Grounds 2 Give – Locally Roasted Coffee with a Global Impact

Second to oil, coffee is one of the highest traded commodities in the entire world. And you’ve gotta admit, it makes a lot of sense: oil makes the world go round due to it’s ability to transport both ourselves and our things from point A all the way to point Z, and similarly coffee makes the world go round due to it’s ability to jump-start our brains, giving us human beings actual working functionality.

We folks at Porter Road Butcher are no exceptions to this universal addiction to coffee. When Nora comes in to the shop at the crack of dawn to bake steaming hot biscuits, she is able to do so with the aid of a hot cup of coffee; when James wakes up before the roosters crow on Thursday mornings to drive to Cherry Creek and secure some fresh piggies, he makes it there in one piece due to the carafe of café that’s stowed in his center console.

And although it would be inexpensive to grab a bag of Folger’s best from the grocery, and easy to hit up Starbucks for a venti, sugar-free, no-whip, soy mochachino, we Porter Road peeps don’t venture down those roads: we are committed to our mission of eating and drinking as sustainably and locally as possible—coffee ain’t no exception. Grounds 2 Give is PRB’s coffee of choice because it is roasted and packaged in Nashville, but the good that it does extends worldwide. This is not your average cup of Joe.

Grounds 2 Give Coffee, available at Porter Road Butcher, is roasted in Nashville, TN Of course, coffee certainly isn’t grown or harvested anywhere within a two-hour driving radius of Nashville—or of the United States for that matter—but we do our part to support the “local coffee economy” by selecting beans that are roasted in these parts.

Karen Goodlow, the brains behind it all, came up with the idea for Grounds 2 Give about 13 months ago in early 2013, and we’ve been selling and drinking her coffee ever since we first got wind of it.

After being laid off from a job that lacked integrity in late 2012, Karen saw an opportunity for positive change in her career and made the decision to turn her professional life around. With an itch to get involved in work that held some moral weight, she began a conversation with her friend Larry Hunt, an Old Hickory-based coffee roaster who roasts for local favorites like Portland Brew and Chef’s Market, and an idea began to take shape.

Grounds 2 Give is a Nashville-born coffee brand that seeks to do good for both the local and global communities. Locally, G2G partners with Project Connect, an organization with a mission to help the homeless get on their feet and get them integrated back into society. Globally, G2G works on a sponsor system with the Compassion organization, which helps relieve children all over the world from impoverished living. Grounds 2 Give is committed to giving 10% of their profits to these non-profit organizations, but they are currently exceeding that percentage due to the lack of profits coming in.

Karen Goodlow, Founder of Grounds 2 Give“Grounds 2 Give is still pretty new and we’re trying to work on our marketing and packaging as a means of helping our brand…” said Karen, “But our hope is to start selling more and more of our delicious coffee to the local Nashville community so that we can sponsor more children and help more people. As a person who has been given so much, I find that that is my grounds to give; I want to give back to other people.”

With a wide variety of coffee, all of which boast delicious and rich aromas, we’d be willing to bet that any and everyone will find a variety that they like from G2G’s wide selection. But best of all you’ll feel twice as amazing after drinking it, armed with the knowledge that your caffeine-jolt goes towards two good causes: awakening our brains and helping those who are less-fortunate.

Currently Porter Road Butcher is proud to be the only location in Nashville currently selling Grounds 2 Give coffee, and we are so honored to lay claim to that title. Available both in our marketplace and in our breakfast drive-thru, we offer the best, most delicious, locally roasted coffee to go hand-in-hand with the other regional and local items that we sell.

So the next time you find yourself stuck in the coffee aisle, perusing the endless flavors, brands, and styles that seem so exciting yet confusing; the next time you find yourself knee-jerking over to the Starbucks drive-through to grab your daily grande; or the next time you find yourself angrily staring into the horrible sight that is an empty jar or bag of coffee, make a simple change: find your grounds to give to Grounds 2 Give.

We all know this coffee addiction isn’t going away any time soon, so choose to turn your addiction into positive action by eliminating impoverished living in Nashville and across the globe!


