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Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

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I think I'm in love...

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  • jholmgren
    Founding Member
    • Aug 2014
    • 287
    • York, PA
    • -Jim

      *Kamado Joe "Classic Joe"*
      *Weber Spirit (for quick weeknight cooks)*
      *Cyber Q Wi-Fi temp controller for overnight cooks*
      *ThermaPen Instant* *Thermapen Chef Alarm* ...and pretty much any wheat beer!

    I think I'm in love...

    After much discussion at work, it was decided by my co-workers during a secret meeting to which I was not invited, that I need to attempt to make my own bacon.

    Sourcing the supplies (Prague Powder, maple syrup, etc.) was easy. What was more difficult was finding pork belly. None of my local grocery stores carry it and the only recommendations I had were two local farmer's markets. Since these markets are only open 7-4 on Tuesdays and Fridays, and I work during the day that doesn't help.

    As depression set in, I remembered passing a small butcher store on my way to work one morning when I had to take a detour because the Interstate was blocked. I decided to stop in this morning on my way and see what they had to offer.

    Now, in my mind I'm picturing walking into a dimly lit place with a funky odor and a very large man in a bloody apron with a clever in one hand and a cigarette in the other. The funky odor may be coming from meat... may be from the dude behind the counter. In my mind he's acting as though I'm interfering with his work if I ask a question. What can I say, I have an active imagination and some minor social anxiety.

    Nothing could have been further from the truth. I cautiously walked through the door and was amazed. This little store was as clean as an operating room with a well-lit display case stuffed with all kinds of meaty goodness. Two young ladies were behind the counter, one was tidying up the display case and the other was actually hand-cutting steaks. There may or may not have been harp music, it's all just a little hazy at this point.

    "Hi, good morning! How can I help you?" was the greeting as opposed to the "Whaddya want Mac?" that I was expecting. <yes, in my imagination the butcher is from the 1920's>

    Me: "I was wondering if you sold pork belly?"

    "We sure do! I don't have any on hand today. We usually have it on Thursdays and Fridays but if you want to order some we can get it for you whenever you like!".

    <SCORE!>

    Me: "Great, how about 6 pounds, can I pick it up on Saturday?"

    "No problem at all, would you like us to skin that for you"

    <...at this point I'm starting to swoon>

    Me: "Yes, please. Will that come as one single piece or could I get it in one-pound chunks?"

    "However you'd like it!... So that's 6 one-pound pieces of belly...skin off...picking it up on Saturday?"

    Me: "That would be great thanks!"

    "No problem - we'll see you Saturday morning!" and I give her my contact info.

    <I'm figuratively floating on air right now I'm so happy. As I turn to walk out the door a thought occurs to me...>

    Me: "You don't happen to sell tri-tip, do you?"

    <Now please bear in mind that I've asked about tri-tip at 4 other places locally all of whom acted as if I asked if they carry tennis racquets and Nokia cell phone chargers>

    "Sure do... actually I'm going to be cutting one as soon as I'm done with these strip steaks"

    <pondering how my wife will react when I tell her I proposed to a butcher I just met>

    Me: "ok... thanks, I've been having trouble finding them anywhere locally"

    "Yeah, they've been mainly a west-coast cut but we started doing them a few years ago along with flatiron steaks."

    Me: "Flatiron steaks?"

    "Yes sir - these right here <comes around counter to show me a BEAUTIFUL cut of meat in the case> are flatiron steaks. We like them more than ribeyes, just cook them on high-heat for about 4 minutes a side... beautiful medium rare and tender!"

    <Now I'm wondering if they would mind if I just pulled up a chair for a few hours and asked questions, or perhaps just applied for a job>

    Me: "Uh... ok, thanks. I have to get to work. See you Saturday."

    "OK bye - thanks for stopping in, have a great day!"

    <I already have>




    ​
  • mackdaddy
    Former Member
    • Jul 2015
    • 264
    • Greencastle, PA

    #2
    Wow! Where is this slice of heaven? You are one fortunate fellow. Do you have a son that could use a butcher for a girl friend?

    Comment

    • jholmgren
      Founding Member
      • Aug 2014
      • 287
      • York, PA
      • -Jim

        *Kamado Joe "Classic Joe"*
        *Weber Spirit (for quick weeknight cooks)*
        *Cyber Q Wi-Fi temp controller for overnight cooks*
        *ThermaPen Instant* *Thermapen Chef Alarm* ...and pretty much any wheat beer!

      #3
      It's a little shop in York PA called Godfrey Bros. Meats. Sadly my eldest has a steady girlfriend and my other two are only in their early and mid teens.

