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Brandon Nelson's Profile

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A rant: At the meat counter: fools or liars?

The moisture is called purge. Whole animals, primals, and fabricated cuts continue to lose moisture through their shelf life.

As for the grind, there are a laundry list of reasons it might not be done. Some outfits do not allow pork to be ground in the same grinder as beef in defference to their Muslim and Jewish customers.

Not getting what you want does not make someone else dishonest or lazy.

Good Moderately Priced Knives with Lifetime Warranty and Sharpening

Get your knives sharpened by a pro. I have some Victorinox Cimeters at work that no longer resemble thier original shape at all but are still wicked sharp.

Jun 22, 2014
Brandon Nelson in Cookware

Butcher with extra-old dry-aged steaks in the city?

You asked about a walk in retail shop in the NYC area that sells 120 day dry aged steaks.

You said yourself La Frieda does not meet those parameters. No retail shop and 50 days short of what you are looking for product wise.

The other mentions in this thread that meet the aging time you want have in fact been restaraunts, which again fail to meet your needs.

Your question is about my trade. Since you seem to think I am simply blowing you off by telling you your request does not "make good business sense"I will elaborate.

Dry aging meat in a wholesale or retail setting requires a dedicated cabinet or locker. The reason for this is the surface mold that grows on an aging sub primal. Health inspectors in most jurisdictions take a dim view of mold growing on meat products.

So, in my limited space, I am going to commit a beef sub primal with a minimum retail value of at least $250 to age. For the sake of the conversation, it will be a strip loin, and I will say I have room to age 4 of them.

At 40 days they are ready to sell. Each strip will yield 12 to 15 steaks. If I am doing business right it will not take me 80 days to sell 60 steaks.

If a good customer buys a whole strip up front at a premium price I might consider holding that meat longer, but 3x the standard will crazy expensive.

Will someone be able to wander in and buy some on the spot? Nope.

My management and ownership like me to turn expensive product into dollars as soon as possible and 100+ days of dry aging do not meet that business model.

Butcher with extra-old dry-aged steaks in the city?

You are not likely to find meat that shop aged that long. The goal of the business is turning product. You are asking for a sub primal that went into an aging cabinet in February, that is a lean time to ask a butcher to commit an expensive cut to 4 months of aging.

Jun 16, 2014
Brandon Nelson in Manhattan

What is this cut of pork?

The bone is scapula. The cut is from the shoulder. It can be described as a "shoulder chop", "pork steak", and god knows what other regional nicknames it may have.

What is Beef Shoulder Tenderloin?

Mock tender is not shoulder tender. A whole shoulder tender is about the size of pork tenderloin. Mock steaks are roughly the same size as boneless pork loin chops.

May 20, 2014
Brandon Nelson in General Topics

What is Beef Shoulder Tenderloin?

Nope...

The teres major is smaller muscle group in the flatiron.

A short loin (173) is tenderloin (189) and striploin (175) divided by loin bones (lumbar vertabrae)

Rib primal (103) is located anterior to the loin, contains the thoracic vertabrae and ribs 6-12.

Another butcher.

May 20, 2014
Brandon Nelson in General Topics

The saddest beef I ever did see...

Light grey spots, especially around where stickers on packaging were placed is normal. It was cut a couple of days ago time, light, time in an open retail case will all cause that. It is completely fine to cook and serve.

Prime tritip? You must be used to paying better than $10 a lb for that.

May 20, 2014
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

The saddest beef I ever did see...

Looks like a trimmed select grade tri tip to me (not a great pic).

Why are you put off/ worried?

May 20, 2014
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Need help slow roasting tomatoes with garlic!

Whole cloves will make the kitchen smell nice. Chopped garlic incorperated with the maters will result in a garlic tasting final product.

May 20, 2014
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Braised oxtail with Red Wine and Port - A re-vamped Daniel Boulud's recipe

I do not tip my hat to many folks. Props to you for taking a humble cut, showing it the love it deserves, and making it glorious.

May 20, 2014
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

dry aging deer roast

Dry aging and dry curing are different processes with different purposes. Using pink salt is curing.

