If you (A) live in New York City or have ever visited, and (B) are a carnivore, then you have witnessed Pat LaFrieda’s empire. You have alighted upon his kingdom and feasted upon the majesty of his wares: simply put, the best meat ever. In fact, up and down the East Coast, meat from LaFrieda’s generations-old, family-run business is the norm. But since one couldn’t possibly head out for burgers at Shake Shack or Minetta Tavern every time a protein craving arises, LaFrieda’s business does home delivery as well. We recently had the opportunity to meet Pat himself for a one-on-one meat-butchering lesson. Tenderloins were butterflied, shanks were deboned, butcher’s knots were tied.
Of course, it would be torture to do all the work on raw meat without sampling the goods. After our lesson, we sat down with Pat and the good folks from Knob Creek to learn how to pair everything from bourbon to rye to higher-proof bourbon with various cuts of meats — recipes that came straight from Pat’s book, Meat: Everything You Need to Know, and that incorporated the bourbons as well. The biggest takeaways: don’t shy away from pairing spirits with food — it’s not just a wine world out there — and keep in mind it’s not so much the cut of the meat, but how it’s prepared that makes all the difference.
Watch our quick chat with Pat (join the conversation on Facebook) and make sure to take notes for your next protein escapade.