'Meat'-ing your needs

'Meat'-ing your needs

Butcher Block Gourmet Store

Thursday, April 02, 2020

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Let's face it when it comes to stocking up, freezing food is the best way to guarantee long-standing freshness. Steaks, chops, fillets, ground meat and seafood are popular with consumers. But the burning question many have is: “How long can you freeze meat before it goes bad?”

You'd be surprised to learn that as long as meat is kept frozen below 0C, it is safe to eat for months, and in some cases up to a year, after purchasing and properly storing. However, the operative term here is proper storing, as this prevents freezer burn, which degrades the quality of meat. Keeping the freezer 0C keeps food safe by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms and makes microbes much as bacteria, yeast and mould inactive.

Freezing meat in original packaging is best for freezing for up to two months. If you plan to keep it longer, rewrap (ensuring it's airtight) with foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper. At Butcher Block, we'll gladly do this for you. Also, in our commitment to safety amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Butcher Block is making shopping in the age of social distancing easier with our at-home premium delivery service and kerbside delivery for customers wishing to pick up.

Beef, Veal, & Lamb

Raw steaks (NY strip, flank, ribeye) and lamb chops can be kept in the freezer for up to eight months; however, they are tastiest before the four-month mark. Ground beef can be frozen for up to four months.

Pork

Uncooked sausages are best before the four-month mark and bacon and chops are good for up to six months. Cooked sausages, however, can last for up to eight months in the freezer.

Fish & Seafood

Freezing fish and seafood is more complicated, but as a rule of thumb, lean fish (bass, fresh cod, tuna, and tilapia) can last six to eight months in the freezer. While fatty fish (salmon) lasts shorter at two to three months. Shrimp, scallops, and squid will last three to six months in the freezer.

Cooked & Leftover Meat

Cooked poultry and fish dishes can be kept in the freezer for four to six months, whereas other cooked meat and leftover meat dishes (such as beef, veal, lamb, and pork) shouldn't be kept for longer than two months.

Butcher's tip: Please do not put frozen meat to cook in a slow cooker/crockpot as it will spend too long in the “danger zone” temperature where bacteria flourish.

Since we all have a bot of extra time on our hands, here's a recipe that's great for both quarantine cooking and freezing leftovers.

Coffee-rubbed Brisket

Ingredients

1 beef brisket, about 5 pounds, excess fat trimmed

cup ground 100% Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee (not instant)

3 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons sugar

teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 large onions, sliced

4 carrots, peeled and cut lengthwise into 3-by--inch strips

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

cup beef stock

1 cups strong brewed coffee

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

The night before cooking, combine the ground coffee, salt, sugar and red pepper flakes. Spread over both sides of the brisket. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Heat the oven to 350F.

Spread the onions, carrots and thyme into a roasting pan just large enough to hold the meat. Rinse the coating off the brisket and lay it on top of the vegetables, fattier side up. Pour the stock and coffee around the meat. Cover tightly with a lid or with foil and bake 3 to 4 hours, until the meat is very tender.

Remove the meat from the juices and place on a rimmed carving board. Using a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables to a bowl. Pour the warm pan juices into a gravy separator.

To serve, slice the meat across the grain into thin slices. Spoon some of the vegetables alongside. Season the warm defatted pan juices to taste and serve on the side.

To place orders for delivery or kerbside pick-up

Call: 876-668-4481 or email: orders@butcherblockja.com


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