Prime cuts

Hey, do you know the secret to getting better quality and lower-priced ground meat at the supermarket? I do.

Wait until beef chuck (pot roast) or boneless pork shoulder (butt) are on sale. Where I live, the sale price for these is $2/lb, and each tends to go on sale once a month.

Find a nice roast, bring it up to the butcher counter, and ask them to grind it. They will not bat an eye. They will be glad that you’re actually asking them to do something. And you’ll get the sale price on freshly ground meat. The prepackaged ground pork at my supermarket is terrible–too lean and too finely ground–but the freshly ground pork is great.

I haven’t tried this with chicken, but I don’t see why they wouldn’t do it. Lamb, you’re probably out of luck, since supermarkets don’t generally sell boneless lamb shoulder. Which is a shame, since lamb stew is delicious, but I should be probably be supporting my local butcher anyway.

4 thoughts on “Prime cuts

  1. Owen O'Neill

    As a child in the 1930’s my mom was regularly sent around the corner to the neighborhood market with specific instructions to buy ground beef only in this manner. The pre-ground / pre-packaged stuff that comes from giant meat processing plants was not a staple item at the time but my grandmother didn’t trust that even her supposedly reliable local butcher would be selling 100% ground chuck unless it was ground to order while you watched. To this day I think it’s still a good practice for many reasons – quality being only one of them.

  2. t

    Cool and that way no weird fillers added to your ground beef, right? Some of the supermarket pre-ground beef has picked up a grainy taste and feel to it. Bleah.

  3. mamster Post author

    The 1930s, huh? Crap! I thought I invented this idea last month.

    Okay, actually, I read it somewhere. Probably Cook’s Illustrated–where else do I read kitchen tips on a regular basis?

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