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May 20, 2014 04:08 PM

The saddest beef I ever did see...

So I'm hosting a BBQ tomorrow night. I'm disabled and have a difficult time getting to the grocery store, so I often order my groceries online through a Safeway company here in SoCal (Vons). Most of the stuff they bring is great, with a few exceptions (like potatoes are sometimes mushy or they'll crush the tomatoes in the bottom of the bag).

Anyway I almost exclusively buy meat from a nicer grocery store with a butcher. I figured I'd just get it from Vons for tomorrow and save some serious $$. I ordered several packs of organic chicken breasts, pork chops, and a tri-tip.

The chicken and pork look great. The steak--not so much.

I'm no meat connoisseur, having been a vegetarian most of my life, but is this not the saddest most awful looking piece of meat?? Can I serve this to guests? The package was also leaky; luckily they put it in double plastic bags so it did not contaminate everything.

Should I grab a good one for triple the price at my butcher? I can cook this one up and feed it to the dogs I guess.

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  1. That photo really does the meat justice. In real life, it's more of a pale grayish-pink pile of mush.

    1. IMHO, if it smells ok, use it.

      1. Don't settle for in inferior product. Call them, have them pick it up, and give you a refund.

        1 Reply
        1. re: critter101

          I think I will. This is the only thing I absolutely *hate* about having groceries delivered--not being able to scope out and choose my own stuff. I don't doubt they have nicer cuts of cheap beef but I'm sure they pawn off the ugly ones on us unsuspecting folk.

        2. Looks like a trimmed select grade tri tip to me (not a great pic).

          Why are you put off/ worried?

          63 Replies
          1. re: Brandon Nelson

            It's the color mostly. And the texture, though maybe it was just sloppily cut or packaged.

            I'm used to buying Prime only, so is this just what select beef looks like? The eerie light gray? It looks more like an old piece of chicken than beef.

            1. re: nothingswrong

              Safeway Select is crap.

              I'd recommend getting better beef.

              1. re: monavano

                Okay, good to know. Never again!

                Will either return it or if it's too much of a hassle, cook it for the puppies.

                To the butcher tomorrow. Thanks.

                1. re: nothingswrong

                  I pick up Safeway steaks in the clearance bin and cook them up for my doggies.

                  1. re: nothingswrong

                    If the meat isn't good enough for you to eat I certainly wouldn't feed it to the dog. Bruin eats what I eat, If I can't eat it, I toss it. if Something upsets his stomach, I'm the one that has to clean his mess,

                    1. re: mucho gordo

                      It's low-quality, but not dangerous and certainly edible.
                      Why waste it?

                      1. re: monavano

                        Agree. I don't think it's unsafe--I would NEVER serve my dogs meat that I thought was spoiled or off. Forget having to clean up a mess, god forbid it would make them extremely ill or kill them.

                        I don't have issue with serving my dogs meat that *looks* unappetizing. They swallow it without chewing anyway. And they eat unseasoned rice, oatmeal, and potatoes, carrots I drop on the floor, etc. Ugly beef would be a welcome addition to their bland repertoire.

                        1. re: nothingswrong

                          agreed - while that beef may not look great to you - to my pups it would be an unthinkable treat!

                      2. re: mucho gordo

                        I agree. My cat eats better than me. Usually if it's not good enough for him, I'll eat it :)

                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          So true. People have told us that when they die they want to be reincarnated as our dog, We'll give him a piece of whatever we're having with the exception of things dogs can not have.

                          1. re: mucho gordo

                            Our dog always got some of our food. And in the last couple of years of his life, I decided that maybe it was wrong to feed them dried up chemical nuggets from a bag just for our convenience, so I cooked his meals for him for two years.

                            1. re: sandylc

                              I did the same thing, sandy. Getting a few tears just thinking about it.

                              1. re: sandylc

                                I used to cook for him but the vet said no more people food; just lite kibble until he sheds a few pounds. He should weigh about 130; he was at 151. I still manage to slip him a morsel or two but not as much as before. He loves a bit of pepperoni pizza crust.

                                1. re: mucho gordo

                                  What about feeding him veggies? My dogs go nuts for raw carrots. I always save carrot peels for them and they go wild. My vet recommended giving them as much raw/cooked veggies as they can tolerate. Typically mine will get a serving of cooked potatoes/yams, a handful of raw carrots, and a few cooked or frozen green beans, peas, or broccoli in with their dry food. Sometimes also some oatmeal, rice, or scrambled egg.

