Chatting With The "Magician of Meat," Pat LaFrieda
Pat LaFrieda Jr., the "Magician of Meat," has revolutionized the burger and meat industry. Running a third-generation wholesale meat purveyor business in New Jersey with his dad, Pat Sr., and his cousin, Mark Pastore, Pat and his family have built the company into a meat empire.
Now, Pat and his family are bringing Food Network viewers inside his meaty world in a new series premiering tonight at 11pm/10c called Meat Men, which will take viewers on a high-"steaks" ride with a side of humor, served medium rare.
Last week, Food Network Facebook, Twitter and Google+ fans got the chance to ask Pat for his advice on burgers, different cuts of meat and supermarket tips.
@TheBroManifest asked on Twitter: What are your ideal toppings for a burger?
PL: My weekend burger hasn't changed in 20 years. This is my motto: Keep it simple, silly. Firm, thin-sliced grape tomatoes, baby arugula, American cheese and a dollop of Hellman's mayo on a fresh potato bun.
Linda Fisher on Facebook asked: What’s the best cut for roast? What’s a tender cut for steak?
PL: A roast should always be an inexpensive cut that would not be tender if grilled. The inside round is my favorite and should not be roasted past an internal temperature of 125 degrees F. If you follow this rule, you could slice roast from the exterior and eat while it's still warm, saving the more rare center for roast beef sandwiches all week long.
What's a tender cut for steak? Obviously the fillet is the most tender cut in the entire animal, but since there are only 14 pounds of it per an 850 pound animal, it's expensive.
Maragaret Kowalczuk Sherman on Facebook asked: If you don’t have an actual butcher near you, how do you go about picking what's best at your local supermarket?
PL: In supermarkets, always look for the USDA circle with the packing house's number in it. This ensures that the meat was cut and processed in a USDA-supervised facility. Every facility has a specific establishment number that can be tracked.
Joseph Devaney on Facebook asked: What is your favorite meat to braise? And what are your preferred braising vegetables?
PL: Untrimmed flat iron from the top shoulder blade is my favorite with braised onions and mushrooms.
Dave Velasquez on Facebook asked: Can you age meat in your fridge at home? If so, what are the best steps to ensure a great steak?
PL: Aging meat at home is difficult and can make you sick if not done correctly. Humidity, temperature and wind circulation must be adhered to or else the meat will rot. A separate refrigerator would have to be dedicated for this project. I suggest locating a butcher that specializes in it.
Tune in to the premiere episode tonight at 11pm/10c.