The complex business of buying and cooking meat

Dave Fraser's talk about meat cut and how to cook them attracted a large gathering of around 30 people. Photo Anne Keen
Dave Fraser's talk about meat cut and how to cook them attracted a large gathering of around 30 people. Photo Anne Keen

When Gloucester's Dave Fraser started out as a butcher just over 30 years ago, cuts of meat were fairly simple.

Nowadays it's not just a Sunday roast or a lamb chop, butchery counters are a smorgasbord of chicken mignons and Mongolian lamb filo parcels.

It's no wonder that so many Gloucester U3A members turned up to Dave's session about Meat Cuts and How to Use Them. The session, held on February 5 at the Gloucester Citizens Centre, was just one of the new and exciting programs on the line up for term one of the group's 2020 program.

Dave started off the chat sharing a little bit about himself sharing, how he's a fourth generation Gloucestarian and grew up on a dairy and beef cattle farm.

Being a butcher was a goal of his ever since he was a young boy.

"I always wanted to do it, to be a butcher and a fireman, and I've done both,' he smiled. "I love the customer service side of things and trying new things."

I always wanted to do it. To be a butcher and a fireman, and I've done both.

Dave Fraser

He started his apprenticeship out of Gloucester High School in 1988 and hasn't looked back.

To fulfill his desire to be a fire fighter, he joined Gloucester Fire and Rescue which he only gave up a little while ago.

Dave also spoke about his business, Avon Valley Meats on Church Street, and how he sources his meat locally.

After a quick morning tea break, it was straight into the business of the different cuts of meat and how best to cook them, determining the difference between the quick cook and the stewing cuts.

He admits he's seen a lot of change in his industry over the years.

"In the past, people would buy a roast, go home and prepare it. Now families are time poor and looking for pre-prepared meals that are ready for the oven," Dave explained.

Dave Fraser got into specifics when talking about the different cuts of meat. Photo Anne Keen

Dave Fraser got into specifics when talking about the different cuts of meat. Photo Anne Keen

It's fair to say that his audience remembers a time of less options when heading to the butcher, many knowing what it was like for meat to be a rarity. Coming out to hear his talk was a way to understand the new names and new types of cuts now on offer.

For couple John and Patsy Murrell, they came out for their love of meat.

"No matter how much you know about something, there's always something to learn," John said.

For more information about the Gloucester District U3A, visit gloucester.u3anet.org.au/