Are meat raffles the juciest bar trend?
June 10, 2016 11:23 AM   Subscribe

Natalie Zarrelli at Atlas Obscura considers the question. The Minneapolis Star Tribune takes you inside the juicy world of the meat raffle. John M. Glionna visits a meat raffle in Northern Minnesota for the LA Times and blogger Aaron Brown from Minnesota's Iron Range reacts. From 2006, Elizabeth Gilbert recounts her meat raffle experience while visiting relatives in Brainerd, Minnesota.
posted by Alluring Mouthbreather (105 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
I can't be the only one who lived here for years and thought that a "meat raffle" was a completely different kind of late-night alcohol-fueled event....
posted by miyabo at 11:37 AM on June 10, 2016 [10 favorites]


Those of you who watched Comedy Central might remember a short-lived show they had called Let's Bowl, which was a semi-satire of the Bowling for Dollars-type shows that were popular in the 60s and 70s.

One of the stars was legendary local eccentric Rich Kronfeld, also responsible for the mind-warping public access character Dr. Sphincter.

Rich has been hosting meat raffles for the last few years.

Minnesota's culture always exists somewhere on the edge of self-satire. I miss it.
posted by maxsparber at 11:37 AM on June 10, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'm not entirely convinced this post isn't a plant from my friend who is trying to get us to move to Minnesota.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:48 AM on June 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


Australia also has a rich meat tray/chook raffle heritage.
q.v. couldn't run a chook raffle in a country pub.
posted by zamboni at 11:52 AM on June 10, 2016 [8 favorites]


I took no small joy in pointing out meat raffle signs to my Atlanta-born wife when we made a recent trip to my hometown.
posted by craven_morhead at 12:01 PM on June 10, 2016


Meat raffles (and "week of meat" market deals) are among the odder things in my culture. I can understand it from when folks were poorer as that much meat would have been a great luxury. Nowadays, that meat still costs a lot more than a raffle ticket, but most of the rafflers could go out and buy the meat if they wanted.
posted by Emma May Smith at 12:05 PM on June 10, 2016


By golly. The American Legion building here often advertises a "STEAK WHEEL" night. My first thought on seeing this was ... sort of like UHF's "WHEEL OF FISH" where there was random steak to be won based on the spin of a wheel. But I laughed at such a silly notion! and decided that probably what it REALLY was, was some sort of doner kebab thing, a big good-time grilled-meat feed of steak-stuff. Now I am shocked, SHOCKED to discover than my first guess was probably right all along!
posted by The otter lady at 12:05 PM on June 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


In my spouse's hometown, meat bingo is a thing.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:10 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is this the same as a "Meat Shoot"? Because my local VFW advertises a Meat Shoot every Thursday and I've always had this horrible vision of a room filled with drunken veterans shooting animals at close range.
posted by bondcliff at 12:12 PM on June 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


No, meat shoots actually involve shooting, albeit at paper targets. The prizes are usually meat, through.
posted by maxsparber at 12:17 PM on June 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Are you sure? I live in Massachusetts. We don't have any guns here.
posted by bondcliff at 12:18 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


No, meat shoots actually involve shooting, albeit at paper targets. The prizes are usually meat, through.

Dammit, I was picturing dudes plunking away at ribeyes with thirty-aught-sixes.

I'm not a gun guy, but hell yeah I would take part in that.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 12:19 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Wait a damn minute. Meat raffles are a Minnesota specific thing? I always thought they were weird, but I just thought they were a mostly a bar thing that is very popular in (but not limited to) rural/small-towns. I figured if I went into a small town American Legion anywhere I'd find a flyer for a meat raffle. I still have no desire to go to a meat raffle but those are entertaining articles, especially the LA Times and its reaction.

She has come to see the freak show. And we are the freaks.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 12:20 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


I truly don't understand this at all. Why would anyone want to purchase a chance of winning random meat from a bar instead of a 100% chance of receiving the meat of their choice from a butcher? I understand the general appeal of a raffle, but meat? Is this something I'd have to drink PBR to understand?
posted by zachlipton at 12:21 PM on June 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


I never experienced meat raffles like what's described in the article.

