Tips and tricks from our expert staff. From Recipes to product recommendations we will be your knowledge source for all things Butcher. 

September 02, 2015

Lacking Ideas for Labor Day? Let Us Help!
Labor Day is fast approaching and if you're anything like us, your weekend is packed with get-togethers, parties and plenty of opportunities to flex your culinary muscle. If inspiration hasn't struck yet, here is a list of ideas to get you motivated. Whether you're into smoking, grilling or slow-cooking, we've got you covered. It's a busy week, be sure to call ahead to place your order. Labor Day Items Berkshire Pork Baby Back or St. Louis-Style Ribs Berkshire Pork Shoulder Brisket - whole packer cut for smoker Whole Fish - wild-caught Red Snapper, Bronzino Bone in Chicken Breast and Thighs Waygu Hot Dogs Bison Hot Dogs Sausages - Wild Boar, Green, Bratwurst, Lamb Merguez   Too many great steaks to list here! A wide variety of spice rubs and sauces   And don't forget about our great selection of wine and beer. Happy cooking!

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September 02, 2015

Fall Recipe: Pork Sausage with Jerusalem Artichokes
Welcome to the first installment of our new Fall Recipe Series! The weather hasn't exactly cooled off but school is back in session and our mindset has shifted away from summer and toward cozier nights. This recipe is simple and flavorful, but won't heat your kitchen up like a stew simmering all day. It's originally from Nigel Slater's book Tender but we've adapted it to make it a bit easier. This dish is both paleo and gluten-free IF you can find Jerusalem artichokes. Jerusalem artichokes, or sunchokes, are tubors that look like ginger root but have a flavor more in line with a potato. They can be mashed, roasted or pureed and boast less carbs than a sweet potato. Sunchokes are in season from October - April, so should be in stores and farmers markets soon. We substituted small new potatoes and purple potatoes for some color in the meantime. The final product was delicious. Pork Sausage with Jerusalem Artichokes8 pork sausage links (our gluten-free Bratwurst or Mild Italian work well)4 medium yellow onions, cut into thick segments2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced1 cup mushrooms, halved2 cups Jerusalem artichokes or potatoes1 large lemon, cut into segments1 tsp fennel seeds 1 tbsp grass-fed butterChicken stock or water to cover – about 2 cups Salt to tasteA small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped  Heat the butter over medium heat, add onions and sauté until soft. Add garlic, mushrooms and Jerusalem artichokes (or potatoes) to the pan. Cook for a few minutes then squeeze the lemon segments and add them to the pan. Add fennel seeds and salt, then cover the vegetables with stock or water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the Jerusalem artichokes or potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.  When the Jerusalem artichokes are tender, uncover, and cook on high until all of the liquid has evaporated. Be sure to take your time and allow the vegetables to caramelize. Color equals flavor! Meanwhile, grill or pan-cook the sausages until cooked through and browned.  Sprinkle parsley on top and serve. Wine suggestion:  Michael Shaps Cabernet Franc  

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August 22, 2015 1 Comment

A Primer on Cooking Oils & Fats
The question of which dietary fats are good and which are bad has caused a lot of confusion lately. Some fats are heart-heathy, some are not. Some oils are processed with chemicals, some are not. Some break down at high temperatures, some do not. Some sound healthy because of the word vegetable in their name, but aren’t. What’s a cook to do? We thought we’d put together a short primer on which fats to use and when. Bookmark this page and refer to it when in question. BAD FATS/OILS Most cooking oils on the market are processed with chemical solvents, steamers, neutralizers, de-waxers, bleach and deodorizers before they end up in the bottle. Highly processed seed oils contain very high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, that can have detrimental health effects when consumed in high quantities. Sadly, these oils are in nearly everything we eat nowadays. Grain-fed livestock, is also high in omega-6. A diet high in omega-6 is associated with an increase in inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and cancer to mention a few. Here are the industrial oils to toss from your kitchen:Canola oilVegetable oilCottonseed oilSoybean oilSunflower oilSafflower oilCorn oilGrapeseed oilRapeseed oilRefined palm oilSesame oilRefined peanut oil GOOD FATS/OILSThese are the saturated fats and healthy plant-based oils from meat, seafood, eggs, nuts, and avocados that are loaded with omega-3s. It has recently been debunked that saturated fats cause heart disease. In fact, it’s the very removal of these from the American diet and the increase of sugar and carbohydrates that has attributed to a whole host of health issues, including obesity, diabetes and chronic inflammatory conditions. Saturated fat has been shown to have positive effects on the body, including helping the liver to function more effectively, boosting the immune system and aiding in the regulation of hormones. Some things to keep in mind during food prep: Saturated fat is typically more heat stable and doesn’t oxidate as quickly as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which makes it more suitable for frying and other high temperature cooking. Nut oils and olive oil are more fragile and can be cooked with but are best used unheated to retain the most antioxidants, vitamins and flavor. Expeller-pressed or Unrefined oils (where the oil was extracted using a mechanical process rather than chemicals) are best for high temperature cooking such as deep-frying. Avoid anything labeled Refined. The smoke point of a fat or an oil is the temperature at which it gives off smoke, and starts to break down and oxidize, losing nutrients and developing toxic properties. Most foods are fried at around 330°F so it’s always best to choose a fat or oil with a smoking point just above that. Best fats for hot use (with their smoke points):Beef tallow (400°F)Lard (370°F)Duck fat (375°F)Schmaltz (375°F)Ghee (450°F)Avocado oil (400°F)Coconut oil (350°F)Extra virgin olive oil (325°F)Grass-fed butter (350°F ) Best for cold use:Extra virgin olive oilMacadamia oilAvocado oilHazelnut oilAlmond Walnut oilFlaxseed oilGrass-fed butterCoconut oil At The Organic Butcher, we carry a wide array of high quality oils and animal fats, and can help guide you toward the right choice for your needs. Just ask!

