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

December 04, 2015

Our Favorite Stocking Stuffers & Gift Ideas
In addition to our meats and produce, The Organic Butcher of McLean has amazing gifts and stocking stuffers for your favorite foodies. Our staff has put together a list of their top picks for the holiday season. 1. Noble Tonic 01 Petite: Tuthilltown Bourbon Barrel Matured Maple SyrupYour favorite syrup, just mini! 2. SpicesWe carry a multitude of spices and seasoning. The possibilities are endless. 3. Falling Bark Farms Premium Raw HoneyPure, raw, and local. 4. Paleo Scavenger GranolaNo grains, no dairy, no soy, no artificial flavors, no refined sugars. 5. Bulletproof Snack BarsThe perfect after-workout protein bar. Made with pasture-raised Upgraded Collagen Protein. 6. Graham's Six Grapes Porto, Half BottleA very full-bodied, luscious wine with a seductive, rich aroma of ripe plums, cherries and dark chocolate notes. 7. ThermoWorks Thermapen and Pocket ThermometerHighly-rated and highly-accurate. 8. The Virginia Table BookEarly Mountain Vineyards and Our Local Commons has just released this new book celebrating the Commonwealth of Virginia and its emergence as a world-renowned food and wine region. 9. Beyond Bacon by Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarryBeyond Bacon pays homage to the humble hog by teaching you how to make more than a hundred recipes featuring cuts from the entire animal. 10. The Organic Butcher Reusable Shopping BagReduce waste every time you shop with our stylish shopping bags. 11. The Organic Butcher of McLean Camo CapThis subtle, new style is perfect for the outdoorsman on your holiday list. 12. The Organic Butcher of McLean Gift CardsLet your loved ones pick out their own gifts with a gift card in any denomination.  Happy Holidays!

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September 22, 2015

Fall Recipe: Duck Confit with a Fig and Red Wine Sauce
This week's featured fall recipe is a simple duck confit. This version is pared down from the original, but still requires a bit of time (the legs are cured for 24 hours, and then cooked for about 3 ½ hours). In this recipe the duck legs cook in their own rendered fat, rather than in quarts of additional fat. For someone who has never made duck confit, this will make prep and clean up a breeze.  Duck Confit with a Fig and Red Wine Sauce Ingredients1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper½ teaspoon dried thyme1 bay leaf, crumbled8 Moulard duck legs (about 4 pounds total), rinsed and patted dry but not trimmed12 fresh figs, halved (dried will work if soaked in water overnight)2 cups red wine, such as Barolo Preparation1. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaf pieces. Sprinkle duck generously with mixture. Place duck legs in a pan in one layer. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours. 2. The next day, heat oven to 325 degrees. Place duck legs, fat side down, in a large ovenproof skillet, with legs fitting snugly in a single layer (you may have to use two skillets or cook them in batches). Heat duck legs over medium-high heat until fat starts to render. When there is about 1/4 inch of rendered fat in pan, about 20 minutes, flip duck legs, cover pan with foil, and place it in oven. If you have used two pans, transfer duck and fat to a roasting pan, cover with foil and place in oven. 3. Roast legs for 2 hours, then remove foil and continue roasting until duck is golden brown, about 1 hour more. Remove duck from fat; reserve fat for sauce. 4. Add the figs and wine to roasting pan with remaining duck fat. Heat over medium until the wine has evaporated by half and the figs have softened, scraping any crusty bits from the pan into the wine. 5. Arrange duck legs on a plate and serve with the wine sauce.

