chelsea, new york
Tonight when I was leaving Chelsea Market on my way home from work, I spied this young man behind the glass at Dickson's Farmstand Meats carrying a giant roast beef with such a Flinstones meets Dickens quality about it that it stopped me dead in my tracks. Just as he hoisted it up on his shoulder, I popped my head in for a butchery tutorial and learned that this cut, made of a whole hind leg of a cow, is called a steamship round.
From the quick snap I shot, you can't really grasp its girth or why its name is so befitting, but its presence demanded my attention. The gents responsible for this fine butchery were happy to tell me how this cut goes from slaughterhouse to supper table by way of their smoker. When I asked exactly what it would cost me to have this as the centerpiece at my holiday party, they started calculating.
"There is the per pound rate, plus shrinkage, plus the magic that happens in the smoker...roughly $500.
It's not every day you can get magic by the pound at the butcher shop, crafted by noble artisans none-the-less, so it seems like a fair price. But for those of us whose budget is more Bob Crachit than Ebenezer Scrooge, they are slicing it up as roast beef and selling it by the pound all week in their shop. Just in time for a old Fezziwig's Christmas Feast.