Best Butcher in St Louis?
I also have been on the look out.
Here are my findings when purchasing Whole Beef Tenderloins.
Kenricks - No (Select and some Choice)
Behrmanns - No (Select) Although they have the best prices.
Wennemans - No (Select)
Whole Foods - No (Select/Choice)
Straubs - Prime/Choice but not dry aged
I have bought dry aged beef online from Lobel's of New York.
Excellent products and quick ship but not cheap.
They also have grass fed
It sounds like it would be a pain-in-the-rump, but it's not impossible to dry age beef at home - I tried it with a prime rib I did a few years ago - we've also moved away from beef (health reasons) so I haven't had occassion to do it again, but it was really not difficult and if we had a bigger fridge (or a second fridge) it would have been easy easy easy - If you want a good age on your meat, I think it's worth giving it a try for the control it gives you over quality and price. Sorry I can't give you precise instructions - I think I got my method from Alton Brown - but I bet you can find instructions online.
Is Matekers still around? Up by Baptist Church/Concord Plaza? That used to be the only place my parents would buy meat. I think you'd be much better off looking for a small independent butcher than one of the big stores. Although can't quibble with Annie Gunn's. There's also a decent butcher out in Gray Summitt on Old Highway 100.
I haven't had much luck with this question when you're looking for just a few cuts. I did buy half of a grass-fed cow a few months ago, and the rancher found a butcher shop that would do the cutting and dry-ageing for us. I know that buying that much cow doesn't fit into everyone's budget or household freezing capabilities, but it's worth it if you really want great beef. Some butcher shops to check out on the Illinois side would be Wenneman's in St. Libory and Behrmann's in Albers. Both shops have real friendly staff and usually are very helpful in finding what you want; they mainly deal with pork, but they can probably help you locate some grass-fed beef.
I can't find the info for the rancher, but you can find a number of grass-fed farms in the area. If you're in St. Louis, there are two guys that sell at Maplewood Farmers' Market that raise grass-fed cattle. You can also check into American Grass Fed Beef out of Fruitland, MO.
I'm a little hesitant to say the name of the rancher who I bought from, mainly because he might not appreciate a cold call. Who knows, so you could look in the Sparta, IL area and you could probably find him.
The other thing to do is to call the local butcher shops. They buy cattle from local farmers and they process their cattle. They know who does what, what breeds they raise, and how to get in touch with them. It might be tricky at first, but the people who run Wenneman's and Behrmann's are nice enough to humor almost any request.
7415 State Rt 15
St. Libory, IL 62282
the link is weird, but I don't know why their website doesn't come up anymore.
Just found out that they provide more goodies than before for the at home sausage maker.
Where did you happen to buy the half side of beef and have it dry-aged at? I would like to be able to see their prices and see about getting it myself. I have a large family ( 6 ) and we would like to be able to get it so that we can have a source of good-quality beef for grilling and special occasions.
I have to say, Straub's in both Clayton and CWE usually have very nice meat- often prime and some choice also. HOWEVER they have stopped dry aging their beef. When I asked about this, the butcher mentioned that there aren't enough people willing to shell out 40 or 50 per pound for dry aged prime, even if they have the money for it. As far as finding it around st. louis, i'm not so sure... at least it's a process of elimination.
I had porterhouses two nights ago from the CWE that were fantastic.
I'll be curious to see the response to this. I don't eat a lot of beef because I don't feel that the quality I can get in St. Louis is all that great. I've not really seen any butcher that was truly dry aging their meat.
One thing that irks me is that I can't find any grass fed beef that hasn't been frozen.
Anyway, I've seen wet aged prime meat in some places, but not specifically dry aged. I do think The Smokehouse Market (Annie Gunn's) while not the cheapest, is one of the better shops in the area do to the butchers who are quite helpful, friendly, and do an excellent job.