walking into a butcher’s shop
can be intimidating, what with all the hunks of meat dangling from metal hooks and the guy in an apron Jackson Pollock–ed with blood. But rest assured: that cleaver is not meant for you. The butcher is your friend, equal parts culinary guide and meat carver, ready to educate you on everything from the best unsung cuts to how to cook the meat he’s hacking up for you. Here, we unlock some of meat’s most enduring mysteries, with an assist from the master butchers at America’s greatest chop shops.