Grounds 2 Give Coffee Varieties:
South American: Brazil, Colombia, Peru 
Central American: Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras
Indonesian: Bali, Java, Sumatra, Papua New Guinea,
African: Tanzania Peaberry, Kenya AA, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Ethiopian Sidamo, Ethiopian Harrar, Rwanda   
Decaf: Colombia, Brazil, Sumatra, and Peru

Not Yo Mama’s Meatloaf

Sure, sure, everyone got really excited over the past two weekends when the weather took a turn for the best and Nashvillians were able to entertain themselves with activities like biking, hiking, and drinking beer on sunny porches. But we butchers knew that this weather wasn’t necessarily sticking around for good—hey, the groundhog did see his shadow a while back, and most of us have this fancy thing called an iPhone that predicts the weather. So instead of sulking and whining about the return of the arctic chill, we decided to embrace the cold’s comeback with some cold-weather comfort food: Meatloaf. It warms you from the inside out, just like a glass of bourbon. Er…kind of.

To add some extra Porter Road flair to what would otherwise be a pretty traditional (albeit scrumptious) meatloaf, we used our devilishly delicious 50/50 (ground beef & bacon) in lieu of bacon strips and ground beef…and then in the end decided to fry up a few pieces of bacon to work into the loaf anyway. That way there will be little land mines of bacon that will annihilate your tastebuds with smokey, porky flavor. Like, why not? It’s bacon funfetti. Willow Farm eggs and Bobby John Henry breadcrumbs helped hold all that meaty PRB goodness together, and after just an hour in the oven it was time to feast.

Great Meatloaf Recipe from Porter Road ButcherNot Yo Mama’s Meatloaf

Serves: 6-8
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 90 minutes

1 cup fine, fresh breadcrumbs
1/3 cup Hatcher’s whole milk
3 strips PRB bacon, diced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium celery rib, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Freshly ground salt and pepper
1/2 cup pitted prunes, chopped finely
1 3/4 lb. PRB 50/50 (ground beef & bacon)
1/2 lb. ground pork
2 large Willow Farm eggs
1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F with a rack in the middle.
  2. Soak breadcrumbs in milk in a large bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a heavy skillet over medium heat until golden and crispy. Remove from pan and set aside, leaving bacon dripping in the pan.
  4. Melt butter in pan with bacon drippings; cook onion, garlic, celery, and carrot, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low; cook until carrot is tender, about 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Worcestershire, cider vinegar, allspice, and season with freshly ground salt and pepper. Add to breadcrumbs mixture.
  5. Add prunes, bacon, 50/50, ground pork, eggs, and parsley to breadcrumb mixture and mix together with hands. Mix until everything is combined and evenly dispersed.
  6. Porter Road Butcher Meatloaf RecipePack mixture into two small loaves on a baking sheet lined with tin-foil.
  7. Bake for about 60-75 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meatloaf reads 155°F. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

While the jury’s still out as to whether or not a meatloaf “requires” a sauce to smother all over that beautifully browned meat-crust, the ever fancy Chris Carter was adamant: “No sauce? You can’t have meatloaf without a sauce.” This meatloaf is baconny. It is sweet. It is savory. It is texturally perfect. It has every necessary ingredient to make it an all-mighty meatloaf that can stand alone, without a sauce. BUT. If you, like Carter, feel that a sauce-less meatloaf would be sinful, then get saucy with it:

Meatloaf Sauce:

1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 1/2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon white vinegar

  1. Whisk ingredients together until well combined.
  2. 5-10 minutes before meatloaf is done, spread 2/3 of sauce onto the outside of your loaf or loaves. Return loaves to the oven until sauce is bubbling and the meatloaf is done (thermometer reads 155° F when inserted into the center of the loaf).
  3. Serve remaining sauce with sliced meatloaf.

Note: Cooked meatloaf keeps, chilled, about 3 days.

James Peisker to Speak at the American Culinary Federation Regional Conference

Have you ever heard of the American Culinary Federation? Like, the culinary federation of America. Not of Tennessee; not of Nashville. America.

Well, James Peisker is a member of the American Culinary Federation. In fact, he’s been a member since he was just 17 years old. And apparently the ACF really appreciates his loyalty.

