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Authentic Butchery (warning - graphic!)

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:44 pm
by Kate Tiler
Whilst looking for Danish Iron age kilns (as you do) I came across this excellent Iron Age site in Denmark, it has some great projects that they run with the visitors and every Autumn in October they have a series on butchery - this picture intrigued me and puts our 'look children! a dead cockerel!' authentic butchery to shame - I wonder if we tried something like this we'd get a similar crowd of fascinated children?

Made me wonder what else was possible - evern though I'm a veggie (for various, mostly animal welfare reasons) I would get involved in this type of project because I think it is such a vital part of our ancestor's lives.

Anyway the website is:

and I found the butchery picture in the 'activities' section - if anyone is planning a holiday it might be worth trying to attend one of their courses, they look fascinating!

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:06 pm
by Gandi

from personal experience it depends on what the animal is!
If it was cute and cuddly when alive then it's as popular as Paul Hogans rattlesnake in a lucky dip.

Bigger animals like sheep and cattle prove less of a problem (providing the fleece is off it would appear)

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:10 pm
by craig1459
In the Lutterell Psalter there's a (cockatrice?) being prepared which is two animals put together - one of which looks like a dog :twisted:

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:13 pm
by temporary guy
Cor Thanks Kate.

I want to live in Denmark.

I can also see at least one little kid who will be a vegetarian by now, look along to the left and the kid hiding his face...carrot muncher for sure.

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:23 pm
by Gandi
craig1459 wrote:In the Lutterell Psalter there's a (cockatrice?) being prepared which is two animals put together - one of which looks like a dog :twisted:
and the great thing with the culinary 'cut 'n shut' is you get to make 2 of them.

Haven't got any images of the cooked results i'm afraid

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:41 pm
by temporary guy

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:48 pm
by Karen Larsdatter
There's also the Cockentrice and Coqz Heaumez for other chicken/pig combinations :lol:

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:00 pm
by sally
Marvellous! Will be doing Cockatrice at our next banquet. Gareth has pulled off the multiple stuffed bird thing a couple of times, worked excellently but a bit of a pain boning them all out. Trouble with being in teh kitchen at banquest is we don't seem to have any pictures of the finished results.

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:17 pm
by Kate Tiler
OMG what have I started!!!!????

This wasn't meant to be competative butchery!!!!

If Pheobe sees this she'll kill me :)

And that pig headed chicken has to be the vilest scariest looking thing I've seen in a loooong time - defo one for recruiting Vegans!!!

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:32 pm
by Cat
Cockatrices-fantastic, only ever seen drawings before.

Sal- I was thinking that somebody had made the Bride Pie, but couldn't think who. Well done.

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:34 pm
by craig1459
Awesome :D

Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:26 am
by Grymm
Yay the first true turkey ham.
I remember the trouble we had trying to convince an american tourist that you'd made Tig (Thats the turkeypig not the pigturkey Purkey...he was evil and escaped before being cooked and is probably still at large scampering round Surrey somewhere) but he (the tourist) wasn't having any of it and kept asking how it flew with such small wings :? .
I s'pose Tig could be classed as a soteltey or possibly a bleedin obvious.


Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:26 am
by Martin Cowley
to be honest the chap skinning the animal in the first pic could do with some practice,very messy,here is a pic of Mark doing one at ours,alot neater ,if anyone wants to learn how to skin cleanly etc we can show you,we are doing a venison weekend soon,great fun for all the family :D

Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:14 pm
by Alan E
Err, b..b..but ... don't they see the same thing at their local butcher's shop?

:shock: :P

Ahh, Tesco shoppers, I see :roll:

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 11:18 am
by Fillionous
Last year, at one site we re-enacted at, the warden offered us some rabbit... we said yes, so a few minutes later (after some faint popping sounds in the distance) he came back with a brace of warm furry bunnies. We hung them up over night in a conveniant tree and prepared them the next day in frount of MoPs for dinner. The MoPs were generally very squimish / disgusted that we would consider preparing and eating something so cute / odd as rabbit... needless to say it tasted great and I even whipped the skins and tanned them later when we got home.

I would love to try something larger.... The pierce and ping nation are so bemused and even frightened by the reality of food, yet it is a normal and vital part of history. (It is even now, it's just hidden and shrink wrapped.)

Be bright, be bold

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 11:40 am
by temporary guy
"The pierce and ping nation"

that is such a cool phrase.


Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:50 pm
by m300572
Once cooked a whole sheep on our LH site - usual MOP questions 'Is it real?' and 'What are you going to do with it?'

Complete rabbits, once peeled can be cooked but did you know that the skins (with heads attached) make great GLOVE PUPPETS! Small children cry and adults blench!!!

Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 6:37 pm
by Thomas Hayman
:twisted: :lol:

Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:39 pm
by Cat
Bucket and a friend managed to convince some Americans that the whole sheep roasting on a spit was Lurcher...

Posted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 3:14 pm
by Andy T
well those pics are impressive! I hope I shall be seeing lots of this at events this summer?

Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 2:43 pm
by Meg
Really interesting thread - reminds me of my dissertation, actually! For those who remember the Dead-Bambi Project, you'll know exactly what I mean. For those who don't, or weren't around (on the old site) 2 years ago, my undergrad dissertation was based around the 'unmaking' of a deer, as described in medieval literature (I used von Strasburg's 'Tristan', as it had a really clear description of the process). I then ate the edible bits, de-fleshed the bones, and finally compared the butchery marks on 'my' bones with those found at high-status archaeological sites from the period, to see whether the literary descriptions actually reflected reality, or were purely flights of fancy. We found quite a strong correlation, which was really good...

Anyway, we're thinking about doing it again at shows this year (it would be such a shame to waste all that research), and we have replica unmaking knives and everything... what do you guys think? Could we get away with doing it at shows? I planned to warn the organiser (of course), and we'd do this 'recreation of medieval high-status butchery' as part of our living history activities.

I'd be grateful for any thoughts.


Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 3:02 pm
by Kate Tiler
I remember Bambi! Hi Meg :) It was fascinating - being able to look over your shoulder while the project progressed!

You could try the nice man who sell tools/knives etc called Eceniron - he even has a complete chefs set of knives that he makes - his contact details are on

I think it would be a very interesting display and you could link with a couple of the other re-enactment groups to make sure it all gets eaten!

sorry just re-read you post - you already have the tools!

Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:31 pm
by Cat
There was a rather wonderful Bambi-unmaking at Tatton last year. The rangers were culling the young stags, and donated two to the re-enactors.

The Throckmortons did the dismembering.