                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                    We haven't given him peas but he does like the others. Again, the vet said giving him too much carrots or beans was not good for him as he gets gassy. We were giving him carrots as a between meal snack as well as with dinner.

                                    1. re: mucho gordo

                                      Oh, I see. My pitbull has a very sensitive tummy, but she can eat carrots by the pound with no issue. She also gains weight very easily (as in, too much weight) but the carrots don't cause that either.

                                      I was just trying to think of something healthier that might not cause weight gain but I guess all dogs are different :)

                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                        Right now, he's on Science Diet Lite for large breeds with no people food at all (wink, wink).

                                        1. re: mucho gordo

                                          Lol. Dogs make that cute begging face for a reason--because it works.

                                    2. re: nothingswrong

                                      While growing up we had a Chihuahua who loved to lay down and hold a large carrot between his paws, gnawing it like a bone. Once when my Dad was digging carrots in the garden, putting them slightly behind himself in a pile, we watched from the patio while the dog dragged away every single carrot, one at a time. He put them in a pile at the base of a big tree, and was happily eating one, when my dad turned around to gather up the carrots, which were of course gone. The look of astonishment on his face was priceless.

                                      1. re: sandylc

                                        Very cute, sandy! My dogs are similar. As soon as I take carrots out of the fridge, they are convinced it's for them and they start "dancing" in the other room. They can tell when I'm chopping or peeling carrots versus a potato or other veggie. It's super funny!

                                        The boyfriend brought home a bag of carrots last week for him to snack on and the dogs were immediately at his feet with their best "Hey, I'm a good dog" faces on. I'm convinced they think carrots are dog treats and not people food.

                                        I had to put chicken wire up around my raised vegetable beds because I found my pitbull in there digging up carrots. She ruined all three rows I planted but I couldn't get mad. It was very cute.

                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                          Hey, it's outside, it's theirs. At least they're not eating poop (hopefully).

                                          1. re: sandylc

                                            Oh dear. My pitbull does on occasion. My vet said she's healthy as can be, but I've read it's from nutritional deficits. When I catch her doing it, it's time for some supplemental nutrition. She's had a finicky stomach and lots of allergies since she was a pup, and I can see that her diet really affects her overall health.

                                        2. re: sandylc

                                          That's perfect, I can totally see my little guy doing that. my Chi thinks everything is food and will hoard what he cannot eat -I have caught him stealing jalapenos off of my plants) my big pittie on the other hand is suspicious of everything and inspects each item before he will take it.

                                          I like to play "food or not food" with them with bits of whatever (dog safe) foods I am preparing - mostly the chi says "food" and the pit says "not food" but they are both wholly terrified of lemons - it Is the best way to scare them right upstairs to bed.

                                          1. re: JTPhilly

                                            I had a min pin through a girlfriend that loved onions and oregano. Go figure!

                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                Well, this minpin powered though all that. Her name was Bianca, after one of Jagger's wives, and she never batted an eye at an onion.

                                              2. re: rudeboy

                                                My Chi loves "oregano" - he will jump right up into your arms and beg for it - he's a found on the street dog and hood like that. My pit-mastiff just gives a raised eyebrow like McGruff.

                                              3. re: JTPhilly

                                                I remember you wrote that about lemons on another thread. I always have a few around, and I'm going to try it with them next time I have one cut up.

                                                I have a tangerine tree in back, which drops fruit year-round. I try to keep up with them, but I can't.

                                                The dogs have never paid attention to it until recently when the boyfriend started juicing them daily for some damn good OJ. He was picking them, and tossing the ones that were damaged across the yard over his shoulder... The dogs went on HIGH ALERT thinking it was a game of fetch and started chasing them around, picking them up and running off with them. They both tried to eat the flesh but spit it out and made this awful face. And then continued to chase after new ones and try to eat the flesh, make the face, spit it out. They did this over and over, and will still do it when the bf is out there picking.

                                                I often wonder what the hell kind of memory dogs have.

                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                  I had a dalmatian that loved to chase soap bubbles, at first. She eventually learned that the taste wasn't all that attractive.

