion for butchery training and education as an adult.

But in the past 25 years, Underly said she witnessed a significant decline in the knowledge of beef -- specifically, how to merchandise various cuts. As she sees it, many foodservice operators, chefs and even butchers do not fully understand where the final cuts come from, which not only affects their meat merchandising -- but ultimately, their customers' enjoyment.

Underly says it's time to elevate the art of butchery again. In "The Art of Beef Cutting: A Meat Professional's Guide to Butchering and Merchandising" (Wiley, August 9, 2011), she starts big -- at the carcass level -- and walks the reader through primals, subprimals and individual cuts, all the way down to ground beef.

The Art of Beef Cutting is a comprehensive guide covering all the fundamentals of butchery, and includes 450 full-color photos of every cut, information on international beef cuts and cooking styles, tips on merchandising and cutting for profit, as well as expert advice on the best beef-cutting tools. Underly also includes charts of NAMP/IMPS numbers, URMIS UPC codes and main muscles for each beef cut, Latin American cut names and cooking methods, as well as cooking tips for each cut for easy reference.

"How you use this tool depends on where you are at this stage of your career," said Underly. "This book can serve as a great reference and training aide for new employees, butcher apprentices, grocery store executives, culinary/animal/ meat science students, chefs; club store junkies, and even proactive consumers and foodies."

Underly lives in Chicago and is the founder of Range Inc., a consultancy dedicated to helping companies in the meat industry develop merchandising tools and new market strategies. As a consultant to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, she helped develop the Flat Iron Steak and Denver Cut.

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The Art of Beef Cutting: A Meat Professional's Guide to Butchering and Merchandising by Kari Underly (Wiley, Aug 9, 2011, ISBN 978-1118029572, $50.00)

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