Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Having tasted the burgers made by Ottomanelli at the "A Taste of Queens" event, I ventured over to one of the several butcher venues located at 61-05 Woodside Avenue.  The butcher stores are called S. Ottomanelli and Sons and they have been around the New York City area since 1932.

Frank Ottomanelli and his brother Michael own the store at this particular locale.  Don't let the wood shavings on the floor fool you regarding cleanliness. It's just the decor.  What are in the glass cases is what counts.

As I looked around there was one customer was placing an order. It was not only for the meats but a sandwich.  Michael decided that a sandwich to go would be a great idea, not only for someone just on the run but perhaps your schedule got you home before dinner could be prepared.  Perhaps you want to get in the order, go back to work with your sandwich and then pick it up prior to going home.

One of the cases displays an array of marinated meats that would go fine on the grill such as: beef or chicken on a stick; beef and chicken kabobs; steak wheels with Provolone cheese; and a rack of pork ribs.  Burgers are big. Patties with or without spices that include lamb burgers. As a matter of fact, Ottomanelli packages and sells its own spices.

Looks are not deceiving here at this family tradition is quite known  to have not only top quality on meat but a long line of wild game as well. Maybe it's a bit more common these days to get duck, quail, rabbit, venison and even ostrich.  This place can you provide you with rattlesnake steaks, python steaks, elk steaks, alligator steaks, kangaroo steaks, pheasants, frog legs, antelope and wild boar.

Frank tells me that his mom, a true Italian cook, can give me a recipe on cooking rabbit and wild boar, two particular items that I have found on the some fine dining Italian restaurants.

Steaks aged for 21 days.  Shell steak carefully wrapped in that white butcher paper.  I froze it since I wasn't sure how soon I'd be indulging.  Placed the frozen meat in my NuWave oven for a total of 23 minutes with just some sprinkled salt.  Medium...red in the middle but not raw.  Perfect the way it was.  


There was more for me to learn but I was wanting to try a sandwich as I saw this great looking pastrami that they make.  Better than most delis.

Lamb from the US, Australia, New Zealand?  Frank gets the lamb only from the United States...Colorado.  When I'm buying lamb chops, what are differences?  Frank took out various parts of the lamb to show me and explain.  Loin chops have a loin across the top similar to the filet mignon in beef.  Rib chops are the same minus the loin.  Frank then brought out the shoulder to show me those chops as well as the shanks. Being a butcher shop I can simply request one loin and one rib. A look in the case revealed some shoulder chops marinated in rosemary, garlic and olive oil.  Let's try that! 

Another alternative to pork is veal....which is basically a younger beef.   I was interested in the breast which contains the ribs.  How do you stuff and cook a breast of veal?  Let's get Frank's mom on the phone to tell me.  She seems to be the one with all the recipes.  That's another story for the Italian newspaper.

Short ribs are a big time with both grilling and potting.  Can be "fall off the bone" good.  I remember having this growing up.  It was called “flanken” and cooked in chicken soup.   I prefer potting it.  I need an Asian recipe! 

How about a fresh duck?  I already know how it comes out in my NuWave Oven.  This is one of a few items that you have to call for in advance.  Same goes for chicken livers, chicken fat and marrow bones.

Freezing meat was the next discussion.  If you are going to use the meat the same day or next, it will taste as fresh as when you picked it up.  Otherwise, don't wait a few days to freeze.  Do it when you get it home.  With all of the ways to pack it to avoid freezer burn, having the meat wrapped in that white "waxed" butcher paper with the "waxed" side facing the meat. 

I was just about ready to leave when I heard another customer raving about the chicken salad, one made with raisins, slivered almonds and celery.  Got it to go...I'll make a sandwich at home.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great article Merle! I look forward to that rabbit recipe. Wonderful to meet you.