                                                  1. re: rudeboy

                                                    Lol! That is super funny to me for some reason. I know my dogs would do the same.

                                                  2. re: nothingswrong

                                                    LOL! Sometimes they are dumb

                                                    OTOH my big one still checks the corner where he caught a possum years ago - I think its what he dreams of when his paws twitch - thankfully he dropped it on command - i am sure that is one of his life regrets.

                                                    1. re: JTPhilly

                                                      Oh dear, possums. My pitbull snagged one once at night and very quietly sauntered off to the back of the yard to bury it in a shallow grave. Save it for later, I think. The gardeners came later in the week and knocked on my door. They don't speak English, so they kind of guided me outside, across the yard, and held up this rotten possum. I said "What do you want ME to do with it?" I ended up having to pay them $20 to take it away.

                                                      This has happened a few times now. The pit likes to hide the little critters all around the yard.

                                                      My favorite disgusting incident happened with my little dog (Chi/min-pin mix). She's under 10 lbs, very tiny. She came bounding into the house one morning years ago and jumped up next to me on the sofa. As I was petting her, she made this cute little face, big black eyes looking up at me. Suddenly and without warning, she vomited up a completely intact sparrow. I jumped up, horrified, and she just sat there wagging her little stubby tail.

                                                  3. re: JTPhilly

                                                    How about ginger? That's one of those foods that bites back.

                                                  4. re: sandylc

                                                    All of my dogs have loved carrots. Except one greyhound that refused to eat any vegetable matter. Once in awhile I dumped some meat/veggie mixture into her kibble and she dug in heartily but somehow she pushed all the veggies out of the sides of her mouth. The wiener dog lurked underneath her so there was virtually no clean up.

                                                    1. re: C. Hamster

                                                      What a doggie contrast - when they go for walks, can the weiner walk along directly underneath the greyhound?

                                                      My Chihuahua liked SOME peas. He would pick through them, eating some and depositing the rejects on the floor.

                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                        Yes! They are both gone now but they could and did. We got a lot of comments.

                                                        She totally mothered him and he bossed her around.

                                                        1. re: C. Hamster

                                                          The smaller dog always seems to boss the big one around. My little one is the size of a small cat and will squawk with a fury when the pitbull nudges her in her sleep. Sometimes she'll force the pitbull out of their shared bed even. Although the pit does put her in some uncomfortable positions.

                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                            in my house the dogs my rule me, and the little dog may rule the big one but we all know who is boss... also the pickiest eater.

                                                            1. re: JTPhilly

                                                              My cat rules me. Even while supposedly "sick" my uncooked steak disappeared from the counter last night. Good thing I'm not germaphobic

                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                Ha! I'm glad Take is still hunting and gathering. Did he eat it, or just hide it?

                                                              2. re: JTPhilly

                                                                So cute! My dogs do not like cats... at all... wish they did.

                                                2. re: sandylc

                                                  Aww. I feed my dogs from the dinner table often--either leftovers, or I save them something purposely--but I reprimand them when they beg or try to steal food. My boyfriend said once "Think about how annoying it must be to have to eat the same dry bland-tasting dry food day in and day out for your whole life. Of COURSE they're going to beg for something different."

                                                  That made so much sense to me as someone who loves food in all its endless variations.

                                                  My dogs got to split a pork chop last night. The pitbull was hesitant, as she's never had pork before, but my little terrier mutt was ALL over it. I also saved them a grilled chicken breast and some veggies.

                                        3. re: monavano

                                          I agree I no longer buy meat from Safeway and I don't think I've ever bought Select.

                                        4. re: nothingswrong

                                          Light grey spots, especially around where stickers on packaging were placed is normal. It was cut a couple of days ago time, light, time in an open retail case will all cause that. It is completely fine to cook and serve.

                                          Prime tritip? You must be used to paying better than $10 a lb for that.

                                          1. re: Brandon Nelson

                                            Yes certainly. I've never personally bought this cut before but I know what a good looking steak should look like, and that ain't it.

                                            I follow a low fat diet so when I buy steak, I do buy prime filet or filet "tails" typically. The butcher I buy my beef from is more expensive than Safeway obviously. A piece of flank is usually $30+, 2 filets are around $30-$40. Ground sirloin is around $15/lb. I will see what the tri-tip costs tomorrow when I go. Maybe I will have to substitute another cut if it costs too much. I'd just like something fairly economical for a large crowd. I can't afford to buy 10 ribeyes, for instance.