Your pink salt should equal 10 percent of the weight of your sugar/salt mixture

May 19, 2014
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Hanger Steak

Steak tips come from the knuckle, which is a different sirloin sub primal than the flap.

Oct 14, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Your preferred method for sirloin tip steak?

Your method will be fine. Tip steak is reasonably tender when cooked no more than medium rare.

This cut is off of the sub primal called the knuckle.There seems to be some disagreement in the industry as to whether it is considered to be a component of the round or the sirloin. The muscle group is high on a steers hip. It is not trial tip, quick is another sirloin sub primal. Nor is it hanger, which is diaphragm column.

All 3 make for good eating.

Oct 14, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

What to do with extra okra?

Split them and broil them. Tasty, and not slimy.

Oct 14, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Braciole

Flank is more typical for that dish.

Sep 26, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

squash and zucchini

It makes nice pickles.

Sep 19, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Ideas for steamed pumpkin?

Pumpkin is tasty with rice and yogurt. It is a go to dish in my home.

Sep 19, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Mystery apples

The shape and russet shoulders are common to Pippen apples.

Sep 16, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Vodka in Scone Recipe?

The lactic acid in buttermilk (PH of about 4.1 to 4.8) reacts with the baking powder in a scone causing it to rise. The PH of Vodka is 6-7, making it very close to neutral, and less reactive with the baking powder. You result will be flatter, denser, tougher scones.

Vodka is used in pie crust because it is a near neutral PH (like water) but does not react with the wheat protein in the same manner as water, and allows for a water more user friendly dough.

The best bet is proper technique, don't overwork your dough.

Aug 26, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Making guanciale

There is little to no benefit in dry aging beef tenderloin. This sub primal has neither the marbling nor the fat covering to make the process of any real value.

Your cat might disagree though. ; )

Jul 17, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Grilled slab of short ribs?

Grilling them will require cutting them flanken style on a saw.

However they should be very nice if bbq'd over indirect heat until they are fall apart tender.

Jul 16, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Cannot find brisket where I live. :-(

Please don't use filet or rib.

Chuck would be your best stand in. Like brisket it is a cheaper, tougher cut of meat. Using the rib or tenderloin will result in a tough, overcooked dish.

The German dish saurbraten has some similarities to corned beef, and chuck roll is the primary cut used to prepare it.

Difference in taste between guanciale and pancetta?

I have cured both of them and prefer the texture of guanciale in carbonara, but it isn't a deal breaker.

The flavor of lean meat in guanciale more forward than pancetta. It makes a very powerful pork statement.

Although they are different and are easy to tell apart they are very similar preparations. Use them both with abandon!

Home cured versions of these salumi make them very frugal, as they use economy cuts off the hog.

Jul 16, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Rancid (slightly) oil -- still usable?

It was rancid 7 years ago.

London broil sous vide

Is that a pic of your London broil that was "dry" with "broken down fibers"?

I cook for eating quality, not for porn shoots.

Apr 24, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Hockey puck or juicy burgers

Most of the answers I give you won't be practical. They work for me, because I am they guy behind the meat counter.

More fat. 80% lean makes a luxurious juicy burger.

Less processing. My personal grind goes through the machine once. It looks uneven, dark, and nasty to the common customer. The stuff I put out for sale gets ground twice. It has the nice even red color that the average customer will buy, and will never be a good as mine.

Form patties quickly and gently.

Don't over cook the darn things.

London broil sous vide

I have done it on the grill actually, but I have some professional cooking under my belt, some schooling, and I am a butcher by trade. It is my job to know meat product, and know it well.

Most folks following this SV craze are using a thermometer for the first time. That is the tool that insures spot on results.

Apr 24, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Steak gilling re:mechanical tenderizing

Gilling is more common in situations where you buy prefab meat. It is not common in situations where meat is cut on sight.

Apr 24, 2013
Brandon Nelson in General Topics

what is happening to my steaks?

Adding water to beef will make it turn dark. No one "enhances" beef with saline.

Apr 24, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking