Fresh, flavorful, fast: Watermelon & Surryano Salad

Whether you’re a fan of the European travel, a lover of cross-culture cookbooks, or just an avid consumer of all television programs a la Anthony Bourdain, you’re probably hip to the love affair that the Mediterranean Europe has with one particular culinary crew: dry-cured meats.

From prosciutto, to soppressata, to jamón serano and beyond, Spain, Italy and France are particularly in love with dry-cured meats. And for good reason! Commonly served as an accompaniment to or star-player in a variety of arenas, dry-cured meats can quickly jazz up a pasta dish, add more oomph to a salad, or easily pull together a cheese board into a complete meal.

“When I went to study abroad in Barcelona, I was shocked and also psyched to discover that an entire bone-in, dry-cured ham called jamón iberico was a fixture on the counter of my host mother’s kitchen,” Maddie said. “Wanting to start off my semester of eating and drinking abroad with something skinny—you know, to set a very hopeful tone for the following five months—one of the very first meals I had when I arrived in Barcelona was a cantaloupe and jamón salad. I was in love with the contrast between super-salty ham and cool-sweet melon.”

Similar dishes are likely to be found on the menu of a small Italian restaurant, or might be scribbled on the specials board at any of Nashville’s recent farm-to-table luncheries that seem to be popping up all over…but is it snotty to say that this classic cantaloupe and prosciutto combo is just a little bit tired and outdated? That it feels kind of been-there-done-that? Is it mean to say that we adore the idea, but we just want to make it better?

Serve yourself a taste of sweet and savory summer | Porter Road ButcherWe don’t think so. That’s why we’re giving it a makeover, complete with lots of local, some southern spice, and plenty of pizzazz:

Watermelon & Surryano Salad

Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 as main; 6-8 as side

½ seedless, baby watermelon (we like Delvin Farms watermelons)
16 thin slices Surryano ham*
4 cups fresh arugula
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
fresh garden herbs, to taste (we like tarragon)
salt
pepper
1-2 Tbs. KYBB Woodford sorghum vinaigrette 
1 pinch PRB hot chicken seasoning**

Method:

  1. Cut watermelon in half. Save half for making delicious cocktails or other eating, or gift it to your next-door neighbor. They’ll love you for it. Cut off the entire rind removing everything green and white, so that only pink flesh is exposed. With the cut-side down, cut watermelon in half again, and then slicing width-wise, thinly slice each piece into triangles. Transfer to serving platter, shingling then on top of one another down the plate.
  2. Drape half of the Surryano (about eight pieces) across the watermelon shingles, from left to right.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together arugula, red onion, garden herbs, salt, pepper, and Woodford sorghum vinaigrette. Pile salad on top of watermelon and Surryano so the salad adds plenty of height to the dish. Drape the remaining Surryano across the salad. You could also mix it into the salad, if you prefer. Note: if you won’t be serving the salad immediately, wait until you are ready to serve before you dress the salad to prevent it from wilting.
  4. Sprinkle a generous pinch of PRB’s hot chicken seasoning across the top of the salad.
  5. Serve immediately.

* Virginia-bred Surryano ham, an incredibly marbled piece of meat that is created from heritage-breed Berkshire hogs, has a deep and rich flavor that nicely matches up to the hams of yesteryear from old Europe. If you’ve yet to try it, now’s the time.

**If you don’t have Hot Chicken Seasoning and don’t want to buy a whole jar, try substituting for your favorite spicy blend, or even use a pinch of plain cayenne. Any kind of spicy zing will be a nice addition.

Watermelon & Surryano Salad | Porter Road Butcher

Wesley’s Nashville Burger Beat

It’s a well-known fact that it’s hard to beat our meat here at Porter Road Butcher, but we have to admit, you can find some pretty damn respectable—nay delicious—meat around town that’s well worth your precious dollars. Whether it’s a classic American cheeseburger, or a patty that boasts something crazy or irregular, PRB West’s Wesley Adams has an opinion on almost all of them.

Wesley Adams: The Real Burger King

Wesley Adams: The Real Burger King

First on Wesley’s list of priorities when he moved to Nashville in July of 2014 was finding a go-to burger joint—he focused on that endeavor before even finding a permanent place of residence. So as he stands here today, on the first anniversary of his move to Music City, he has sampled his fair share of what Nashville has to offer when it comes to this classic American favorite. And after twelve good months, he is ready to share his reviews.

