Main

April 25, 2011

Hong Kong: Gage Street

_MG_9853 - Version 2

Walking through Central Hong Kong, it was easy to forget that I was 8,000 miles from home. There were skyscrapers and office buildings this way, hi-rise condos that way, Westerners abounded and English was everywhere. Central certainly didn't have any of the challenges of Saigon or even Tokyo in navigation or communication. I enjoyed exploring the area a lot, but it almost felt like cheating.

Then we took a turn off from under the Mid-Level escalators and found ourselves on Gage Street and found ourselves somewhere else, entirely.


Continue reading "Hong Kong: Gage Street" »

March 19, 2011

Barcelona: The Vila Viniteca Food Market

_MG_9197

As usual, I took some time while we were in Barcelona to pick up a couple bottles of wine to take home. After reading about the selection available there, we sought out Vila Viniteca in the warrens of El Born, a neighborhood we ended up wandering around quite a bit. When we got there we discovered that it was much more than a wine shop.

Turns out there are three or four different storefronts, this one, above with stacks and stacks of wine, another for private events a third that we didn't get a good look at and a food market that captured my attention for a full half hour. Check it out after the jump.

Continue reading "Barcelona: The Vila Viniteca Food Market" »

November 28, 2010

Analog Montreal: Charcuterie Hongroise

10A_0852

If you've been following Analog UltraClay, you may have already seen some of the recent photos I posted from Charcuterie Hongroise. While walking up St Laurent toward Schwartz's on my last day in Montreal, I passed a few old school butcher shops that caught my attention.

It was the sausages hanging in the window that drew me in to boucherie hongroise. Montreal still has some of the old European style butcher shops that are quickly disappearing in New York.

See inside after the jump.


Continue reading "Analog Montreal: Charcuterie Hongroise" »

July 16, 2010

SF: Boccalone's Nduja

_MG_0317 - Version 2

While in San Francisco, I always try to swing by Boccalone in the Ferry Building. A couple years back, Chris Cosentino, the offal-loving chef of Incanto, opened up this Italian charcuterie shop selling all sorts of interesting salumi including 'fennel-orange' and this, nduja.

Pronounced, end-oo-ya, this spicy sausage evoked a bit of mystery last year when the NY Times wrote up a piece about it calling it "The Lady Gaga of pork products." So, yeah, that's a little stupid, but I had to taste it anyway.

Take a look under the wraps after the jump.

Continue reading "SF: Boccalone's Nduja" »

June 30, 2010

Butchery: Japanese Premium Beef

_MG_0517 - Version 2

About a year ago, a new Japanese Butcher shop opened up in NoHo. They specialize in Washugyu, Wagyu-hybrid beef that is raised in the Pacific Northwest to be deeply marbled like the beef from Kobe, Japan.

I stopped in once to get a couple photos, but haven't had a chance to get back to take a better look at their goods either photographically or to take home and cook.

_MG_0501 - Version 2

Most of the write ups about the place point out that it looks more like one of the area boutiques than any butcher shop. It's true and that's at least in part due to the fact that most of the meat is cut at their supplier, not on site.

I suppose that makes this shop more of a reseller than an actual butcher shop, and therefore not the same as my other butchery subjects. But, given how interesting and delicious the marbled beef I had in Japan was, I'll let it slide. Meat like that just needs a quick sear and it's ready to eat. If that. When we were in Tokyo I had some thinly sliced beef at a Yakiniku restaurant in Ginza that was so rich and wonderfully marbled, they encouraged us to eat it raw.

I probably wouldn't go that far if I were cooking it at home, but one of those steaks would be marvelous thrown on the grill for just long enough to get a good char.

_MG_0510 - Version 2

May 10, 2010

Butchery: The Offal Cook

_MG_1895 - Version 2

This is Chichi aka The Offal Cook. She blogs for herself and Serious Eats about cooking with all those wonderful bits of animals that get tossed aside and forgotten.

Much like I've taken my meat and photography interests to this butchery project, Chichi has followed her lifelong fascination with off-cuts to a similar end.

She has been writing a series called The Butcher's Cuts about traveling up to Kingston to learn about butchering at Fleisher's.

