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Maxim - - THE MAXIM GUIDE TO BUTCHERY -

“AMER­ICA’S BUTCHER” PAT LAFRIEDA LAYS DOWN THE RULES OF RAW MEAT.

DO Ask Ques­tions

“Where does it come from? What was it fed? How old is the steer? Is it USDA graded? If he doesn’t know the an­swers, def­i­nitely move on,” Lafrieda warns.

DON’T Buy Pre­frozen

“If meat tests pos­i­tive for E. coli, it doesn’t need to be tossed out. Un­der USDA reg­u­la­tions, it can be cooked to 165 de­grees to kill the bac­te­ria and frozen. It can then be sold. So be­ware of pre­frozen burg­ers and meat­balls.”

DO Trust Your Nose

You know the scent of ran­cid meat—you should know the smell of high-qual­ity meat, too. “Beef should have a very sweet odor; in the very best, you’ll smell a lit­tle corn.”

DON’T Buy Marinated

That pile of kabob meat bathing in teriyaki? Chances are, it’s be­come ox­i­dized. “The only way to mar­ket it is to mar­i­nate it. Watch out for any butcher that stocks a lot of marinated meat.”

DO Know the Grade

Gro­cery-store meat not stamped with a USDA grade? “That’s a tell­tale sign that it’s an older, ‘no roll’ an­i­mal and of a poorer qual­ity. Skip it.”

DON’T Act Like a Know-it-all

Are you an am­a­teur Bobby Flay or a sucker for Seam­less? Clue your butcher in. He won’t send you home with a hard-to-cook cut if you’re not up to the chal­lenge.

DO Con­sult Your Butcher

Crav­ing flank steak? Great. Your meat man may be fresh out, but he’ll likely sug­gest a sim­i­lar steak (say, bavette) that’s even more fla­vor­ful.

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