Growing up in rural South Dakota, we did have a different kind of meat raffle. The VFW or American Legion would sell raffle tickets. There would be a top prize of a whole cow, and two second-place prizes of half a cow each. The prize included having the cow processed into steaks, roasts, hamburgers, etc., and meat locker space for one year or one-half year for the half cows.

It was a pretty substantial prize.

For those of you who don't know, a "meat locker" is a private space in a big walk-in freezer, usually at the same outfit that processed the animals. Think of a bank's safety deposit box, but for meat. Growing up, one of the things I got to do was scrape and shovel the inside of the big locker freezer. It was damned cold. But then we'd have a big snow pile outside the back door in July.
posted by yesster at 12:21 PM on June 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


I have seen a meat raffle exactly once in my life, and it wasn't even strictly a meat raffle. The fire department in the town my wife grew up in holds a fair on some holiday weekend, and one year we got there right at the end, when everything was getting ready to close and they were raffling off the big prizes, like a motorized cooler or a big TV.

One of the prizes was a whole bologna. Just a big fucking bologna like the one they slice up at the deli. I have no idea what you're supposed to do with that much bologna.

We did not win the bologna, or the sweet ride-on cooler, but we did get a bunch of hot dogs and beers and cotton candy for $1 because they were trying to get rid of them, so I consider it a win.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:24 PM on June 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Clinging to the Wreckage: "Meat raffles are a Minnesota specific thing? "

Nope, pretty wide spread in western Canada too.
posted by Mitheral at 12:26 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Are you sure? I live in Massachusetts. We don't have any guns here.

They often use air guns, and presumably shoot their eyes out.
posted by maxsparber at 12:27 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Proud to say I won the meat raffle during bingo night at the local legion (Banff, Canada) way back in 2008. Got more pork in one night than I eat in a year.
posted by furtive at 12:27 PM on June 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


As a lifelong Minnesotan, I have to admit that I'm a little bemused at how quirky our culture seems to greater America sometimes. Makes me wonder what else I take completely for granted that everyone would think, "You guys do what?" Self-satire is a good phrase for it. I'd say that both Caribou Coffee, and the State Fair's embracing of "on a stick" as an actual theme, are pretty good examples of that.

I've personally never been to a meat raffle (there is one at a local bar a few miles from me), but hey, why not? We like to grill a lot up here, too, year-round. (40 degrees or warmer? Not raining or snowing? Crank that sucker up.)

(Notice I didn't say, "No snow". Snow on the ground is okay. )

@zach: The meat is usually provided by a local butcher of good repute. And you *do* get to choose the meat you want, if you win (or play to win the meat you want).
posted by Autumnheart at 12:28 PM on June 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


I was shortchanged. I grew up in MN and never even heard of a meat raffle until I moved away and was asked if I went to meat raffles since I am from MN.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 12:30 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


uncleozzy: "I have no idea what you're supposed to do with that much bologna."

Bologna keeps for a long time so if you are the kind of person who either likes it or can't afford anything else you slice it at home and have bologna sandwiches for lunch and fried bologna for dinner for not all that long of a time.

We buy our lunch meats in half or whole pieces all the time when I'm working locally because our butcher discounts them by 10 and 15% over the sliced price.
posted by Mitheral at 12:30 PM on June 10, 2016


Yeah, I think Minnesota is the place in the U.S. where meat raffles really flourish, but the first article says the originated in the UK and spread elsewhere after WWII. What we need is for a journalist to visit meat raffles in Canada, the UK, Australia, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and upstate New York and offer a comparison.

(I was born in Wisconsin and have lived most of my life in Minnesota since I was moved here at 6 months. I've actually never been to a meat raffle.)
posted by Alluring Mouthbreather at 12:31 PM on June 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Excuse me bondcliff, raffles are for meat, shoots are for lobsters.

Out-of-towners are allowed to giggle about steamers.
posted by Fantods at 12:33 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


We have sometimes held a meat raffle (no cost!) at birthday parties in our home. Everyone likes tickets, Lady Luck, and brats. Party!
posted by Malla at 12:33 PM on June 10, 2016


Makes me wonder what else I take completely for granted that everyone would think, "You guys do what?"

