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Butcher that will grind up meat for me?

mkhall Feb 11, 2013 08:46 AM

Hi All

Was looking to attempt a remake of the Shake Shack burgers using a recipe online.

Went to a few butchers and they said they wouldn't grind the meat for me (looking for ground brisket, sirloin).

Any ideas on who would? Hopefully someone around downtown. Was thinking about hitting Sanagan's or Cumbrae's tonight after work.

  1. dannyboy Mar 20, 2013 09:09 AM

    I'd say try Gasparros on Bloor/Ossington

    1. b
      bsv Mar 20, 2013 08:50 AM

      ask where ever you are going to buy the meat, if a good butcher it should not be a problem. However, pick a time that is not very busy or middle of holiday rush.
      You might have to come back for it.

      1. y
        Yongeman Feb 13, 2013 05:20 PM

        Not sure which part of town you're in, but the Friendly Butcher on Yonge, north of Lawrence grinds chuck for his ground beef. At least half the time I go in there, they grind it fresh. I'm sure they'd grind any cut that you'd like them to. And, they are friendly, too.

        1. c
          cecilia Feb 13, 2013 04:58 PM

          Bruno's and Medium Rare have both done it for me recently.

          1. h
            h2o Feb 12, 2013 05:14 AM

            Gasparros grinds meat to order. You can request fine to course and the amount of fat you'd like. I get them to grind brisket or other cuts for burgers and various blends for sausages.

            1. justxpete Feb 11, 2013 02:02 PM

              Cumbrae's and Healthy Butcher have both done so for me in the past. I just ask for medium ground, however. I haven't asked for specific cuts.

              If you tell them they're willing to pay whatever the price is, I'm sure it will be ok - as long as you're not trying to bring your own meat (which I don't think you are). That would be a health and safety issue, and I don't think any Butcher will agree to grind meat that they aren't selling themselves.

              15 Replies
              1. re: justxpete
                mkhall Feb 12, 2013 04:40 AM

                Ah no was just looking to buy the meat (lets say brisket) and then have them grind it for me before I brought it home.

                Live in a condo so always looking to keep the number of gadgets in the kitchen as low as possible as I am already out of room.

                Will head to Cumbrae's after work today!

                1. re: mkhall
                  Kagemusha Feb 12, 2013 05:06 AM

                  If you've got room for another pair of shoes, there's room for a small hand grinder. If you like burgers and anything using ground meat, one would pay for itself quick since you could shop anywhere other than uber-pricey meat boutiques. Your dough, though.

                  1. re: Kagemusha
                    Davwud Feb 13, 2013 04:50 AM

                    I tend to agree that a meat grinder will be among the better kitchen gadgets to have.


                    1. re: Kagemusha
                      JennaBean Feb 13, 2013 07:54 AM

                      Pricey meat boutiques? When you're talking about places like Cumbrae's you're paying for quality. I have no problem with that. I'd rather not eat meat than eat something that comes on a foam tray looking bright red and wet from a grocery store. Ick.

                      1. re: JennaBean
                        justxpete Feb 13, 2013 08:13 AM


                        1. re: JennaBean
                          Kagemusha Feb 13, 2013 03:00 PM

                          You're paying for all kinds of things there apart from quality and there's lots of selection aside from shrinkwrapped-on-styro, too. YMMV...

                          1. re: Kagemusha
                            justxpete Feb 13, 2013 03:19 PM

                            I don't know if I agree. The best meat I've had in the city is from Cumbrae's. I've tried other butchers, but nothing seems to compare to the quality of Cumbrae's. It's not like they're on Bloor street or something, so I'm not sure what you mean by "all kinds of things apart from quality"...?

                            1. re: justxpete
                              JennaBean Feb 13, 2013 06:23 PM

                              Cumbrea's is the only butcher who will gladly dry age a bone in strip for 60 days without batting an eye. For me that alone makes them worth the price.

                              1. re: JennaBean
                                Kagemusha Feb 14, 2013 08:17 AM

                                And you'll be having that ground, right?

