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The Food Lover's Guide: Word From the Wise: Butcher Harvey Gussman

One of L.A.’s oldest family-run butcher shops is Harvey’s Guss Meat Co., which supplies 28-day dry-aged prime steaks to restaurants and in-the-know home cooks. We asked Harvey Gussman for tips on how to be a savvy carnivore

Photograph by Lisa Romerein

Don’t be intimidated if you don’t know the terminology. 
“All customers have to do is tell me what they want and how many they’re feeding. I even tell them how to cook it.”

An extra-lean trim is best. 
“A lot of places will leave one-quarter inch of fat, but I think that’s too much.”

You may find better deals at your neighborhood butcher. 
“I used to have a guy cutting meat for me who also worked at Bristol Farms. He’d say, ‘Harvey, we have the same meat. We don’t age it as long, but still we’re charging $10 a pound more than you!’ I have less overhead, so I can charge less.”

Doneness isn’t a guessing game. 
“Don’t be afraid to take your meat off the fire, slice it open, and look at it. It’s not cheating—it’s saving a good piece of meat.”