RULE NUMBER ONE: Never buy meat loaf mix if you can’t see it ground.
Why? I know many customers who ask for beef, lamb and pork ground together because this mixture makes a delicious meat loaf.
- grind, oh grind away - what's in this stuff, anyway?
I also know butchers who smile and say “sure thing”, then go into the back where you can’t see them and grind up some beef with a bit of fat, then bring it out as – ta dah! – a wonderful three-meat mixture. Then they charge extra for the non-existent lamb and pork because a) they either didn’t have it, b) were too lazy to get the pork and lamb, or c) just love to rip people off.
- Don't you just hate it when they do that?
I’ve always maintained that you can sell anybody anything - once. But if you want people to come back and support you on a regular basis, you must treat them like royalty - with respect and honesty. Customers will pay for quality and service - there will always be a market for these values.
And speaking of meat loaf…
I remember a wise guy I worked with in the early 70s, who ground red rubber bands into some old gentleman’s ground meat. The old guy brought it back on my shift, cussing and swearing that his ground meat smelled like rubber when it was cooking. I had no clue what was wrong with it so I gave him a refund. I found out the next day when I came in for my shift and told the story to the crew, and Mr. Wise Guy started laughing and told me what he’d done.
- The secret ingredient.
All these ghastly stories of mine are true. So make sure you know the provenance of your meat…and especially of your butcher!