                                1. re: Kagemusha
                                  justxpete Feb 14, 2013 04:23 PM

                                  That's a brilliant idea! Best. Burgers. EVER.

                                2. re: JennaBean
                                  Googs Feb 15, 2013 08:41 AM

                                  Jeez, you'd think that place was the only butcher in town.

                                  They're not the only one. Any real butcher who gets a request from a regular customer will do things such as grind a particular cut or dry age to order. its all about developing a relationship with the vendor.

                                  i agree with Kagemusha wholeheartedly that, for maximum bang for the buck and the freedom to do as you please, a hand grinder would be the smartest investment.

                                  If that doesn't appeal then +1 on Gasparros.

                                  1. re: Googs
                                    justxpete Feb 15, 2013 02:28 PM

                                    Go get a dry aged ribeye from Cumbrae's, and compare it with any other steak in the city. I double-dog-dare you. :)

                                    1. re: justxpete
                                      Googs Feb 16, 2013 07:43 AM

                                      Gee, I never thought of that. Look, for two decades I lived within easy walking distance of Cumbrae's to my west, St Jamestown Steak & Chops to my east, and the SLM to the south. My decision as to which butcher to use came down simply to which direction I needed to go in order to do what I needed to do that day. (We should all have it so hard.)

                                      Over time and over the din of much hype, I eventually realized that I preferred St Jamestown Steak & Chops. The wares are just as good as Cumbrae's. In certain ways better, because they can fine tune to the neighbourhood rather than generically stock for the masses. They also excel as a provisioner. I've always said I can go in blindfolded with a clothes peg on my nose and gloved hands and still walk out with perfect groceries.

                                      Mark Michelin is the second generation of Michelin to serve Cabbagetown. Hopefully his son will be the 3rd. I TRIPLE dog dare YOU to blind taste test.

                                      1. re: Googs
                                        justxpete Mar 19, 2013 04:59 PM

                                        So we had a steak cook-off today. St Jamestown Steak and Chops vs Cumbrae's Ribeye, Flank and bavette.

                                        All three of us were in agreement - the Cumbrae's Ribeye blows away the St Jamestown Steak and chops. It's not even really a contest. I think the St Jamestown steak is really quite good (surprisingly so), but it's really nowhere near the quality of Cumbrae's. It just a different ballpark altogether. And, at only 20% more than St James, I'll pay for it every time.

                                        The Cumbrae's flank was next (surprisingly as well), as it had more flavour and better texture than the St. James ribeye. It was cooked exceptionally well, so that may have given it a slight advantage.

                                        St. James ribeye was next - it was clean, fairly well marbled, and had good over-all flavour.

                                        Last, for me, was the bavette - but I'm not a huge fan to begin with, and don't generally enjoy the texture.

                                        It was a fun excercise - but Cumbrae's Ribeye won by a long shot.

                                        And no, we did not do a blind taste test - as it really wasn't necessary and wouldn't have served much purpose. I've eaten Cumbrae's enough times that a blind taste test would be pointless.

                                    2. re: Googs
                                      JennaBean Feb 15, 2013 03:31 PM

                                      For me the relationship to the farm is just as important as the end product. I won't buy meat from a supplier that doesn't source from a relatively small ethical farmer. I'd go without meat if I had to buy it from a grocery store and before I could afford to buy this type of product that's what I did.

                                      I know some people either don't care or can't afford it but that's not me. As a result the suppliers I deal with tend to be limited and of a certain type. I can only speak to what I know.

                      2. b
                        bytepusher Feb 11, 2013 01:50 PM

                        Are you looking for someone who will supply the meat to your specified mixture and grind it? Unless you want to order relatively large quantities, they're not really set up for it, they have basically disassemble the machine and clean it before and after your grind, it's a huge amount of work for just a few pounds, the places that do it for restaurants do it in large batches.

                        If you are looking for someone to grind meat that you supply, forget it, health code would never allow that.

                        Just grind your own.

                        1. Kagemusha Feb 11, 2013 09:07 AM

                          Seriously? Get one of these babies and grind whatever you like. Most butchers won't bother. Why pay a premium for someone who will?


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