Don’t try this at home – blades fly as Casino’s best boners put on a display

ABOVE: Sam Watson gets to work with his sharp knives to debone a hindquarter in the Great Boning Wars.

Susanna Freymark

‘We’re out of parsley,’ Meat and Livestock’s Deanna Jones said as three teams of butchers cut up four hindquarters as quickly and as expertly as they could.

It was about speed and presentation (that’s where the parsley comes in) in the Great Boning Wars that took place on the back of a truck in the middle of roundabout turned cattle ring in Walker St, Casino.

It was Beef Week Saturday, May 27, and the art of de-boning meat was a spectator sport. Crowds gathered around the truck, sitting on hay bales, as they watched the butchers cut, chop and use every part of the carcase to produce cuts of retail-ready meat.

The action happened on the back of a truck.

Casino Food Co-op boner Luke Murphy said a sharp knife was essential. He wore an apron made of metal to prevent the possibility of injury from those sharp knives.

“You can tell a good butcher by how much parsley is in his pocket,” Mr Murphy said.

But someone didn’t bring enough, and after the first round, the butchers had run out of parsley.

The three teams included butchers from Smiths Butchery and Casino Food Co-op. The teams were judged on speed, cut specification, cut presentation and overall presentation (does anyone have some parsley?).

At the end of the boning, the cuts on that table had to include tenderloin, striploin, tri tip, flank, flap and rump. The judges gave a score out of 10 for each team.

The meat was auctioned and 25% of the proceeds was donated to Casino Community Kitchen.

Ms Jones described the skill of a butcher able to de-bone and create steaks ready to eat as “magic”.

Here are photos from the boning race.

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