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F&W called out the chefs-as-butchers trend back in January, and the New York Times just published an excellent piece on it (by former F&W staffer Jane Sigal). But in case anyone needs further proof of the trend, I just tried calling Vie in Western Springs, Illinois, to speak with Paul Virant, a Best New Chef 2007, and got this response from the host: "Is this time sensitive? He's currently butchering a cow."
The upshot of the trend is that we're introduced to delicious, unexpected and often more affordable cuts of meat we'd otherwise not know about. Aiding the cause: a new generation of butcher shops buying locally raised meat and butchering by hand.
Here, some great recipes that use lesser-known cuts of meat:
*Smoky Tomato-Braised Veal Shoulder with Potatoes