It’s Been a Big Year at Porter Road Butcher

img_1518This has been a busy year for us at Porter Road Butcher and Porter Road Butcher Meat Company. We got to participate in some amazing events, made some big changes to our business, welcomed lots of new staff, and made plenty of plans to get us excited about the new year. Throughout all of it, our amazing customers provided the support we needed to stay inspired and remind us of why we work so hard to bring Nashville great meat.

The year started with the second anniversary of our processing facility in Kentucky. If you’ve wondered about our whereabouts, we’ve been in Kentucky! Though it’s been a LOT of work, having our own facility has made it far easier for us to source meat that we can trust 100%, and that’s something to be excited about.img_3151

Summer kicked off with the Taste of Music City and the Nashville Wine and Food Festivals. Both were great opportunities for us to see some of our favorite chefs and customers out and about. We then travelled down to Georgia for the Atlanta Food + Wine Festival. It was worth the heat to rub shoulders with some of the south’s finest chefs and do a whole beef demo. On the 4th of July, we set up in East Nashville for the Hot Chicken Festival, narrowly avoiding torrential downpours. Fall began with Music City Food & Wine, and our Butcher in the Rye event at Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery. Teaming up with Chef Matt Bolus, Nelson’s Green Brier, and The Big Green Egg was surely a highlight of our year.

We’ve been proud of the charities we have supported, especially taking part in Soup Sunday for Our Kids and a dinner we hosted at House: A Social Eatery for the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, a charity that is near and dear to us at Porter Road Butcher.

Both the shop and processing facility have welcoimg_4857med many great new faces this year. Our staff is full of fun, kind, and motivated people who make use feel truly proud to be business owners. We couldn’t do it without them.

As you are probably aware, we shut down one of our locations this year. This change has given us more time and energy to focus on different aspect of our business. Which leads us to some exciting changes…

In the new year, we are excited to introduce a re-vamped cheese program. We are going to increase the room for  grab-and-go cheese and charcuterie items, while also making more space for cut-to-order items.  This change comes in conjunction with some changes to the interior of the store and a store front facelift.

We hope that you have had as great of a year as we have. We appreciate everything our customers do for us, and want to thank you for your support!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Warm Regards,

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-6-20-24-pm

James  Peisker and Chris Carter

Butcher in the Rye: An intimate dinner with Porter Road Butcher, The Big Green Egg and Chef Matt Bolus at The Oak Room at Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery

We’re throwing a big dinner on September 15th with the Big Green Egg, and Chef Matt Bolus at the Oak Room at Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, and we are PUMPED.

Come hang out with us, eat a four course dinner, and enjoy Belle Meade cocktails while listening to live music.

Follow this link for tickets!

Butcher in the Rye Poster_

We’ve Got it in the Bag…The Vac Bag!

More often than not, we advise people to do the bare minimum to meat purchased at our shops. Salt and pepper typically does the trick and enhances the flavor of the meat. But, sometimes you’ve just got to mix it up, and we’ve got a carefully chosen selection of marinade and sauces that do the trick.

IMG_2246

Personally, I’m not great at planning my meals more than a few hours in advance, so marinades can be a tricky proposition. By the time you leave work, go to the store, go back to the store for some essential item you forgot, make the marinade, and get the meat in, it’s sometimes too late to even think about eating it that day. Bummer. Luckily, the shops have a little trick that can shorten the process considerably- The vacuum sealer!

For my first foray into vacuum marinating meat, I tried Kentucky-aki from Bourbon Barrel Foods. Bourbon Barrel foods makes a variety of sauces from local, non-GMO ingredient, that are aged in Woodford Reserve Barrels. Their founder, a Louisville native named Matt, started with home-brewing soy sauce, and slowly expanded to a larger range of products. Kentucky-aki has all of the good stuff I would use for a homemade marinade: soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and bourbon. So, I skipped the trouble, and asked Aaron to toss some marinade in with a few Jolly Barnyard wings and vacuum seal it.

IMG_2372

I was told that one hour would be adequate, but that more time would be ideal. I only gave it two hours before cutting up a pile of vegetables and throwing it all in the oven.