Oh, I have a long list.

-- Calling sandwiches Dagos
-- The Jucy Lucy
-- Hotdish
-- The brandy old fashioned
-- The phrase "ofer," as in "ofer stupid."
-- Having has a professional wrestler as a governor
-- Green salad
-- MinneNAPolis, when it existed in the Mall of America
-- Hockey hair

I could go on all day.
posted by maxsparber at 12:36 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


@Malla

That actually sounds like a fun party theme. Pick up a variety pack from Von Hanson's, send out invites and print out some tickets on the laser jet. That's actually a pretty inexpensive party for the amount of fun you'd get out of it.

I've never heard a sandwich called a Dago.
Don't forget the professional comedian as a senator.
And the professional joke as a congresswoman.

Is "green salad" the one made out of green jello? Is this the version with fruit and marshmallows that would actually be sort of okay if one really needs a sugar bomb, or the one with actual salad in it, which is an abomination?
posted by Autumnheart at 12:37 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've actually never been to a meat raffle.

Time for a meetup! (meatup??)
posted by triggerfinger at 12:37 PM on June 10, 2016 [11 favorites]


The Dago.
posted by maxsparber at 12:40 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Eh. I don't consider one menu entree from one dive bar a "Minnesota" thing. I wouldn't even call it a Minneapolis thing.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:42 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is "green salad" the one made out of green jello?

Everybody has their own recipe. In my girlfriend's family, it has actual salad suspended in it.
posted by maxsparber at 12:42 PM on June 10, 2016


MeataFilter: Think of a bank's safety deposit box, but for meat.
posted by mosk at 12:43 PM on June 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


Meat raffles (and "week of meat" market deals) are among the odder things in my culture. I can understand it from when folks were poorer as that much meat would have been a great luxury. Nowadays, that meat still costs a lot more than a raffle ticket, but most of the rafflers could go out and buy the meat if they wanted.

Actually, when I was growing up (not too long ago), $1 to potentially win a bunch of meat was a moderately big deal. We didn't get to buy that much meat because we were poor, and when we did it was usually ground beef or cube steak, not the fairly decent stuff you win at these raffles (brats, ham, turkeys, etc.). People are still poor! "Good" meat is still a luxury!

Also meat bingo. I definitely won a ham or two playing meat bingo with my mom.

Yes, I'm from Minnesota... just read this article to my boyfriend last night in bed. He was again overwhelmed by the difference in our cultures...
posted by stoneandstar at 12:44 PM on June 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Eh. I don't consider one menu entree from one dive bar a "Minnesota" thing. I wouldn't even call it a Minneapolis thing.

There used to be tons of restaurants that offered this sandwich. Dusty's is just the lone holdout that still has no problem naming a sandwich after an ethnic slur.
posted by maxsparber at 12:44 PM on June 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


@maxsparber: Ish.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:44 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


i take this, along with butter burgers and bloody marys featuring entire chickens, as a further sign that the universe is trying to force me to move to the upper midwest
posted by burgerrr at 12:44 PM on June 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think that's the first thing Elizabeth Gilbert has ever written that I've liked.

'Course, it STILL ends with men giving her things because she's so pretty. Surprise.
posted by dlugoczaj at 12:46 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hilariously, I just remembered that when my sisters and I would make fun of how my uncles and grandpa talked when they got together we'd always be like, "yup, the car broke down... gotta fix the tractor for summer... price of meat went up again... "

Boyfriend was like "why is MEAT such a thing where you grew up???" Well, because meat is expensive, and central to Midwestern "cuisine," and a good hunk of meat is how you celebrate something. Otherwise it's no meat or chicken livers or ground beef in your "goulash" (Minnesota goulash, that is).

It's pretty funny but also speaks to the culture of being Midwestern working class.
posted by stoneandstar at 12:47 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Meat raffles were definitely familiar to my grandmother, who grew up and got married in the East End of London pre-war (she saw the Cable Street riots). She's no longer around, so I can't ask her when she first encountered them, but as a working-class English tradition they have a long heritage.

