Back in the day, when our grandparents were alive, and there were still 6 million farms, families would have their beef processed by a butchershop.
Now days in part because of convenience most folks pick up their individual cuts at the supermarket. There are pros and cons to this change in marketing.
Advantage #1) Your individual butcher shop, will dry age your beef. “this is my biggest reason for processing beef this way” Our beef is dry aged from 10-16 days. This allows enzymes that are naturally present to break down muscle tissue.
Disadvantage – at your supermarket, the beef is purchased in boxes from a major processing plant, and they dry age your beef for 24-36 hours before it is cut and boxed. There is a very distinct difference in flavor and texture.
Here is a comparison in price between the butcher and the supermarket. We went to the cheapest grocery store that we could find and used their prices to compare with the local butcher.
This particular supermarket cut of ribeye is graded choice. Looks well marbled, and should barbecue up nicely. $9.97 /lb.
The flavor will still be flat. When you don’t age a beef, it doesn’t allow for the comingling of the muscle tissue and the flavors found in the fat to coalesce together.
Here are some New York Steaks. They look great, again marbled well for the “choice” grade. The disadvantage to these steaks – only aged 24-36 hours and $11.97 /lb.
Here is a package of 93/07 hamburger that they have. The processes of dry aging your beef is magnified even in your hamburger. The flavor of hamburger that has a dry age of 13 days has a much richer flavor.
I can not say for this package exactly, but most ground beef that you get from your grocery store has pink slime in it. It is legal. Our butcher does not add pink slime back into your hamburger.
This is a cut of tenderloin from our beef! See the dark red color. This is a result of the aging process and the enzymes breaking down the fibers!
We price all our beef at – $5.50/lb!
So lets do the math!
If you were to purchase supermarket beef one cut at a time the average would total:
40 % hamburger – $4.77
40 % Roasts – $ 5.97
20 % Steaks – $ 11.97
This equals out to $6.69/lb.