Jimmy has worked in the grocery industry his entire life. Starting at 16, Jimmy worked as bagger and then cashier at his neighborhood grocery store. At 18 he started working as a butcher and has never looked back. Now, with nearly 30 years of experience as a meat manager, Jimmy is a valuable asset to our team and customers. You can find him cutting tender and juicy meats at our Park City Fresh Market.
- What is your favorite thing about being a meat manager? My favorite thing about being a meat manager is being a part of that perfect meal. Whether it’s cutting a dinner roast for a family gathering or providing recommendations on doing the perfect BBQ, I like the satisfaction of knowing that I’m contributing to the success of the party. I also enjoy the unique demographic of Park City. Because it is a prime vacation area, I’ve had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world.
- I know this will be like choosing between your children, but what’s your favorite meat entre to cook at home? When I’m looking to treat myself to that perfect meat entre, I usually choose a rib eye steak or prime rib. For everyday meat choices, however, I usually eat more fish and chicken. For value, nothing beats a skirt or flank steak. Typically a less expensive cut, they still have a bold flavor if cooked right. The key is to cook them slow and slice them thin or shred them during cooking to allow more juices to coat the meat.
- What’s the most common question you get from customers? Besides, “Can you get me a…” the most common question I get is, “How do I cook this?” Our butchers are trained to provide cooking recommendations to help the customer cook it just the way they like it. From rare to well done, we have the expert advice on how to get the job done. We also often have recipes and other meal ideas if I customer doesn’t know what to do with a meat. We can even recommend pans, seasonings, and vegetable pairings so don’t be afraid to ask your butcher.
- What custom services can a butcher provide a customer to help make meat preparation easier? In addition to the basics of cutting a custom sized roast or custom thickness steak, we can prepare the meat just about any way the customer can imagine. Thin sliced, cut into strips, diced into cubes, tenderized, pounded flat, ground, custom seasoning or marinades… If your recipe calls for a special type of meat preparation, we can probably do it behind the counter. We’re also happy to find any meat at any quantity you may need. I’ve had requests for anything from 40 pounds of chicken feet to goat to Chilean sea bass. Choice and prime grade meats are also a common request from customers and something we’re happy to order if we don’t have it in stock. I can usually get most metas within a day or two and seafood is often even available that same day. Exotic meat dishes like crown roasts, turdunkin, and French rack lamb are also something we can do. You can even purchase bones and carcasses for animals.
- What’s the difference between what someone might find behind the meat counter and prepackaged in the refrigerated display cases near it? The meat counter, what we refer to as the butcher block, is focused on prepared meats. These are the marinades, kabobs, chicken cordon blue, etc. Most of the refrigerated display items are more whole meat items. Chicken breast, whole chicken, steak, roasts, things like that. The idea is for the common meat purchases customers can just grab them off the refrigerated display and go. For more custom cuts and preparations, that’s what the butcher block is for. Selection of butcher block items varies by store so don’t be afraid to ask if your butcher can make something if you don’t see it there.
- How soon should I use the meat after I’ve bought it? All of the meat is stamped with a sell by date. The meat is guaranteed to stay good through that date. My recommendation is to always cook OR FREEZE the meat before the sell by date to reduce your risk of foodborne illness. Put a reminder in your phone and if you don’t use the meat by then, no problem, just pop it in your freezer and defrost it when you’re ready to prepare it.
Thanks to Jimmy for taking the time to provide us with tips on how to make the most of our local grocery store butchers. The next time you’re looking for the perfect meat entre, take advantage of your friendly and knowledgeable butcher to ensure the meal is a success.