And of course, Wikipedia knows. Meatfilter ahoy!
posted by Devonian at 12:47 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


So how much of this meat was cut by a butcher who was later murdered as part of a bizarre mult-state series of killings which were ultimately the result of a random passer-by interrupting a heist or blackmail plot gone wrong?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:48 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


If you are ever in Victoria BC, come check out the UVIC Grad House Meat Bingo. Play Bingo. Win meat. House made chorizo, people. One a month ish.
posted by chapps at 12:49 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


So how much of this meat was cut by a butcher who was later murdered as part of a bizarre mult-state series of killings which were ultimately the result of a random passer-by interrupting a heist or blackmail plot gone wrong?

None of the ones at the Grad House. House made chorizo. Also vegan rounds. No vegetable farmers hurt.
posted by chapps at 12:50 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


'Course, it STILL ends with men giving her things because she's so pretty. Surprise.

Well, she did pay a gazillion dollars trying to win it. I think the bartender was engaging in some master-level customer relationship management there. He doesn't have to bring the meat back with him, he still got paid for it, and the author thought *she* got the better deal. That's the work of a pro.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:51 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Minnesota goulash, that is

A dish I serve my own children. Got to keep the culture alive.

Meat raffles were definitely familiar to my grandmother, who grew up and got married in the East End of London pre-war (she saw the Cable Street riots). She's no longer around, so I can't ask her when she first encountered them, but as a working-class English tradition they have a long heritage.


I wonder why Minnesota is the place in the U.S. where that particular English working-class tradition flourishes.
posted by Alluring Mouthbreather at 12:52 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


So how much of this meat was cut by a butcher who was later murdered as part of a bizarre mult-state series of killings which were ultimately the result of a random passer-by interrupting a heist or blackmail plot gone wrong?

Pretty much all. But for the stuff from up round Ovid Ralston's Butcher Shop. Wasn't he the one that disappeared that one day when he went out ice fishing and appeared the next spring, saying he was kidnapped by bigfoot or something? We all made fun of him from then on, but he never went out camping again, and on cold winter nights he used to just about jump out of his skin when he heard loud noises coming from the woods.

Oh yeah, and Ernie Lungstom's shop. He was the one who was brewing army worm wine for the mob out in St. Paul, right? What happened to him? Something about his arm getting chewed off by a trained bear ...
posted by maxsparber at 12:52 PM on June 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


A friend of mine from Atlantic Canada, tells stories of her mom winning at Meat Darts. Winning was/is a big deal in their little, economically challenged town.
posted by walkinginsunshine at 12:54 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Something about his arm getting chewed off by a trained bear ...

That's just what he said. He really just got drunk one night and fell into his belt sander one night while it was running, don'tcha know.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:55 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


If we're going to talk about interesting Midwestern food traditions, there should be a thread about booya too.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:57 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Makes me wonder what else I take completely for granted that everyone would think, "You guys do what?"

Games of chance at all the bars, generally. Like pull tabs - what? Why? OK, I guess.

I'm informed that pull tabs have started to spread, and maybe they have them in like Michigan now. But I assure you that stuff is at least very thin on the ground, if not totally unheard of, outside the Midwest.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 12:57 PM on June 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


Maybe it's a quirk unique to states that have, or did have for a long time, blue laws against gambling for actual money.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:59 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


If we're going to talk about interesting Midwestern food traditions, there should be a thread about booya too.

Highland booya shed represent!
posted by maxsparber at 1:05 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think this is going to also require an explanation about the Winter Carnival medallion hunt, and why we spend a week digging around in snowdrifts in the middle of January.

Bonus cultural weirdness: This also has a tie-in as to why we carve someone's likeness out of butter every year, and display it at the State Fair.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:08 PM on June 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


And all the milk you can drink for a dollar! And crop art! The state fair is like ground zero for Minnesota weirdness.
posted by maxsparber at 1:11 PM on June 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Meat raffles (and "week of meat" market deals) are among the odder things in my culture. I can understand it from when folks were poorer as that much meat would have been a great luxury. Nowadays, that meat still costs a lot more than a raffle ticket, but most of the rafflers could go out and buy the meat if they wanted.