      Comment


      • jholmgren
        jholmgren commented
        Editing a comment
        Rte 30 can be a pig coming through Gettysburg and New Oxford. I'm betting you are in the 1:00-1:30 range. There have got to be some decent butcher shops in the Gettysburg area I would think. Lots of good farmland out that way.

      • jholmgren
        jholmgren commented
        Editing a comment
        mackdaddy - you might want to try this place in East Berlin. A bit closer for you I'd imagine. Saw them in the "Know a good butcher" section of the site. Looks promising.
        http://www.pameats.com/contact.html#map

      • mackdaddy
        mackdaddy commented
        Editing a comment
        That is a lot closer. There are three butcher shops that I know of around Chambersburg, but i'm not sure they do special cuts or have anything like tri tip. Going to check them out first.
    • Willy
      Charter Member
      • Apr 2015
      • 1868
      • High Desert of the Great Southwest

      #4
      Well told story! I'm jealous.

      Comment

      • CurlingDog
        Charter Member
        • Sep 2014
        • 548
        • Port Washington, WI
        • Traeger Jr Elite, Modern Home Products TJK gasser,Char-Broil 26" Round Charcoal Grill CBRMH-2600/S, Weber Smokey Joe, small portable POS charcoal grill, 13.25" GrillGrates, Thermopen, Maverick ET-732, Etekcity Lasergrip 1080 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer
          gorilla gloves, bear paws

        #5
        jholmgren Great read! Proper!

        my attempt to source a tri tip from a reputable meat market was met with a response of "we have to buy a 80lb case of them and nobody asks for that cut of meat". they said they typically run 2-3lbs each and if i want to purchase have the case, they would still have to think about it. they did quote a price of 6.99 per lb. not sure what the market bears elsewhere.

        Comment


        • jholmgren
          jholmgren commented
          Editing a comment
          See... I think that's maybe a red flag. If they are buying pre-cut tri tip by the case, they aren't really a "butcher shop" in my mind any more than the local super market, maybe less.
          I would look around more - are there any Farmer's Markets in your area? I've seen a number of stands at my local markets (when I can get there) that are family-run actual butcher shops. It turns out that Godfrey Bros also has a stand at one of the local markets. My work schedule prohibits me from getting to the market any more but I used to love wandering around them. I remember one shop had the usual beef, pork and chicken but they also had duck, goose, lamb and goat!
      • jholmgren
        Founding Member
        • Aug 2014
        • 287
        • York, PA
        • -Jim

          *Kamado Joe "Classic Joe"*
          *Weber Spirit (for quick weeknight cooks)*
          *Cyber Q Wi-Fi temp controller for overnight cooks*
          *ThermaPen Instant* *Thermapen Chef Alarm* ...and pretty much any wheat beer!

        #6
        Just noticed there is a "know a good butcher" section. Not sure how I missed that before. I posted their info and a short description of what they offer.

        Comment

        • CurlingDog
          Charter Member
          • Sep 2014
          • 548
          • Port Washington, WI
          • Traeger Jr Elite, Modern Home Products TJK gasser,Char-Broil 26" Round Charcoal Grill CBRMH-2600/S, Weber Smokey Joe, small portable POS charcoal grill, 13.25" GrillGrates, Thermopen, Maverick ET-732, Etekcity Lasergrip 1080 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer
            gorilla gloves, bear paws

          #7
          I totally agree jholmgren ... any place buying cryovac meats wholesale isn't the same as butcher shops sporting local, fresh cow off the hoof. i've resigned my future hopes for obtaining a tri tip to sourcing from a friend of a friend that gets a half a cow each fall from a farmer. Thats what i'm going to do too... i got the freezer space. Challenge accepted.
          Because of price pressure, true butcher shops are few and far between. Most in this neck of the woods are glorified sausage producers that trim select cuts for display and use the trimmings for their brats and sausage production sigh.

          Comment

          • grillinglen
            Club Member
            • Jul 2015
            • 47
            • Boise idaho

            #8
            I'm jealous I wish I had a decent butcher shop here. I've given up trying to find decent belly to decent price here. All the bacon I've made has been buckboard bacon (made from butt instead of belly) there's a restaurant supply here that sells cryo- packs of two boneless butt I just split in half and you have two nice slabs of meat from each butt. The only difference you'll notice is it's a lot meatier than belly and I can buy the boneless Butts for $1.50 -$1.60 a pound.
            Last edited by grillinglen; August 13, 2015, 01:58 PM.

            Comment

            • jayn
              Former Member
              • May 2015
              • 73
              • Fremont, NE

              #9
              MMMMMMMM! FLATIRON! I get mine at Fareway.