IMG_2386After 30 minutes of roasting, I made sure the fattiest parts of the wings were facing up, and cranked up the broiler for five minutes to get a nice caramel crust. Meanwhile, I finished the rice, and reduce a little more Kentucky-aki to drizzle on top.

From the moment I decided to make dinner, to the moment it was on the table, fewer than three hours had passed. The chicken tasted like it had bathed in umami goodness overnight, and I got to avoid the expense of buying all the ingredients for a marinade, the mess of combining them, and the patiences needed to walk away from such a fragrant dish.

 

Lucky for you, this wasn’t some employee perk. You can ask the counter staff at either Porter Road Butcher location to vacuum seal your meat with any of the marinades, sauces, or dry rubs that we carry. There are countless combinations waiting to be tried.IMG_2407

I admit it! I’m a steak cooking novice.

I have a confession…until this weekend, I had never actually cooked my own steak before. Butcher shops can be really intimidating and I figured I would just leave the steak cooking to the pros at restaurants. But, I realized that working at a butcher shop meant I needed to suck it up, admit my total lack of experience in this department, and have a chat with the guys at the East Side shop.
Luckily, all the butchers and counter folks at both locations are used to dealing with newbies, and were more than happy to help a girl out with picking the right meat, and also offer advice on how to cook it. My only request was that I get something that would be easy to cook and that was moderately priced. Luckily, there was the perfect little flatiron steak for me.

 

Flatirons are a cut that come from the beef’s shoulder blade. Each flatiron is actually half of a large muscle, that is divided by connective tissue. Beautifully marbled, and tender, flatirons are the perfect steak for a quick and easy meal. Flatirons for two will run about $20. Not crazy expensive, but enough that you want to make sure you don’t botch it.
IMG_0865
1. Let the steak sit out until it comes up to room temperature. Never cook a steak righto out the fridge or it will cool the pan. They advised letting it sit out for 15 minutes, but, when my still felt chilly, I decided to eat a bowl of cereal and give it another 30.

 

2. Salt and pepper liberally. A few minutes before I was ready to cook the steak, I got to salting. I interpreted “liberally” as a visible dusting of kosher salt on each side. I feared it would be too much but it turned out to be the perfect amount.

 

IMG_0883
3. Heat the pan on medium-high heat. Though I realize a more neutral oil like grapeseed oil would have been ideal, I used olive oil in a cast iron skillet. 

 

4. Toss that puppy in and DON’T TOUCH IT. This was hard for me. I’m an impatient cook and love poking at my food. However, I was warned that getting a good crust required walking away for a bit. I wanted my steak rare, so I was advised to cook it for 2 minutes on one side, and 1 on the other.

 

5. After cooking both sides, take it out of the pan and let it rest for about 5 minutes. The perfect amount of time to make some eggs and round up the roomies for an extra special breakfast.

 

6. Slice the steak against the grain, and enjoy.
 IMG_0917
I was very happy with my first attempt and now realize that my fear was totally unfounded. My roommate found it to be a bit too rare, but it was evenly cooked on both sides and exactly how I wanted it. My main takeaways from this were to keep things as simple as possible to showcase the amazing meat, and to be totally honest with the butchers about my lack of knowledge. The butchers are there to serve as a resource, and know better than anyone how to really make the most out of each cut.

Better Ingredients, Better Brunch

You’re cruising the city on a sunny Sunday morning, making your way from midtown, heading towards downtown, zipping through Germantown, and landing over on the east side, but meanwhile, all along the way you notice something: endless lines of people. It’s not something you’d have witnessed just four years ago—except maybe at the Pancake Pantry, of course—this devotion to brunch.

smokey bacon from PRB

Initially designed as an alternative to the traditionally heavy after-church Sunday supper, the marriage of breakfast and lunch, dubbed “brunch,” was intended to be a meal made of lighter fare that would help churchgoers bridge the gap between fasting before worship, and feasting later that evening. Today however, brunch has become such a religious weekly event for some, it has replaced worship altogether.

Going out for brunch is the food-trend that’s become the latest and greatest foodie fad. But it begs the question, why?