I wonder why Minnesota is the place in the U.S. where that particular English working-class tradition flourishes.


I don't go to meat raffles but I get it. For me it's Scandinavian Lutheran, working class, frugal (by necessity) upbringing I suppose. I still cook with cheap meat most of the time because it's hard for me to spend money on good meat. I was just thinking a few days ago how I'm looking forward to Father's Day because I always get a Von Hanson's gift certificate (hand written on paper dontcha know) and I'll get to go get fancy meat without guilt. I live 100 yards from a Von Hanson's and I can afford to shop there for at least some of my meat but I can only bring myself to go there two times a year.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 1:12 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I actually worked in the Ag-Hort building one year as a teenager. Our job was to prepare all the displays of corn, soybeans and other grains for display and judging before the Fair started--a surprisingly laborious and tiring task. Then, during the Fair, our job was to sit next to the Crop Art lady as she made crop art, and wait for her to need something. We were not allowed to read or otherwise occupy ourselves during our shifts, which made it excessively boring. But it paid well (compared to other teenage jobs) and you got free admission to the Fair for all 10 days.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:18 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Any real Minnesota bar needs a meat raffle, pull tabs and hammerschlagen.
posted by sanka at 1:21 PM on June 10, 2016


MetaFilter: Got more pork in one night than I eat in a year.

I am so very sorry. I'll see myself out.
posted by Splunge at 1:22 PM on June 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Meat raffle in working-class Northern England in the 1990s: it would not be a special event, but a regular part of a weeknight in the Servicemen's Club. I think the idea was that a slack night could attract more drinkers for the regular Tuesday meat raffle. The meat would be packed according to kind and cut into styrofoam trays, then multiple such trays plastic-wrapped into bundles. These bundles would be 'attractively' done in a side-by-side format, rather than a stack, so you could see how much and what each one contained. There would have been several bundles in the raffle. In the 80s they used small plastic baskets you had to take back.

Each drinker would pay £1 a ticket. I'm sure almost everybody would have paid as it was part of just what you did. There would have been almost no vegetarians and everybody would have eaten the meats up for raffle. Each bundle held enough for a week, or most of a week, for a couple or small family. Most folks would have wanted meat as a daily part of their diet but it was still a significant part of their food budget and not always affordable (even just a generation earlier I doubt any but the wealthiest in the town could have afforded fresh meat every day). The meat would have been, in order of amount: pork, beef, chicken, and lamb. I'm almost certain at least one of the trays would have had a joint of beef for Sunday roast, because it would have been inconceivable otherwise.

Tickets were pulled from a pot and the winner took their choice. You could take them home with you there and then, or the club would keep them in their fridge for your wife to pick up the following day. It wasn't unusual to break up a bundle and give some to a friend or neighbour. For young children, the sight of a whole bundle sitting in your kitchen would have been quite a sight and aroused a lot of questions as to how so much meat came to be (ask me how I know!). I think all regulars could expect to win a bundle at least once a year.

I don't know where the meat would be sourced from. It was absolutely normal, and still pretty much is, for such places to have one or more traditional butchers--my hometown had five traditional butchers for a mostly working-class customer base of 5,000 people. However, I wouldn't be surprised if the meat came from wholesalers and not the butchers themselves, and was thus somewhat lower quality.

I wonder if the origin of meat raffles may have been pig-keeping clubs during the war. As a club might have a hundred members, there had to be an equitable way of sharing out the meat when a pig was slaughtered. The idea being that every member had the right to a share, but the question of who got what and when had to be decided somehow.
posted by Emma May Smith at 1:23 PM on June 10, 2016 [10 favorites]


Crop Art lady

I presume you mean Lillian Colton. She was a singular talent.
posted by maxsparber at 1:24 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Pull tabs! Didn't know what they were until I turned 21 out of state, went to lots of dive bars, then went back home and was like "wtf is this?" My parents weren't really barflies (barflys? aghh) so it was something I just had to experience on my own, y'know.