In his hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana Wesley’s allegiances are torn between Bistro To Go’s special smoked gouda pimiento cheeseburger—an explosion of southern flavor on a fat patty—and Strawn’s Eat Shop double bacon cheeseburger—a feast of two thin patties, plenty of mustard, crispy bacon, and an egg with a runny yolk, sandwiches between two halves of a toasted and fluffy bun.

So although Wesley has yet to find what he would snobbishly qualify as, “the perfect burger,” he has come across quite a few good ones that he claims, “are top contendors.”

Much to fellow PRB West manager, Alex Welsch’s delight, Wes claimed the burger that Alex prepared him for lunch one day, “the best burger he’s had in Nashville.”

Alex now holds himself in very high esteem.

Wesley’s Nashville Burger Beat (in no particular order)
  1. Bacon Cheeseburger / MLRose / $10.95 – choice of cheese, natural uncured bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion & pickle | Everyone at Porter Road Butcher is well acquainted with Wesley’s obsession for cheeseburgers, and everyone subsequently knows to expect an invitation to ML Rose on Monday nights for their two-for-one burger special—a deal that is only made possible with the accompaniment of two craft beers. 😀  “I usually get the bacon cheeseburger and a couple of Yazoo Dos Perros. That burger is probably the closest one I can find in Nashville to my hometown favorite, Strawn’s.”
  1. The Local Burger / Fido / $13 – ground beef and lamb, Tennessee white cheddar, caramelized fennel + fig aioli, caramelized onion, pickle, lettuce, on a bun  |  “Half of me is tempted to eliminate this burger just based on the fact that it has lamb and beef in the patty, but it was one of the first burgers I tried when I moved to town and it’s still one of my favorites,” said Wesley. “It’s kind of on the fancy side of the spectrum, but the mixture of lamb with that fig aioli? Woo! It is damn good.”
  1. West Coast Burger / Burger Republic / $10.50 – twin thin pressed patties, mustard steamed with American cheese, BR sauce, lettuce, tomato, grilled onion | “In my book, there are two kinds of burgers: the grilled backyard BBQ style burger, and flat top diner style burger,” said Wesley. More often than not, he pledges allegiance to the latter variety. “When it’s grilled, the patties are usually thicker so I like a nice medium in the center. If I’m not grilling it myself, that doesn’t always happen. Even though flat top burgers generally come out more well done, they’re still really juicy—I actually like that kind of burger better.” Burger Republic uses two thin flat-top patties and accoutrements reminiscent of a Big Mac, but considering the black angus patty, the brioche bun, and the sizable sandwich that those two, plus all the remaining ingredients amass, Mickey D’s doesn’t hold a candle.
  1. Burger + Fries / Dino’s / $6 – the greasy, delicious classic | “This is my kind of place,” Wesley said when he first walked into Dino’s on a rainy night in March, “I could see myself becoming a regular here.” After a recent revamp of this East Nashville favorite spot, the bar still has that drab-ulous and somewhat smoky vibe that feels so good in the local watering hold, but with the added bonus of actually delicious diner-style food. Cheeseburger included. Although he doesn’t usually include French fries in the judging equation, Wesley made special note of the exceptionally crispy and perfectly salted fries that accompanied Dino’s “greasy, delicious classic” cheeseburger. They hit the nail on the head: ain’t no better way to put it.
  1. Brisket Burger / Martin’s Bar-B-Que / $8 – our custom blend of ground beef comes with grilled onions, American cheese, bbq sauce, and topped with our smoked beef brisket | Another burger that doesn’t quite follow the “less-is-more” idiom, the brisket burger from Martin’s BBQ falls along the lines of, “meat-is-more.” And in this case, meat really is…more. Which might be why Wesley likes it so much…he is a butcher, after all. But wait! You say. A burger topped with…more meat?? How could he? Isn’t that too much meat? Won’t that give him the meat sweats? No, incredulous burger-hater. It doesn’t. This burger is NOT blowing smoke. When cashing out at just $8 for such a mountain of meat, neither your belly nor your wallet will mind.
  1. Fat Mo’s Burger / Fat Mo’s / $3.49 – all hamburgers served with onion, lettuce, mustard, ketchup, mayo, pickles, and tomatoes | After a night out on the town, this burger does the trick when you wake up the next morning feeling sluggish. It’s hearty, greasy, and just the ticket for soaking up last night’s sins. The spicy-seasoned fries certainly don’t hurt, either.
  1. Alex Welsch’s Best Burger / Porter Road Butcher West or Alex’s House / $0 [it was for staff lunch] – PRB ground beef, caramelized onion, PRB classic yellow mustard, Kenny’s Farmhouse white cheddar, and a toasted Bobby John Henry burger bun. | All quality ingredients. ‘Nuff said.

