According to Food Safety News, the federal government's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a recall for 58,000 pounds of ground beef from Hanford, Calif.'s Central Valley Meat Co. this week. The meat was distributed to four states across the U.S. with intentions of serving it to children who use the National School Lunch Program (that would be poor kids).
The recall was issued after consumer complaints that the meat contained "foreign materials." The hamburger was shipped to Arkansas, California, Montana and Texas. The recall is for two case codes of "Fine Ground Beef," sold in 40-lb. cases containing 10-lb. chubs with the establishment number "Est. 6063A" and case codes 6063A3091A and 6063A3091B.
It's time for a confession: I have never butchered a chicken. Why? Well, mostly because raw chicken gives me the willies. I like chicken, I eat it all the time, and I don't get that same skin-crawly feeling around raw beef or pork, but raw chicken is something I've just never really been fond of handling. (Side note: I often find when I admit this to people that I'm not alone. Raise your hand if you share my irrational fears!) So anyway, in the past, when I've needed my chicken in pieces (as opposed to a whole roaster) typically I buy it that way. Shameful, I know.
Therefore, this butchering-themed episode of Martha Stewart's Cooking School was the one I was dreading the most, on one hand, but on the other, I knew it was the kick in the pants I needed to finally buck up and, well, cut up.
And I was so full of confidence until ... the feet. But more on that later. First, a lesson from Martha.
Buying meat and fish at McCall's Meat & Fish Co. in Los Feliz usually means buying proteins to cook within the next day or so, and maybe some La Quercia prosciuttio or butter from the self-serve fridge or a bag of Marconas. Need a lemon to go with the beautiful skate wing? That you will have to rustle up somewhere else. But this situation will change in November when McCall's expansion project is complete.
But wait, there's more substance here. Other recent butchery books hail from knife-yielders in swanky San Francisco and New York digs, and serve up pretty pictures of their pristine white carcass carving activities that yield Brentwood-worthy New York steaks. Burch, a longtime outdoors writer, includes the carotid artery slashing stage. In his backyard. Just like, as he references often, the "old-timers" once did. It is the most revolting "amateur" butchery guidebook to land on our desk.
And also the most compelling, honest, and by far the most humane butchery book we've seen. If you're going to eat a pork chop, is there anything more humane than knowing "It's important to make a good killing shot, with a quick death for quality meat," as Burch describes it?
You already know what happens on the next page, but turn the page if you want more.
Of course we're thrilled with the current era of Butcher's Guild manifestos and meat-Tweeting shops like Lindy & Grundy, but we're talking about the introspective, camera- and website-shy guys who for decades have been quietly cutting 2-inch-thick steaks, stuffing fresh pork-pecorino sausages and spatchcocking chickens to fuel our backyard grilling habits. Guys like Richard Schwartz at Bob's Market.
We've outlined a few recommandations for what to get a several of the city's most respected butchers -- locally sourced, organic, all that good business -- but we also name-dropped a few off-the-path places you might not of tried yet.
As Homer Simpson once said, "All normal people love meat. If I went to a barbeque and there was no meat, I would say 'Yo Goober! Where's the meat?' I'm trying to impress people here, Lisa. You don't win friends with salad."
Just kidding vegan friends, we made enough gazpacho for everyone. Turn the page for 6 great Los Angeles butcher shops, listed alphabetically.
In a short promo video by the Culinary Agency, the group that documented Food GPS' Lamb Showdown with Zach Pollack, Steve Samson and Walter Manzke, and a Mark Peel-led tour of the Santa Monica farmers market, the former Portland chef explains the demands of nose-to-tail sourcing and utilizing hyper-seasonal ingredients while Kanye West's "Runaway" plays in the background.