Do you do this?

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  • #1364087

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Do you eat raw chopped meat?

    The coolest thing happened the other day! A friend of mine from NY was making meatloaf from “chopped meat.” While I played her sous chef, pouring in matzah meal and adding squirts of ketchup at her request, I told her about the thread where posters were talking about “chopped meat” vs “ground beef.” Who knows if she knew what I was talking about? Anyway, it doesn’t matter because…

    THEN this happened:

    She asked her husband to come taste the meat mixture and tell her what she’s missing.

    Enter husband — scooping out a teaspoonful of meat with two fingers, the husband then puts the raw chopped beef into his mouth and says that she needs a little more spice!

    You bet, the entire time, I’m asking how this is all possible! Who eats raw beef? So my friend talks about beef tar-tar. I thought that stuff has some acid or something? I don’t know.

    Then she said that she wouldn’t do this with steak, but chopped beef is okay… of course, then I mentioned how the butcheries mix up rancid ground beef with newer one and etc. etc… and she said that “it’s not like that with kosher beef.”

    Point is… her mom always taste-tested the meatloaf before cooking it, and that’s the way that she does it now.

    This is so interesting and Baruch Hashem no one that she knows has ever gotten sick from eating raw beef.

    Wondering if it’s normal…. thanks 🙂

    #1364120

    DovidBT
    Participant

    From the web site of the United States Department of Agriculture (usda DOT gov):

    “Is it dangerous to eat raw or undercooked ground beef?
    Yes. Raw and undercooked meat may contain harmful bacteria. USDA recommends not eating or tasting raw or undercooked ground beef. To be sure all bacteria are destroyed, cook meat loaf, meatballs, and hamburgers to a safe minimum internal temperature of 160 °F (71.1 °C). Use a food thermometer to check that they have reached a safe internal temperature.”

    #1364124

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    My friend doesn’t care what the USDA says. Personally, I wouldn’t eat raw beef or advise anyone to eat it.

    The thing is that in her family, eating raw meat while taste-testing was normal, kind of like how people used to eat raw cake batter (but now we’re advised against it because of the risks from eating raw eggs)… granted, I think people generally eat raw cake or brownie batter and cookie dough because it’s delicious… rather than to necessarily taste for what’s missing.

    #1364139

    Meno
    Participant

    Then she said that she wouldn’t do this with steak, but chopped beef is okay…

    Why wouldn’t she do it with steak?

    Ground beef is just ground steak. Probably a different cut, but the salmonella doesn’t know the difference.

    #1364161

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    My uncle has done this for years.

    #1364190

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    My mother OBM always tasted the meat mixture for hamburgers, meatballs and meat loaf and let us kids do so. She also was known to serve steak tartare as an appetizer on melba toast.
    I still eat uncooked chopped meat.

    That said, we do NOT buy ground meat from the butcher, or kosher supermarket. We grind or chop all our meat at home in our kitchen. Different blends of cuts are used for different dishes, as well as different consistencies.

    Our favorite mix of cuts for hamburgers is ground neck and skirt with about a 15% fat content, less fat dries out to quickly on the grill.
    For meatloaf and meatballs we use a coarser grind of shoulder steak about 7-9% fat. More fat yields a slimy feel in the mouth when eating these items.

    Steak tartare is made with asst. cuts of chuck that are hand chopped in a wooden bowl with a hochmesser. It must have chew and bite to it. It is not a pate.

    And as a reply to the OP, we never use ketchup in our mixes

    #1364365

    DovidBT
    Participant

    CTL: Do you do anything special to avoid the presence of harmful bacteria in the uncooked meat?

    #1364387

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Its called Steak Tatare. Not for me, but its a famous dish

    #1364779

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Meno: To answer your question, my friend said that she doesn’t do it with steak “because chopped meat undergoes processing,” so “it’s safe.”

    Her answer still left me wondering.

    ——

    Forget E. coli and Salmonella risks, people can get parasites from eating raw meat too.

    Just from looking up Steak Tartare on Wikipedia, this lovely risk came up:

    “Parasites [from consuming infected Steak Tartare]

    “Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that may be found in raw or undercooked meat.[11] Cultural differences in raw meat consumption are thought to be a cause of regional variation in the prevalence of toxoplasma infection (ranging from around 55% in France down to 10% in the United Kingdom).[12]

    Due to the risk of congenital toxoplasmosis in the fetus, pregnant women are advised not to eat raw meat.[13] Latent toxoplasmosis in adults, though not as harmful as congenital toxoplasmosis, has been associated with psychological effects[14] and lower IQ[15] in some studies.” (Wiki on Steak Tartare)

    #1364781

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    CTLAWYER: You don’t mind the health risks? Did you let your children, when they were young, eat raw chopped meat?

