So you know that great food has made the mainstream when political bloggers talk about the best burger. Andrew Sullivan of the Atlantic’s Daily Dish (not a food meaning I promise!) posted a discussion about Eric Rippert (Le Bernadin) and his lessons on the Perfect Burger from the Big Mac.
I don’t agree with all of it, but I certainly think that burger size is a huge issue. We sell more 8oz burgers than any other size, and they are on the large size for the average consumer. I have read a lot on the best burger, but the real discussion should be about what goes into a great burger.
At Bush Brothers we use a lean chuck ground with our steak trimmings to make an 80% Lean 20% Fat blend, and we leave it coarse for sizes larger than 4oz. This makes the bite a bit more interesting and gives great flavor. There is a wonderful video done by Men’s Vogue talking with New York’s Pat Lafrieda about his burger mix, where he adds Brisket and Shortribs to his blend. These touches make for unique flavor and to-die-for texture.
What do you think the perfect burger is?
We just got in some fantastic ostrich eggs! If you have never seen one (see chart below for comparison), it is about 3 pounds and contains the liquid of two dozen or more chicken eggs. Our customer that we bring these items in for uses them for a buffet and uses a dremmel to open the egg up (its that hard!) and mixes in his other ommlette ingredients into the egg ang pours out of the egg on a buffet. Its a nice presentation, if not a bit over the top.
These gorgeous eggs though make me wonder what other animals have unique eggs that we could use in food? We know that quail eggs are used as garnish or appetizers frequently, of course chicken eggs are the standard, but if you think outside the box, caviar and roe are fish eggs, albiet in a very different form, duck and goose eggs are also commonly available in the foodservice industry.
I have not tasted these eggs as of yet, but their shell alone is something to marvel at.
I am sorry that I am starting this blog off with a non-meat post, but I was so excited about this item, I had to share!
Butchering is one of the oldest crafts in the world, ever since man started hunting animals, someone had to butcher the catch. Because of this, there are very rarely any “new” steaks or “new” cuts, just diferent takes on the same. But technology has changed this. We use a product called Avtiva GS. Made by the Japanese company Ajinimoto, Activa is a transglutamase enzyme that bonds two protein molecules together. Its uses in the butchershop are nearly endless, and its uses in the kitchen are even broader (see Alex and Aki at Ideas in Food). Using Activa, we can make new products that have never been seen before. Our biggest sucess with this is our Hyogo Cut Rib Steak which is made from pure-bred wagyu beef ribeyes from Australia. We use the cap muscle off the top (the spinalis dorsi for meat geeks) of the ribeye, and clean up two, three, or four pieces of them and then bond them together using activa. The finished “log” looks something like a denuded new york strip.
We cryovac them for a few days to allow the bond to set. The medallions made from these cuts are the richest tasting meat you have ever eaten. The best size we have found is either 4oz or 5oz, because the richness is overwhelming in larger sizes.
Our trade is a dying art. There are a few young turks coming up to take over the reigns, but alas, the Mechanical Steak Cutter and Broadline Distributor is slowly but surely eliminating the craft. Our family has been in this business since 1925, in the same plant in West Palm Beach, Florida. We are fortunate enough to have a captive audience of some of the finest establishments in South Florida right here in Palm Beach, but without that, would we be another low-rent steak cutting house making the bargain basement items for Sysco?
The retail side of the business is not much better, the mega marts have slowly moved the butchers out of the shop and put the pre-packaged items in, and the standalone butchers are all but gone (unless you are in New York City or Chicago, the last bastions for the meat eaters).
My goal with this blog is to share the art of the knife with the wide world and try to bring back the sense of craftsmanship and quality that this business used to have, please enjoy it and let me know if you have any suggestions or comments!
From my family to yours.
Welcome, soon you will see this page evolve into a thoughtful commentary and keen insight into the meat industry and the food world. I am a fifth generation butcher catering to the finest hotels, restaurants, country clubs, and private chefs in South Florida. I have been working the butcher’s block since my father put a step stool in and I could see over it. The meat side of the food world is under represented in the blogosphere and I hope to change that. Check back often to see the growth of this niche blog about a fascinating art.