Pat La Frieda hamburger meat, once only available in restaurants, will soon be sold to the general public in New York City via Fresh Direct. Starting on Thursday July 23, Fresh Direct customers will be able to log in and order three different varieties of La Frieda's vaunted blends.
Pat La Frieda reports that they invested $60,000 in a cryovac machine that seals the burgers in a a polypropylene package filled with a mixture of pure oxygen and carbon dioxide. This will allow the burgers to remain fresh for up to three weeks without freezing as long as the package remains sealed and refrigerated. Once opened the beef will be good for three to four days. The burgers will be sold in six-ounce patties and come four to a package. Price is yet to be finalized, but is expected to be less than $6 per pound.
The beef used in the hamburger is sourced from Creekstone Farms in Kentucky and is naturally raised and hormone free, graded USDA Choice or even Prime. The conventional wisdom when making hamburgers is that you can always add extra fat to relatively lean meat, usually using suet (kidney fat) to achieve the right ratio. The problem with this technique is that the juice tends to run out of the burger as opposed to a more carefully constructed blend that retains the juiciness in the meat itself. By using inherently marbled beef and a low pressure grind, the La Frieda blends—perfected over 90 years of butchering—offer what must surely be some of the best burgers available to the general public.
Here, after the jump, is a breakdown of the blends that will be sold via Fresh Direct.
The "original," otherwise known as the "La Frieda" blend, is perhaps the most popular among restaurants and thus probably the one that most people will find familiar. It is made up of brisket, chuck, and short rib.
The brisket blend comprises brisket and shoulder clod.
The short rib blend is the heartiest and most steaklike of the three. Part of the meat in the blend is actually the very end cap of the rib section that becomes ribeye steaks and prime rib.
I inquired about the possibility of offering the Black Label blend to the general public, but La Frieda reports that it is exclusive to Minetta Tavern. Nevertheless, it is a good day for the burger lover on a budget; even at the relatively high price that the beef may sell for, it will still work out to be cheaper than ordering a La Frieda burger in a restaurant.
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