Everything Is Coming Up Meaty

If you haven’t noticed,  I have been making an unusual amount of meaty meals lately.

Crackpot Robs
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Meat Pie
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McCarthy Meatballs
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I do love meat, but this trend has more to do with my new obsession with K&T Quality Meats. This butcher is located on Ditmars Blvd in Astoria, NY -dangerously close to my house- and it is feeding my meat addiction one purchase at a time.

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If you already like meat then the skilled butchers at K&T will make you love meat. The other day I purchased 3 lbs of spare ribs,  3 lbs of lean chuck meat, and 1 lb of chicken breasts for 25 dollars! What a steal! When i saw the final price I wanted to buy more but my husband gave me that “don’t you dare buy another piece of meat” look. He’s such a drag sometimes!

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The butcher who helped with this purchase asked me what I was planning to make and then skillfully cubed the chuck meat, sliced the ribs and split the chicken breasts. He customized the meat to accomodate my planned meals. I was doing the happy dance all the way home.

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This experience was much different than purchasing the “whatchya see is watchya get” meat from the supermarket. It was different in a good way but I can understand why some may find it intimidating. It’s not easy to make decisions when the hanging lambs and skinned rabbits are judging your every move with their glazed eyes. Also, you have to actually speak to a human being. I understand. I hate talking to humans. It’s much easier to just sift through the shrink wrapped meat section until you find what you need, sort-of. They never have what you actually fucking need. Frankly, it’s annoying. This lack of customization and selection of supermarket meats will cause you to spend more time in the kitchen and less time enjoying the fruits of your labor. And all of us deserve quality time with our fruits. I, for one, love my fruits. They’re delicious. So, do yourself a favor and shop at K&T or your own neighborhood butcher. You. Won’t. Regret. It.

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Crackpot Robs

I have a friend named Parch. Actually, her “real” name is Sarah…

I know what you’re thinking. Sarah? How average. Yeah, that’s what we (“we” being a hilarious group of drunken like minded individuals) thought too. So imagine our excitement when T9 mistook the spelling of her name for PARCH. We were elated! Finally, a solution for the name Sarah! At that moment, Parch was born. There was no going back. This is how it had to be. T9’s reign of texting bloops lasted only for a moment, but Parch is forever.

Personally, I was saddened by the loss of T9. This, of course, was before I learned of the joys of auto correct. If you have not fallen victim to this ingenious function of the smartphone it is important that you visit the website damnyouautocorrect.com.

:Sigh: Oh, auto correct, how I love thee ❤

Actually, since we are on the topic, auto correct chose the name of this post! The original title was “Crock Pot Ribs” (Borrrrrrringg). Auto correct decided that a better name would be “Crackpot Robs” and I couldn’t agree more! Crack is the perfect way to describe these robs. Sometimes you just have to let the computers do the work, ya know?

Let’s get down to business, crackpot business. The last meal we ate in 2013 was Crackpot Robs, more commonly known as spareribs made in the crockpot. The first step in this recipe is ditching your crackpot and purchasing the Ninja Multi-cooker.

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This black beauty has a stove top, oven, and slow cook function. This will allow you to sear the ribs (both sides) in the cooker before you turn switch to the slow cook mode. Of course, you can always sear the ribs in a separate frying pan before placing it in the slow cooker, but then you will have to clean that extra pan…and that sucks.

Before seasoning and searing make sure that the membrane is removed and that the individual ribs are sliced halfway through. My butcher at K & T Quality Meats in Astoria, NY did all of this for me [Thanks, Butch!], and it turned out more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. So beautiful, in fact, that I was tempted to pull a Lady Gaga and wear the meaty rack as an evening gown. Lucky for all, I have no idea how to assemble a meat dress and no shoes to match.

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Before searing, season the meat generously with salt and pepper or any preferred meat seasoning. We used Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning.

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After searing, throw those meaty bones into the crackpot and cover them in crack sauce, also known as Sweet Baby Rays. I love Sweet Baby Ray’s almost as much as I love auto correct, except more. If I could bathe in Sweet Baby Ray’s, I would. Set your crackpot to 8 hours (on low) and let it work it’s magic.

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These crackpot robs slathered in crackpot sauce are nothing short of crack itself. You will want more and more, and when you realize there are none left you WILL have a child-like tantrum. Unfortunately, they were made on New Years Eve and I was too drunk to remember to take a photo of the finished product. In fact, there is a chance that my child-like tantrum had more to do with the alcohol then the robs…Happy 2014 Everyone!

The Butch-y Bitch

At one time, food was personal and quality didn’t have to be demanded because it was expected.

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When my father and his siblings were growing up, my grandmother would go to the butcher for her meats, the pork store for her sausages, the fish store for her fish, and the bakery for her bread. She knew each owner by name and her shopping routine was more of a social activity than a chore. These specialty stores were a way of life in Brooklyn, NY and they made up the identity of each neighborhood.

Now, even in Brooklyn, many of these specialty stores have faded into a competitive jungle of supermarkets and internet delivery services. A Trader Joe’s took over the old bank where my grandmother used to work and then one-by-one we watched my grandmother’s favorite stores disappear. The store fronts were replaced by trendy shops, and the friendly owners who took great pride in their craft were replaced with teenage workers, who don’t know a loaf of bread from a loaf of meat. The unique flavors that had once identifed each neighborhood were suddenly lost in a sea of mass production (RIP prosciutto balls from Joe’s Pork Superette).

Some of these old world butchers and specialty shops still exist and are kept alive by the loyalty of their aging customers. It is the younger generation that needs to help sustain their future and preserve the history of their craft. Since very few of us are going to butcher a cow just to make a hamburger, don’t you want to know who is doing this for you? Or, where the meat came from and what the animal is fed? I know that I sure do!

I will be visiting and posting about shops in the NYC area. Let me know if there are any that are a MUST visit and I will definitely check it out!