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Old 01-06-2008, 01:10 PM   #1
Orfy
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Default Meat and butchers.

Where do you buy your meat?

A few brewers have mentioned that they don't have local butchers.
Most cities don't have butchers in the high streets. Pushed out by coffee and fashion shops. The majority of people buy pink packaged lean meats from the supermarkets. (I refuse too)

The good news is that most towns, villages and markets have ample butchers. Like most trades they vary in quality but there are plenty of good ones.

The best ones have meat hanging and maturing. They are the ones to seek out because they follow the craft and are interested in quality.
The poorer ones are just distributors (sort of).

Any way.... I like my butchers.




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Old 01-06-2008, 01:12 PM   #2
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Old 01-06-2008, 02:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orfy
The best ones have meat hanging and maturing. They are the ones to seek out because they follow the craft and are interested in quality.
The poorer ones are just distributors (sort of).
I was a meat cutter for almost 20 years in a grocery store. During that time I saw the stores go from swinging meat to boxed primal cuts to pre-trimmed primals. Some stores (Wal-Mart. for example) are selling fully processed pre-packaged retail cuts. There are good and bad things about this.

The bad is you no longer have an experienced meatcutter(don't call them butchers, they don't like that) on hand to ask questions, just some flunky that stocks the shelves. An he won't be able to custom-cut anything for you. He couldn't if he wanted to- the store doesn't even have a meatsaw or a grinder.

The good is there is a lot less chance of getting food poisoning from cross-contamination. You don't have to worry about your steak being processed on the same meatsaw and cutting table as the 50 chickens that were just cut up, or your hamburger run through the same grinder as the 100 lbs of pork that was just ground for sausage. Local places don't worry about that nearly as much because they only see an inspector maybe once or twice a year, while the processing plants have them on-site all the time. They also don't pay nearly as much attention to temperature control and sanitation in general. And don't get me started on the things I've seen in regards to reprocessing out-of date product.

About the only places that you are going to find swinging beef anymore are the places that still do customized slaughtering. At least that is the way in the US, Orfy, I don't know about the UK. There are a very few specialized shops that still hang on to the old ways, but VERY few.
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Old 01-06-2008, 02:10 PM   #4
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When I cook a fancy meal I get meat from a butcher. In the US that usually equates to a place like Whole foods, although I just saw an advertisement a week or two ago for a real butcher shop. I'm going to have to go check him out.

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Old 01-06-2008, 02:14 PM   #5
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i've got a couple locals that do custom cuts and grind for house sausage. we also have quite a few butchers that do work for farmers, custom cuts from hangers(beef, pork and seasonaly deer)

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Old 01-06-2008, 02:37 PM   #6
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I know that in cities such as Boston, Worcester, and Providence there are still shops with butchers (meat markets). We usually buy all of our meat at the supermarket unless it is a special meal. Why? We're lazy.

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Old 01-06-2008, 02:46 PM   #7
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In the southern US if the city's I have been in do have "meat cutters" it just takes a bit of searching (or driving). They are a staple in the small towns.

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Old 01-06-2008, 02:50 PM   #8
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We have a nice farmers market nearby. 6+ butchers speacilizing in either pork, beef our poultry.

really good stuff.

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Old 01-06-2008, 02:56 PM   #9
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We have several up here, seems like you have to get out of the city to find the ones that either raise and butcher their own beef or at least buy and slaughter them. We buy all our meat from the local "meat markets"no more water added or pink crap. It costs a little more but is well worth it.

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Old 01-06-2008, 03:27 PM   #10
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Years ago (20+?), There was a place in East Brunswick, NJ called S&S Meats. That is the only major (old school) style butcher that's around here, that I know of. Not that I've really tried hard. The "World Class" Shop Rite supermarkets sometimes have a decent meat department, but they don't compare to a real butcher (not to say they aren't, but you know what I mean). The closest thing we have around these parts, that I know of is the Wegman's stores (in Manalapan and Woodbridge). The only problem is they get real expensive (Fish/seafood worse than beef/pork/poultry). For New Years eve I picked up some steaks for like $9/lb, which was a good deal.

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