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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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February 05, 2015

Woo With Wine & Cheese This Valentine's Day
There's no better way to start a special meal than with a wine and cheese course. Red wine is well known as an aphrodisiac and cheese, well, cheese is just delicious and decadent. Along with meats and seafood, The Organic Butcher also carries a wide selection of wines and some carefully chosen cheeses. Below are some of our favorites. We are always happy to help you pull together an amazing menu, stop by and see us! One of our newest and most impressive local wines is the 2012 Chardonnay from Michael Shaps. Located in Charlottesville, Michael Shaps specializes in small production wines that have won several competitions and have been recognized by industry publications such as Saveur Magazine, Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate. The Michael Shaps Chardonnay is aged for 11 months in 100% French oak barrels and is made from grapes grown in a cooler part of Loudon County that retain their high acid content. Barboursville Vineyards produces some of the finest wines in Virginia. Their signature 2010 Octagon is a blend of  estate-grown Bordeaux varietals, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. It is medium- to full-bodied and has notes of dark plum, cassis, and mocha. It's a fantastic choice for a special occasion like Valentine's Day. The Barboursville 2012 Cabernet Franc Reserve is an award-winning and food-friendly red that is served at some of the best restaurants in Virginia, such as The Inn at Little Washington. One of our best selling wines is the 2013 Sauvignon Blanc from Elizabeth Spencer. Made from grapes grown in Mendicino, CA, this wine is pale in color and bursting with flavors of white peach and apricot, yellow grapefruit, and lemon blossoms. It is very citrusy and has a crisp finish on the palate. The Elizabeth Spencer Sauvignon Blanc is also certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers, which guarantees that the grapes were grown to the standards set by the National Organic Program. We also carry selections from Boxwood Estate Winery in Middleburg. Boxwood produces red wine in the Bordeaux tradition from estate-grown Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec grapes. Their 2011 Trellis is predominantly Merlot blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It is medium- to full-bodied, brick-red in color, with notes of strawberry, pepper, tobacco and molasses.  We are very excited to have procured the last two cases of the excellent French Pinot Rosé by Michel Sarrazin. The Sarrazin Estate dates back to the 17th century but the wines gained in popularity in the 1970s and 80s. This Crémants de Bourgogne is a fabulous alternative to pricey Champagne. It's made by the same painstaking techniques as champagne, unlike lesser quality sparkling wines that add a shot of CO2 for bubbles. This sparkling rosé from Burgundy was made from Pinot Noir and fermented in the bottle.  A delicate pink, this dry rosé has tiny bubbles and a frothy, creamy mouth-feel. It has wild strawberry and lemon zest aromas, and is tangy and fruity on the palate with a crisp finish. At The Organic Butcher, we carefully select cheeses from producers who are passionate about creating the best cheese from the best organic ingredients. One such producer is Cowgirl Creamery located in Petaluma, CA. Their award-winning Mt Tam is an insanely rich triple-cream with flavors of cultured butter and hints of white mushroom. The longer this cheese sits at room temperature, the better.  Cowgirl Creamery's winter seasonal cheese, Devil's Gulch, has a rich, bloomy rind that is dusted with a mixture of sweet and spicy ground heirloom peppers. It's bright, sweet, spicy and creamy. This one won't be around for long, so get it while you can! Cypress Grove in Humboldt County, CA is best known for their ashy, tangy goat cheese Humboldt Fog. Few people know of their sheep milk Lamb Chopper, which is made and then aged in Holland for at least three months before being shipped to the States. Lamb Chopper is soft, buttery, and sweet like salted caramel and fresh vanilla beans. This is a major crowd-pleasing cheese! Trickling Springs Creamery in Chambersburg, PA is one of the few places that produces 100% raw milk cheeses. This Sharp Cheddar is from grass-fed, free-range cows and is aged just enough to bring out the tangier flavors but is still creamy and well balanced.    To accompany our cheeses, we carry an assortment of crackers and baguettes for you to choose from.   

