In the central NJ area, does anyone have a place where they buy good quality ground beef? I can't bring myself to buy the factory ground stuff that is a mix from 1000's of cows.
I have talked to butcher department personnel at a few grocery stores, and while they indicate that they do grind some, I have not gotten a great of confidence from them.
Once in a while I will buy the freshly ground strip steak from Wegmans. They also carry a sealed plastic package of ground bison that I keep on hand for emergency meals.
I know Sabato's in Belford/Middletown, grinds chuck to order. The chuck they have available is very lean, and when I asked the butcher if they would grind other cuts he said, "Sure, but I don't know why in the world you'd want to." I will leave that up to 'hounds interpretation, however, I've always been happy with what I've purchased there. Feel safe, eat that hamburger rare!!!
Central NJ's a pretty big place, but I think the best butcher in the Mon/OC is Arctic Meats in Point Pleasant.
Another suggestion would be Monmouth Meats in Red Bank, my Mom gets them to grind to order.
Two other outside the box spots, that will be pricey, and likely quite amazing, would be Ivan & Andy's in Asbury and Massuto's in Wall. I'd call first, but I'd bet that either spot would make a custom grind for you - even including dry aged beef.
Not to challenge your knowledge sir, however are you sure about Ivan & Andy's? (I've never been to Massuto's so I can't comment) I do know, that even if you are a "Steakhouse", you cannot sell un-cooked beef, or beef products, to the public without a specific butchers license. I know Ivan is a butcher, especially at running a restaurant (http://instantrimshot.com/), but I'm not sure if he maintains a butcher's license at the restaurant.
Also I will throw in a pitch for my buddy's over at Pat's in Lincroft, good butchers. I also second Monmouth Meats or a little further north in Middletown, Sabato's Meats.
7th Heaven Farm in Tabernacle raises all their animals on the premises & sells grass fed beef. I'm sure there are more local farms that do the same if you search a bit. Also, we've gotten some very good ground beef at delicious orchards in colts neck and dearborn market in holmdel, although not sure of their sources.
If you love to cook like we do, we also grind our own ground beef mixtures from time to time using the meat grinder Kitchen Aid attachment to our mix master. This is nice to do because you can get creative with mixing different cuts together like short rib, chuck, sirloin, etc. or you can just make a few patties from one nice sized piece of meat. Fyi...we got ours at Williams Sonoma but i'm sure you can find it online as well.
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