MEAT PITTSBURGH

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    A celebration of interesting places in the Greater Pittsburgh area where you can find meat. Farms. Butcher shops. Restaurants. A BBQ place. A small family sausage shop. A large meat processing plant. A hot dog shop.
    MEAT PITTSBURGH is the second program in the NEBBY series funded by a WQED Kickstarter campaign in 2017.


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    Sebak: We think maybe some folks might appreciate a warning here. The following program is about meat and interesting places around Pittsburgh where you can find it. If you would rather not be reminded that meat comes from animals and that meat gets cut and ground, this might not be a program for you. ♪♪ This program is part of WQED's "Pittsburgh History Series". Two onion and extra onion. One ketchup, onion, and three -- Sebak: Lots of Pittsburghers to eat meat. People who have come here from all over the world have brought recipes and traditions with them. And in this city where people seem to appreciate cooking and eating now, maybe more than ever, we thought we would take a look around at some great and delicious places where you can find meat, from fancy steaks to all kinds of sausages. We're calling this program "Meat Pittsburgh". And, of course, we know we won't get to all the local butcher shops, meat markets, and restaurants that make great meat. Just a few. Sebak: We're doing a show called "Meat Pittsburgh". Oh, I see what you did there. What is the most Pittsburghy kind of meat? You know, to me, and you can't find it much anymore, is good homemade kielbasa. My mother used to get me chipped ham all the time at Isley's. When I think of a Pittsburgh meat, I think about hot dogs. I think about original hot dogs. Man: Burgers. Burgers are our a favorite of Pittsburghers whether it be turkey or whether it be ground beef. Typically, Pittsburgh, I think sausages, probably. Maybe from the Polish Hill or something like that, right? Kielbasa and jumbo. I got nieces and nephews all over the world -- Navy captains or whatever -- There's no jumbo nowhere but here in Pittsburgh. Obviously, the Polish-made sausages, kielbasas, things like that, I think, comes to mind. Kielbasa seems to be the -- I don't know if you call it "meat". For me, it's any meat on a Primantis sandwich. I think sausage is pretty big here. I feel like it is, yeah. This program in the NEBBY Series is made possible in part by the Buhl Foundation, serving southwestern Pennsylvania since 1927, by Louis Anthony Jewelers, proud supporter of Pittsburgh and its treasures, by Huntington Bank, serving communities since 1866, by Levin Furniture, furnishing Pittsburgh homes since 1920, also by the Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania, by Henny Henninger, by the Lincoln Pharmacy in Millvale, by Mancini's Bread, by Pamela's P&G Diners, and by all 1,411 backers of our NEBBY Kickstarters. Thanks to everybody. Sebak: Let's start in Westmoreland County on a foggy fall morning on a farm near Latrobe. You might think you're in Ireland, or in Western Pennsylvania a long time ago. 19th century and 18th century, I would say, when it was a lot of Scots, Irish, and Germans. There were a lot of sheep here because they were so easy to raise because of the grass. Sukey: Our feeling is that the lamb tastes different different times of the year because they're eating different things in the grass -- different grasses, different weeds, flowers, whatever. Yes, because they graze and they browse. John: And, so, now what happens is we get these great fall season grasses like this. They get kissed by the frost, as it were, and they get -- and the lambs get fat and beautiful. And it's all because they're on grass. Sebak: John and Sukey Jamison own and operate this Jamison farm and they've become renowned for their grass-fed lamb meat that's prized by many fine restaurants. This day, they estimated there were 250 to 300 sheep and lambs on the farm. A sheep is a lamb over a year old. John: So, those are sheep. So, the ewes are the females and the old pronunciation was "yos," but we call them ewes. We're bringing them over right now to the best grass we have left. It's better when they're being bred that they're in very good condition. So, the whole purpose of this right now is to get them ready for breeding, which will be shortly. And then, in five months, they have the babies. Sebak: The border collie is named Mirk. John: He's getting a lot better. He's not the best dog I have yet, but he's the most athletic. But he comes in too close. On his gather, he was too close into them and he scares them. But, he's getting better -- a lot better. John: Away! Away! We got our first sheep in 1976, I think. And we got him and I did 4-H projects with the kids. They were learning as much as I was. John: We started raising animals and doing the farm thing, about which we knew nothing. We're English majors from W&J. I had a little catering business, actually, and that's how we started with using lamb and using