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May 01, 2015

Grilled Berkshire Heritage Pork Chops: Extremely Flavorful & Full of Fat (in a good way!)
Tired of chicken breast for dinner but not in the mood for red meat? Throw our Berkshire Heritage pork chops on the grill for an easy, but over-the-top delicious meal. Berkshire pork is a heritage breed of pig, which was discovered over 300 years ago in Berkshire County in the United Kingdom. Berkshire pork is renowned for its richness, texture, marbling, juiciness, tenderness and overall depth of flavor. It is thought by many to be the Kobe beef of pork. It is said to have a very specific taste, not generic and bland or mild like regular pork. Berkshire pork is a richer pink, almost red color and heavily marbled. They were specially bred for the King of England for his own personal meat supply, because of the excellence in the meat. To take this pork to the next level, rub both sides with our Butcher Shop Steak Rub. For medium-thick pork chops sear both sides of the chops briefly over high heat to get a nice crust and then move them to an area of less intense heat, cover the grill, and let them cook through.  Or leave a little pink inside for the perfect chop.  Served with an arugula salad and a nice vinaigrette, and you've got yourself a meal fit for a king!

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April 24, 2015

Grilled, Butterflied Chicken — It's What's For Dinner.
A butterflied (or spatchcocked) chicken is simply one that has had it's backbone removed and has been split open. Butterflying a chicken cuts down on cooking time, allows the meat to cook more evenly and exposes more skin, which crisps up nicely at higher temperatures. We are happy to butterfly our free-range and organic chickens upon request. We recommend seasoning the chicken with one of our Dizzy Pig rubs or our newest product, Amola Bacon Salt.  Once seasoned, place on grill breast side down over flames at 350 degrees for ten minutes, flip and cook an additional 30-40 minutes over indirect heat.  If cooking on the Big Green Egg we recommend smoking chicken over indirect heat at 250 degrees for about an hour and a half.  Try Dizzy Pig rubs on all sorts of meats. They are particularly amazing on chicken and are gluten- and MSG-free.  We are very excited to offer Amola Bacon Salt. Amola produces globally inspired infused salts. Their Bacon Salt is made with real heritage breed pork for a pure and intense flavor. Try it on chicken, popcorn, eggs, sautéed green vegetables or anything else you want to add that smoky bacon goodness too. It is especially good with dark chocolate. Let us know what you think!

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How to Make Your Own Corned Beef for St. Patrick's Day

March 03, 2015

How to Make Your Own Corned Beef for St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner but there is still time to try your hand at making authentic corned beef for the holiday.  Corned beef is a preparation in which a cut of beef, traditionally the brisket, is cured in a brine solution along with various seasonings, and then slowly simmered until it's tender and flavorful. Although the exact beginnings of corned beef are unknown, it most likely came about when people began preserving meat through salt-curing. Corned beef remains popular in the United Kingdom and countries with British culinary traditions. Contrary to popular belief, corned beef is not considered an Irish national dish, but originates as part of St. Patrick's Day celebrations in Irish-American culture. The following is a recipe from Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing for both the spice mix and home curing. PICKLING SPICE2 tbsp black peppercorns2 tbsp mustard seeds2 tbsp coriander seeds2 tbsp hot red pepper flakes2 tbsp allspice berries1 tbsp ground mace2 small cinnamon sticks, crushed or broken into pieces2 to 4 bay leaves, crumbled2 tbsp whole cloves1 tbsp ground ginger Combine peppercorns, mustard seeds and coriander seeds in a small dry pan. Place over medium heat and stir until fragrant, being careful not to burn them; keep lid handy in case seeds pop. Crack peppercorns and seeds in mortar and pestle or with the side of a knife on cutting board. Combine with other spices, mix. Store in tightly sealed plastic or glass container. For our pre-made corned beef, we typically brine cure our brisket for 7-10 days flipping the meat every day or so.  HOME-CURED CORNED BEEF1-1/2 cups kosher salt½ cup sugar4 teaspoons pink salt or Instacure #1 (sodium nitrite), optional3 cloves garlic, minced4 tablespoons pickling spice1 4-5-pound first cut brisket1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped1 medium onion, peeled and cut in two1 celery stalk, roughly chopped. In pot large enough to hold brisket, combine 1 gallon of water with kosher salt, sugar, sodium nitrite (if using), garlic and 2 tablespoons pickling spice. Bring to a simmer, stirring until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled. Place brisket in brine, weighted with a plate to keep it submerged; cover. Refrigerate for 5 days.  Remove brisket from brine and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Add the cured brisket to a baking pan with beef broth and beer if you choose to add beer. We prefer a stout for this step!Throw a couple carrots or celery in there and braise at 350 degrees for 3 hours or until fork tender. Check halfway through to make sure you have enough liquid and add more if needed. Remove and let rest in the broth check seasoning for salt and pepper.Slice and enjoy! Keep warm until ready to serve. Meat can be refrigerated for several days in cooking liquid. Reheat in the liquid or serve chilled. Slice thinly and serve on a sandwich or with additional vegetables simmered until tender in the cooking liquid.  Sláinte mhaith!

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