    Do you eat it uncooked chopped meat because you’re tasting it to be sure that it’s the right mixture of flavors too?

    #1364816

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @dovidbt
    Avoiding bacteria………..
    I buy primal cuts and butcher them myself under sanitary conditions and cold temperatures. I have never had a problem. I don’t buy prepackaged or store ground beef. I often buy from local farms and have a shochet who will slaughter on site. A non-Jewish neighbor takes the hind quarters. Mrs. CTL and I are old enough to have started our married life when one kashered meat at home (as opposed to buying factory processed and kashered meat) and don’t mind doing so with locally raised beef.

    #1364818

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @lightbrite………..
    our kids probably tasted raw chopped meat from about the age of 3, our grandchildren the same…

    #1364856

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    People ate raw meat for thousands of years before cooking wad invented

    #1364894

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Popa, are you talking about evolution?

    Even if they did, that doesn’t negate the current health risks associated with eating raw meat. Landscapes changed. Animals changed. Farming was invented. Animal agricultural. Breeding. Domestication. Waste waters. Sanitation. Backyards. Transportation. Housing. Genetic adaptations… all come into play and may affect whether or not a meat is contaminated, and whether or not one will be directly and/or indirectly adversely affected by its consumption.

    #1364895

    DovidBT
    Participant

    “People ate raw meat for thousands of years before cooking was invented.”

    When exactly was cooking invented? It seems to go back at least as far as Noah.

    I assume that bacteria were created along with the other species in the first days of Creation, before Adam showed up?

    #1364896

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    … also the quantity of infected meat, or proportion of it to the human ingesting it and that human’s health and age, one eats can affect whether or does or does not register ill effects.

    #1364909

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Was it after Noah that Hashem said that you can eat animals? Or after Adam and Chavah were expelled from Gan Eden?

    #1365120

    GAON
    Participant

    Popa,
    And people died of plagues that spread like fire, in the thousands, for hundreds of years. Know part of the reason?

    #1365008

    DovidBT
    Participant

    “Was it after Noah that Hashem said that you can eat animals? Or after Adam and Chavah were expelled from Gan Eden?”

    I think it was Noah (Bereishis 9:3).

    However, the commentary in the Artscroll Talmud Bavli (Sanhedrin 56b) states: “Tosafos write that the Gemara below means that Adam was prohibited against slaughtering an animal to eat, but if an animal died on its own he could partake of it.”

    #1365299

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    iacisrmma: Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    Wondering… Did you ever inform your uncle about the risks of eating raw chopped meat?

    Or would bringing up the dangers here be considered condescending, and especially since the information would be coming from his nephew?

    #1365295

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Based on what I’ve understood thus far, if you had meat from the same cow…

    and could choose eating a raw steak, or some freshly chopped meat (in the first seconds or minutes after grinding, as in CTLAWYER’s home)….

    you’d be better off eating the steak or fresh homemade chopped meat than store-bought chopped meat…

    because part of the danger comes with bacteria growing on meat that’s been exposed to oxygen and pathogens… (citation internet articles and Wiki)

    #1365957

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @lightbrite
    Regarding store made chopped/ground meat, etc. a couple of stories.
    My mother told me that she never had hamburgers growing up. Her mother did not trust meat ground by the butcher…never mind what was already ground in the case, but even if you picked a piece of beef and asked that be ground fresh…………WHY? She didn’t trust the butchers to properly clean the grinders during the business day. Maybe they properly cleansed it at the end of the day’s business, but she was afraid of germs growing on the equipment during the workday.

    In 1972 I was at a local general supermarket buying a case of soda. A woman came in carrying a huge parcel wrapped in butcher paper. The manager asked her if there was a problem. The lady said’ I just bought this shell of beef and had your butcher cut it into 1″ steaks (FYI Shell steaks are treif sirloin). When I got home, I went to separate the steaks and wrap them for the freezer…I could see that the inner slices of the shell had spoiled, they were off color and stank.’ The manager gave her a refund for the 12 pounds of meat and she left the store. The store manager paged the meat department manager to the service desk. The meat man arrived, the store manager handed him the package and instructed the meat man to ‘grind this up with the next load of 90% lean ground beef.’

    I never bought anything in this store again. The local chain went out of business about 1975.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I am very careful about cleaning my meat grinders. The sink and dishwasher cycle is not sufficient, after cleansing with hot soapy water, I boil the metal parts, then run them through the dishwasher.

    #1365974

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    CTLAWYER, WOW!!! Thank you for sharing. Just wow!

