I have to say, being vegetarian, I don’t much like going into the butchers.
But I’ll do it for the dog. Even in Portugal, where waiting at the counter is an uncomfortable exchange of glances with things that look back at you from the chiller cabinet to the disturbing sound of uncalculated, frantic hacking.
The last time I went there I made the mistake of asking for a few dog bones at the end of the day. Delighted to offload an industrial-size bin bag full of the day’s unpleasantries, the butcher was insistent that I accept the entire extent of his generosity and nothing less. No screaming, laughing or any attempts to decline his offer were accepted.
What ensued that night in the dimness of the lamp lit lane outside the house was a shadowy and sordid unloading of dismembered body parts from an enormous black bag in the boot of the car, chunk by chunk of bloody flesh, skin, fatty organs and loosely articulating jointed bones that made your stomach churn.
With bloodied sleeves rolled up to the elbows it all got bagged up into usable portions, thrown into the chest freezer and the carcases I just wasn’t willing to deal with taken up to the wheelie bin.
I hadn’t however, spotted this little beauty, which floated to the top of a pan the other day as it became detached from a load of fatty flesh at boiling point.