Want to make a burger that will turn on Wesley’s tastebuds? Here’s how he throws down with some PRB patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun…or something along those lines.

the wesley adams burger

¼ lb. PRB ground beef
2 slices American cheese (we’re talkin’ the single-wrapped squares)
mayonnaise
yellow mustard
lettuce
pickles
burger bun
salt & pepper

  1. Heat cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat.
  2. Form beef into 1/4 inch to 1/3 inch thick burger patties and season both sides liberally with salt and pepper.
  3. Once cast-iron skillet is hot, add burgers to pan and cook until a nice crust has formed on the bottom, 3-4 minutes. Carefully flip burger and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until crust has formed. Remove burgers from pan and transfer to a cutting board. Place 2 slices of American cheese on top of each burger patty and then cover patties with a piece of aluminum foil to keep the burgers warm as they rest.
  4. Meanwhile, slice each burger bun in half, and toast in the cast iron skillet. Spread mayonnaise on the top half of the bun; spread mustard on the bottom half. Place burger patty on the bottom half, top with pickles and lettuce, and replace the top. Do not cut in half. Hold that burger in your hands and feel it while you eat it.
  5. Enjoy with a cold, dark lager or pale ale.

Burger_Blog

Banner Butter is simply Better Butter

It always happens this way with really good things, doesn’t it?

There’s that little nugget of amazing. And it’s out there, quietly being awesome. And there are a few folks in the know who appreciate it and love it. But then one day something happens and it somehow gets even better. And then other people start to notice it—because again, it is amazing, but it is also quiet. And then before you know it, it gains some small success. And then eventually it becomes something that’s actually successful and well known by lots of people. And then it isn’t really little anymore. It’s just really good.

That’s the beauty with really good things: people find out about them and then people want to support them. That’s particularly the case when that good thing is great butter.

Banner Butter | Porter Road ButcherHusband and wife Elizabeth and Andrew McBath discovered their love for creating compound butters (if you don’t know, compound butters contain other ingredients mixed in to make them a little jazzy and a lot delicious) in their kitchen at home, and eventually made the move to monetize their hobby in 2014, creating Banner Butter.

The McBaths had begun their “little side project” (they both still have full-time jobs) a year earlier as a way to enhance butter with spices, herbs, and seasoning, thus making cooking a little bit easier and making simple foods more delicious. Eventually however, they noticed a trend among their customers who desired good, locally churned butter. And that’s when an idea struck: they decided to take their little nugget and turn up the volume on the goodness.

Andrew and Elizabeth took a trip to France to study the art of butter making (and let’s be real, they probably studied the arts of wine-drinking and cheese-eating as well, because why not?) in the South region of the country, where cultured butter is king. They returned home with their newfound knowledge of and appreciation for cultured butter and that’s where the nugget of goodness gained speed.

Instead of buying already-made butter from the store and then adding ingredients to make it compound like they’d been doing previously, the McBaths sought out responsible, humane, and local dairy farms from which they could source pasteurized cream and churn the butter themselves. Just like us at PRB, they’re passionate about the foundational aspects of their product, which means knowing that their animals live good, happy, healthy lives. Their website states:

“Banner Butter strives to create butters that taste great by doing it the right way. Doing it right means starting with cream from humanely treated, hormone-free cows that graze in green pastures. It also means patiently culturing and churning cream into butter without adding flavoring or speeding the process at the expense of taste.”

See, here’s the thing: most butter that is sold in our grocery stores and supermarkets is “sweet cream butter,” which means that once pasteurized, the cream is almost immediately churned into butter—it’s churned when the cream is still sweet. Sadly, this also means that the butter has very little flavor in this infant stage. Even sadder, this often leads Big Man Butter to add “natural flavoring” to make it taste more like…well, butter. Gross.