                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                              Wow, those private butcher prices are up there.

                                              Do any of your supermarkets sell CAB "Certified Angus Beef" (or) Excel Sterling Silver (or) IBP Chairman's Reserve. These are all in the top percentage of the choice grade and often as good as the bottom of the prime grade at 1/2 less $$$$.

                                              You could grind your own sirloin for between $4 - $6 pound.

                                              For parties, Top round (London Broil) from the above top choice brands is great for a party. I usually do (3), 1 rare, 1 med rare & 1 well. There is always left over well done which I feed to the dog.

                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                That is good to know about the higher choice grade labels. They do sell choice meat where I go, but I've always just paid a bit extra for the prime, since I guess I want the best considering I eat meat so rarely.

                                                I was looking at top round but didn't know what to do with it. I really haven't had many different cuts of beef in my life. My mother always bought filet mignon, skirt steak, tri-tip. That was it. Then I was a veggie for most of adulthood, and on the rare occasion I eat beef, I spring for a filet.

                                                Glad to learn about all of this though! I'm filing it away for future use :)

                                              2. re: nothingswrong

                                                "I follow a low fat diet so when I buy steak, I do buy prime filet or filet "tails" typically."

                                                This doesn't make sense to me. Grading is based on fat content. Why would you buy higher grade for less fat?

                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                  I didn't mean anything about the grade. I meant the cut was lower in fat.

                                                  I buy prime because as I stated, I figure I eat meat rarely enough that I might as well get the good stuff. The store I get my meat at doesn't have choice filets anyway.

                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                    I'm sure he can. Typically they will cut you whatever you want. I've never heard him say he didn't have something in back.

                                                    After all, we are just going to do chicken tonight. The bf is picking up a few extra breasts right now.

                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                      Well, chicken is great. I personally love chicken. For next time, flap meat is a reasonably priced, super flavorful cut.

                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                        Choice grade Sirloin Flap (185A) bid $$ today (71,000 lbs total traded @ $5.20 lb. Avg) With a typical 20% to 30% markup your looking at between $6.25 - $6.75 LB.

                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                          To me that's reasonably priced for beef. I generally eat grass fed beef so it's comparatively less and compared to ribeye and filet it's reasonable.

                                                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                          Is flap meat the same as flank or skirt? I was on my way to get a flank steak yesterday but the bf talked me out of it, saying he's only ever had it as taco/burrito filling and it would be weird.

                                                          I know that not to be true, but didn't feel like getting into it since he was the one doing all the grilling. He totally saved my butt and helped out big time tonight. Also, every ounce of chicken, pork, and corn he grilled were eaten, even with what I thought would be waaaay too much, even for leftovers.

                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                            Flap meat is not the same. The trade # is 185A. It is also known as the sirloin tip. All 3 can be Googled for specifics. Whole flap is 3 to 4 lbs avg.

                                                            TASTE: Very strong beef flavor. Takes marinate well. Often cooked on both sides & then thin sliced across grain. I cut into 3/4" - 1" thick strips across the grain, marinate & quickly seared over high heat. This increases the char surface. Many also cube and cook on a skewer. IMHO, real charcoal with a licking flame is this meats calling.

                                                            Whats important to know about flap is that it is not a tender cut and cooking it well done makes it shoe leather & too rare and its like eating a chewy gum ball. Med rare (cooked but still red) seems best IMHO.

                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                              Medium rare flap...any day of the week! It's my #2 favorite steak after hanger.

                                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                                Thanks for the info. You are like a beef encyclopedia!

                                                  2. re: nothingswrong

                                                    Color - it wasn't packed in carbon monoxide, so the myoglobin has turned from pink to gray.

                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                      I agree, it looks like a steak that has seen some oxygen. If it doesn't smell and isn't slimy I'd eat it.

                                                2. That meat looks light enough to be pork. Texture seems kind of smooth for tri tip.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: divadmas

                                                    Yeah I thought they'd accidentally brought pork instead of beef.

                                                    1. re: divadmas

                                                      I'm with you, that does not look like beef to me!