In cooking the guest, I told you about our family choice for Christmas dinner: "What we settled on was a family favorite. Prime rib. For $2,000 (Mx), my favorite butcher was able to provide a rib roast weighing in at just under 5 kilograms."
That passing reference to "my favorite butcher" resulted in several telephone calls and email. Most of them along the lines of "Who is the butcher and why are you hiding his identify from us?"
It is confession time. I was playing cat and mouse with you. But it was for a very good reason. Well, a very selfish one.
When the prime rib arrived at the butcher on the Thursday before Christmas, it was not 5 kilograms. It was almost 10. But that was too large for our family to eat and the oven to accommodate. So, I asked the butcher to cut it in half.
We took half home, and he put the rump in his freezer. I could tell by the look on his face that he would have preferred to sell the whole thing right then. It was a lot of capital investment to be sitting in a freezer.
As we walked away, I knew I would be back -- if the meat turned out to be good. It was. In fact, it was one of the most tender cuts of prime rib I have eaten -- as well as being well-marbled and full of beefy flavor.
We still had plenty of left-over prime rib in the refrigerator when I told Darrel we needed to buy the other half. And so we did.
The title of this essay? It was Darrel's idea. We share a gene that takes great pleasure in twisting clichés into witty pretzels.
When I said I was going to disclose the secret butcher's name, he responded: "Ah. You are going to let the cow out of the bag." And, so I am.
The name will have value only to those of you who live here and eat beef. The butcher is La Vaquita Feliz. The Happy Cow. I buy most of my major meat there.
When I first moved down here, finding specialty meat was a problem. As NAFTA has slipped into full operation and Mexico has reduced its health restrictions on American beef, almost any meat can be special ordered.
Christy had a list of items she wanted available when she moved to Mexico. Prime rib was near the top.
Just another good reason why Mexico is such a commodious place to live.