The cultured or European method on the other hand, is one in which the pasteurized cream has time to ripen for many hours before it is churned. This ripening process brings boatloads of that delicious, nutty and buttery flavor that we so love…without any additives or flavorings.

And that is how Banner Butter does butter.

Photo from Banner Butter's Instagram: @bannerbutteratl

Photo from Banner Butter’s Instagram: @bannerbutteratl

So between their happy dairy cows, the super-fresh cream they provide, the short distance that said cream travels, the small batches in which the butter is churned, and the care and attention that are put into each and every package, Banner Butter’s product second to none.

Banner Butter has gained success in the greater Atlanta area, where they’ve found their way onto the shelves of a variety of small local groceries as well as seven Whole Foods Markets, and now we are proud to announce that Porter Road Butcher is their very second out-of-state outpost for resale—South Carolina got the jump on us. Groan.

In addition to traditional varieties like unsalted and lightly salted butters, the McBaths have continued to play with flavors and offer compound butters as well.

They offer a Roasted Garlic, Parsley and Basil, which sold out of our West Nashville store within the first day it was available; they have a Cardamom, Cinnamon and Ginger, which we can’t wait to employ this weekend on French toast or waffles; the Balsamic, Caramelized Onion, and Fig would be a great way to finish a nicely grilled steak; and their Sea Salt seems like a no-brainer for melting on corn on the cob or tossing with steamed or grilled veggies.

Banner Butter also makes a rotating seasonal compound, sourcing locally grown seasonal produce, creating a butter that celebrates the season.

Check out their website for more information and check out the freezer sections at both Porter Road Butcher stores to get your hands on butter that just tastes better: Banner Butter.

Treat Yoself – Go out to mEAT in Nashville

If there’s one thing that we love, it’s when you, our customers, friends, and family stop by the butcher shop. We really, really do.

And like, duhhh.

Because really, this is what it communicates to us when you walk into Porter Road Butcher time and time again: it means you want to buy our product (hooray!); it means you might already be a fan of what we have to offer (score!); and it also means that all of the hard work that our crew has been putting in each and every day is going to pay off (fist bump!) when that meat rolls out the door.

However, by buying meat from Porter Road Butcher it also inadvertently leaves you with the task of thinking, planning, and ultimately cooking.

And don’t get us wrong—we love cooking—the Porter Road Butcher team is a group of food-obsessed culinarians, after all. Cooking is something that we actually like to do for fun.

That being said, we also love going out to eat, thus leaving the thinking, planning, and ultimately cooking to someone else. We love sitting down at a table that isn’t our own, ordering a cocktail for someone else to craft, carefully selecting an item from the menu, and then widening our eyes in excitement once it makes its way onto the table and finally into our mouth. And all the while, smirking at ourselves for never lifting a finger.

But you want to know what we love even more than going out to eat? We love—and we’re talking luuuuhve—going to a restaurant and being met with the opportunity to eat Porter Road Butcher meat…that someone else has prepared. That’s what we like to call a win-win situation.

With Porter Road Butcher Meat Company taking over most of our pre-existing wholesale accounts in addition to starting up some new accounts of their own, Porter Road Butcher products are becoming more readily available at some of your favorite restaurants all across town. And if you ask us, that doesn’t suck.

So you want to know where you can go in order to have such an experience? Of course you do. Let us show you the way…

Porter Road Butcher mEAT Map

Here’s Where We At:
51st Kitchen  [Sylvan Heights]
Bagel Face  [East Nashville]
The Band Box, First Tennessee Park  [Germantown]
Beer Pale  [Sylvan Park]
The Crow’s Nest  [Green Hills]
Flip Burger  [Sylvan Park]
Gambling Stick  [East Nashville]
Germantown Café  [Germantown]
Grilled Cheeserie  [Food Truck]
Hoss’s Loaded Burgers  [Food Truck]
Hurry Back  [West End]
Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint*  [Germantown]
Kate’s Kitchen  [Franklin]
Moto  [The Gulch]
Otaku South  [The Gulch]
The Post  [East Nashville]
The Riverside Grillshack*  [East Nashville]
Stone Fox  [Sylvan Heights]
The Sutler*  [8th Ave]

*indicates restaurants that offer PRB meats on an occasional and/or irregular basis

Smoking with the Master – Tips and Tricks of the Trade

“Matthew was born with BBQ sauce running through his veins,” said Matt Russo’s father in a comment on The Gambling Stick’s Facebook page, “He’s been in love with barbecue for as long as I can remember.”

