12.10.2009

Great Expectations


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.


1 comment:

claire said...

OH HAIL the steamship round!

I imagine being in its presence might have me reaching for the $500 that I don't have! It's in these times that I feel a little sorry for vegetarians.

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Sarah Copeland is a food and lifestyle expert, and the author of Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite, and The Newlywed Cookbook. She is the Food Director at Real Simple magazine, and has appeared in numerous national publications including Saveur, Health, Fitness, Shape, Martha Stewart Living and Food & Wine magazines. As a passionate gardener, Sarah's Edible Living philosophy aims to inspire good living through growing, cooking and enjoying delicious, irresistible whole foods. She thrives on homegrown veggies, stinky cheese and chocolate cake. Sarah lives in New York with her husband and their young daughter.