Given the similarities in our projects, It's really awesome to see where she's gone with it. Her posts have chronicled the lessons she's learned from her time butchering. She's also managed to come away with some awesome recipes for working with these cuts. I was especially excites to see what she did with a pig's head, resulting in both a terrine of head cheese and a batch of ramen stock. And because some things still shock me a little, I was fascinated with her account of (and recipe for) cooking scrambled brains.

If my posts on meat and butchery have been at all interesting, I'd definitely recommend taking a look at Chichi's column. Enjoy!


May 4, 2010

Butchery: Pure Ground Awesome!

_MG_1072 - Version 2

Sadly, I didn't end up buying this when I was at Fleisher's for the Pig to Pork trip, but a burger made of ground beef with ground bacon mixed in is something I have to try. Seriously.

April 9, 2010

Vancouver: Granville Island Market

_MG_5129

I've been waiting so long to put together a post on Vancouver's Granville Island Market, that I'm just about out of anything to say about it besides that it was a lovely time wandering through it.

_MG_5235 - Version 2

We took one of those tiny boats there and walked around and ogled the food, particularly the meat, on display.

_MG_5221 - Version 2


_MG_5198 - Version 2

April 7, 2010

Cooking: Easter Bunny

_MG_0052 - Version 2

This weekend, I took my own twisted turn at Easter dinner. Heathen that I am, I wouldn't have known when Easter even was if not for the Lenten lunch I had a couple weeks ago.

A recent article in The Times about rabbit as an upcoming food trend inspired me to finally seek out a rabbit to play with in the kitchen.

I've only cooked rabbit once, years ago, on a trip to Paris with Tammi. I found a whole rabbit shrink-wrapped in a market near our apartment in the Marais. I've wanted to do it again ever since, but prices and availability make rabbit more difficult to cook often.

I'm fond of rabbit, but the price point isn't really a good one for experimentation. This D'artagnan rabbit, purchased at The Meat Hook, cost about $30 at $10 a pound. Not cheap for something about the size of a chicken.

Follow the jump for the before pic and a blow by blow on how I cooked it.

Continue reading "Cooking: Easter Bunny" »

March 30, 2010

Butchery: More Dickson's Farmstand

_MG_8713 - Version 2

I've been showing my butchery work in a class I'm taking at ICP and got a bunch of feedback. Taking the feedback I've gotten from my classmates into account, I went back for another shoot at Dickson's Farmstand.

Mostly, I photographed the inside of the walk-in meat locker, where I could play with the flash without blinding anyone wielding a knife.

_MG_8851 - Version 2

While in there, I got a chance to get a closer look at their new addition, whole, young goats. They hung up in the back, looking a little creepy, but also delicious. Seeing them split up, I'm reminded of the large standing grills we saw in Argentina. Slow grilled like than and served with some chimichurri, I'm sure would be fantastic.

_MG_9246 - Version 2

It wasn't all just meat porn, though. I spent a few minutes taking some photos of Jake Dickson, the shop's owner and Adam, while he worked on a beef forequarter. Gotta love the action shots.

_MG_9268 - Version 2

_MG_9152 - Version 2

February 8, 2010

Butchery: Dickson's Farmstand

_MG_7211 - Version 2

Friday morning, I spent a couple hours at Dickson's Farmstand, the newish butcher shop at Chelsea Market. Jake Dickson graciously allowed me to come in to look around and photograph his place as a part of my Butchery project.

This session was the first step in expanding the scope of the project beyond the same guys I've been shooting. As I'm developing the idea behind the project and what I want to do with it, I need a larger representative group to hold up the ideas behind it. I hope to do more shoots over the next month or two, introducing more faces, hands, spaces and animals to the collection of images.

_14_0473

At Dickson's, I spent most of the time documenting Adam, below, while he took apart three beef quarters. Adam eschews the term butcher in favor of the more descriptive 'meat cutter' and tries to keep closer to the traditional concepts of butchery that he learned when apprenticing under an old school butcher in Boston.

_MG_7934 - Version 2

One big difference in his methods I noticed is that Dickson's is equipped with hooks hanging from the ceiling that allow for easier cutting. I'd heard about this but hadn't seen it before. With the meat hanging down, pulling cuts off is significantly easier because gravity is on your side.

Adam used the same technique with hooks attached to his cutting table as well. It was interesting to watch.

Check after the jump for a few more photos. The rest are posted on Flickr in Digital and Analog sets.