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October 24, 2014

Julia Child's Beef Bourguinon is a classic recipe and here at the Organic Butcher we count down the days each year until the weather turns just cool enough to make this dish!  It's hearty, delicious and would impress just about anyone.   Ingredients: 1 (3 Pound) filet of beef, trimmed Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning plus 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper 3 to 4 tablespoons good olive oil 1/4 Pound bacon, diced 2 Garlic cloves, minced 1 1/2 Cups good dry red wine, such as Burgundy or Chianti 2 Cups beef stock 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 Sprig fresh thyme 1/2 Pound pearl onions, peeled 8 to 10 carrots, cut diagonally into 1-inch thick slices 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour 1/2 Pound mushrooms. Sliced 1/4-inch thick (domestic or wild) Step 1 - With a sharp knife, cut the fillet crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices. Salt and pepper the fillets on both sides. In a large, heavy-bottomed pan on medium high heat, saute the slices of beef in batches with 2 to 3 tablespoons oil until browned on the outside and very rare inside, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove the fillets from the pan and set aside on a platter.  Step 2 - In the same pan, saute the bacon on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, until browned and crisp. Remove the bacon and set it aside. Drain the fat, except tablespoons, from the pan. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Step 3 - Deglaze the pan with the red wine and cook on high heat for 1 minute, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add the beef stock, tomato paste, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered on medium-heat for 10 minutes. Strain the sauce and return it to the pan. Add the onions and carrots and simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes, until the sauce is reduced and the vegetables are cooked. To make your own beef stock click this link for The Organic Butcher BEEF STOCK RECIPE.  If you prefer using beef stock we recommend 100 bowls of soup beef stock.  It is locally made in small batches with only the best ingredients, not to mention it's delicious. Step 4 - With a fork mash 2 tablespoons butter and the flour into a paste and whisk it gently into the sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes to thicken. Meanwhile, saute the mushrooms separately in 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil for about 10 minutes, until browned and tender. Step 5 - Add the fillet of beef slices, the mushrooms, and the bacon to the pan with the vegetable and sauce. Cover and reheat gently for 5 to 10 minutes. Do not over cook. Season, taste, and serve immediately.    

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August 18, 2014 10 Comments

Grilling season continues with our honey, chipotle, and lime marinated Flank Steak!  We like flank steak because it lean but very flavorful.  We definitely recommend it if you're cooking for a larger group of people because it comes in large, mostly-uniform shape that makes cooking and serving easy.  It is best cooked medium rare and thinly sliced at an angle.      This steak does nicely with a robust marinade that helps break down the fibrous texture and impart extra flavor and tenderness into the meat.  We realized the all-natural mustards we carry by Earth & Vine are perfect as a flavor-packed base for marinades and finishing sauces.  We love the classic flank steak with chimi-churri so we used inspiration from that to create a honey, chipotle, and lime marinade.     Marinade Recipe: 1/4 C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1/3 C. honey, chipotle, lime mustard 1/3 C. tamari or soy sauce 1 TBSP honey 1 TBSP fresh-squeezed lime juice 1 C. chopped fresh cilantro 2 garlic cloves - minced 1/2 TSP salt 1/2 TSP pepper   Add everything except the EVOO to a bowl and whisk together.  Slowly whisk in the EVOO until everything is well mixed.     Cooking Instructions: 1. Score the 2lb Flank Steak with diagonal cuts 1/2" apart. 2. Place the steak and marinade into a larger freezer bag for 2-6 hours.  Save 1/2 C. of the marinade to use as a finishing sauce. 3. Remove the steaks for the marinade and generously salt and pepper both sides of the steak to help create a crust. 4.  Brush the grill with olive oil and bring the heat to medium-high.  5. Cook the first side for 4-5 minutes directly over the flame.  Flip and cook the second side for 3-4 minutes. 6.  Let it rest for 5-10 minutes! Do not skip this step - it is very important! 7. Cut thin slices at an angle and against the grain.  Add the extra marinade to the sliced steak.  Serve and enjoy!   We decided to pair this flank steak recipe with one of our favorite red wines in the shop at the moment, the 2012 Felino Cabernet Sauvignon by Vina Cobos.  It is brimming with full aromas of blackberry and cherry and just a touch white pepper.  We like it with this recipe in-particular because it is not overpowered by the flavorful marinade and the spicy undertones of white pepper really compliment the steak.  Not to mention, this is an Argentinian wine and an Argentinian-inspired dish!    Enjoy!              

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