An anonymous pork chop on a plastic-wrapped Styrofoam tray is way more offensive than a pig's head to some of today's most passionate home cooks. Following the lead of chefs, these dedicated carnivores are buying whole, humanely raised pigs, lambs and steers from local farmsthe best way to ensure top-quality meatand breaking down the animals into easy-to-use cuts. For help, they're turning to a new generation of butcher-teachers.
We asked three of these expertsRyan Farr of 4505 Meats in San Francisco; Robert Wiedmaier of the Butcher's Block in Alexandria, Virginia; and Tom Mylan of the new Meat Hook in Brooklyn, New Yorkto share their favorite recipes for entertaining using roasts and chops as well as ground meat. The result: everything from a humble mustard seedflecked meat loaf to a spectacular coffee-rubbed prime rib roast.