Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What a butcher does

The first thing a butcher will do is break down the carcass to make it easier to divide it into what are called the "primal cuts": chuck, rib, short loin, sirloin, rump, round, flank, short plate, brisket and fore shank. These are then divided further before being sold in supermarkets and by butchers.

Cutting the Carcass
Butchers cut down the spine of the animal to split the carcass in two, length-ways. Each half is then cut into three: the forequarter, the midsection and the hindquarter. These sections are then cut into the primal cuts. Hindquarters are bigger and the meat tends to be of better quality than the forequarters.

Cutting Muscle
Cutting the joints is tricky as there is muscle tissue surrounding them. Butchers cut between the muscle bundles of the joints rather than through them; after which it is possible to separate the joint from the rest of the body. This makes the job easier, although it is still necessary to use a saw and use a sawing action.

The loin can be cut in two ways: one method produces tenderloin and striploin steaks separately; the other produces steaks that have portions of both the tenderloin and the striploin, albeit separated by a bone - the latter are called "t-bone" or "porterhouse" steaks. The tenderloin is trimmed before being prepared for sale. Alternatively, some retailers sell tenderloin sub-primal, which is the untrimmed version. This is a cheaper option as tenderloin is generally expensive

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ground Turkey Recall

Meat giant Cargill Inc. is recalling nearly 36 million pounds of ground turkey linked to a California death and at least 78 other salmonella illnesses nationwide, company officials said.
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the Class I recall, with the highest health risk, late Wednesday. All of the recalled products were produced at the company's Springdale, Ark., plant.
Products include "chubs" of fresh and frozen ground turkey meat, retail trays of ground turkey and ground turkey patties sold at grocery stores including Kroger, Safeway and Giant Eagle, according to company's recall list.
The massive recall follows the death of a Sacramento, Calif., resident tied to an outbreak of salmonella food poisoning that has sickened people in 26 states since March. At the family's request, no details about the death have been released.
In a statement, Cargill officials said the firm was suspending production of ground turkey at the Sprindale plant until it could identify the source of contamination and fix it.
“It is regrettable that people may have become ill from eating one of our ground turkey products and, for anyone who did, we are truly sorry,” Steve Willardsen, president of Cargill’s turkey processing business, said in a written statement to
The recall was announced by Cargill Value Added Meats Retail, a subsidiary of the Wichita-based Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation. The company said that some of the ground turkey was sold in supermarkets under the Honeysuckle White brand. The company said it was recalling ground turkey produced at the Arkansas plant from Feb. 20 through Aug. 2.
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All of the packages recalled include the code "Est. P-963" on the label, the USDA said. The packages were labeled with many different brands, including Cargill's Honeysuckle White.
Cargill is contacting its customers to make sure they know which ground turkey products are affected by the recall. Consumers are urged to return any opened or unopened packages of ground turkey items listed on the company's recall site:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mortal Kombat 9

I couldn't have a blog about meat and NOT talk about to blood and guts in the new Mortal Kombat game. Thats right, this is about MK9. It would only be better if they brought back "Meat". But aside from that, its incredible. They brought back all those little games like test your luck and sight. The whole X-ray thing? LOVE IT! Nothing better than watching what happens to your victim as you rip them apart.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

About Ground Meat

Ground hamburger: Ground from the least wanted cuts of meat.. The butcher reserves trimmings from other meat cuts to grind into hamburger and ground beef. This means in theory there could be pieces of sirloin, chuck, ribs, or even filet mignon in that package of hamburger. According to USDA standards, hamburger may have fat added, but cannot contain more than 30% fat by weight. As a general rule, it is not really sold in supermarkets.
Ground beef: Basically the same as ground hamburger but it cannot have added fat. It cannot contain more than 30% fat by weight.
Ground chuck : 80 to 85 percent lean / 15 to 20 percent fat
Ground round : 85 to 90 percent lean / 10 to 15 percent fat
Ground sirloin : 90 to 92 percent lean / 8 to 10 percent fat
One important note, when it states 80 percent lean, its actually not. Why? Because that 80 percent actually contains 10 percent of fat. So after a little bit of simple math, ground chuck actually contains 70 percent lean, and 30 percent fat.

Tips for buying good beef

When shopping for beef, make sure the meat is bright red. If there is blood pooled in the foam tray, it only means the meat has been prepared the day before. If your looking for something thats just been put out that day, look for something without blood. Now, when it comes to vacuum sealed meats, light brown is not bad! IT is the natural color of beef. It will turn red a few minutes after its been opened. On the other hand, a silvery brown is a sign of deterioration. Keep these tips in mind when shopping for beef.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Beef Jerky

Well, now that its spring, I'd say its time for some beef jerky!

If you want to make some good jerky, you'll need some lean cuts of beef. Sirloin, Top Round, Eye of Round work well. Skirt Steak works pretty well as well. Whatever your choice of meat, its important to cut it into 1/8 or 1/4 inch strips. If your good friends with the butcher, hell gladly trim and cut the beef for you. But if you want to do it yourself, get yourself a nice sharp knife. A dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one. Place the beef in the freezer for about two hours, it will make for slicing easier.

Make sure you trim off all fat and silver skin, fat doesn't dry very well. After the meat is cut, marinade it in your preference of recipe. Personally, i like some olive oil, salt and soy sauce. Let it marinate for 10 hours, although it ads moisture, it makes for a better flavor in the finished jerky. You can now coat the meat with some salt and spices, but it is not necessary.

I'm assuming those who own a dehydrator know how to use it, but for those of you who dont want to waste your money, your oven will work just fine. Set the temperature to 150 degrees F (65 degrees C) and allow it to preheat. (Heat is not intended to cook your jerky; gentle heat aids in the dehydration process by causing the moisture to evaporate.) Place your prepared meat on a wire rack.

Keep an eye out on the jerky for 2-6 hours. It should look a dark burgendy brown when done. When its done, pull it out and let it cool down and enjoy.

Drug/Hormone Free

When it comes to meats that have "Drug" or "Hormone" free. Free ranged vs cage free, these are just marketing terms. They only want your money. The term "Free Ranged" means they get to go outside, for something to be truly free ranged, it would have to be wild. Cage free can mean that although they're not in cages, the animals can be crammed into tight living quarters. As for the drugs and hormones, they are illegal, its redundant for the company's to even mention it. But it is what people want to hear.