our own lamb in the catering business. And that's how we realized our lamb must be pretty good. People liked it. John: Then, in '85, we bought this farm. So, we bought this farm because it was less expensive because it's all hilly and there were no crops here. So, it was -- but, it was perfect for sheep. Sukey: Well, I have my warehouse. You can see it is out in the barn. That's where I do my shipping. These are lamb shanks. John: We started a mail-order business in '85 and based it on Omaha Steaks, but everything directly from our farm. Sukey: We're very careful about our processing and our packaging because the meat that's inside can be beautiful, but we want it to be presented in a beautiful way also. John: And then, we have our own plant in Bradenville, the other side of Latrobe. And we do all the processing there and ship to restaurants and retail consumers every week. Sebak: Some of the Jamison's lamb meat will be frozen for shipping, but it's delivered fresh to many restaurants, including the one called Whitfield in the Ace Hotel in East Liberty. It's a busy hotel kitchen, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week where you may find Executive Chef Beth Zozula prepping some of the Jamison's lamb. Zozula: On our menu, it says, "fine purveyors of Western Pennsylvania cuisine", which I think is an accurate description. We do pull, you know, from the best that we can find available in Western Pennsylvania. And we just started bringing in the lambs, ducks, chickens. We do rabbits. Yeah, so, we do all those things, yeah. We specialize in whole animal butchery, which is, I think, is something to be proud of. So, I feel good about that. Sebak: A lot of the butchering is done by Steve Beachy, on the right here, working with Dan Rodriguez on the left. Beachy: We definitely built our menu around our whole animal butchery program. So, we do try to use every part of the animal. Famous for their steaks, they get a whole side of grass-fed beef delivered once a week from Jubilee Hilltop Ranch in Bedford, PA. Zozula: We used to get it on a smaller truck and they would be in smaller boxes. But now, the boxes are huge, so we've been breaking them out of the boxes upstairs, and we'll load them onto carts, bring them through the gym, depending on whether we have an event going on, and then we'll bring the whole side in. We're going to lay it out, unpack it all, and do a quick breakdown. Beachy: So, this is the whole side of beef right here. This is the front shoulder or the chuck. So, we're gonna take the shanks off and just split it into more manageable parts. Beachy: From here through here is the ribeyes. And from here south is the short ribs. Zozula: And then, we'll hang that in our meat cooler. Beachy: The New York strips all along here. Flank steak is this muscle right here. This is flank steak. From that point, we'll take those parts throughout the week and cut steaks off of them. Beachy: This is the hind leg or the round. So, you have top round, bottom round, eye of round. We'll braise this right here. We do, like a Sunday supper, which is just, like, noodles and tomato sauce, some sort of sauce -- meat sauce. A lot of times, we use the beef shank for it. So, this part that I'm taking off right here is the brisket, And we'll turn this into pastrami. I didn't always eat grass-fed and then I've been eating grass-fed steaks here. I can't eat other beef. I tried recently and it was -- texturally, it was -- it turned me off. It was weird. I can't handle the mushy beef anymore. Beachy: This is the last piece and it's all done. Could you grab the door? Sebak: Freshly cut local meat can be an attraction. You know, there's a butcher shop, international grocery, and restaurant on Penn Avenue near 30th in the Strip District. It's run by Abdullah Salem and his family. Abdullah: We pronounce is Sal-em. Everything's been all right with you? Yeah. All right, awesome. People say "Sal-eem". It doesn't bother us. Sal-em, Sal-eem, Sah-lem. That's no problem, that's trivial. Sebak: What's important here for lots of people is that all the meat sold here, in the restaurant grill as well as the meat counter, is halal, which means it's prepared according to Muslim laws. Abdullah: Halal is what is permissible for a Muslim. In regards to meat processing, halal is regards to specifically how the meat is raised and processed. The meat's first priority has to be raise wholesomely and healthfully. Second priority, all the meat that's slaughtered has to be slaughtered individually, and one animal cannot see the second animal being slaughtered. So, it needs to be slaughtered and blessed with the name of God at the time of slaughter. Sebak: At the Salem's Market butcher shop, Abdullah's brother, Abraham, is in charge. Abraham: So, about two, three times a week, I do this, where I pull out one or two whole cattles and I break them all down for pieces from our steaks to our stew to our ground meat. And this all comes in locally. The meat here is magnificent, you know, We...
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