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.
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.
These 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.