A dish I serve my own children. Got to keep the culture alive.

There is an episode of Top Chef where Chris Pratt and Anna Faris are judging. Chris Pratt is from somewhere in northern MN, near the Iron Range? Virginia maybe? Anyway, at one point he samples a bowl of goulash from one of the contestants and says something like, "hm, wow, this is really different from what you'd normally think of as goulash, with noodles and everything." My boyfriend (from an Eastern European family but more generally, just a savvy dude) was like "what in the hell is he talking about?" I had a good laugh.
posted by stoneandstar at 1:25 PM on June 10, 2016 [8 favorites]


I can only hope that a scholar reading this thread decides to dig in and write a comprehensive cultural history of the meat raffle.
posted by Alluring Mouthbreather at 1:27 PM on June 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


One February Sunday a couple years ago I thought it was warm enough for a walk here in Wisconsin. I was wrong. I ducked into the fancy-schmancy "vodka bar" attached to the restaurant down the street for some hot buttered gin to warm me up. I walked into the middle of a meat raffle. There were maybe six people there, mostly staff of this place, so of course I started buying paddles. I walked home with 7.5 lbs of artisinal bacon and 5 lbs of smoked pork shanks. I was so stunned at my good fortune I never went back.
posted by Floydd at 1:29 PM on June 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


OH, and the Minnesota State Lottery had a jingle a few years back for some kind of Golden Ticket raffle, to the tune of "I've Got a Golden Ticket":

🎶 I never thought a raffle could be
Anything else but a place to win meat
But I've got a goooolden ticketttt 🎶
... etc.
posted by stoneandstar at 1:29 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


@max:

Yeah, her. She was in her mid-70s during my brief tenure, and about as thrilled to be accompanied by a 16-year-old as said 16-year-old was to do the accompanying.

IMDB says Chris Pratt is indeed from Virginia.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:29 PM on June 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


There was an amazing interview with him in some magazine where he talks about growing up being like, "yup, I'm gonna be famous! No doubt about it!" ... and being from a very nearby area it is hilarious and amazing to me that he could feel so confident about it.
posted by stoneandstar at 1:31 PM on June 10, 2016


LMAO at this piece of trivia from the aforementioned IMDB entry:

"Chris and his wife, Anna Faris, each had a dead bug collection before they met and they have since combined their collections."

For some reason, I feel like that fits right in.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:35 PM on June 10, 2016 [8 favorites]


hot buttered gin

what

I started buying paddles

This is not how raffles work.
posted by backseatpilot at 1:36 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


A Hot Buttered Gin appears to be:

Apple juice
Gin
A few raisins
Cinnamon stick
Star anise
Glob of unsalted butter
Sugar to taste

Gently heated in a pan and served warm.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:40 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who's played meat bingo. I spent several glorious evenings playing with my grandmother in Nova Scotia. Cigarette smoke filling the room from about the head-height of a seated 70 year old woman to the ceiling, the wet sound of daubers punctuated by dry coughs, the quavering cries of bingo, the tsk-tsk-ing of dozens of near-winners as each win was confirmed, the joyous murmuring of the friends of winners of two-packs of ham, pork chops, roasts, broiler chickens... Though I never did win, I'll never forget it.
posted by matthewfells at 1:45 PM on June 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's called a meat draw, Minnesotan hoser-poseurs.
posted by wreckingball at 1:45 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


the tsk-tsk-ing of dozens of near-winners as each win was confirmed

ah, this will always be with me
posted by stoneandstar at 2:01 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Caribou Coffee

Which as it turns out is not a Minnesota version of Kopi Luwak.
posted by madajb at 2:12 PM on June 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


I recently became aware of a meat raffle at an Episcopal church in Pawtucket, RI. It was disorienting.
posted by Biblio at 2:21 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm informed that pull tabs have started to spread, and maybe they have them in like Michigan now. But I assure you that stuff is at least very thin on the ground, if not totally unheard of, outside the Midwest.