The smoky love child of Matt Russo and Marshall Hamilton, The Gambling Stick is Nashville’s newest mobile BBQ joint that sits just outside of the east Porter Road Butcher shop. Russo, an employee of PRB for just shy of 3 years now, actually got his first real job working in a barbecue joint in his hometown of Louisville, KY when he was just 16 years old. He’s had smoke in his eyes ever since.

Not only did Russo get handed the position of “smokemaster” almost immediately due to his substantial smoking prowess—which came mainly a result of his love for sunny afternoons and sharing great food with great friends—but working at PRB he was afforded the opportunity to learn how to fully break down animals and quickly discovered the vast difference that high-quality meats make when it comes to cooking.

With his knowledge of whole animal butchery coupled with his classical training at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and even further aided by his southern roots and love of smoke, what Russo has done with The Gambling Stick is unparalleled by any other BBQ joint in town. Or in the region.

Loaded Smoker at The Gambling Stick | Porter Road Butcher

Both originality and tradition clearly play into the menu, and likely their most popular item is one that exudes both: the “pigsket.” The pigsket (or, pig brisket) from the Gambling Stick is sweet and smoky, full of flavor, not the least bit dry, and has clearly been on the smoker for just the right amount of time: a typically tougher cut of meat, Russo turns it into something incredibly juicy and tender. Of course, beef brisket is a fantastic staple on their menu as well.

Another Barbecue classic-turned-original, Russo and Hamilton have been playing around in the world of ribs, giving hungry meat-lovers entire 12- to 14-inch “whole slab ribs” (for which they are still trying to come up with a suitable name) instead of the traditional rib cuts like St. Louis style, spare ribs, or rib tips. James said, “After eating a whole rib, I was almost full. Those things are serious.”

Following years and years of experimenting, playing, and learning on the smoker and in the kitchen, Russo can pretty much do it with his eyes closed and his hands tied behind his back. It just ain’t no thang. Which is why he’s giving us (and you) tips and tricks of the trade:

Matt Russo of The Gambling Stick | Porter Road Butcher

Smoking Tips from the “Smokemaster,” Matt Russo

Pigsket Sandwich from The Gambling Stick | Porter Road Butcher1. Use Good Meat
And like, duh. Of course that’s going to taste better. But there’s actually a good reason as to why you should use high-quality meat when you’re planning to smoke it. As a muscle works, aka as an animal roams around, it develops connective tissue and flavor. So, if an animal uses their muscles a lot, meaning they are roaming out on the field with their piggy and beefy friends, they will develop more connective tissue and more flavor than those who lived their entire lives in a small crate where they couldn’t move. In the smoking technique, you generally go for a long time and at a low temperature, aka “slow and low,” so that it will break down those well-worked muscled filled with connective tissues and then turn those tissues into gelatin. That gelatin is the meaty tacky goodness that makes your lips stick together and makes you feel happy when you eat BBQ. So, by using a pasture raised animal, the meat will initially be tougher, but with the slow and low smoking process, it will become more tender and gelatinous and amazing.

2. NOT too HOT
As do most cooking processes, smoking meat elicits moisture. So when the temperature is high, more moisture will be drawn out from the meat, causing somewhat of a steaming effect and thus leaching moisture from the meat. Leaving you with dry meat. Nooo, gracias.

3. Pick Fruity Wood
“Fruity woods, like cherry, impart a sweeter smoke, whereas woody woods, like hickory or oak, impart less flavor and can sometimes leave you with an acrid or bitter flavor,” explains Russo. “When using good, sweet cherry wood you can smoke something for 16-18 hours and it will come off tasting sweet and smoky and delicious, but if you did the same with hickory the meat could become inedible.” Talk abut a waste of time.

4. You don’t need a smoker to be a smoker
Most people don’t have badass smokers like The Gambling Stick’s, but even without such a piece of equipment, you can still get great smoking results.
Gas grill – put wood into a small, shallow cast-iron pan on top of the grill’s heat source (on medium-low heat). Set your meat on the grill and then simply close the top and let ‘er go.
Charcoal grill – build a fire made of wood—not charcoal—on one side of the grill base and place your meat on the grill as far away from the heat as possible, so as to avoid direct heat, aka grilling. Close the top and smoke on.
Note: don’t wet the wood; instead keep it dry. That way you’ll get a better smoke on your meat instead of smouldering it.

