Chatting With The “Magician of Meat,” Pat LaFrieda

by in Shows, April 9th, 2012

meat men
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.

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Comments (34)

  1. JH Rothe says:

    I loved the show, really good to learn about the inner workings of a meat purveyor. There is one thing though, the office guy, Mark Pastore, has a huge blackhead on the right side of his nose that makes each of his appearances a disgusting experience. I just can't watch a food show paired with such gross image. Please ask this man to have this blackhead removed!!!!

  2. Cheryl Roland says:

    It was ok… I really wanted a bite of that awesome burger!!! I do wish they had answered my question about meat turning brown before you can re-wrap and freeze, maybe next week.

  3. Lili says:

    Interesting show… BUT I would hope that with all this new awareness of local, sustainable, and organic foods / as well as "pink slime" etc – that you dare to show the cows before they become the burger. The meat is only as good as the environment the animal lives in. It would be really great to see that these meat purveyors are aware of WHERE their meat come from, and that the animals are treated well – that the meat they sell to their high end clients is raised and treated in a defensible way, is free of hormones and other scary additives, and thereby worth the high cost that is eventually passed on to the consumer.

  4. mitch says:

    i thought the show was very informative and loved it

  5. TLK says:

    Great show

  6. @javannis says:

    Pat Jr turned me off when he took a bite off a burger, and all I saw was a long string of slimy spit hanging from his mouth!!! nasty!!!!! won't be eating burgers or watching that show for a while.

  7. Matt says:

    I was really looking forward to watching Meat Men as I am a steak and grilling fanatic but was pretty disappointed by the over acting. I know that nearly all reality shows have some kind of set up but these guys seemed so over the top that they weren't having "normal" conversations, everything seemed like they were reading from scripts.

  8. Matt says:

    I was really looking forward to watching Meat Men as I am a steak and grilling fanatic but was pretty disappointed by the over acting. I know that nearly all reality shows have some kind of set up but these guys seemed so over the top that they weren't having "normal" conversations

  9. Bill S. says:

    Is it possible for an individual to purchase meat directly form you? I hope the answer is yes! If so, how? Thanks and love your show!

  10. The Doc says:

    If the health inspector watches show, they are in trouble. They run the company. They should know better than to handle meat with bear hands and then package for sale. That's how people get sick. Yuck, very gross! Turned me off. Please wear gloves.

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