Continue reading "Butchery: Dickson's Farmstand" »

January 11, 2010

Cooking: Hearts Afire

_MG_1324 - Version 2

We got one last beautiful day for the year the Sunday after Christmas. Just before the current deep freeze, the temperature reach up into the 50s and I took the opportunity to fire up the grill.

Eric came over and we grilled the lamb and beef hearts that I got from Fleisher's at the WinterMarket.

I was attracted to heart initially for the spectacle of the thing. It just seems to odd and primal, how could I not try it after all my 'whole beast' talk? But after trying it, it's the flavor an texture that will have me going back for more.

The preparation was limited to cutting off the fatty and tough bits and seasoning it with salt and pepper.

We grilled them to about medium rare and cut them into strips with kitchen shears.

_MG_1348 - Version 2

The meat was dense and a bit chewy without being tough. The flavors were intense. They tasted like beef and lamb, just more so. The beef did have a slightly 'liver-y' flavor, but not overpoweringly so.

At this point it is far too cold for going back out to grill again, but expect hearts to be a staple come grilling season.

December 30, 2009

WinterMarket 09: Fleisher's

_8A_0513 - Version 2

This bucket of guts and goodies brought to you by Fleisher's, the upstate butcher shop that has served as the training ground for many of the butchers that have been proselytizing the gospel of butchery in recent years.

Bryan apprenticed there through the fall and has continued to work there over the last several months and was working the booth with them at the WinterMarket. He introduced me to Jessica Applestone, who owns Fleisher's with her husband, Josh, the self-titled "MooRu". I'm hoping that next year some time I'll be able to visit the shop up in Kingston and photograph them and their apprentices in action.

For now though, I took advantage of the wonderfully priced offal and bought a pile of organ meats including a beef tongue, sweetbreads and a mix of beef and lamb hearts. The sweetbreads gave me some difficulty and didn't come out as well as I'd hoped, the hearts were awesome, more on that in a bit. I also bought a small pork roast that I cooked that night using Sara Jenkins' Porchetta salt that I also picked up that day.

December 21, 2009

WinterMarket 2009

_MG_9666 - Version 2

Yesterday morning I braved the piles of snow to go down to the Seaport to attend this year's WinterMarket at the Fulton Fish Market.

I haven't written much about the New Amsterdam Market project recently, but it's been moving on track as far as I can tell. Starting this summer, there have been monthly markets taking place down there, but this was the first I'd manage to make it to since last year.

Despite the snowstorm, my fellow food nerds were out in force. I wasn't nearly the only one with a camera shooting food, servers and displays. It was great. I ran into Dave from Eating In Translation and we compared camera notes and geeked out for a moment.

_MG_9640 - Version 2

I wandered around shooting and eating and chatting with some of the vendors and had a great time trying out some new and interesting foods. Over the next couple days, I'll post some highlights of what I saw and ate.

December 15, 2009

Analog: Back to Butchery

12A_1319

It's been a little while since I've been able to devote any time to my Butchery project. Over the last couple months I've had to pass up opportunities to see and maybe shoot some interesting butchering demos due to other commitments or sometimes just sheer exhaustion.

This week I broke out of that rut and did two butchering shoots. Both were subjects I've shot before cutting more or less the same meat, but this time I got to shoot with film, which was really pretty exciting.

29A_1297

First, on Wednesday, I finally got a chance to visit The Meat Hook, the new Butcher shop run by Tom and Brent formerly of Marlowe and Daughters in conjunction with The Brooklyn Kitchen. The space also doubles as a teaching space and I sat in on a Pig butchering session. A year and a half ago, it was one of Tom's classes that got me interested in this whole Butchery thing in the first place. I enjoyed watching it all over again with a stronger knowledge of the subject.

To see more from that shoot, check out the Flickr set Pig Butchery at The Meat Hook.

30A_0033

Then on Friday, I stopped in at Greene Grape Provisions to shoot Bryan for a while as he took apart half a steer. Beef is a little foreign to me, I don't cook it much, so picking up the anatomy and the scale is really interesting. It's should be obvious, but cows are really, really big and so are their disassembled parts -- the bones, the muscles and the layers upon layers of flesh.

dia_0126

Those photos are posted on Flickr as well.