If you haven’t heard of it, the American Culinary Federation is an organization that has been the authority on cooking in America since 1929. Comprised of the nation’s premier chefs, and stretching to include over 20,000 members and 200 chapters, the ACF is a pretty big deal within the culinary community. The mission of ACF is to continue to educate their chefs and members, keeping them on the cutting edge of the culinary scene via certifications and publications, and through holding seminars, conferences, and other educational culinary events. They want to support their members in both their education and their accomplishments. Talk about awesome.

James Peisker of Porter Road Butcher is the King of our Hearts So we were pretty psyched to find out that the American Culinary Federation—again, that’s the authority on cooking; the premier professional organization for chefs; an organization focused on promoting the professional image of American chefs worldwide—invited our own James Peisker to be a headlining speaker at their 2014 Regional Conference held in St. Louis, Missouri.

A St. Louis native and a lover of the culinary scene where his career took flight, James was more than happy to accept their invitation and will be traveling to his hometown for the weekend in order to share his knowledge of whole animal butchery and flex his culinary muscles for the region to see.

On Monday the 17th from 2:15 to 3:15 he will lead a session about whole animal butchery and charcuterie, and will then likely spend the rest of his time in STL sniffing out where to find the best bourbon…and also maybe learning a little somethin-somethin, networking in the culinary community, and eating a bite of some delicious cuisine here and there.

So let’s go ahead and give a big ole “hurrah!” for that.

We Porter Road folk are incredibly proud of James, and his opportunity to share his knowledge and skills in such a widely revered and respected arena. Of course, our hearts will be weeping while he is away from us, but wish him the best of luck—even though, let’s be real: this guy loves to talk in front of a crowd; he’s gonna kill it.

Our Dogs Deserve a Good Home

Hot dogs. Just the thought of them effects images of unmentionable, grotesque body parts that are then chopped up and packed into a bun. But Porter Road Butcher’s hot dogs are something else entirely…no lips, no buttholes—in fact, our hot dogs are made from 100% beef short rib meat!

Nothing but beef short rib meat in Porter Road Butcher hot dogsAs a whole animal butcher, we insist upon not only using local, sustainably-raised animals, but also make sure that every edible morsel is put to great use. The meat that surrounds the ribs has the perfect ratio of meat to fat, which makes them ideal for creating the best hot dogs you’ve ever wrapped your lips around. But we don’t just grind it up and stuff it into casings; that would be too easy. Making hot dogs at Porter Road Butcher is a labor-intensive seven-day process.

It all starts on day one when we trim the meat from the rib bones and cut it down into cubes. Then we toss it with a special salt blend to begin a curing process. The cure helps balance the moisture levels in the meat, provides flavor, and helps the emulsification process that makes those dogs so dog-gone good!

After a full 48 hours of curing, day three begins the three-day grinding process. But we don’t take this grinding lightly; each day, we grind the meat not just once, but twice. Using a manual grinder we feed each icy cold piece through the gears to create the proper consistency before sending it right back into the fridge. When day five rolls around, they go through this process once third and final time, further grinding and emulsifying the meat and fat before chilling yet again.

On the sixth day, the process gets a little more exciting: the meat finally begins to resemble the hot dogs you know and love. We remove the meat from the cooler, grind it twice again (of course), and then add a blend of special seasonings. While we’re not willing to give away all our secrets, we can tell you that among the seasonings are ground coriander, garlic, and ground mustard, among others. We then finish our dogs with a house-made thyme simple syrup before filling all-natural lamb casings. These casings are key to giving our dogs that sought-after ‘snap’ when you bite into ‘em.

But wait- we ain’t done finished yet…we return the links of hot dogs to our cooler to allow them to air-dry before the final step on day seven.

Our smoker is fired up with local cherrywood and we smoke them dogs on high heat. This not only provides that signature smoky flavor, but it also cooks the hot dogs so that they’re ready to go into our meat case, chillin’ once again, but this time ready for guests to snap them up and take ‘em home!

