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butchers in Austin, TX?


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I am looking for a butcher, not a meat cutter, in Austin. In particular, I am looking for a guy who cuts up pigs.

I am looking for pork bellies right now, and I would love to explore sweetbreads, livers, etc.

Fiesta has ears, livers, sweetbreads, but no bellies. Plus, I am a bit leery of buying offal from them- I have NO idea how old it is, and none of the people who work in meat speak English in all my trips.

Fresh Plus does not seem to do this, though the Clarksville one seems like you could talk to the guy...

Central Market mostly seems to cut up berkshire pork at $4 a pound and up (though they will sell the fat for less, thank goodness, and they will sell hog casings), and bellies et al have to be special ordered (that is a LOT of money for a slab of uncured bacon, in fact just as much as the cured they sell!)

Coopers Meat Market, which has changed its name, gets its pigs from a guy farming pigs in what they say is a little farm yard, but while I could buy the whole pig, I cannot buy specialty parts.

Whole foods..... don't get me started. Plus, their odd sense of morality might get in the way.

Henry's butcher block down south gets sides of beef, but only 'boxed' pig parts, and not bellies. Sigh.

Has anyone been to a small place, perhaps catering to an ethnic community, or know of any other options?

Thanks,

Peter

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You could try the farmers markets. There is a guy at the downtown Republic Square farmers market that sells a ton of different cuts of Berkshire pork. There are two pork vendors at the Sunset Valley farmers market, one of whom is Full Quiver Farms. I buy the most delicious pork loin I've ever tasted from them and they have accomodated special requests in the past. This is probably your best bet.

Also, consider giving Johnny G's Butcher Block a call. I bought a bone-in whole pork loin from Full Quiver once and needed to get it deboned and they were the only butchers in the entire city that were willing to do it.

If you're willing to drive a bit, the processors in rural areas may be your best shot. Try La Grange Smokehouse.

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i think the more specialized you get like going to private farmers for specialty cuts, the more expensive it will be. probably even more than central market charges. you could also try one of the asian grocery stores that has a meat counter.

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  • 3 months later...

This thread died a few months ago. Yimay suggested an Asian meat counter. In fact, that is THE place to find pork bellies of any dimension, with, or without attached rib bones. I'm red-cooking some belly I bought this afternoon at the Hong Kong Mkt on Research. I've also used their bellies for Italian roasted "pancetta" which is absolutely scrumptious. The new MT on N. Lamar has belly also. And other pork cuts we don't always see in the "whiter" sections of Austin. Damn, my local HEB rarely even stocks a simple pork roast of any sort. But I live in the suburbs and we know pork ain't healthy!

mike

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Mike,

I should have posted that I, too, have found my pork bellies at the Hong Kong market. What is the 'new MT'?

By the way, there is a farmer at the Austin farmer's market who will sell pork bellies, and jowls, and everything else- in season. It is Peach Tree farms.

The in-season bit may sound surprising now, but pigs (and all livestock) put on fat naturally in the fall, and until factory farming and feedlots began in the twentieth century, farmers waited until fall and early winter to slaughter- both for the body fat in the meat, and because it would have been crazy to butcher meat in this weather!

Anyway, I look forward to seeing the difference in the fall.

Cheers,

Peter

This thread died a few months ago. Yimay suggested an Asian meat counter. In fact, that is THE place to find pork bellies of any dimension, with, or without attached rib bones. I'm red-cooking some belly I bought this afternoon at the Hong Kong Mkt on Research. I've also used their bellies for Italian roasted "pancetta" which is absolutely scrumptious. The new MT on N. Lamar has belly also. And other pork cuts we don't always see in the "whiter" sections of Austin. Damn, my local HEB rarely even stocks a simple pork roast of any sort. But I live in the suburbs and we know pork ain't healthy! 

mike

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I should have posted that I, too, have found my pork bellies at the Hong Kong market. What is the 'new MT'?

Thread on MT Supermarket

The in-season bit may sound surprising now, but pigs (and all livestock) put on fat naturally in the fall, and until factory farming and feedlots began in the twentieth century, farmers waited until fall and early winter to slaughter- both for the body fat in the meat, and because it would have been crazy to butcher meat in this weather!

I like Peach Tree Farms, too. Didn't know about seasonality with pork. Definitely makes sense.

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