Pigsket

5. Be on top of it but also be flexible
“It’s important to keep an eye on the temperature and try to keep it consistent,” advises Russo. A good range is 225o to 275o but that range can vary depending on what you’re smoking and how you want it to turn out. “With chicken I like to smoke it a little higher at first to get the skin nice and crispy, and then turn it down to finish it,” he says. But remember – recipes and rules are always subject to change when it comes to cooking. “You’ve got to keep an eye on things so that you can change strategies if you need to: turn up the heat, turn it down, or even taking the meat off the smoker way before or way after you’d initially planned. Just like grilling, after a while you’ll begin to get the hang of it.”

6. Don’t limit yourself
Smoking is not just for meats. Fish, like trout and salmon, are both excellent on the smoker. Smoking things like vegetables, particularly in a vegetarian setting, can add a sort of meaty characteristic to a dish that would be otherwise without. And even using smoked goods in baking—smoked lard, smoked salt, smoked fruits—can add in a little umami to what would otherwise be a traditional sweet!

The Gambling Stick is open Thursdays – Sundays from 11am until they run out. They are located at Porter Road Butcher East, 501 Gallatin Ave, and are available for catering events as well. Follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Bringing in More of the Good Stuff: Double N Urban Homestead

Tucked away in the East Nashville neighborhood of Inglewood, nestled behind what is likely either yours or your best friend’s backyard, and just a hop, skip, and jump away from hustle and bustle of Gallatin Avenue sits a small oasis known as Double N Urban Homestead.

Never did you think that the produce from your local CSA was quite so local as to have been grown in the backyard garden of your East Nashville neighbors, now did you? Because those CSA-farming type folks live in the country!

Never did you think that neither you nor the dingy soil in your 1-acre suburban backyard was good enough to support the likes of lettuce, cabbage, kale, radishes, carrots, beats, peas, beans, tomatoes, squash, eggplant, melons, herbs, and pretty flowers…all at the same time. That’s just too much!

Sure, your green thumb aspirations might have gone as far as creating an herb garden or planting a tomato vine to crawl up your fence—we all become giddy over the prospect of eating something that we produced with our own two hands and patch of Earth—but a garden quite so large and extensive likely never crossed your mind as even a possibility.

Thank goodness for Double N.

We Love Taters. And Double N. - Porter Road ButcherTheir Urban Homestead sits on just an acre of land and roughly half is covered with produce galore. Nick and Nicole spent much of the winter getting things in order for the spring season and most importantly devoted much time to building what is now their lovely and petite greenhouse, which sits on the western side of the property. “We used the greenhouse to start about 1,500 plants, so we’re really excited to have that available,” said Nicole. “Previously we were starting our plants in the guest bedroom of our house and that got a little tricky…”

Nick and Nicole purchase all of their seeds from a local organic farmer and then do all the rest of the grunt work themselves. Although a few Peter Rabbits recently came by and devoured a handful of their cabbage plants, most of their plants are protected both by fences and by the homestead’s suburban surroundings, including watchful neighbors, plenty of car traffic, and a few tiny [but fierce] guard dogs.

Double N is also home base to Nicole’s apothecary project, including teas and tinctures, which help naturally cure whatever it is that ails you. Ranging from splitting headaches to obnoxious and over-active children, Nicole’s got a wide line of products that are said to naturally heal and help—but they’re not medicine. We’re not allowed to say that they’re medicine 🙂

On Thursdays from 4-7 Nick and Nicole crack open a beer (we love their style), gather their loot from the week, and then distribute it into pails for their weekly CSA pickup. But the good news is, now they’ve realized they have such a bountiful harvest…that they want to share it with us! Well really, they want to share it with YOU. Even better.

Beginning next week, Double N Urban Homestead will be selling their produce and apothecary goodies at PRB East! Which means you can get everything you need for a local and healthy meal in one fell swoop. You’re welcome.

Next Tuesday, May 26th (the day after Memorial Day) will be their first day of selling, and subsequently they’ll follow the schedule of the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month. They’ll be out there just in time for you after-work folks, from 4 pm – 7 pm.

We’re thrilled to welcome them to our East Nashville store and are even more excited to have the opportunity to sell super-local and organic produce!

