This day in age, I feel like I am very lucky to say I am friends with my butcher.
Butchery is an artisanal trade; Gordon Ramsay did a bit on his F Word show relating to the fact that the art of butchery, though still a learned "art", is not as popular these days. We, as a society, are left with few but mass-consumption options while visiting the convenient super market for meat, fish, and poultry cuts.
But, yes, alas, I am the shopper that will go to a Safeway or Trader Joes (or Whole Foods) to get my "mass-consumption" meat, fish, and poultry when it's needed.
Reason I say this is I recently met Dave the Butcher here in SF. He spends his time between Marina Meats (Marina area of SF) and Avedano's (Bernal Heights area of SF). He is the one who hooked me up with the pork belly weeks back (pics and story still to come). Since then I have become a fan of @davethebutcher on Twitter, and have visited Avedano's for meat for the 4th of July.
Ever since our first meeting, Dave has provided me with so much information about the meat that I am buying, where it is coming from, and, in the pig's instance - the fact that he broke the animal down himself. I have since told Dave that I will be contacting him once a week to see "what's good".
I recently was in Avedano's to get some trip tip for the 4th, but the boyfriend and I saw some Kobe culotte steaks and immediately looked at each other and said "dinner!". We bought both the grass-fed tri tip and the kobe beef. The boyfriend simply seared the kobe culottes in some olive oil and butter to a perfect medium rare, and I have to say, honestly, it was one of the tastiest cuts of beef I have had. As you look to these pics, please note the spinach and brown rice in the picture (our attempt at being healthy...). Believe me, there was plenty of brown rice and spinach left over as we just wanted to take in the succulence of the kobe beef.
I Twittered with @davethebutcher the next day saying a huge thank you. He concluded that it was an amazing cut. I have to agree...with my butcher.
A full plate of spinach, brown rice, and a lovely, succulent culotte steak of kobe beef:
Slicing into the goodness. Seriously, melt in your friggin' mouth.