Lots of divey bars in Seattle have pull tabs. They are one of the dumbest uses of money but my husband and I still buy a basket of them anytime we are at a bar with them for no good reason. It's fun to make fun of the terrible drawings on them.
posted by joan_holloway at 2:29 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hey maxsparber, my husband's terrible e-league rec softball team is sponsored by Dusty's. With all the new condos and gentrification of the surrounding area, I keep waiting for the hipsters to "discover" it.

As gross as the racist name is, the breakfast Dago is delicious.
posted by Malla at 2:33 PM on June 10, 2016


A friend of mine from Atlantic Canada, tells stories of her mom winning at Meat Darts. Winning was/is a big deal in their little, economically challenged town.

Oh my, I want to steal this idea! Also now I want meat snooker.
posted by chapps at 2:34 PM on June 10, 2016


as i read through this thread i thought to myself "wow a year-end mefi meat raffle party would be grand i bet" and i was filled with community flesh consuming enthusiasm

and then i realized that this plan would be subjecting us all to a 1,000 comment raffle MeTa in which the same tired old "lol what kind of MEAT does the winner get wink wink nudge nudge lol a sex meat get it the meat is a peen ha ha" joke would get told 1,000 times and also outraged vegetarian mefites might start a competing nutloaf raffle from whence more terrible jokes would spring
posted by poffin boffin at 2:40 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


*snort* nut loaf.
posted by jillithd at 2:54 PM on June 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


I somehow knew even before I read the article that this had its origins in a time and place where food rationing was a thing.
posted by randomkeystrike at 2:58 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I guess it shows that I grew up in New England that I was reading through the comments with delighted amazement until someone mentioned lobster. My first thought was

"Oh yeah, lobster raffle, of course, everybody knows about that."
posted by lumpenprole at 3:01 PM on June 10, 2016 [8 favorites]


It's a weird feeling when something you have always assumed is universal is revealed to be a regional quirk to the rest of the world. Is this what it's like to live in a tourist town?
posted by Think_Long at 3:04 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


MeFi meat meets.
posted by mazola at 3:11 PM on June 10, 2016


There was a guy who tried to nickname another guy in our office "Meat Raffle". It didn't stick, thankfully.
posted by soelo at 3:16 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


They're raffling meat.
- Meat?
Meat. They're raffling meat.
- Meat?!
There's no doubt about it. We picked up prizes from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels and probed them all the way through. They're raffling meat!
posted by comealongpole at 3:28 PM on June 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


Clinging to the Wreckage: Wait a damn minute. Meat raffles are a Minnesota specific thing?

I grew up in Minnesota and can't ever recall seeing a meat raffle. But once I got to Rhode Island, they're all over the place. (Maybe more northern Rhodey, and nearby Mass. -- say the Blackstone Valley and Route 1.)

Now booya, that is a Minesota thing!
posted by wenestvedt at 3:49 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


In line with the "meat shoots" above, we had Turkey Shoots where I grew up. Grandpa would take me to the KofC or VFW, get drunk as hell with his WWII vet pals, and after a few rounds it was time to buy $1 turns with the shotgun deer-slug rounds for the 10-year old.

I'd get the gun, aim out the back window (no really) at a paper target of a turkey, pull the trigger, and bruise hell out of my shoulder.

I think I hit the tree once. We never got a turkey.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 3:55 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's called a meat draw, Minnesotan hoser-poseurs.

Likewise, everywhere in Western Canada. Don't think I've ever heard of a meat raffle, but meat draws are advertised on the main highway through town here.
posted by ssg at 4:07 PM on June 10, 2016


Likewise, everywhere in Western Canada. Don't think I've ever heard of a meat raffle, but meat draws are advertised on the main highway through town here.

Across Canada, too!

At the Legion or at the Moose?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:26 PM on June 10, 2016


One of the prizes was a whole bologna. Just a big fucking bologna like the one they slice up at the deli. I have no idea what you're supposed to do with that much bologna.

