The last ten years have brought a growing awareness of our ranch conditions, additives, hormones, antibiotics, and waste. Where should you shop to encourage responsible and healthy livestock processing practices? New and local butcher shops are popping up all the time as our quality of insights and community health values continue to change. Here are a few of our favorite new butchers to frequent in this season of feasting!
Top of the list is definitely Dellapietras in Brooklyn, a gourmet butcher shop offering organic, grass-fed, nitrate free meats - including specialty and game meats such as partridge, capon, and boar. While this is all well and good, the real draw of Dellapietras is their impeccable dry-aging program, a four to six week process in a temperature-controlled environment. All pork is yielded from the Berkshire, Kurobuta black hog, renown worldwide for quality. Your purchase will come with their preferred cooking instructions and additional info for your education. Full disclosure includes long lines, but their guarantee of hospitality and quality mean it's worth it. 193 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Dickson's Farmstand Meats in Chelsea Market will offer you holiday selections and ideas front and center on their page today, so they're on the ball. Their artisanal meats are sourced from small operation, upstate family farms, and transparency in their practices are a fundamental role in Dickson's relationships with them. Firm believers in sustainable, nose-to-tail butchery, their charcuterie cuts (made in house) come from the same cuts of meat as their chops and steaks. What else? In-house brines, refreshments to accompany small classes in the arts of the butcher, pet food, and feather steak. Do you know this phenomenon of feather steak? Made from the shoulder, it's a very rare cut - obviously only two per cow. It is small and thin, though packed with sweet flavor. Serve rare, don't let the meat get tough on you. Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
The Meat Hook in Williamsburg just has it all. It has it all! Best of this "all" would be a commitment to quality that isn't undermined by pretension. They understand that to get quality you must pay for quality, and are openly proud to pay their farmer partners the price they deserve. As is tradition with any community proprietor, they visit their partners, keep close relationships, and value all the work, expertise and quality of product they are receiving. From the horse's mouth, "We never forget that without them we’re just another bunch of jerks selling pork chops." Aside from an amazing Instagram account we should all be following for beauty, joy, and stampeding animals that inspire both, their specialty is lamb bacon. 397 Graham Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Open since 1960 in Cobble Hill, Los Paisanos is the epitome of an old world, catch all, find whatever you need butcher shop. They have a designated section of 100% certified organic beef, pork and chicken for responsible shopping. Keep browsing and you'll run into alligator, rattlesnake, frogs, ostriches, squab, venison, and blue foot chicken. You can also find a well curated supply of Italian provisions like truffles, lobster ravioli, olives and oils. 162 Smith St, Brooklyn, New York.
Rounding out the list is Fleischer's Craft Butchery. Deeply committed to the process of raising and serving quality meat, they have grown their business from their 2004 single storefront in Kingston, New York, to six locations from Brooklyn to Connecticut. They have perfected the traditional practices of grass-fed, ethically-raised and sustainabley processed livestock, and are now just as well known for their butcher's apprenticeship program as their meats. Pictured above is Samantha Garwin, Butcher and Chief Operations Officer. Who says if it were not for her work-related meat consumption, she would be a vegetarian. 1325 Third Avenue at E 76th Street, New York