Regardless of our level of kitchen prowess, from Nashville to New York, Los Angeles to Austin, everyone has latched on to the meal that’s trending. While roasting in the blazing sun, being pummeled by freezing rain, or blown around by whipping winds, people both young and old will wait hours just to get their hands on a $14 Benedict made with 10¢ eggs or a side of limp, skinny, hormone-infused bacon with a $5 price tag.

Sometimes going out for brunch can be fun (since the two-hour wait is often made palatable with a two-for-one Bloody Mary or an endless carafe of mimosas) but it also inevitably includes anxiously standing around in a crowd of people, being in the way of all of the pissed off servers, hovering over people who are already so smugly eating, and of course, paying an arm and a leg for something you could have made yourself in half the time that it took to “experience” brunch.

Why do we put ourselves through this mid-morning madness? Wouldn’t it be easier, and more relaxing, and more enjoyable, and definitely more economical to have brunch at home?

Bing! *Lightbulb*

Even if poaching an egg isn’t your strong suit and making your own hollandaise sauce seems as farfetched as winning an Olympic gold medal in curling, any old soul can still whip up something delicious and impressive. Hell, people fork over $14 for an egg scramble made with sprinkle of cheese, a few strips of deli turkey, and half an avocado. Any Joe Shmoe can do that.

Brunch should be neither difficult, nor pricey; overall it’s supposed to be fun. As British author Guy Beringer stated back in the late 1800’s, “It’s talk-compelling. It puts you in good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and the cobwebs of the week.” No jam-packed restaurant booming with loud music, overflowing with troves of college students, and topped off with a two-and-a-half hour wait could possibly cultivate such sentiments.

Brunch at home, on the other hand? That is where it’s at. A simple breakfast casserole is easy to throw together the night before you’re planning to entertain, perfect when serving a larger crowd, and if it’s made with PRB meat and pantry items from our market it will be hella delicious. Bonus: shopping is a snap.

As far as accompaniments go, simply cut up some fruit for something sweet, satisfy your sweet tooth with a few of Nora’s famous whole-wheat cinnamon rolls, and crisp up a quarter pound of bacon to use as a garnish for Bloody Mary’s—you’ll automatically have the baddest and raddest Bloody Mary Bar of all time.

Your friends will be thrilled to leave the crowded bar behind, your grandmother will be delighted to actually hear conversations clearly, and every last person will be happily heading back to the buffet for seconds on this scrumptious and impressive brunch-time delight. Any cobwebs that lingered from the week will be blown away like a passing cloud.

Come to think of it, this casserole is so easy and incredibly delish, you may as well just go ahead and make two… After all, Sunday comes back around ever week.

breakfast will be served in 30 minutes - PRBPRB Brunch Casserole

Serves: 6-8
Active Time: 30
Total Time: 60-75 minutes

1 dozen Willow Farms eggs
¾ lb. PRB breakfast sausage
1/3 lb. PRB bacon
2 ½ cup Hatcher’s Dairy whole milk
1 ½ stale demi-baguettes from Bella Nashville; cut into 1” cubes
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded Kenny’s Farmhouse cheddar cheese
¼ cup fresh parsley, minced; for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Line two large cookie sheets with aluminum foil and lay the bacon in a single layer so the slices are almost touching. Note: if you have them, lay bacon on wire roasting racks (sometimes called drying racks in baking) on top of the aluminum foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness, until crispy. Remove from oven and cool on a paper towel. Once completely cool, crumble or cut into 1/2” pieces.
  2. In a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, break up the sausage and brown it until there’s no more pink and sausage is crumbly. Remove from heat and drain; then cool on a paper towel to soak up excess grease.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add milk, mustard and salt, and whisk together. Finally, add cheese, cubed bread, crumbled sausage and bacon. Using a large spoon, combine.
  4. Pour into an ungreased 10×15” baking dish and refrigerate overnight.
  5. In the morning when you’re hungry and are about to dive into your first Bloody Mary, preheat oven to 350° F. Bake casserole, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes until casserole is set and the top is golden brown.

Better ingredients better brunch with PRB