              Comment


              • Huskee
                Huskee commented
                Editing a comment
                Awesome! Very good shot, and good cook.
            • jholmgren
              Founding Member
              • Aug 2014
              • 287
              • York, PA
              • -Jim

                *Kamado Joe "Classic Joe"*
                *Weber Spirit (for quick weeknight cooks)*
                *Cyber Q Wi-Fi temp controller for overnight cooks*
                *ThermaPen Instant* *Thermapen Chef Alarm* ...and pretty much any wheat beer!

              #10
              Well - I picked up my pork belly this morning. Last night Tina said to me "while you are picking up your pork tomorrow, why don't you get something to cook on the Kamado for Sunday night? <every day I'm more in love with her>
              The high priestesses of butchery had my bellies all wrapped and packed with my name on them when I stopped in after my Sat morning bike ride. When they asked me if I wanted anything else I replied: "Yes... I want tri-tip!"
              Them: "OhhhKaaay.... we have two of them, each is about 2 lbs. Which would you like?"
              Me: "Yes"
              Them: "errr... did you mean you want both??"
              Me: "Yes, please!!!" <starting to wonder if the maniacal grin on my face is scaring the nice lady>

              So - my bacon is now in 6 individual bags taking the cure (2 each: Regular, Maple, Asian) in the downstairs fridge and there are two lovely tri tips dry-brining in the refrigerator for tomorrow's dinner!

              Comment

              • Huskee
                Administrator
                • May 2014
                • 15434
                • central MI, USA
                • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

                  Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

                  Smokers / Grills
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                  • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
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                  • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
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                  • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
                  • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
                  • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
                  • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
                  • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

                  About me
                  Real name: Aaron
                  Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

                  Occupation:
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                #11
                Nice post jholmgren , fun read. I wish I had that kinda place. There's a nice little family run butcher shop about a half hour from me, but it's small and every time I've ever been in there there's 5 other customers in there (crowded) and they seem a little overwhelmed most times. But once they had porterhouses on sale and the butcher, who had just cleaned up his tools the night, got all his stuff back out and hacked me off two 2" thick p-houses from the primal. I love small business service!

                Comment

                • Danjohnston949
                  Former Member
                  • Dec 2014
                  • 4418
                  • 1410 9th. St. N, Fargo ND

                  #12
                  Boys and Giirls, I believe you can lay this lack of locally owned and operated Butcher Shops right on the door step of our good old Uncle Sam. In the mid 60’s-70's my parents had a small shop in Rolla N.D. They did custom processing for local owners with livestock, In addition they fed out beef in a feedlot for butcher. When the beef was ready they were walked up a chute to the slaughter house, butchered, cooled, then the halves were moved to the meat market cooler, dry aged for 7-10 days. The customers had different preferences so adjustments could be made if they spoke for 1/4 or 1/2. The balance would be cut for the meat case and sold by the lb. Customers could ask for special cuts which in general would be accommodated. All of this came to an end when the State Inspector brought a Federal Inspector by. It should be added the State Inspection had always been positive. The Federal Ispectors took a summary look around and advised my folks that they would have to give up 1/2 of the business because they could no longer process meat for customers and cut meat for sale if there weren't separate slaughter houses, coolers, freezers, cutting rooms and on and on. I am not sure anymore if Dad a N.D. Dirt Farmer gave the fellow 13 or 14 seconds evaluation before he asked the inspector if had jobs for the two full time people he had just put out of work, Dad went on to advise the man that they he was going to share responsibility when his Federally Inspected meat was improperly cared for. Every time I here eColi and all the rest I am reminded of my Dad and his observations that day. Dad topped it off telling the fellow to get his A-- out of the store it was closed. I swear this is true I was there! Dan

                  Comment

                  • gardenfish
                    Club Member
                    • Jul 2015
                    • 168
                    • Phoenix, Az.
                    • 2002 Weber Green Performer
                      2015 22.5" WMS
                      Old Char Broil 2 burner
                      10" Deep Lodge cast iron

                      733 Maverick Black
                      733 Maverick Copper w/Meathead magnet
                      Purple Thermapen

                      Weber chimney
                      Cheap smaller chimney

                    #13
                    What an awesome thread. Now I am in love too!

                    Comment

                    • jholmgren
                      Founding Member
                      • Aug 2014
                      • 287
                      • York, PA
                      • -Jim

                        *Kamado Joe "Classic Joe"*
                        *Weber Spirit (for quick weeknight cooks)*
                        *Cyber Q Wi-Fi temp controller for overnight cooks*
                        *ThermaPen Instant* *Thermapen Chef Alarm* ...and pretty much any wheat beer!

                      #14
                      I just got permission from the building management to set up my portable 'tailgating' propane grill out back of the building next week for baconpalooza. I won't have to cook it first then microwave bacon all day long. W00t!

                      Comment

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                      Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

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                      Meat-Up in Memphis

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