It was also particularly interesting to see what the textures and colors of film do to such a visceral subject matter. Without geeking out too much on my analog experiments, these shoots have been an interesting way for me to see how the hues and tones of one roll differs from another. Some bring out the pale greens of the fluorescent lights, others pop with the bloody redness of the meat -- and then there's Black and White. It's fascinating, all of it.

---_1239

---_0111

I'm currently looking at more photography classes at ICP for next year, particularly classes that are about building portfolios and working on long term projects. I hope to use it as an opportunity to pursue this Butchery project more consistently and to have a body of work that I can present for a show or publication.

I hope to spend some time reaching out to other butchers and delving deeper into the subject. The neighborhoods of New York offer all sorts of ethnic markets that prepare meat based on cultural and religious practices. Given the time and initiative, that could be a profoundly interesting path to go down. I'd also like to round out the meats represented by photographing some lamb and maybe game meats.

There are a million ways to go with this project, so stay tuned.

August 13, 2009

Markets: Food Dimensions

IMG_1946

I discovered Food Dimensions entirely by accident. Shortly after Tammi and I moved into our place, I was following a lead on a Western Beef Outlet, which turned out to be nothing special.

But on the way, I passed Food Dimensions, which just seemed like any other supermarket. The difference became clear when I got to the back of the store. The meat market takes up maybe a quarter of the store and there's often a crew of butchers working behind the counter.

Being right on the edge of Bushwick, the meat available is much more diverse than the standard fare at other similar supermarkets around the city. Besides the sausages in styles representing Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Mexico, there are cuts of meat that represented the concept of whole animal eating long before it became trendy. There are tongues and feet and tripe; skin and fatty bits are labeled as chicharrones. This is where I bought my first Lechon, the suckling pig I prepared Cuban style for our holiday party in '07.

They've also got a respectable fish market offering prices and selection not quite as good as Chinatown, but better than anywhere else I know. Last visit, Lobsters were available for $9 a pound, which is quite the bargain.

There are two reasons I don't include this in the Butchery series. The first is that the majority of the meat is packaged ahead of time, meaning there isn't necessarily always the same opportunity to work closely with the butchers to get what you want.

The other reason is that they've got a vast selection of Latin ingredients. Cactus leaves, espazote, chipotle peppers of both the canned and dried varieties, cheeses of many textures and flavors and so much more. Walking through the aisles is an adventure for me. I invariably end up picking up something I've never heard of just to see what I can do with it.

July 9, 2009

Butchery: The Times Catches On The Rock Star Trend

_MG_1607 - Version 2

I have to say it was pretty gratifying to see The Paper of Record chime in on the Butchery theme I've been going on about.

Most of the New York scene mentioned in the story were things I've been following and planning on posting about, but it was interesting to read about what's going on in San Francisco in particular. I'll have to make a point of seeking out such things the next time I'm in the area.

I'm also interested in reading Julie Powell's upcoming book about her time at Fleisher's, the Meat Mecca of the east. And I may finally have to finish reading Heat just so I can read more about Dario Cecchini, who I've mentioned here before.

In any case, if you have any interest in all this meat talk, the story is worth the read just for tips on others doing this butchery thing. Enjoy!

June 28, 2009

Curing: FAIL

IMG_0281

If I'm going to really discuss my curing experiments, I have to acknowledge my failures along with the successes. My first attempt at a country-style ham was, sadly, quite the catastrophe.

I've cured a ham before. It was wonderful. I put a pork leg in a brine of Apple juice and hard cider and left it to brine over our honeymoon. When we got back, I let it hang in the basement for a couple weeks. It worked out really well and I served it up at our holiday party in December.

After that, I decided to go a step further. Ruhlman has a recipe for a cure that aged a lot longer and ended up as rich and dry as a Spanish jamon serrano or a southern Country ham. It called for a minimum of 4 months aging after weeks buried in salt.

I think it was the salting where I messed up. I engulfed a 20 pound leg in kosher salt for the nearly entire month of January. Unfortunately, I was out of town for most of the month, so I wasn't able to keep it under observation for that whole time. When I got back from the X Games, a good deal of the top layer of meat was exposed. I'm presuming this is where it all went wrong. I dumped more salt on top, but perhaps the damage was done.

Regardless, it obviously didn't work out. Back to the drawing board.

June 24, 2009

Butchery With Bryan


_MG_1962 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of going behind the counter of Provisions in Fort Greene to photograph some butchery in action. Bryan has shown up here before in his experiments, curing lamb and trying to bring kid goat to the masses. I stop in from time to time just to see what he's been working on.