If you’ve ever tried a Porter Road Butcher hot dog, you certainly know why they’re so popular. The blend of seasonings and 100% short rib meat makes them criminally delicious…and knowing that they are free from organs or extremities only helps enhance that enjoyment!

Hot dogs are just one of many unique homemade sausages we make here at Porter Road Butcher. Knowing how much attention we put into making a simple hot dog, you can only imagine the love and care we put into everything we do here at PRB.

Get Sharp on Saturday

Knife Sharpening with Cathy Grossman of Edges at our Porter Road Butcher West location this SaturdayShe’s done it before, and this weekend she’s doing it again: Cathy Grossman, owner and founder of Edges, will be back at Porter Road Butcher West to sharpen your knives this Saturday, February 22nd, from 10-3.

Whether you’re a hard-core foodie with dulled and tired blades, a hunter who needs a shape-up on your trustiest tools, or a boy scout whose pocket knife has been used about twenty too many times, Cathy can fulfill your every knife-sharpening need.

A self-proclaimed foodie who desires precision and ease when chopping, slicing, and dicing in the kitchen, Cathy once had a horrible experience involving a knife-sharpener with whom she left her favorite blade. It was after that one experience of wreckage that she decided to learn the trade herself; following plenty of training and practice, Cathy has been sharpening knives of all kinds ever since.

You can find her at the Nashville Farmer’s Market on the 1st and 2nd Saturday of each month, but we’re proud to be hosting her this Saturday instead. Prices are as follows:


Pocket Knives – $5.00
Knife up to 6″ – $4.00
Knife up to 8″ – $5.00
Knife over 8″ – $6.00
Cleaver – $7.00
Serrated – +$1.00
Repair and modifications – $2.00 – $4.00

Butcher Demo with James Peisker

Sure, you’ve come in to visit the shop; you’ve perused the meat that resides in the case; you’ve tried to peak at the studs hacking away in the back; and you’ve probably drooled down your chin as one of our guys to cut you an extra thick filet off that big ole tenderloin.

Porter Road Butcher's James Peisker stops to explain during his Butcher DemoBut did you ever find yourself wondering about the mechanics of what it is these guys really do? Ever wonder exactly where on the pig the loin really resides? Ever thought to yourself, “Man, this PRB sausage is delicious…I wonder what they actually put into it to make my Wednesday morning breakfast so mouthwatering and titillating?”

Now all your questions can be answered.

On Sunday March 9th, PRB’s very own James Peisker is holding an exclusive Butchering Demo for a group of just 10 lucky pig-lovers.

The Butcher Demo, which will be held at our Charlotte Avenue shop, begins at 12 pm and will end at approximately 3:00–leaving you plenty of time to go home and get your grill on afterwards. James, who has been working in the food industry since his early adolescence and butchering since the age of 18, will start off by sharing a little about his experience with the restaurant biz, and then move on to processing a pig right before your eyes: butchering the animal, breaking it down into various parts and cuts, making fresh and delicious sausage, explaining the process of makin’ bacon, and then sending you home with goodies to cook! And a T-Shirt. Don’t forget the t-shirt.

If you’re the type that likes pigging out on a Sunday afternoon, Sunday March 9th is gonna be just the ticket. And then some. This demo puts “pigging out” into a whole new arena.

Tickets are $200 a person. Guests may sign up for the event at either our west or east shops, but the ticket amount must be paid in full in order to hold a spot.

With only 10 spots available, tickets will go fast; so sign up today!

Half a pig is ready to be processed at Porter Road Butcher

This big piggy is gonna go wee wee wee all the way to your home.

February 23rd is Soup Sunday

It’s safe to say that every person in Nashville is a little tired of the cold weather we’ve been battling—okay, so “a little tired” may be a little of an understatement—but warmth is on the horizon. While we folks at the butcher shop aren’t fans of the arctic chill either, the one thing we most certainly are fans of is the food that goes so well with chilly weather: we’re talking stews, roasts, and most importantly SOUPS.

David Sellers and Chris Carter at the 2013 Soup SundayNext Sunday, February 23rd is the 21st Annual Our Kids Soup Sunday and we Porter Road butchers are pretty psyched to be a part of it, spending the afternoon showing off our skills and supporting a great cause in the fancy (and warm) Club Level of LP Field.