    #1366026

    DovidBT
    Participant

    CTL: Thanks for the detailed explanation. But now I’m going to think about smelly, spoiled meat whenever I buy ground meat. 🙂

    I wonder if the national grocery chains have higher standards for their ground meat.

    #1366049

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @dovidbt
    For an understanding of the problems with spoiled meat sold in major chains I suggest you Google ‘Food Lion Spoiled Meat Scandal’
    Back in the early 1990s this 1100+ store chain in the American South was found to be bleaching tainted meat to make it look better for sale and remove odor.
    Tricks of the trade are to turn the bad side down on the foam trays, to mix in fresh red liquid to old ground beef to refresh the color.
    Nowadays much supermarket ground beef is in packages that has been gassed to preserve the food for a longer period of time.
    Most OOT cities with populations of 50,000-200,000 no longer have a kosher butcher shop. Kosher factory produce poultry and meats are sold in general supermarkets such as Stop and Shop or Shop Rite. The meat always is a sickly color in mini cryovac packages, the poultry (generally Empire) looks better, but when opened is never as clean as the same brand sold in fresh packs in a kosher supermarket….population 150,000 in the late 50s, early 60s>>>
    I grew up in New Haven, there were 12 kosher butchers and 9 kosher bakeries. Today there is one butcher and no kosher stand alone bakeries. There are a few kosher in-store bakeries in Stop and Shop. Same population numbers.
    I live near Bridgeport, the largest population city in CT. My wife grew up here. Bridgeport had 3 kosher butchers and 2 kosher bakeries until the 70s, now nothing.

    Three things killed off the local kosher butchers…………..
    #1 The death of Euro-Traditional Jews (non-Orthodox) of my parents generation. They were children of immigrants who kept nominally kosher kitchens so bubbe and Zaidy would feel comfortable eating in their homes.
    #2 The decimation of the local slaughtering and processing business by the emergence of factory farming and the Agriprocessors of the world.
    #3 The shift to the right by the current frum community. Now everything had to be Glatt. Local supervision wasn’t good enough, local shechita wasn’t acceptable. Food orders would be placed on Tuesday nights for delivery Thursday morning from suppliers in Brooklyn. All of a sudden the local day schools, yeshivos and shuls were buying from out of town while still expecting the local merchant to be financially supportive of the institutions….it drove them out of business.

    #1366208

    DovidBT
    Participant

    @ctlawyer
    I’m just about convinced to start doing my own meat grinding.

    Re: #3
    Why couldn’t the locals learn how to make their products Glatt?

    #1366214

    Meno
    Participant

    CTLAWYER,

    Do you ever find a cow to be a treifah? If so, what do you do with it?

    #1366248

    slominer
    Participant

    Gentlemen, if you think the meat at the supermarket is bad, you have no idea how bad the food (and mice) at restaurants are. If you knew, you’d never eat in another restaurant again that you didn’t personally verify the kitchen!

    #1366269

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @meno…………
    twice ion all the years I’ve gone with the shochet to the local farm he rejected an animal. The animal was then processed and sold to non-Jewish customers (providing it meets government standards) and the farmer provided another animal for slaughter

    #1366270

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @slominer
    Back in the late 70s I was in both the kosher bakery and restaurant and catering business. Health Department inspections vary greatly by municipality.
    In the New Haven area they were very tough and frequent, in Bridgeport not as tough and once a year

    #1366461

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    LB: My uncle is very well aware of the possible issues. He still does it anyway. I have never tried to stop him.

    #1366463

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    DovidBT: You can only make products “Glatt” if the animal is “Glatt” (and that itself is a machlokes between the Beis Yosef and the RAMAH with the RAMAH being meikel).

    #1366469

    DovidBT
    Participant

    iacisrmma:

    Ok. But why couldn’t the local kosher butchers do whatever was necessary to ensure that their products were glatt? Low volume of business? Politics?

    #1366556

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @dovidbt
    In those days there was a general lack of demand for Glatt by the typical EuroTraditional customer and the shul rabbis who supervised the butchers and caterers did not require Glatt. Many ate stam kosher in their own homes and shuls. The populace was not willing to pay higher prices that Glatt demanded.

    My late parents didn’t buy glatt meat until they retired to Florida and it was all their local butcher sold. Mrs. CTL and I made a decision to have a glatt home because we anted all our friends and relatives to be able to eat here, not because we held by the chumrah of glatt.

    #1366558

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    iacisrmma: Thank you!!! 🙂 Ahh… if your uncle already knows, and is consciously taking the risk, that makes sense… 🙂

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