The other day, I asked if I could come in one day when he was taking something apart and he was awesome enough to allow me to watching dismantle a whole beef leg. It was quite impressive to see.

I'm generally working on a photo project about people working with food, particularly meat. I have no idea where I'm going with it, but this shoot should help me develop it further.

To see the photos, in all their gory details, see the set on Flickr.

May 18, 2009

Butchery: The Halal Market

IMG_0541 - Version 2

When I want to buy a leg of lamb for a party, I typically go to one of the halal markets down on Atlantic Avenue. I prefer it mostly for the ephemeral reason that it just seems a little more authentic. But I also like it because it's not nearly as expensive as the shrink-wrapped New Zealand lamb that I find in my local Foodtown. And it's fresher too.

It doesn't hurt that the place I usually go to is right next to The Brazen Head. Coincidentally, of course.

It's also just down the block from Sahadi's, which is one of the best spice markets in the city. That's a good thing too, as this market is always a little barren. There's a row of legs on display like this and shoulders and other cuts in the walk-in in the back. Besides that, there are boxes of grains and seasonings, but otherwise it's an empty space.

Halal Meat Market
232 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn,
(718) 625-2781

May 15, 2009

Finally! Provisions' Lamb Bacon

_MG_0878

After many failed attempts, I finally got my hands on this slab of lamb bacon from Provisions. Even better, they are now curing more on a regular basis so getting another batch won't take nearly so long.

First observation: As you can see here, it's very fatty. There's more meat in there that the sliver visible in this picture, but the fat is prominent.

My first experiment was to cut strips and wrap them in dates. I love bacon wrapped dates and I figured the combination of North African/Middle Eastern ingredients would go together well.

This wasn't as successful as I'd have liked. As my first try cooking the bacon, I realized afterward that I had no idea how crispy the bacon cooked on its own. When I cooked it more lightly, it was a little too gummy and was difficult to cut through with your teeth. When I left it to cook longer, it crisped up too much and had a burnt, gamy flavor that wasn't so great.

There is probably a perfect medium in there somewhere, but I didn't want to waste my entire slab trying this out, so I shelved that idea.


My second, more successful idea after the jump...

Continue reading "Finally! Provisions' Lamb Bacon" »

May 1, 2009

Butchery: Jeffrey's Meat Market

_MG_0318 - Version 2

If there's anyone on board with the whole 'Butcher as Rockstar' meme that I've been writing about, it's Jeffrey Ruhalter, proprietor of Jeffrey's Meat Market in the Essex Street Market. He's a self-described "RFB," Real Fucking Butcher, and a fourth generation one at that.

Passing by his shop, you're going to know who he is immediately. Every surface that is not displaying meat or prices is dedicated to Jeffrey: His name is in neon lights and his image reproduced a dozen times over in portraits and caricatures.

The only time I've actually shopped at Jeffrey's, I was a little put off by his outsized personality. I ordered a couple pounds of beef cut up in chunks. He immediately inquired further about what I wanted to use it for. When I said chili, he insisted that the meat must be ground. He'd use a course die, so the pieces would be big and thick. This is when I got the "RFB" spiel and the guarantee that it would be better his way.

I can't argue with results. The chili came out very well and the meat was just right.

I've recently read that Jeffrey has jumped on the butchering class bandwagon, which I can totally see. His classes go beyond the pig and lamb that Mylan has done at Brooklyn Kitchen and also has a class all about fowl, including game birds.

Jeffrey's Meat Market
Essex Street Market
120 Essex Street (at Delancey Street)
New York, NY 10002


April 6, 2009

Butchery: Sagal Meat Market

IMG_2557

I first noticed Sagal on Broadway in Bushwick while driving through the area heading to Williamsburg. One of my friends saw it first: The giant sign in Spanish that read, "Order Your Lechon for the Holidays!" This was in November, a few weeks before the wedding, but it prompted him to ask if I was roasting another pig for the holiday party. A month later, I was in the store picking up my piglet, the lovely specimen you see here.

Sagal is not like the other butcher shops that have been highlighted of late. It's old school. It's not hipsterfied, and not looking to do interesting shit. There's no intellectual curiosity involved in making the cuts. There's no playing with food.