You make thick slices and fry it in a pan. Some call these "Newfie steaks."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:30 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Remember those hilarious '80s, when anything Minnesota was hilarious? Now you can relive those days, brought up-to-date in a new edition (which I haven't read, and don't plan to -- dealing with it the first time around was enough for me).
posted by morspin at 4:53 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


-- The brandy old fashioned

This is a Wisconsin thing. Don't pin it on Minnesota.
posted by missmerrymack at 7:20 PM on June 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Can someone explain what "ofer stupid" means.
posted by dilaudid at 7:31 PM on June 10, 2016


Is there one of those German words for a thing that makes sense, but doesn't seem like it should make sense? Because if not, I'm just gonna start using "meatraffle" for that.
posted by Etrigan at 7:33 PM on June 10, 2016


Can someone explain what "ofer stupid" means.

It means "Oh, for stupid", in the "Oh, for heaven's sake" sense.
posted by Daily Alice at 7:41 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yup, it's a meat draw at the Legion here. Alternate weeks, in the winter, with pie bingo. You got your meat, you got your pie, and of course you've got your potatoes from the 300 hills you put in every year from the seed potatoes that go back 3 generations. Of course it's just town folk who do meat draw, because the farmers and ranchers all have their dedicated half-a-cow deep freeze, but it's still cool.

Another quirk of rural life: the meat variety pack available in grocery stores. Not sure if I just didn't notice it when I lived in the city, or if it didn't exist, but it's huge out here. $50 or $100 and you get a whole big pack of various hamburgers, roasts, links, steaks, etc. I guess it's a smaller version of half-a-cow.
posted by bluebelle at 7:45 PM on June 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


I've never heard a sandwich called a Dago.

I'm not from the midwest and have only been to Minnesota once in my life, but I remember "Dago sandwiches" being common when I was young. Always in local places, not chains, and I think the last time I saw one on a menu was in about 1990. I honestly never thought anything of it, it just seemed like another normal sandwich name. Now it seems unreal, like no one would ever do that, but it wasn't even something people noticed that I can remember.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:49 PM on June 10, 2016


I don't know which one is the Chicken and which one is the Egg, but those "meat variety packs" remind me of an Omaha Steaks promotional deal.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:50 PM on June 10, 2016


They do the same thing as Yesster describes in Northern Alberta
posted by PinkMoose at 10:23 PM on June 10, 2016


Just to clarify procedures, here's how the meat draw at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 92 (autoplay music warning) happens:

Legion Meat Draw

Every month the Legion holds a “Meat Draw”. WHAT is a meat draw.

The “draw” is made using a “Crown and Anchor” type wheel. Entrants purchase, for $2.00, a ticket corresponding to on e of the wheel positions. There are 27 positions. The wheel is spun and whoever holds the ticket corresponding to where the wheel stops wins the meat item being offered.

Every draw night there are ten (10) separate draws. You must have a ticket for EACH separate draw. It would cost you $20.00 if you purchased a ticket for every draw. There is a unique cut of meat offered for each draw and you have the option to “buy-in” or not.

Meats offered could something like; meat roast, pork roast, chicken cordon blue etc.


Cite (pdf).

See also:

Legion Meat Draw! (Quinte West)

Legion Friendship Hour Meat Draw in (where else?) Moose Jaw!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:58 PM on June 10, 2016




Take it to MeataTalk.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:01 AM on June 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


My mom, on a whim one year, bought a whole box of pull tabs at a garage sale or something. Then she realized that she wasn't sure what she was going to do with them so for like the next three Christmases my sisters and I got like 50 pull tabs each, with my mom paying out the winnings.

FYI Stanley's in NE (on Lowry) has a meat raffle.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:57 AM on June 11, 2016


I wonder why Minnesota is the place in the U.S. where that particular English working-class tradition flourishes.

Could there be a connection to the Cornish immigrants? Their pasties certainly found their place.
posted by mr. digits at 12:12 PM on June 11, 2016


I wonder if this is similar to the "kielbasa shoot" I keep seeing signs for in my heavily-Polish corner of Western Massachusetts?
posted by apricot at 6:42 PM on June 11, 2016


Pie bingo!!!! This is genius.
posted by chapps at 8:10 AM on June 18, 2016


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