Primal Cut Collaborative Poster Project | Family and Consumer Sciences | Agriculture


The big picture I want my students to take from our meat unit is being able to choose the correct cooking method for each cut of meat. Knowing this has to do with knowing where the muscle is located on the animal and whether it is used for movement or not.

A project I enjoy that teaches this is making a life size steer diagram of the different primal cuts. (This guy turned out a little small. I had the students do a pig diagram as well because I have a big class this term.)

I project an image of a primal cut diagram on my board and trace the different parts. Each students is assigned a primal cut.

Their poster should include:

  • Bold title of primal cut
  • Landmarks, bones, or muscles included
  • Fabricated cuts commonly made
  • Recommended cooking method
  • Three recipes that use the fabricated cuts (Titles only are sufficient)

This project pairs well with Modern Marvels: Butcher (currently unavailable through Amazon but I am able to get it with my Learn360 membership). Modern Marvels discusses how meat is inspected and regulated, equipment used, and different careers. In the future I would like to arrange for my students to visit a locker but this great documentary is as close as I can get in the meantime. It gives a true picture of what goes into meat production without too much gore.

FaCS Meat Lab

To demonstrate tender-cut meat cookery, my students made recipes from Cook This, Not That!: Kitchen Survival Guide. Books from the whole Eat This, Not That! series are excellent because they offer lots of flavor for low calories. The recipes are fairly simple to make and can easily be adapted to use less expensive ingredients.
Thai beef lettuce wraps (I used a flat iron steak)

Chimichurri Flank steak (I used a sirloin)

Grilled Pork Chops with Pine Nuts and Peaches

Pound for pound the most expensive part of this lab may have been limes. $1.50 each!

Chopped! Chicken Lab Results

After my students didn’t send me their recipes on time I had them do a “Chopped” style lab. In the Food Network show, contestants are given several mystery ingredients that must be made into a specified dish. The students each drew a market cut of a whole chicken and had 50 minutes to create an entree.

Batter-fried chicken thighs with fried flat bread, giblet gravy, and cheddar cheese

Chicken-noodle soup with baking powder biscuit

Barbecue chicken wings with oven baked fries 

Cajun chicken tenders with mashed potatoes

And the winner was… The GIBLET GRAVY group!