4 Crucial Facts Your Butcher Wants You to Know About Meat

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Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show Aired June 12, 2015

By Lisa Lozano

Our favorite butcher Ray Venezia is back and he’s sharing four facts that will save you time and money when shopping for and preparing meat.

Fact 1: It’s Cheaper to Buy Meat in Extra-Large Portions

It can get expensive to buy individually portioned cuts of meat. Ray advises to buy a large cut of meat, like an entire pork loin, then have your butcher portion it out. From one pork loin you can get baby back ribs, bones to use in sauces and stocks, a roast, chops and even cutlets.

RECIPE: Roasted Pork Chops with Green Beans & Potatoes

Fact 2: Cold Running Water is the Best Shortcut for Defrosting Meat

The best way to defrost meat is, of course, to put in the bottom of your fridge for 24-48 hours. But if you don’t have the time, Ray suggests putting your meat package inside a zip lock bag, then placing it inside a pot in the sink under cold running water.

RECIPE: Grilled Pinwheel Steaks

Fact 3: Different Cuts of Beef Need to Be Prepared Differently

Everything from the front of the animal is for slow, penetrating, liquid-based cooking (i.e. braising), while the middle to the back end is for higher heat intense cooking (i.e high heat in the oven or grilling).

RECIPE: Pan Roasted Chicken with Potatoes & Green Olives

Fact 4: Meat Should be Cooked Or Frozen Quicker than You Might Think

Ray shares this surprising fact – meat starts losing moisture, and therefore flavor, immediately when it’s cut. So he advises to only keep meat in your fridge for 1-2 days before you cook or freeze it. For ground beef, Ray suggests even less fridge time. For maximum flavor, he suggests cooking or freezing the same day you buy it.

What’s your favorite cut of meat? Tell us in the comments.

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