Ode to My Meat Men #Charcutepalooza

I’ve been talking a lot about meat on this blog over the past few months… a lot. Maybe it’s because of my attempt to live up to the Charcutepalooza challenges, or the fact that I live in the great state of Idaho where our producers are second to none. For a time though, it’s appeared that I’ve been more on a meat quest, trying to find fresh pork belly, back fat, beef suet, and understand what part of the pig the pork butt comes from.

So today, an ode to my meat men of Southwest Idaho. The guys, who with patience and the typical Idaho helpfulness, have inspired my charcuterist ways and kept my fridge & freezer full.
I also call this guy ‘Market Sausage Man’. He doesn’t know it, but Lin Hintze of Mackay inspired my foray into charcuterie. Our household’s been making the trek to the Capital City market to fill up on Big Lost River links for several years and Lin is always there. 
Don’t be a rude market grazer and take advantage of his free samples! Sample one or two and make a purchase people. My favorites are the Garlic Rosemary, Chicken Apple, Italian Hot, and Chicken Parmesean Romano Patties.
Sharing the top grill with some Chicken Apple sausages from Big Lost River are the best damn franks I’ve had in my life, courtesy of…
Homestead Natural Meats and the fabulous Ed Wilsey. We first stopped by Ed’s booth during the first market of the season to try out the bacon (of course!) and a sample of the old-fashioned franks had us hooked. I’m a frank girl, grew up on Sabretts in NYC, but these knocked my socks off!

So when I put out the call on Facebook and Twitter for a purveyor to help me with the ingredients I needed for my latest Charcutepalooza challenge – Ed was there to help me out…hooking me up with pork back fat, beef suet, and the below pork shoulder needed for my Italian Sausage-making (blog to come!)

In the course of looking for the perfect cuts for my recipes, I’ve come across a few other purveyors I look forward to patronizing:

Meats Royale on Overland in Boise: "an Old Fashioned Meat Market. Friendly customer service and fresh meats. We’re always happy to custom cut and wrap for you. We will help you hand select the perfect steak, find that specialty item you want or help you fill your freezer at home with one of our bundle packages, all for a great price. Meats Royale carries fresh and frozen meats, we offer catering services, wild game processing and much more. 
(I can speak to the service – they were super helpful over the phone and I’ll be heading over soon!)

Double XL Ranch in Melba: "At Double XL Ranch we believe in raising natural products that are superior in taste and quality. We raise Berkshire "Kurobuta" pork, Wagyu "Kobe" beef and poultry which comes from animals raised on a 100% vegetarian diet with no animal proteins or byproducts in the feed, ever. This means no artificial ingredients. no preservatives, no antibiotics and no growth hormones in our products."  

(While I haven’t taken them up on their fresh pork belly – from kurobuta pork! – just yet, their willingness to deliver a custom ordered product and meet me at one of their market stands was impressive and when I take another run at homemade bacon I know who I’m contacting!) 

- Jess