Wednesday 18 May 2011

The Shorefield Project - Am Boireannach a Dh'ith Bò (The Woman Who Ate A Cow)

A documentary about how to cook and eat an entire cow is Caledonia TV's latest commission for BBC ALBA. 'Am Boireannach a Dh'ith Bò' (The Woman Who Ate A Cow) will feature Islay born artist and cook, Heather Dewar, as she reveals how previous generations ate animals from head to tail, never wasting a scrap of meat. Today, only half the meat from a carcass ends up on the supermarket counter - but not so long ago meals made of offal were welcomed by hungry families. The programme will follow Heather as she selects and buys a Highland bull, sees it slaughtered and butchered, and cooks all the parts that modern diners turn their noses up at.

We are very pleased to say that Heather has chosen to go with one of the beasts from the Shorefield Project for the programme, and today was the, frankly uncomfortable day, when the animal was taken to be slaughtered at the Avonvoggie Abattoir on Islay. The producers of the programme are keen to portray as realistic and honest a view as possible of the process that culminates with meat on our plates.

The beast to be featured was taken with one of his fellow Highlanders early this morning on a short, stress-free journey to Avonvoggie in a 'float'. Both were completely calm and had no idea about what lay ahead. John and Tim, the two slaughtermen and Beth the vet, were totally professional and the deed was done instantaneously and humanely. Heather, who is truly passionate about the quality and provenance of her food in general and her meat in particular, was in attendance throughout.

Caledonia TV Producer Les Wilson filming one of the beasts in the lairage at the abattoir.

Heather watches John preparing to dispatch the beast.

Les filming John and Tim removing the hide prior to evisceration.
Once the carcass has been prepared it is split in half using a powered bandsaw
Veterinary surgeon Beth stamps the carcass once her inspections have been completed.

Heather discusses the cooking of offal and some of the less fashionable parts of the beast such as ox-tail

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