I love playing with food, but I really appreciate the straight ahead approach of an old-style shop that's got all the "old country" cuts. I'm a bit of an oddity there. In my visits, I'm usually the youngest customer in the shop, standing in line behind a row of older women, picking up meat to cook the way they've been cooking it for generations. When I ordered the suckling pig on my first visit, one of the butchers dubbed me "Señor Lechon" presuming I wouldn't understand him. I laughed and another butcher nudged him.

One major advantage over the hip butcher shops is that Sagal has some real bargains, including a dozen varieties of family packs, starting at $30 going up to $100, which can get you a collection of chickens, chops, steaks and guts totaling over 40 pounds.

I recently discovered that a new Sagal is in Bed-Stuy, on Fulton, near Nostrand Avenue. I checked it out this past weekend and will be posting about that pretty soon.

April 1, 2009

NC: Free Range Pork

IMG_0437 - Version 2

As penance for my supermarket envy, I insisted that we go to the Farmers Market first thing Saturday morning. I was well-rewarded.

I had read about the pork available at the market in Carrboro, outside of Chapel Hill particularly of the Ossabaw heritage breed, so that's what I was seeking out.

There were a number of stalls selling meat, many of which offered pork, but this was the only one that had fatback on sale. And at $1 a pound it was already a bargain.

After talking to the seller, above, I walked around some more, checking out the other vendors and considering how much pork I could fit in my carry on. When I came back around, I looked at how much he had and what sizes were available. Before I could decide on how much to buy, he offered the entire batch for $3. I walked away with 7.3 pounds of fatback...

I crammed it in my bag and got it home this morning without incident. Before the week's over, it'll be turned into lovely liquid gold, ready for frying or a glorious batch of pork confit...

March 17, 2009

Butchery: Italy's Finest

Here's another example of the butcher in the spotlight: The new food blog by the Atlantic did a post last week on a man they call "Italy's Most Famous Butcher," Dario Cecchini of Chianti.

Tammi and I have both been wanting to go to Italy for years, and may go this fall. Now I have one more must-see to add to the list.

March 12, 2009

Butchery: Marlow & Daughter

_MG_3872

If any one person has brought Butchery the attention it deserves, it's Tom Mylan. He's certainly who got me interested in it. About a year ago, it was his class at Brooklyn Kitchen that fascinated me with the subject.

Since his classes began, he's been the face of local DIY butchery scene. Between his blogs and elsewhere his story is all over the internet and elsewhere, so I'm not going to tell it again. Suffice it to say that he knows his damn meat. I was psyched when I heard he was finally going to be selling his bloody wares to the public at Marlow & Daughters. If for no other reason than to be able to show up from time to time and talk meat and cool things to do with weird cuts.

_MG_3857

The shop is glorious. Where else are you going to find a cow's heart placed front and center on display and labeled, "Captain Beefheart?" I've never actually tried to cook or eat heart, but if I did - and wanted to feed a dozen people with it - I'd probably get it from here.

The first time I went, I got into a long discussion with Brett, another Marlowe butcher, about a confit I wanted to make. He was so excited about it that he tossed in a a pork tongue and tail to add to the pot.

Last month, I bought a deeply smoky link of andouille sausage that I used in chicken and rice. I'm told by Scott of the Shameless Carnivore that Tom uses the smokers at Char #4 on Smith Street to make these. Last I heard, Char's business has been so good that they haven't been able to spare the smoker space, so Tom's looking for an alternative.

I also bought a slab of fatback and a pork cheek that are hanging in my basement transforming into Lardo and Guanciale, respectively. More on that to come.

Going back to what I love about Provisions, the exploratory spirit of Marlowe & Daughters is as much at attraction as the meat itself.

As I mentioned before, the prices here can be prohibitive. The pork belly I cured to make bacon cost $12 a pound. There's no way I could afford to buy several pounds of this. But it's quality meat and totally worth it to splurge from time to time, depending on what you're doing. Hell, the conversation you can have with Tom or Brett can be worth the extra overhead.

Marlow & Daughters‎
95 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 388-5700

March 10, 2009

Butcher: Coney Closure

IMG_7718

I try not to write posts that are just links to other things on the internet, but I'd be remiss in my Butchery-reporting duties if I didn't make note of the closure of Major Prime Meat Market out in Coney Island a week or so ago. I've never been, but reading about it, this is the sort of place that we need more of. Hopefully, the recent revival of the butchering arts will bring back more of these back to the neighborhoods of our cities.

