Slow Food Columbus

Tim and I have been receiving more attention to our blog lately and are truly honored by the growing support through wordpress, Facebook, twitter, and now Slow Food Columbus!  Thank you all for following, commenting, reading, or just ‘liking’!


Heritage Breed: Red Wattle Hog

My next few posts are going to focus on something very important to me: heritage breed animals. These animals are, as a rule, endangered due to industrialized agriculture. As we have “progressed” as a nation of eaters, we have whittled the number of livestock breeds down substantially, cutting out genetic diversity from the flock/herd. Most places champion black angus beef as the standard to which all other beef is measured. To some degree, I can understand. It is fat, which makes it flavorful. It is a hearty and quiet breed, making it easy to raise. To have one beef to rule them all is not something I, as a butcher, champion. When at all possible, I look for heritage breeds. For more information on this topic:

Red Wattle Hogs are perhaps one of the most unique breeds of hogs we have. And one of the breeds which people know the least about. Their name comes from the seemingly useless “wattle” that hangs on either underside of their jowls, and their rusty red coloring. The boars can grow as large as more than half a ton, and the sows normally come in at the 600lb mark. The meat from these hogs is unlike any pork you have experienced. It has a deep red coloring, is delightfully marbled, and has a distinctly beefy flavor. I have a friend who raises these hogs in Athens, Ohio. At last check, he was the only producer of Red Wattle Hogs in the midwest. His website:


From Neil’s farm. Sleeping wattles.


Actual size of a boar red wattle hog. That is a standard size human male.




A Butcher Tries to Fillet A Fish

Since Austin had not made a post in a while, I took some pictures of me attempting to fillet a fish. I was going to post this last night, but he made a real post! I still feel the need to share my experiences with you, gentle reader…








How’d I do, Austin?

Miyake and Sashimi Loving Pigs

FREEPORT, MAINE — A dozen happy pigs are rooting around in their pen at the Miyake Farm.

One of them trots over to the electric fence, curious about the clicking sound coming from a camera. Another kicks up his heels cartoonishly as he plays around with his siblings. A third has a silver fish tail sticking out of his mouth.

Wait. A fish tail?

“They get to eat sushi-grade Japanese tuna every day,” says Chad Conley, who manages the farm. “Masa will trim a whole tuna, and there’s pounds and pounds of blood and scraps that can’t be used that normally, before the farm, were just going in the trash.

“But the pigs love it. They eat fish heads. They eat lobster bodies. They eat extra fat that we can’t use. They go crazy for it.”

click here to read more

Bill the Butcher

For Halloween this year, I decided on Bill the Butcher from Gangs of New York. How’d I do?


Loin, Start to Finish

The loin comes from the rear of the animal, past the rib, before the leg. From the loin comes flank steak, T-Bone steak, Porterhouse Steak, Filet, Tri-tip Roast (or steaks), bone-in sirloin steak, sirloin roast, and sirloin steaks. What follows is the break down…



This is the whole loin, “flap” removed. Sirloin end (connects to leg) right, rib end left.



Sirloin End



Rib End



Loin split from sirloin. Sirloin to the right, loin to the left. Loin


Filet removed from the sirloin


Sirloin with filet removed. At this point, the bone is still in the meat.


Sirloin bone removed. Only in special cases will the sirloin bone be left in; special requests for bone-in sirloins, or, “long bone” sirloins.


Sirloin to the right, tri-tip to the left.


Boneless top sirloin steak.


Top sirloin steaks and filet, ready for the case.


Damn fine filet


The opposite side of the sirloin, the tri-tip.


The tri-tip. Some call this a “California cut.” It’s often used in chili competitions; great for braising, but can also be used as steaks. We feature the steaks in our CSAs at Bluescreek.


Netted and ready for the case, I left the tri-tip as a whole roast. Had it been warmer outside, I would have cut it into steaks.


This is the “flap” of the loin. This houses the flank steak.


The flank, removed from the flap.


That completes the loin, except for T-bones and porterhouses, which are relatively self explanatory.

We happened to break down a lamb at the same time as this loin…


To the left: lamb. To the right: beef. Both are the sirloins.