photos by Peter Ribeiro
Visiting a butcher shop can be daunting at first. What kind of dish do I want to make? What do I ask for? How much meat is too much meat? Well, in my book, there is no such thing as too much meat. A treasure trove of fat, protein, and irreplaceable flavor, beef—in all of its various forms—can be prepared and enjoyed in an uncountable number of ways.
The most renowned and arguably most decadent cut of the cow, the rib-eye never fails to gratify every one of your senses—the golden-brown crust, the sizzling of fat in your cast-iron skillet, the supple elasticity of the cut’s interior, the bouquet of butter and garlic, and of course the FLAVOR. Whether it’s a luxurious date or a casual backyard barbecue, no other cut of beef will satisfy your needs better.
La Divisa, like any quality butcher, offers an assortment of different cuts, all of which are copious in fat. And fat equals flavor. Whether it’s from the rib, breast, flank, chuck or loin, your cut of beef will provide a generous serving of marbled fat, which not only boosts the flavor but also variegates and enhances the texture of your beef.
In good butcher shops, the butcher will leave different parts of the cow whole. After selecting your desired cut, ask the butcher to cut the meat to your preference. Don’t forget to consider thickness, fat content, and whether or not you want to keep the bone on (we recommend it!). Hopefully, your butcher will be just as excited about beef as you are, so don’t be afraid to ask them questions regarding the differences in flavor and texture, the cooking procedures, and even wine pairings for your specific cut of beef.
When it comes to beef, marbling is a highly desired quality—it not only deepens the umami but also softens the texture, making every bite melt in your mouth. While incredibly even marbling is rare and expensive, your local butcher will have cuts of meat whose fat is very well distributed. The next time you visit your butcher, remember to look for those brilliant ribbons of flavor.
While your initial compulsion may be to grill a Western-style steak when you purchase beef, don’t forget the variety of dishes you can create. Beef is one of the most versatile ingredients, so if you ever get your hands on short rib, don’t be afraid to try something like Korean Galbi!
La Divisa has well-trained and passionate butchers behind their counters. When you can see these hearty guys slice through massive hunks of beef like butter, you know that you’ve found high quality beef!
While I love beef as much as anybody, I love bacon just as much. At La Divisa and most other butcher shops, various pork cuts are also offered. Why not buy some thick, fatty bacon with your rib-eye?