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So at some point you’ll be tired of hearing how “I just got back from France”, but for now thank you for indulging me. If you’ve been, you already know that there is literally a butcher shop every few blocks it seems and in some areas, there are 3 or more on a single block. As we were on our flight back, I worked to catalog my photos taken and I had a mere, 72 pictures of Butcheries.

Some images of products, some of displays and of course some of my beautiful bride, in a Butcher shop…

I asked myself many times while there, what set each of them apart… And I have to say, not much. It seemed you could get basically the same things at each of them. On one of our strolls through Paris on a brisk morning, we found ourselves at a Farmer’s market and sort of swap meet. Vendors setting up row after row of produce, bakeries putting out freshly baked breads, while others had plastic tables with chachkies and another man’s treasures… Along this one street there were 5 Butcher shops and 3 fish markets. Some of them allowed produce vendors to be in front of their shop, while others had displays out.

There was one clear standout that obviously catered to a middle eastern clientele. The other 4 all had very similar offerings. Beef, veal, pork, lamb and chicken. All of them offered Sausages, Patés, Paté en Croûte, pigs snout salad, cordon bleu, kabobs, head cheese, Veal Paupiettes, and on, and on, and on… IT WAS AMAZING!!!

But it really did make me wonder, how did one choose which butcher shop they were going to spend their money in? The only thing I could come up with was, relationship. The trust and the rapport that one must build with their butcher. The camaraderie that they share over a butcher's counter, the banter and the BS. And at the end of the day, I was super thankful for all of you, who have chosen us as your local butcher, who come every week and have built a relationship with us. Thank you!

Pate en Croute

I swear, there must have been 5-8 types at each butcher shop, they all had a similar look and a similar names, but it was so impressive to see the craftsmanship behind each and every one. Some small, some huge. Some types were rustic, while others were super refined. I am working on a proper dough, so we can add a few to the shop… Give us a minute or two, but we’ll get there and I can’t wait to share that with you.

Poulet Cordonnier

I used to work with this German fellow, he was a real peach… But he had a term he used when I would go “off script” and make up a recipe or better yet, a dish that had no recipe. He would say, oh, here we go again, Shoemaker style… Not really sure exactly what it meant in his mind, but to me it meant I was crafting something from an idea or an inspiration, rather than from something I had done before. While in France, I saw these things in this particular Butchershop that looked to be wrapped in a thin pastry called Brik dough. Brik dough is similar to a phyllo but a touch thicker, moister and less fragile to work with. It is in essence a very thin crepe that can be baked, fried, pan seared… I didn't get a chance to find out what exactly they were, at this point my beautiful Bride was not waiting around for me to stand around and envy everything around me in another butcher shop.. Fair… Anyway, I decided I was going to try and make whatever these things were my own way… So, Cordonnier, literally translates to Shoemaker… SO the Shoemaker Chicken is a mixture of roast chicken, summer vegetables, potatoes and a dijon bechamel, wrapped in a buttered Brik dough. They are oven ready and freaking delicious! And we’ll start a rotation of them with beef, pork and chicken.

Paupiettes de veau (photo above our own creation here at The Meatery)

Which simply translates to stuffed veal, was everywhere. These are little tied parcels of veal pounded out thin like a sheet and then filled with a stuffing and tied to form a little package. Great roasted or braised, served with a variety of things. They looked delicious and even though I never cooked any while in France, I thought it might be nice to do them this week as a take and bake item. Serve them with a little mushroom risotto and roasted carrot or a delicious salad. We decided to fill ours with a truffle toulouse style sausage. Wrapped them in a piece of bacon and then in caul fat, before tying therm up. If you're fans, we'll keep them around.

I’ve been telling you that Veal is having its time. If you’ve not been a veal fan because of the inhumane treatment of the calves, I understand. White veal, or what was considered milk fed veal of the past was truly inhumane. So I won’t lament the past, but highlight the tremendous strides the veal industry has made over the last 2 decades. Animals that live in group housing, allowing the calves to congregate in small groups. Allowing space for them to move, stretch and groom themselves. The barns are heated in the winter, cooled in the summer and natural light is allowed in and in most cases the barns were built to have tons of natural sunshine coming in. The animals are fed a rich but balanced diet focusing on gut health and keeping the calves healthy. The meat is delicious, tender and succulent and so good. Give it a try.

Summer Salad

There is nothing like a delicious, fresh vibrant summer salad and we have summer salads in the case again. Local lettuces, hand torn with split snap peas, fresh farmers cheese, radishes, carrots, cucumber, toy box tomatoes, and a delicious slightly sweet, subtly salty preserved lemon vinaigrette. Grab and go ready and in the case alongside our other great salads… The Potato & Olive, our Macaroni Salad, Coleslaw and of course our wildly delicious Kimchi and Cucumber Salad, which by the way, is better than ever. We retooled our Kimchi recipe to have more than just the cabbage and daikon… So now it has carrots, some lettuce, radishes, onions and is freaking outstandinger!!

Black Opal Bavette Steak & Recipe

I’ve learned that I love a good Bavette steak, as long as it comes from a Wagyu breed, I know, must be nice… Well , yep, it is. In fact it is very nice! Bavette translates in French to Bib steak, referring to its flat look. The bavette comes from the sirloin primal of beef. As a sirloin is cut up for steaks, the bavette is created from the bottom portion of the sirloin. It’s very similar in texture to skirt steak and often confused with flank steak, but not at all the same cut and eats much more like a hanging tender. The location of the bavette steak is adjacent to the flank, it has a tender texture and great marbling. It is perfect for either grilling and or pan searing in cast iron. The Bavette, like skirt or hanger steak is a great candidate to marinate, but is delicious simply seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled. As with any cut, it is important to cut across the grain, shortening the muscle structure and ensuring a tender chew. We have the Black Opal Australian Wagyu Bavette on special this week for just $ 24.73 per pound. Below is a super simple recipe to go with it.

Want to learn more about this brand partner, check out their website;

See ya at the counter!

Grilled Black Opal Wagyu Bavette with Green Peppercorn Compound Butter

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