Your local butcher....

Do you have a local butcher,? My friend retired about 6? Years ago, he had his own shop, I used to call in there about 3 or 4 times a week. He's real down to earth and funny. The new butcher is a complete idiot.no personality and full of himself. I've only been to his shop once. My friend still gets meat cheap and operates from his part time job so I still get good deals. I remember growing up and our block of shops had two butcher shops. There's none there now, most people tend to buy from supermarkets now. Do you have a local butcher??

Russ
 
An avid cook and entertainer with friends. I have a great family and great friends, I'm so lucky. Bloodlines are from Cornwall but born and bred in chch nz.
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TastyReuben

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Yes, though it's inside the gourmet grocery store I go to. We have three that I visit regularly, but that's the one I visit most.

Both the freestanding butchers I go to also offer hot meals as well and do an excellent job with those.

The in-store butcher, they'll custom cut anything I want, and they'll sharpen my knives for free. The "butcher" at the big grocery (Kroger) is useless. They won't cut or grind anything on request. They say they do, but they don't.
 

medtran49

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The "butcher" at the big grocery (Kroger) is useless. They won't cut or grind anything on request. They say they do, but they don't.
We have a store like that. Well, actually it was 1 particular man. Anytime you asked if there was more of anything if they were out of a particular cut or if you asked him to grind anything, he would always tell you no or make up an excuse as to why he couldn't perform the service you asked for. I got seriously ticked off 1 day when he told me no and went to the manager, who proceeded to go to the meat department and have the butcher grind the meat for me. From there on, I always got good service at the meat counter.
 

TastyReuben

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Anytime you asked if there was more of anything if they were out of a particular cut or if you asked him to grind anything, he would always tell you no or make up an excuse as to why he couldn't perform the service you asked for.
That's exactly what every single Kroger butcher I've ever dealt with has done. "Can I get a pound of chuck coarse ground?" "That grinding plate is dirty right now, I'd have to wash it."

After a few examples of this, I went to customer service and explained to the manager exactly why I wasn't buying any more meat there ever again.

My favorite butcher, now here's a story...first time I went there, 2004, I stopped in and picked up a few things, and it went like this:

"Can I get a pound of ground sirloin and a pound of ground pork?"

"Sure can, brother! What're gonna do with that? Meatloaf?"

"Close. Meatballs."

"Oh, brother, I love a good meatball! You baking them, or frying and simmering in a sauce?"

"Frying and simmering. I don't really like baking them."

"You got that right! Baking dried 'em out, brother! Hey, I haven't seen you in here before, what's your name?"

I told him my name, and he said, "Hey, you wouldn't know a Buddy Smith, would you? He used to deliver pop in these parts in the '70's."

"Yes sir, that's my dad. He retired about eight or ten years ago, and yeah, when he ran a route, this was his area. He's the one who told me to come in here. We just moved back after 20 years."

"Well, I'll be! Your dad...one of the good ones! This was my dad's place, and I worked here coming up, and your dad always slid me and my brother a pop, every time he made a delivery. Every time! You tell him Mike at Gripp's said hello and you give him a big hug from me. I hope he's ok!"

Small world, huh?
 

rascal

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That's exactly what every single Kroger butcher I've ever dealt with has done. "Can I get a pound of chuck coarse ground?" "That grinding plate is dirty right now, I'd have to wash it."

After a few examples of this, I went to customer service and explained to the manager exactly why I wasn't buying any more meat there ever again.

My favorite butcher, now here's a story...first time I went there, 2004, I stopped in and picked up a few things, and it went like this:

"Can I get a pound of ground sirloin and a pound of ground pork?"

"Sure can, brother! What're gonna do with that? Meatloaf?"

"Close. Meatballs."

"Oh, brother, I love a good meatball! You baking them, or frying and simmering in a sauce?"

"Frying and simmering. I don't really like baking them."

"You got that right! Baking dried 'em out, brother! Hey, I haven't seen you in here before, what's your name?"

I told him my name, and he said, "Hey, you wouldn't know a Buddy Smith, would you? He used to deliver pop in these parts in the '70's."

"Yes sir, that's my dad. He retired about eight or ten years ago, and yeah, when he ran a route, this was his area. He's the one who told me to come in here. We just moved back after 20 years."

"Well, I'll be! Your dad...one of the good ones! This was my dad's place, and I worked here coming up, and your dad always slid me and my brother a pop, every time he made a delivery. Every time! You tell him Mike at Gripp's said hello and you give him a big hug from me. I hope he's ok!"

Small world, huh?
Great story and memories.

Russ
 

rascal

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Yes, though it's inside the gourmet grocery store I go to. We have three that I visit regularly, but that's the one I visit most.

Both the freestanding butchers I go to also offer hot meals as well and do an excellent job with those.

The in-store butcher, they'll custom cut anything I want, and they'll sharpen my knives for free. The "butcher" at the big grocery (Kroger) is useless. They won't cut or grind anything on request. They say they do, but they don't.
Lol, sharpening knives, I have a large butchers steel I sharpen my knives with. Whenever we stay at our Suns place I take my steel out and sharpen my d.i.l knives. She's says I do a good job on bad knives.

Russ
 

caseydog

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Stand-alone butcher stores are few and far between here. It is a 30-plus minute drive to the nearest one to me, and it is in a suburb known for speed traps and less than honest cops. So, So, I only go there when I really need something special.

As a kid, my mom got all of our meat at the "meat market" in town. Those slowly disappeared over the years.

My Kroger meat department is pretty good. The staff is friendly and helpful. I have my own meat grinder, so I never need to ask for any grinding at the store. Something I learned "under the table" is that Kroger meat department staff get in trouble for doing "special" cuts, especially if it involves removing any fat or gristle. That reduces the weight, and therefore the price. A woman at a local Kroger used to do special trimming for an elderly friend of mine who had arthritis. My friend praised the meat cutter to a manager, and the woman got in trouble. So (as often) in this case, it was management messing things up.

