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Butcher boy

Knowledge, not strength, is the secret to skilful dismemberment

By William Skidelsky   October 2012

Nathan Mills, aka “the Butcher,” is standing in front of a large wooden cutting block in a converted railway arch in Bermondsey, southeast London. On the block is a side of Gloucester Old Spot pig—half an animal, split lengthways, innards and head removed—and a selection of implements: a boning knife, a slicing knife, a saw, and a cleaver. Mills picks up each in turn, explains its function, and then demonstrates the correct motion for using it. The boning knife (“your most important tool”) has a long thin blade which curves up…

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