Tag Archives: The Gourmet Butcher

Bah Humbug Flu

16 Dec

The Christmas 2010 Flu feels like (pick one):

a)  being trampled by a herd of elephants
b)  being delicately stomped on by the entire cast of The Nutcracker Suite (en pointe)
c)  being processed through one of my industrial meat grinders.

Don’t pick one – it’s all of them.  So sorry for this pause in the blog, but I’m (sorta) BACK!.

OK.  Here’s the thing…
Traditionally, when someone puts a lot of care into raising an animal, or buying a side of beef, or buying a whole pig, they go to a custom cutting shop to have that animal processed for them.
So for those of you who like to buy a large cut or side of meat and have it cut up for you at a custom-cutting shop… guess what?

Most custom-cutting shops give you a list and say, “this is what you’re going to get” (from that side of lamb or pork, or beef fore-quarter).  Thing is, usually that list is created for the convenience of the custom-cutting shop so that they can produce more product, because (duh) they usually get paid by the pound.

That’s always frustrated me, and I know it bugs other people too.  Folks often come to me and say, “Well, I go to this guy and I’m not happy.  I don’t feel like he trims my bones well enough, and I think I’m losing product.  Plus I get the same stuff over and over.”

Turns out you’re right. I like to show people that there are far more options they can have from a cut of meat.  You don’t have to be stuck with that bone-in ham or smoked bacon.  You can have a ham boned-out like you do a round of beef, and you can have these wonderful thin cutlets, and fresh pork steaks.  Or take a beef flank steak and butterfly it and stuff it and roll it up and roast it or slice it and grill or bake or broil it.  There’s really  no limit.

Which is one of the reasons that I’m about to launch THE GOURMET BUTCHER – a two DVD set that will show anybody how to take that side of meat or primal cut and trim it up themselves.  And turn it into wonderful gourmet cuts and great recipes.

You don’t have to be a butcher  – anyone can do it.

So WATCH THIS SPACE, and I’ll let y’all know when the big day arrives.  I’m stoked!

Do It Yourself


Meat’s neat – read the book.

15 Nov

Word’s getting out there about what good butchers believe in.  We believe in quality meat from happy, healthy animals that have been lovingly raised and humanely killed.  We believe in clean pastures, local produce and ethical farmers.  And great food.

All that – and much more – is part of a terrific book that I’m delighted to be part of.  It’s called Primal Cuts – Cooking with America’s Best Butchers, from Welcome Books.  It’s a showcase of America’s top fifty butchers, and I’m proud to be included (alphabetical order, so I’m the last one in the book – but hey, last is best, right?)  Take a look at their website and click on “look inside” – I start (!) on page 274.

Let me know what you think.  And no, I was not trying hide my chin.