How many middle men are handling your meat before it gets to you? Why is meat so expensive right now? I decided to visit The Butcher, Pittsburgh’s own Ken Zvirman, owner of Jo-Mar Provisions in the Strip District and get the beef!
Located at the corner of 18th and Smallman St., Jo-Mar’s store front emits the style and charm of the Strip District. Walk in the front door, and you will see it is not your typical meat case lined with cuts of raw red ready to be packaged. Why not? As Ken explained, he wants his customers to experience an unmatched freshness and quality when shopping at his store.
Buying meat straight from farmers in the Mid-West ensures a great price and an unquestionable quality. Why have meat prices gone up? Ken explained that the herd counts are down which means with supply down and demand up, prices increase.
Lets talk safety “Cleanest meat plant for 9 years!”
We talked safety, a lot!! Ken has binders and binders of rules and regulations to uphold. I asked why he doesn’t have all the meat hanging from the ceiling and he laughed. Nobody does that anymore except at the farmers’ butcher’s level. The sanitation regulations are stringent and they should be!! What does that mean for us at home?? He says disinfect, disinfect, disinfect…with E coli 0157 running rampant and salmonella from chicken, you don’t want to take any chances. Wash all surfaces in and around your work area! 70% of flus are actually reactions to raw meat contamination aka food poisoning.
What we really want to know?
How much meat to cook per person when entertaining?
Ken says bone in 1 lb. per person, boneless 8-12oz. per person
What is the difference between an oven roast and a pot roast?
Contrary to what we think, these are two totally different things! An oven roast can be a ribeye and a pot roast is made in a pot and cooked over time!
Can’t I buy my meat at Giant Eagle or WalMart?
Sure! You will pay more!! According to Ken, their “everyday low price” isn’t so low. Not to mention, how many middle men are handling their meat??
What is the best way to cook (insert cut of meat)? should I marinate it? season it? cook all day? cook to a temp?
Ken’s head butcher Jim, executive chef, can answer any of these questions! Awesome!
Here are some basics…
Grilling is #1- Jim grills all year!
New York Strip steaks require just salt and pepper grill on a hot flame!
For Pork tenderloin, high temp cook -shut off and let it cook for a juicy finish!
Want your Spare ribs to fall apart? Long, wet cook on low heat such as in a crockpot!
Bottom Round Roast requires tenderizing cook for a long time -great for stew!
Ken started his business in 1988 and his awesome selection of exotic meats, impeccable reputation, and a love for people has made Jo-Mar provisions the go-to butcher shop for restaurants, foodservice companies and customers looking for the best steaks in the Burgh!
Go down, check it out! Meet Jim! Pick his brain!
Jim’s picks for best burger in the Burgh- a meat patty from Jo-Mar, of course! close runners up…Butter Joint, Legume, Bar Marco!