Over the last century, American meat consumption patterns have changed due to a number of factors, from farming practices and slaughterhouse regulations to decreased home cooking and expectations of standardization. In general, traditional butcher shops that processed whole animals from local farms could not compete with large scale operations fed by factory farms, which mechanized cutting and shipped boxes of pre-cut meat to supermarkets and meat stores. As the whole animal butcher disappeared and households spent less time in the kitchen, consumers were increasingly disconnected from the practice of using all available cuts, preferring instead a few select cuts such as the ribeye or tenderloin.
Part of our mission at Moriarty Meats is to restore the connection between consumers and the whole animal. Not only do we believe that it is more respectful to the animal, but it is also more interesting for home cooks. Additionally, it is a more sustainable way to consume meat. In keeping with French culinary techniques and practices,traditional French butchery requires proficient anatomical knowledge, deliberate actions, and pride in results. By carefully removing every muscle, butchers can use 95% of an animal, compared to only 65% used in American meat cutting. Additionally, the practice removes excess fat, connective tissue and large nerves, resulting in a higher quality product than mechanized or more hastily cut meat.
If you have ever purchased a leg of lamb covered in excessive fat or a poorly cut steak containing unpleasant tissue and nerves, you know how frustrating it can be to pay for unusable weight. In part, this is why filets and New York strip steaks have become Americans' most demanded cuts; they are easy to prepare and eat. However, more obscure cuts offer an economical and delicious wealth of variety if you start with better products and know how to cook them.
Tom is trained in the French tradition, so our business is premised on his skill and knowledge. But, we recognize the diversity of other approaches and we welcome community members to share their knowledge of other meat preparations and practices.
Higher quality cutting produces better meat and less waste-- that's what we are about!
*Figure from lefrenchbutcher.com. Please note that this is not all meat but also includes fat that can be rendered, etc.