I was at the West Hollywood Bel Campo a couple of days ago to pick up a bag of burgers for some carnivores and noticed ground beef for sale. It was in 2-lb. packs at $3.99 a pound. I cooked half of it tonight for a cottage pie, and oh me gee! That ground beef actually browned, and didn’t have that icky, soupy water draining out of it when frying. I’m pretty phobic about ground meat, it’s so gross, but this stuff is GOOD. I’m going back to stock my freezer.
Where do you shop for good meat that can be reasonably served for not-special occasions? I’m pretty picky about meat, I think most of what’s available is suspect and I don’t trust it, but did I mention the carnivores living in my house?
Find and befriend a butcher – be one at local mega-chain (like Ralphs or Vons), or a more bespoke place like Gelsons – and ask the butcher to grind your meat for you.
Buy whole cuts of your choice that you enjoy in a ground meat (that, for example, you might use for burgers) such as sirloin, chuck and brisket, and then just ask the butcher to grind all of them for you.
It might be a gratis service, or there might be a small charge, but completely worth it.
And just remember to never forget your butcher during the holidays. Finding a good butcher is just like finding a fish monger. Priceless.
Costco during the butcher roadshows is a great option. When I am feeling flush I buy their rib-eye cap (so tender and so beefy). As Ipse mentioned I have befriended the meat manager at my local Ralphs. Great guy who tips me off to meat and seafood deals.
Not sure where you are, but if you are in the Valley Jim’s Fallbrook Market is my favorite. Great meat and seafood and they will order anything you want. Go on the weekends and good bbq in the parking lot.
I’m on the Westside. Just joined Costco for the first time. I’ve heard good things about the meat.
Belcampo lamb is a good price for California local, less than the local lamb I had been getting from the SM farmers market. Belcampo will also trim the roast for me, I like to get a smallish leg, and they trim the bone so it is small enough to fit in my Le Crueset pan, then I slow roast it for about 6 hours…
@ciaolette - Good to know. We’ve been eating more lamb lately. I usually get it from a Middle-Eastern grocery, but I would love a better quality choice.
When I need butcher-y things (like the ground combo I like to use for bolonese), I always turn to Marconda’s at the Farmer’s Market. Good stuff, great vibe, and excellent service.
Where is everyone going now? I go to costco and marconda’s.
Costco, Whole Foods, and, believe it or not, Ralphs and Pavilions. The latter two have really upped their game, and carry Snake River Farms products at a much better price than I can get ordering directly.
Ralphs on Hazeltine and Ventura and Pavilions on Kester and Ventura. Ralphs also dry-ages beef at that store.
fancy-ass Ralphs. My one in the hood isn’t doing all that. lol
Is it a fresh fare Ralphs?
nevermind. I looked it up, it is indeed a fresh fare Ralphs.