Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How to Tie a Butcher's Knot


A butcher’s knot is used by butchers and chefs to form larger pieces of meat into a compact shape that will cook evenly. The string is always tied against the grain of the meat, so it also acts as a guide as to which direction to slice the meat once cooked. The knot should be secure enough to hold the meat together while it cooks but not so tight that the meat bulges out too much from the sides. Here, we tie a beef tenderloin chateau-briand, usually served for two. Start the first string at the center of the meat, then add strings at either end to secure the meat. On a larger roast, tie more strings in between the center and the ends, keeping them evenly spaced and about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart.

1) Using butcher’s string and leaving one end attached (the standing end), grasp the free end (the working end) in your dominant hand holding the standing end in your other hand. Run the working end under the center of the meat away from your body.

2) Bring the string across the top of the meat and run it behind the standing end on the opposite side of your dominant hand and back to the starting position and twist.

3) Using your nondominant hand, grasp the point where the two strings meet at the twist between your thumb and first two fingers. Hold the string in place up and away from the meat forming an upside-down V.

4) Bring the working end of the string down and around the V on the side away from your dominant hand, crossing over both strings back to the dominant side of the V to form a loop.

5) Insert the working end from the dominant side through the loop that you’ve created.

6) Pull on the working end while holding the standing end to form a slipknot.

7) Secure the string in place using the thumb of your dominant hand placed just in back of the knot toward your body. Grasp the standing end with your dominant hand to yank the knot up tight against the meat.

8) To hold the knot in place, make a second loop by bringing the free end up and over the string and through the loop you’ve created and then pull tight. Cut the string above the knot.

9) Repeat the steps to tie another butcher’s knot with a separate piece of string about 1 inch (2.5 cm) away from the first one, continuing until the meat is trussed evenly. Here, we used four lengths of string.

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