At Republic in downtown Detroit’s G.A.R. Castle, the chefs don’t shy away from challenges when it comes to whole-animal butchery. From rabbits to pigs and beef, the eatery likes to shake up its menu often with new cuts of meat fresh from the farm. When executive chef Sarah Welch recently revealed her unusual experience breaking down an alpaca, Eater reached out to learn more and catch the process in action.
In this Facebook video, shot live on Monday morning, Republic sous chefs Chris Demuth and Matt Currie demonstrate how they cut an alpaca into primals. This particular animal is a male alpaca from a Michigan farm. The farm mainly focuses on wool production and only supplies meat to one other restaurant in Southeast Michigan. It was slaughtered last week at a USDA-certified facility and brought to the restaurant where the meat was allowed to rest for several days.
The crew plans to either cure or confit most of the meat in-house for a special dinner in March featuring South American wines. Demuth and Currie take turns making cuts while describing some of the basics of whole-animal butchery. Watch the full interview above.
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