Category: Tips & Tricks

Butcher Shop VS Grocery Store: 3 Things to Consider

We sell Certified Angus Beef (CAB) and local beef for a reason – QUALITY. We are committed to providing our customers with the best beef possible at a fair price. Here are 3 things to consider before buying beef from the grocery store.

1 – Aged Beef is Better Beef

All beef bought from The Meating Place is either wet aged or dry aged. Dry aging is the process of letting meat hang in the open air in a climate controlled room. Wet aging is where you vacuum seal a cut of beef and keep it in the the refrigerator for the aging process. The goal of aging beef is to allow the cut of meat to grow microbes and enzymes that will break down its fibers. The breaking down of those connective tissues results in deliciously tender beef. Dry aging provides the best possible results and we are proud to say that all of our local beef is dry aged. However, wet aging still provides a nice, tender steak and is a part of the process for all of our Certified Angus Beef. Not all beef purchased from a grocery store is aged properly and you could be left with a tough, chewy steak.

2 – Quality Standards for CAB

Certified Angus Beef has 10 quality standards that separate the average Angus beef from the superior Certified Angus Beef. Only 3 out of 10 of all Angus steaks meet the standards that CAB has for their products. You can literally see the difference in quality by noticing the marbling of the meat. Marbling is the little white strips of fat that are seen throughout the cut of beef. For the most flavorful and juicy bite, look for marbling that is evenly distributed in the beef. You’re guaranteed beautiful, consistent marbling every time you buy a CAB steak from The Meating Place.

3 – Fresh VS Frozen Local Beef

“Fresh” isn’t just a word we add to our local beef to make it sound better. It means that it hasn’t been frozen when it comes to us or by the time it makes it to you. This allows for the aging to continue to take place even while it’s in our store. Beef purchased from a grocery store has most likely already been frozen before it hits the shelves. We’re so thankful for our partners at Honey Hog Farms that allow us to keep fresh, local beef in stock for our community.

It is worth knowing what you’re getting and where you’re getting it from. We ensure quality so you can shop confidently.

How to Design the Ultimate Winter Charcuterie Board

We’ve all been there. You’re at a Christmas party. You’re hungry. And the main course is nowhere near ready. Suddenly you aren’t just hungry… you’re hangry–hungry AND angry! And the chips and dip the host set out just aren’t going to get you through social hour.

As the host of your own holiday party, you’d be mortified to leave your guests hangry. The goal is to have a seamless night with happy guests and an easy, breezy, low-maintenance-yet-delicious meal. That means the appetizers need to meet all those standards, and believe us, that’s no easy feat.

But, luckily, there are some SUPER simple ways to step up social hour at a Christmas gathering, so read on to learn how to create the ultimate charcuterie board–one that will NEVER leave a guest hangry.

Cover Your Bases

You’ve seen it. It’s the standard meat and cheese tray from the grocer and it leaves much to be desired. Sure, it’s perfect for the office party. After all, why shouldn’t the food match right along with the awkward atmosphere?

What you probably don’t know is that setting up something more well-rounded is just as easy, and will make you look like a genius when your guests wander toward the food table before the meal is ready. Because there they’ll meet meats and cheeses they’re excited to eat and pairings they’ll remember until next Christmas.

So don’t stop with ham and cheddar. Visit your local deli counter to see what kind of unexpected finds are there, and don’t forget the baguette, condiments, and jam that will really take things to the next level. Have fun with it!

Know Your Audience

If you’re serving to a down-home family that loves country-comfort food, maybe leave the stinky cheeses alone, and if there are kids involved don’t forget to include some basics they’ll enjoy. Because it doesn’t matter how much time and effort you put in, it’s useless if no one will eat it!

This doesn’t mean you need to limit the selection to cheddar and ham, but it does mean you’ll need to consider your guests’ pallets and keep things a little more traditional. You can ask your local deli counter for some suggestions to spice things up without getting too crazy.

But if you’re catering to your ritzy boss or a crowd that’s ready to get fancy for the holiday, your charcuterie is your chance to shine! Use some ingredients you’ve never heard of and go wild!

Remember… We’re here to help!

Whatever you decide to do for your appetizers, just remember that we’re here to help. At The Meating Place you have a team of extremely knowledgeable staff who can guide you into excellent pairings and help you make unexpected selections for your guests. We even make charcuterie boards for you to boot, because let’s face it, ain’t nobody got time for that!

How to Choose Your Steak

When you come to The Meating Place, you come face to face with so much meat. So much! And if you aren’t already a pro when it comes to it, shopping for your dinner can be intimidating. There seem to be infinite cuts and sizes, and the fact that you can choose any steak you want can be a bit much unless you know what to look for. But please don’t be intimidated, because we’re here to help you select YOUR ideal cuts! Here’s your guide to selecting the perfect steak for your occasion.

Know Your Grades

Most steak sold at your butcher or the grocery store is inspected and graded for quality. Standard beef is the cheapest you’ll want to buy, Select beef is slightly better and more expensive, but Choice and Prime steaks blow the other two out of the water. But at The Meating Place, we sell Certified Angus Beef (CAB) steaks that are inspected by the USDA to be considered Choice or Prime and then pass CAB’s additional set of 10 science-backed quality standards.

Look for Marbled Texture

Many soon-to-be steak connoisseurs make the mistake of thinking that the leaner the steak the better it will be – because who wants a mouth full of fat, right? WRONG! A steak with a marbled texture (visible fat marbling running throughout) will be your best friend. It’ll be juicier, more tender, and just better. Sure, you might not eat the fat that runs along the edge of your cut, but the fat marbling your steak will melt away when it’s cooked and cause the meat to simply melt in your mouth.

Choose the Right Size

If you’ve ever accidentally cooked a steak too much, you probably bought it too thin. Especially if you’re new to preparing steaks, you’ll want to choose one that’s at least one inch thick. The thinner the steak, the easier it is too cook too thoroughly before you’ve even realized it.

Color Matters

The freshest cuts are a pale red color, but letting your steak age a few extra hours and deepen in color will often make for a more tender steak. And while any color that’s not bright red can SEEM scary, the color that should actually make you stop in your tracks is gray – it means your meat is spoiling. But if you see that lovely marbling, a deeper red, or some browning of the meat, don’t worry. Those are all natural processes of quality beef. In fact, a bit of brown on the meat just means it’s touched oxygen, and marbling (as we said) means a juicier result.

Now that you know the basics of picking your cut of beef, come visit us. We can give you even more information to answer your specific questions, and even advise on how to prepare your selections to get the most of your meal.