Nick & Nicole from Double N Urban Homestead | Porter Road Butcher

Double N Urban Farm - Porter Road Butcher

Peaches Meat Porter Road Butcher

It was only a month and a half ago that Nashville endured what some folks dubbed the worst ice and snow storm we’ve seen in 20 years; it was only two weeks ago that every man and woman turned to their favorite social media forum to bemoan the 30-degree temperatures and bone-chilling wind; and it was just 10 minutes ago that we found ourselves complaining about the arrival of Nashville’s famous summer heat and humidity.

The Peach TruckAhh, Nashville. *Sigh* Thank you for ALL of that.

Yes, in Nashville’s standard spastic style, the weather has lurched from 0-80, but our stomachs are doing surprisingly well with catching up from the change in speed.

Although the official summer solstice hasn’t actually hit us, summer is showing its arrival in different ways: it’s apparent in the droves of people flocking to patios after work to soak up any remaining drizzles of sunlight and tufts of warm air; you can see it in the pops of cherry red and sea foam green as toenails peek out of open-toed shoes; and most importantly it’s showing up on our plates and in our glasses.

Because while the weather screams summer, our bellies are screaming for it too. We’re longing for outside grilling sessions filled with kielbasa, dogs, brats and burgers. We’re hungry for sweet and juicy ‘maters, fresh from the garden, in varying hues of red, yellow, green, orange, and purple. We’re dreaming of freshly brewed and ice-cold sweet tea, a can of cold beer in a cozy koozie, a potent margarita with salt on the rim. But most of all, we want peaches.

And we want them from The Peach Truck.

By jove, we’re gonna get them!

When peach season begins in Mid-May, The Peach Truck will be kickin it with PRB. *Yessss*

It’s a match made in local heaven. This year during peach season The Peach Truck will set up at both Porter Road Butcher shops, once per week, to sell their delicious peaches to the hungry, peach-loving and meat-loving masses.

PRB West: Tuesdays | 11:00am – 2:00pm

PRB East: Fridays | 3:00 – 7:00pm

We’re envisioning all sorts of peachy and meaty deliciousness, so feel free to stay tuned for that. Think like, James and the Giant Peach, plus Chris and the Giant Pork Chop, minus the scene where the peach gets impaled on the Empire State Building.

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Flipping Out: PRB Flip Burgers

Flip Burger LogoIf you know us Porter Road Butchers, you know we love supporting both our neighbors and our neighborhoods—on both sides of town. So you could imagine we were pretty excited when our West Nashville neighbor Richard Blais himself stopped by the shop earlier this year to talk about a partnership between Porter Road Butcher and Flip Burger Boutique.

Because Porter Road Butcher now has the power and aid of Porter Road Butcher Meat Company to supplement our labor in the realm of wholesaling product, we can provide more delicious meat to more amazing restaurants at a more frequent and more regular rate. We know that saying goes “less is more” but when it comes to our meat being consumed around Nashville, we believe that more is more: The more local, pasture-raised, antibiotic- and hormone-free meat that we can provide to our city, the better. Are we right?

…that was a rhetorical question. (We are right.)

Image from tableog.com

Image from tableog.com

When Flip Burger Boutique first opened their doors back in January we were psyched to have a specialty burger already on their menu, the butcher’s cut (PRB beef, crumbled Emmi Roth buttermilk blue cheese, caramelized onions, soy truffle vinaigrette, frisee, pickled shallots, and red wine jam $11.75), a special item to this Nashville Flip location.

Today, however, with PRB MC taking off in the wholesaling sphere and with Flip Burger running right along our side, we’re excited and proud to announce that there are now more PRB burger options on Flip’s menu. Cue the happy dance.

In addition to the already well-loved butcher’s cut burger, Flip has added a brand spankin’ new PRB burger (8 oz. porter road locally sourced patty with cheddar, pecan smoked bacon, bibb lettuce, and ketchup $14), made just the way Chris and James like to prepare their own: no mayo, no mustard, no onion, no fuss.

The lamburger also received an upgrade, swapping out their previous patty for our locally sourced Tavalin Tails lamb (feta cheese, marinated vegetables, arugula, pickled red onion, tzatziki, garam masala spice $12.75).

And maybe best of all, Flip added a “PRB Upgrade” option which can be applied to any of their burgers at $3 for a patty and $6 for an 8oz. upgrade. Other upgrades include a gluten-free bun ($1) and a lettuce wrap to eliminate any real bun altogether.

