Skip to comments.8 Things Your Butcher Wants to Tell You
Posted on 12/23/2011 5:21:22 AM PST by US Navy Vet
You probably visit the meat counter every time you go to the grocery store, but have you ever wondered about what goes on behind it? To learn the tricks of the butchery trade, we spoke with butchers from grocery-store chains, gourmet supermarkets and specialty shops. Read on to get the inside scoop on freezing, preparing, shopping and saving money on meats so you can carve out some savings next time you hit the counter.
(Excerpt) Read more at shine.yahoo.com ...
Industry pitch for the unknowledgeable.
Numbers 1 and 7 are kind of at odds with each other.
If you want to buy ... say ... strip steaks, it's better to buy the multi-packs in their general counter than to buy individual steaks from behind the glass in butcher service area. The reason being that the steaks displayed in the service area have been sitting out for hours while the packaged steaks were sealed up as soon as they came in the store. Keep in mind that both options are exactly the same price.
For me, that is everything about a cut of beef or pork. I'm forever searching for a nice marbleized cut. They're increasingly hard to find. If I do find a nice marbleized pork or beef roast, I'm never disappointed. That fat self-bastes the roast, keeping it moist and it ads great flavor.
When it comes to buying the stuff in the ‘discount for quick sale’ items, avoid any type of ground beef or pork cuts. Pork is never aged for sale and ground beef is more likely to contain bacteria, so fresher is better.
I stick to the better cuts of steak, rib eye, sirloin etc.
They are actually better if they are slightly dark and you often get a $1-$2 per pound discount.
I seldom pay more than $3.99 a pound for choice steak, so tender you can cut it with a fork.
The closer it is to the freezing point before you put it into freezing temperatures, the fewer ice crystals will form inside the product. Ice crystals cause problems because they tear/puncture cell membranes, which gives frozen items "freezer burn".
Removing air is also a good idea -- if you can vacuum seal it instead of just plastic wrapping, all the better.
I know this because my father was a meat cutterfor 40 years and he always reminded me of the differences between the two.
Whenever chuck roast is on sale, I buy the largest piece and have it ground at the counter. No extra charge for the most delicious hamburger meat.
Yes, it's delicious when marinated properly, but economical?
No way. It costs $8.00 a pound in these parts.
I’m a maniac about using meat immediately or wrapping it well & freezing immediately. Plus it is so nice when I come home from school tired & I can just pull something from the freezer.
I take the meat & roll it up in saran wrap (the rolling takes the air out nicely) & then I wrap that tightly in foil & then put the wrapped meat in a gallon freezer bag that is labeled.
Now I am getting hungry.
The difference was mostly brought about by government regulations.
In years past butchers did both the ‘kill’ and the meat cutting. Today the places that can do the whole job are regulated so much that even the specialty meat markets have to send the animals to a kill market and get back the animal dressed, ready for aging and cutting/wrapping.
The majority of Journeyman meat cutters could do the entire job if allowed by the government.
Off topic: What do you think you did to make the little:
We process all out own meat.
Interesting that the skirt steak is the recommended cheap cut. The woman I purchase beef from at the local farmer’s market told me that she prices it at $18 lb, because that’s what she can get for it since there are two per head and it’s become trendy with foodies. Her sirloins, tri tips, bones, etc. are competitive with the counters that sell prime meats.
Double that with fish.
Here’s a couple more buying tips:
1. If flies won’t land on it, ask for a discount.
2. If the butcher wears gloves, it’s for your health. If he wears a bio-hazard suit, it’s for his health.
3. Never buy meat from a butcher shop that shares a building with a dog pound.
Bump for later.
I’m also a big fan of mixing a marinade in a gallon ziploc freezer bag, adding meat (particularly chicken) to it, squeezing the air out, and freezing like that. That way, it marinates as it defrosts — killing two birds (no pun intended) with one stone.
We have been using a vacuum sealer for 3 years now and it has preserved the taste and texture better than just a wrap. With bacon, I can re-vacuum it 4 times and the bacon maintains it red color. And thanks for the tip on getting your food cold before freezing.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.