A Lesson in Butchery and Cooking

michael fiorelli, lamb bolognese, terranea mar' sel

Slow Cooked Lamb Bolognese
Paccheri Pasta, Homemade Ricotta

FA and I had the pleasure of attending a class offered at the Chefs’ Summer Cooking Series @ Terranea Resort where we were invited in to the Mar’ Sel restaurant kitchen for a step-by-step lamb butchering demonstration by the talented and engaging Chef Michael Fiorelli. After the lesson we, along with 8 other guests, were seated in the beautiful dining room overlooking the Pacific Ocean to feast on a fabulous luncheon highlighting lamb.

A Lesson in Butchery and Cooking

terranea, mar' sel, Michael Fiorelli, lamb butcher carcass
Chef Michael Fiorelli starts with a premium Lamb Carcass –  the head, feet, skin and viscera have been removed.

Butchering Tips:

  • Tools: Boning Knife and Steel, Saw, Cleaver, Mallet
  • Knives must be very sharp
  • Cut the meat with a knife, not cleaver or saw
  • Cut the bones with cleaver and/or saw
  • Use a rubber mallet to hit the cleaver to help drive it through the bone
  • Buy a hacksaw from hardware store, no need to spend extra
  • Let the knife do the work, following the bones
  • Place damp towels under cutting board to help keep it steady
  • Blue inspection stamps on raw meat are of food-grade vegetable dye and need not be removed
  • Use all parts of the carcass either as meat, ground for sausage, or for stock: Shoulder, Neck, Shank, Rack, Breast, Loin, Leg, Trimmings and Bones

lamb butchery, terranea, chef michael fiorelli

 After-the-Lesson
Lamb Luncheon @ Mar’ Sel

terranea terranea terranea

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Housemade English Muffins

Tomato Basil Salad

Grilled Lamb Loin
with Farro, Wild Arugula, Crushed Olives, Preserved Lemon, Feta

Slow Cooked Lamb Bolognese
with Paccheri Pasta, Homemade Ricotta, Basil Garnish

Caramel & Chocolate Pudding, Cacao Nibs, Maldon Salt

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Graham Beck Brut Rosé NV Western Cape, South Africa
Hanzell Sebella Chardonnay 2010 Sonoma Valley, California
John Duval Plexus Shiraz/Grenache/Mourvedre 2009 Barrosa Valley, Australia

terranea, mar' sel, Michael Fiorelli, lamb luncheon
Rebecca's Housemade English Muffins
terranea, mar' sel, Michael Fiorelli, lamb luncheon
Serving Lamb Bolognese
terranea, mar' sel, Michael Fiorelli, lamb luncheon
Tomato Basil Salad, Grown by a Neighbor
terranea, mar' sel, Michael Fiorelli, lamb luncheon
Grilled Lamb Loin with Farro, Arugula, Olives, Preserved Lemon, Feta
terranea, mar' sel, Michael Fiorelli, lamb luncheon
Amy's Caramel & Chocolate Pudding, Cacao Nibs, Maldon Salt


Michael Fiorelli Terranea Bolognese Paccheri

Chef Michael Fiorelli’s Slow Cooked Lamb Bolognese Recipe

  • 2 lbs. lamb shoulder, trimmed and diced
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 pint mushrooms
  • 1 c. tomato paste (or one small can)
  • 2 c. red wine
  • 1/2 c. parsley, chopped
  • 28 oz. can plum tomatoes in juice
  • 4 oz. unsalted butter
  • 3/4 c. parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt & pepper
  • chile flakes

Rough chop carrot, onion, celery, and mushroom. Pulse in a food processor until coarsely ground. Brown meat in a large heavy bottomed roasting pan. With a slotted spoon, remove meat from pan then add vegetables. Sauté until cooked through. Add tomato paste and cook for approximately 5 minutes over low heat until paste begins to darken but be careful not to burn. Add wine and reduce to 1/4 cup or until almost dry. Add meat back to pan and add canned tomatoes. Simmer on low until lamb is tender and falling apart, about 4 hours. Add parsley and butter and parmesan. Season with salt, pepper, and chile flakes. Serve over paccheri pasta. Top with fresh ricotta and basil leaves.

Chef, LL, & FA

A delicious & informative afteroon…Thanks so much, Chef!

14 thoughts on “A Lesson in Butchery and Cooking”

  1. This looks like a terrific experience! I would have loved to have been there. And lamb is probably my favorite meat. Good recipe, loved the pictures. Top photo is great (others too, but that’s my fav). Thanks for this.

  2. Not that I can see myself every butchering a lamb, but those are good tips – ones that I can apply to smaller cuts.

    Your photos are great and I’m totally drooling over that lamb bolognese. There may have to be one in my near future.

  3. Love the lesson – not sure I’ll follow 🙂 ! BUT, since lamb is kind’tof my favourite meat, am having a soft laugh at it usurping beef in some very famous recipes! Must say I absolutely love the lamb bolognese 🙂 !

  4. Butchering that lamb looks pretty intimidating, but the results are worth it – especially when you put them to work in that glorious lamb bolognese. Glad you received the chitarra and I hope you post a recipe on your blog with you efforts.

  5. I really enjoyed meeting you guys at the class! You captured the day so beautifully. I love your blog and the photography is gorgeous. I want you to teach me how to take pictures like that! Thanks for sharing this in such detail for everyone to enjoy. Looking forward to seeing you at the next event. xo

    1. Thanks Diana – it was great to meet you too! Thank you for your kind words. See you at the next event 🙂
      LL
      P.S. The mar’ sel garden is amazing! Kudos to you…

  6. What a great experience this must have been. Your photos are fantastic. The info on the lamb is very informative, although I’m not sure when I would need to use this but it’s certainly good info to file away. One never knows when theyll need to use it.

  7. That’s right – to be a great chef you need to know butchery – I kind of forgot about that (not that I want to be a chef though..hehe). What an amazing experience!!! Thank you for sharing tips – it was fun to read. If YOU teach a cooking class, I’d love to attend… really!!! Although I’m not a lamb fan, I am sure I’ll enjoy this lamb bolognese!

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