Slow Food Fast

Almost every day, at around five or six o’clock, both the East and West shops receive what we fondly refer to as the after-work-pop. Moms and dads alike find their way inside our doors, eyes open wide, on the hunt for something fast, easy, and most of all delicious to feed their family for dinner. The good news is, we generally have something to offer them: sausages are easy to sear up in a cast-iron skillet and chicken breasts can quickly be browned on the stovetop to make a healthy chicken Caesar salad.

But the even better news? Now we have even better options. Cue the happy dance.

Do you remember back in the day when you depended on someone else to cook meals for you, and your only obligation was to arrive at the table with clean hands and an empty belly? You’d trudge home from a long day at school or an especially tough soccer practice and a cloud of warm, comforting, good smells greeted you as you opened the door. Mom stood over the stovetop, apron-clad and steadily stirring or chopping, and before you knew it you heard, “Wash your hands! Dinner’s ready!” as you bolted down the stairs. Step1 - Boil water and add...everything! Porter Road Butcher

Too bad that fairy tale is over. Welcome to the real world, where mom and dad are kinda busy: working from the crack of dawn to dusk, shuttling their kids to ballet practice and guitar lessons, squeezing in a 60-minute hot yoga class when possible, and somehow zipping through Trader Joe’s in under 20 seconds. Nowhere in that schedule are there five leftover hours that can be utilized for braising osso bucco on a Tuesday night.

But that’s where we come in; because it’s our job to braise osso bucco for 5 hours on a Tuesday. Or something like that…

As the holidays have come to a close and business has settled back to normal, we’re finding ourselves with time on our hands, which means time in the kitchen, and more products for sale in our market: dinner. So next time you’re in need of some quick, healthy, and hearty dinner items, swing by after work and check out our latest and greatest purchasable market item: Slow Food, Fast.

Slow Food Fast is our fresher, more natural, more delicious, very local (duh), and actually homemade answer to the Stouffer’s heat-n-eat style meals. And best of all? They require just one pot and water.

While of course variety and ease are two of the main draws to our Slow Food Fast, we think what makes it most desirable is the comfort that it provides.

  1. Comfort in knowing that what you’re eating lacks any preservatives, hasn’t been previously frozen, and is free from any partially-hydrogenated-this and GMO-laced-that. It’s good for you and for your family.
  2. Step 2 - drain water, dump package contents, mix. Porter Road ButcherComfort from being sure you seriously can’t screw it up. Since our Slow Food Fast has is already completely cooked, the only thing you have to do is warm it up and [potentially] serve it with something else: boil a pot of water, toss in your pasta, potatoes, grits, whatever, add your vac-sealed bag of deliciousness to the pot, and wait 10 minutes. Voila!
  3. And finally, comfort from eating good, homemade, comfort food, without the five-hour timeframe said food often requires. We take the time and work out of it, which makes the whole process much more comfortable for you.

Each package costs $10, serves 2 – 4 people (depending on how you serve it or how large of portions you eat) and generally requires just one pot. Hellooooo easy cleanup! Extra ingredients (like pasta, for example) will stretch out the servings, but what we’ve created is just as good on its own—how much work you want to put into it is totally up to you. Interested?

Here’s what we’ve got to offer so far:

Fiesta Braised Beef Shank – our slow braised osso bucco, plus onion, garlic, peppers, and a healthy dusting of our own PRB Fiesta Seasoning make this dish a perfect taco filling, topping for nachos, and would make a pretty mean cheese dip on Super Bowl Sunday…

Step 3 - Garnish (a little cheese never hurt), serve, and eat! Porter Road ButcherBeef Shank Ragout – braised osso bucco done the more traditional way: the trinity plus red wine, beef stock and tomato paste make this ragout stand out on its own, but some boiled potatoes or a bed of polenta would add some carbaliscious goodness if desired.

Citrus & Herb Chicken Ragout – a poultry twist on a classic beef or pork ragout, this chicken version makes an excellent, light pasta sauce.

Chili Base – we’ve done the hard part—browning the meat and simmering it down—so all you’ve got to do is add a can of beans and all your favorite toppings. Not a bean lover? Skip them and use our chili base as chili-dog topping, nacho goodness, or whatsoever your heart desires.

Meatballs & Marinara – our 100% beef meatballs are slowly braised for hours in marinara sauce, making them juicy, flavorful, and extremely hard to resist. You could throw together a meatball sub, or boil some spaghetti and pour yourself a glass of red wine. After creating a meal like that, you deserve it.

…and the ideas just keep on coming!

The next time you’re in the shop (either one!), check out our refrigerated section. And pick up some Slow Food Fast. You and your family will love you for it. BigPic copy   And check out one of our favorite little customers, Elizabeth, as she dives into some PRB Chili! Chili Starter - Ready to Simmer Down! Cooked, garnished, and looking good! Elizabeth loves PRB Chili!Oh Yeahhhh - good stuff.

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.