Fresh meat

UC Davis’ Meat Laboratory opens just two afternoons a week to sell the meat they cut for demonstrations. I asked lab manager Shane Dorrian to explain how it works:

“I have 20 students three hours a week and six to seven employees working 10-20 hours a week. We’re also hosting labs for other teachers, where they’ll come in once to see us break a cow down into retail cuts. This quarter, we have 300 freshmen students come in to watch harvests in the next couple of weeks.

“It’s all walk-ins; first come, first served; we’re open Thursdays and Fridays from 1 to 5:30 p.m. We have some fresh pork, lamb and/or beef out every week, and some cooked stuff, like pulled pork shoulder and pastrami, and sometimes bacon—that’s one of our more popular items.

“In terms of the fresh cuts, tri-tips are also very popular—those go very quickly. So do our boneless rib-eyes. … If you’re looking for filet mignon, come right when we open at 1 p.m. on Thursday and you might get lucky. Or people can call ahead to see if we have something.”

UC Davis Meat Laboratory: (530) 752-7410,