Before they closed up, Gothamist interviewed Jimmy Prince about hanging up his cleavers.

February 27, 2009

Butchery: Provisions

_MG_2148

I've mentioned Provisions a few times lately. It's the place I bought that wonderful ground lamb for the Meatball project and the kid goat for the cabrito, Jalisco style. It's the grocery outpost of the Greene Grape wine shop that has been in the neighborhood for a few years now. I'm a big fan of the wine shop but haven't shopped at Provisions so much. They have a number of great items available, but their price point is often more than I can get the same items elsewhere. If I need something in a pinch or when I'm in the neighborhood, I'll go, but otherwise, I never had a reason to make it a destination.

In the last couple of weeks, I've found my reason: The Meat.

The key here is the creativity. Bryan, the head butcher at Provisions is seeking out interesting meats and doing cool stuff with it. If there's anything to the theory of the Butcher as Foodie Rockstar, it's what he's doing here.

When I went in to pick up meat for Meatball Madness, I ended up having a great conversation about the Lamb Bacon with him. A couple days later, it was on Bittman's Blog, which will hopefully encourage a demand to make some more. I really want to try it. He says it's got an innate sweetness to it that sounds really interesting.

Last Friday they brought in a whole kid goat from D'artagnan just to see what it was like and how it would sell. Provisions was my first stop Saturday morning to make sure I got some. I talked to Berlin, the butcher behind the counter that day, and his excitement was palpable. He told me about the cuts they came up with and the parts, like the head, that they're still thinking of what to do with. I was excited just hearing about it. This is what is making butchering interesting these days.

The price point is still an issue. The goat was $15.99 a pound, which is a hefty sum, but where else am I going to find it? The same with the Lamb Bacon. And I'll happily shell out extra for something new and experimental. That's the way I cook and having a butcher around who thinks the same way is awesome. I won't be stopping in here to get ingredients for a 30 minute meal, but I'll be coming through once a week or so to see what's new.

February 23, 2009

Butchery Begins

IMG_6712

I've heard i said that butchers are replacing chefs as the rockstars of the foodie world . I don't know if I believe that, but the idea comes from the reception that folks like Tom Mylan have been getting by taking meat back from the shrinkwrap and styrofoam world.

As people start to consider where our food comes from, our attention has moved up the supply chain. Ten years from now, there will, no doubt, be a reality show about farmers. For now, though, it's the moment for the meat mongers.

Obviously, this is an area that I'm interested in. Last year, I took Mylan's pig class at Brooklyn Kitchen and Nate Appleman's class on Porchetta and I tried my hand at deboning a suckling pig myself. I've also been doing various curing projects that have thus far gone undocumented.

With butchery on the cusp, as it were, I figure it's time we knew where to find them. So, for a little while at least, I'm going to do some write ups about the meat markets around town. Call it a guide. I'll cover the high-end, blogged about, destination spots but also some of the community spots that cut meat everyday without fanfare or hipster sex appeal. Given my recent curing interests, I'll probably stray a bit into the area of charcuterie, so forgive me if each place doesn't technically fall under the official designation of butcher shop.

I intend this to be a space where we grant some glory to those who transform beasts of the field into something that can fit in a pan. Hopefully this will also be a helpful spot to find a better place to get your meat than the local supermarket.

More to come...

July 3, 2008

New Amsterdam Market: St. Brigid's Farm


IMG_5715, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

If I wasn't already psyched about New Amsterdam Market after the oysters, this did it. The fine folks from St. Brigid's Farm in Maryland came all the way up here to sell their meat, including tons of off cuts that made me incredibly happy.

They had me at Sweetbreads for $3. My jaw dropped. I've never seen Sweetbreads available anywhere but on a menu. I almost got them and still sort of wish I had, but I wasn't going ot have the time to devote to learning new cuts that evening, so I passed.

Instead, I bought veal cheeks and a veal tongue. I braised them both, cooking the cheeks in a mixture of veal stock and veal demiglace. The tongue I simmered in rich pork stock. Mmmm.

This is definitely something I've never seen at the Greenmarket:
IMG_5710


Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
www.flickr.com
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from ultraclay!. Make your own badge here.
Bookmark and Share
Add to Technorati Favorites



Categories