So while a hamburger certainly isn’t your go-to choice for “healthy eating,” at the very least you can digest easy after eating America’s sandwich sweethert, knowing that your juicy and delicious burger came from a local, responsible, salt-of-the-earth farmer, and that your “lettuce bun” contains pretty much zero calories. And is green. So that feels good. It’s about as “healthy” as a burger can get.

Of course, Flip Burger may still be somewhat infamous for that Foi Gras Milkshake—and no offense, Flip Burger, we really do love you but the thought of it still makes our stomachs turn over—we’re confident (hoping?) that the presence of Porter Road Butcher meat on the menu will bring in some more mouths to the restaurant, and that our partnership will moreover bring more customers into the shop as well. Because that’s what neighbors to: Help and support one another.

It always feels good to be a friend to your neighbor, and we’re glad ours is so delicious!

Photo from FlipBurgerBoutique.com

Photo from FlipBurgerBoutique.com

Flip Burger Boutique Hours:
Monday – Thursday 11am – 10pm
Friday & Saturday 11am – 11pm
Sundays from 11am – 9pm.

4111 Charlotte Avenue | Nashville, TN 37209 | (615) 454-2917

Check out Flip Burger’s New PRB-Studded Menu

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.

Porter Road Butcher Meats Fish Market

 

PRB.FM

This just in: The Butcher Boys are changing their costumes, aiming for the role of The Fishmonger Fellas. Well, kinda. Not really. Ehhh…a little bit.

To the innocent bystander, the focus of our business at PRB is providing Nashville with fresh, local, free-range and hormone-free meat that we know is excellent quality. And while that perspective is by no means incorrect, what many of our loyal customers know is that while meat may be the star of the show, we’ve cast a very talented chorus line that supports and adds value to our overall production.

In addition to meat, Porter Road Butcher offers prepared foods, soups, sandwiches, eggs, dairy, cheese, and various other grocery items that all have one thing in common: excellent quality. Meat is by no means the common denominator.

So does it seem so crazy that we want to give fish a supporting role in our show too? Does it seem weird that we want to widen our umbrella, now including the likes of meat-repellent-but-fish-friendly eaters to our shop (like Chris’s wife Kelly)? Does it really boggle anybody’s mind that although we spend our days surrounded by and entrenched in pork, beef, chicken, and lamb, that we might be interested in eating some sea-meat every now and again?

Virgin Bay Seafood Co.Because that’s what’s happening: we got fish.

 

No, our salmon, halibut, and king crab are certainly not raised locally (that would be both frightening and disgusting) but the people at Virgin Bay Seafood Co. are doing right by their seafood.

In most supermarkets around the country, the salmon you’ll find is “trawl” caught, meaning a giant net is dragged alongside the boat, catching any and every type of marine species that lies in its path. The appropriate fish (like salmon) are then picked out of the net and put into a holding tank before they are brought to shore to be frozen whole, and then shipped to a processer, often times overseas. Between take-off for processing abroad and landing back in the US of A in your kitchen, that fish could have been frozen and thawed out 3 or more times already…leading to a very tired looking and “fishy” tasting fish.

Fortunately the same can’t be said about our new fish. Friends of PRB know that in order to join our cast of characters, you must have had a good life, been raised naturally, processed minimally, and arrive as fresh and wholesome as if you’d just stepped off the farm…or jumped out of the sea.

Virgin Bay responsibly catches their salmon mainly by “trolling,” which is hook-and-line fishing. When the fishermen catch a fish, it is individually brought onboard and immediately bled, gutted, and cooled on ice before bring brought to shore for processing, packaging, and blast-freezing—all here in North America! From there, the fish simply hop on a temperature-controlled bus and take a south-bound road trip to Country Music City, anxious to make their big debut and add some fishy flair to our Porter Road Butcher meat market.

So, although we can’t quite call the people at Virgin Bay “farmers,” (that would imply that they raise their seafood in a confined pen and specially feed them until they reach the appropriate size—not exactly our style), we’re thrilled to add them to our repertoire of farmers—or “protein providers.”

Display for the fish is still in the works, so be sure to ask one of our butchers about fish the next time you stop in. PRB fish may be experiencing a little stage fright right now, but before long, our fish will be front and center, ready to wow the crowd and steal the show.