Fifty of Nashville’s most talented chefs will be competing to take home the title of Best Soup, and our very own Chris and James are in it to win it. The two of them competed in the soup-off last year, coming out empty handed and heavy-hearted, but this year they’re coming back with a vengeance—ready to knock out the competition and stake their claim as Soup Kings.

The annual Our Kids Soup Sunday is an event that celebrates something we love (hot soup) and benefits something we love too (healthy kids). Our Kids’ mission is to help children who have dealt with or are currently dealing with sexual abuse, and Soup Sunday is an event that specifically raises money for the clinical staff, ensuring they are ready to respond to families and children who are struggling with sexual abuse twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

At $20 for a single adult or $40 for an entire family, the event is a steal you won’t want to miss—and one that will have you feeling all warm inside. We’re talking celebrity sightings (two Nashville stars, one Rascal Flatt, a football coach, and then some), entertainment for the kids, intense culinary competition, the opportunity to taste FIFTY different soups, and the chance to cast your vote to make PRB the winners!

Regardless of what the forecast predicts, Sunday the 23rd is going to be warm and delicious at LP Field. The fun starts at 11 AM and lasts until about two in the afternoon, allowing you ample time to sample it all. We’ll see you on Sunday.

To buy tickets online or to get more information, check out the Our Kids website.

Redefining the Slaughterhouse

When you say the word “slaughterhouse” people tend to get a little wigged out. We see it all the time when a newbie stops by the shop and sees us processing a whole side of beef or breaking down a pig. Their faces curl and contort in a manner of disapproval. You see, people have some pretty frightening images in their heads after years of undercover “hard-hitting” news stories about the meat industry.James making the early morning trip to pick up pigs and cows for Porter Road Butcher

But Porter Road Butcher is different. We’re a local Nashville butcher that builds relationships – with our customers and with our farmers. We’re not part of the “industry.” Yes, we follow strict government standards for health and cleanliness, but the standards we set for ourselves are even more stringent. Since opening the doors in 2011, we’ve developed quite a relationship with our farmers. We know the care they put into raising our animals and the trust they give us to sell them. It’s a weekly routine that’s being going strong for more than two solid years.

Every single Thursday James leaves his home in East Nashville at the crack of dawn to make the trip down to our meat processor in Chapel Hill, Tennessee. Each week we pick up somewhere between 3-5 cows and 6-10 pigs before heading back to Nashville. Every single one of them was raised for the customers of Porter Road Butcher.  That’s you.

The Cherry Meat Company in Chapel Hill TennesseeThese folks have been in the business for quite some time, but don’t think that means they’re a big operation. Cherry Meat Company still a small family business that processes one animal at a time – with care and humanity.  They have a USDA inspector on site at all times, watching every step along the way. The entire facility is sanitized top to bottom daily and when you see the care they put into their work, it’s easy to forget the shocking images of those frightening factories you’ve seen on Dateline and instead realize this is how it’s actually supposed to be: local farmers raising local meat, processed locally before being handed off to the local butcher (that’s us, you see).

It’s a heck of a trip to take, but our real work starts when we get back. It’s essential to us that nothing goes to waste—and we mean nothing.

Our guys at PRB break down the sides of beef and pork into two main categories: prime cuts and trimmings. The larger cuts go in the meat case for folks to cook as is. You know, the ribeyes, tenderloins, filets, and the likes. The trimmings, on the other hand, make their way into a variety of the other products that we provide. We make all of our sausages in-house with this same fresh meat, and even our hot dogs are made from the good stuff—no lips or buttholes here. Even the bones from our animals are put to good use: they are roasted and simmered to make rich stock that we either use in our recipes or sell to our customers in the marketplace.

It matters to us to know that each piece of every animal that is raised for us goes straight to the nourishment of our customers’ families. It’s a key piece of our philosophy.

So, the next time you stop by Porter Road Butcher, take some time to get to know us and get to know our meat. We’re here to answer questions for you about any step in the process.

We’ll prove to you that slaughterhouse doesn’t have to be a dirty word.