CD
 

rascal

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Stand-alone butcher stores are few and far between here. It is a 30-plus minute drive to the nearest one to me, and it is in a suburb known for speed traps and less than honest cops. So, So, I only go there when I really need something special.

As a kid, my mom got all of our meat at the "meat market" in town. Those slowly disappeared over the years.

My Kroger meat department is pretty good. The staff is friendly and helpful. I have my own meat grinder, so I never need to ask for any grinding at the store. Something I learned "under the table" is that Kroger meat department staff get in trouble for doing "special" cuts, especially if it involves removing any fat or gristle. That reduces the weight, and therefore the price. A woman at a local Kroger used to do special trimming for an elderly friend of mine who had arthritis. My friend praised the meat cutter to a manager, and the woman got in trouble. So (as often) in this case, it was management messing things up.

CD
I too have my own grinder, it also doubles as a sausage maker. I havnt tried them yet.

Russ
 

medtran49

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We've got a grinder too, but sometimes if you just need a small amount you might not want to do it yourself and have the mess to clean up. But, if a store advertises about how helpful they are, then they should happily do as asked!
 

Mountain Cat

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I have no idea if there is a good local butcher shop where I live now. I do get most of my meat from meat shares from local farmers, or from farm stands selling locally, free-ranged or pastured meats. Although I have to note that I can't get more local for my coming supply of chicken as I am now. (Along with the eggs...) Ahem.

Back in my old home in the state of Connecticut, it was possible to get meat freshly ground/minced, you picking out the cuts, at one or two supermarkets in the area. (Stew Leonard's - a "chain" of 7 Connecticut and New York stores, and ShopRite - the latter at least my branch.) However, while they were good about working with customers, their meats were not pasture-raised (which is important to me). So I am relying on friends and neighbors and co-workers who used their services to note that the butcher shops in these stores really DID aim to Please. I'd always be happy to know that a co-worker who bought on-site-ground/minced beef for his grilling nights was able to guarantee that his burger patties were made only from one or two cattle - not the hundreds you need to worry about in other supermarkets. Those two supermarkets would also cut meats they had to hand to your specifications - at least for pork and beef.

Recently, I picked up half a pig from a local butcher through a meat share. I could ask for the cuts I wanted. And for smoking for those I also wanted smoked. There were some limitations - it was, after all, a small operation.

Recently, I ordered a grinding/sausage-making attachment for my KitchenAid. I haven't gotten around to using it yet. But I look forward to that.
 
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It depends on what I want to do. All I need a butcher for is the meat, not the grind or the cut. I expect to have to cut away some of the fat, or to use the fat (if I'm making sausage or hamburger). Mostly, grocery stores are fine for what I want to do. But, when I want a good cut of meat, I head to either a high-end market with a butcher shop, or one of a handful of stand-alone shops. This includes brisket (which is always garbage at supermarkets) and any whole fresh fish (I went to a specialty seafood market for the mackerel I used in the Recipe Challenge a year ago).

In the Detroit area, we're used to driving a lot (I drive 40 miles each way to work), so an extra half hour to get the cut of meat I need isn't that big a deal to me. But, I do mostly got what's convenient, which means the supermarket.
 

Mountain Cat

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... But, when I want a good cut of meat, I head to either a high-end market with a butcher shop, or one of a handful of stand-alone shops. This includes brisket (which is always garbage at supermarkets) ...

In the Detroit area, we're used to driving a lot (I drive 40 miles each way to work), so an extra half hour to get the cut of meat I need isn't that big a deal to me. But, I do mostly got what's convenient, which means the supermarket.
Yes. I remember several teenage years when our next door neighbor would invite us over for her Christmas dinner. We always went because she'd just lost her husband, and she was a nice neighbor - even if pretty much a terrible cook. Every year she'd cook the exact same meal.

A Brie-encased pastry. Okay, this was AWESOME. But the occasion didn't last.

Brisket, dried out and overcooked at high temperatures. Boiled brussels sprouts. I don't recall what the dessert was, but obviously it failed to impress, too. We were always polite...

YES it is very easy for brisket to become garbage. When I got a hunk of it (pastured) as a gift, I was at a loss. Fortunately the Internet existed by then, and I slow-cooked it in the slow cooker - and thus I've come to love it.

There was one of those years where I had to prep for surgery the next day - and could only eat / drink clear fluids. We were invited over. While I seriously did miss that Brie dish, knowing I could decline the brisket and brussels - it was worth declining the one good item. So.. my dinner was chicken broth and one glass (of yes, it was a clear liquid) white wine. The neighbor felt bad for me, but I assured her I was totally fine. So GOOD to avoid her tough brisket!!

Yes, I've since come to appreciate properly cooked brisket and Brussels sprouts.
 
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Mountain Cat: It's certainly possible to kill a beautiful cut of meat (a second time, technically) with bad preparation.

But, what I meant was the quality of the meat. Around St. Patrick's Day, "corned beef kits" show up at Kroger, costing about $3/pound, and coming with a seasoning packet. Meanwhile, a butcher shop that I rarely go to sells brisket for $9.69/pound. There's a huge difference in quality, and the extra expense is worth it, but only on a special occasions. I mean, I love my family, but not THAT much. :laugh:
 

rascal

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We don't have a "local butcher" as such but there are two pork butchers in the afternoon/evening market that we use. This is one....

For chicken or duck we use the supermarket outlet. Beef butchers are very few and far between so we order on-line.
I'd love to market shop every day like you do.

Russ
 
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