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Feb 11, 2013 08:46 AM

Butcher that will grind up meat for me?

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.

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

    1. 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. 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

          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

            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

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


              1. re: Kagemusha

                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

                    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

                      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

                        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

                          And you'll be having that ground, right?

                          1. re: Kagemusha

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

                          2. re: JennaBean

                            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

                              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

                                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

                                  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

                                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.

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