MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY MORSEL
Food waste goes beyond what ends up in your trash, it’s about the decisions you make beforehand as well. Before springing for a filet mignon, consider that a 1,500 lb steer yields only about eight pounds of beef tenderloin. Our specialty cuts are ones you won’t see in the supermarket. They’re the hidden gems that only craft butchers take the time to cut. They’re anything from a ranch steak or a sirloin chop, to fat, bones, or offal. Therefore, it’s important to us that we educate our customers on lesser known parts, packed with nutrition and flavor you won’t find anywhere else.
BEYOND THE BREAST
One of our most popular offerings is the boneless, skinless chicken breast. Most butchers loathe this order, but only because there are so many flavorful parts of a chicken, we want you to experience all of it. That’s why we encourage customers to take true advantage of the mighty chicken by purchasing it whole, bone-in and skin-on. See how far one little chicken can take you. A pre-cooked rotisserie bird or a freshly roasted one for dinner is the gift that keeps on giving. You can:
- Ask our butchers to break it into pieces for you to roast the light meat one night and braise the dark the next.
- Turn leftovers into anything from chicken salad with tarragon and almonds to a three-bean chicken chili.
- Make stock with the bones.
- Add the liver and giblets to a pan sauce for added flavor and nutrients.
Make it your new routine – get a whole bird on Sunday and experiment with everything it has to offer throughout the week. Not only will you reduce your food waste, but you’ll also save money by getting so much out of just one chicken.
RECIPE: FAVORITE ROAST CHICKEN
RECIPE: BEER CAN CHICKEN
DON’T FORGET THE FAT
When it comes to choosing a cooking fat, we’re partial to animal. Surprise, surprise. While some oils are frequently suggested for high-temperature cooking, rendered fats such as pork lard, beef tallow, or duck fat have an even higher smoke-point and offer flavorful alternatives to processed oils like beef and duck, while pork fat is fairly neutral. We’ve seen fat vilified over the last 40 years, but the science is coming back around. While an imbalanced diet heavy in red meat and saturated fats can more likely cause cardiovascular issues later in life, we agree with a recent shift in the conversation that highlights the role sugar plays in the heart disease epidemic instead.
Fat is flavor, and using every bit of it is a logical extension of our whole animal philosophy. That’s why we keep a thick layer of fat on our pork chops. It’s why we won’t trim your brisket unless you ask us to. It’s why you’ll find tubs of rendered fats in our freezers for cooking and baking. Our Director of Butchery Education, Bryan Mayer has a few more reasons:
“Fats from animals — consumed in moderation, of course — provide a concentrated source of energy in our diet, a source that cannot be supplemented. They are the building blocks for cell membranes and hormones. As if that weren’t enough, they are also the carriers for the extremely important, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Fat doesn’t only taste good — it is now recognized as the sixth taste — but it does good for you!”
Read more from Bryan about “Why You Should Be Cooking With Bones, Fat and Skin” or check out his column, Ask Your Butcher, on Food Republic for more articles and inspiration.
HEALTHY ANIMALS MAKE HEALTHY STOCK
That’s why we use every bit of our bones, skin and scraps, which are rich in collagen and connective tissue, for a luscious, homemade bone broth. In your efforts to reduce food waste at home, consider the portion of bones that make up a whole animal. It’s not all steaks, chops and roasts. After we butcher a pig, approximately 10% of the total weight is bones. On top of that, overlooked parts of the pig – head, skin and trotters – can increase the amount of potential waste if not put to good use. Our commitment to the whole animal philosophy drives us to highlight the value and importance of making stock at home. It takes a little more time and effort, but saves a considerable amount of resources and nutrients from ending up in the garbage.
Stock can be used for an endless number of things: a base for soups and stews, a nutrient-dense flavor boost when braising or cooking grains, and just plain sippin’. Check out our Expert Tips: Bone Broth section for more info on how to combat food waste by making your own stock.
NOTHING AWFUL ABOUT OFFAL
The most overlooked parts of any animal also happen to be the most nutrient dense: the offal or organ meat. From heart and tongue to liver and kidney, offal offers a range of flavorful options that are healthy, economical and extremely delicious. Rich in iron, vitamins A, B, C & D, zinc, and more – offal is good for skin, eyes, teeth and then some.
“Whole animal eating is not only the right thing to do, it’s the delicious thing to do,” says Samantha Garwin, Butcher and Chief Operating Officer at Fleishers Craft Butchery. “Offal showcases a range of flavor and textures that are uniquely complex and even decadent.”
Read more from our COO Sam Garwin about taking advantage of giblets in “Taste It, Don’t Waste It: Giblets.”
RECIPE: GRILLED BEEF HEART
RECIPE: CHICKEN LIVER PATÉ
YOUR DOG CAN HELP, TOO
Your dog deserves the best, too. A raw food diet is packed with living enzymes essential to your canine’s bodily functions and a long healthy life. Since nearly 30% of the useable meat on a steer ends up as trim (AKA not a steak, chop or roast), it is our duty to find smart, creative solutions to prevent perfectly great meat from going in the trash. Most commonly you’ll find this beef in our classic burger blends or handmade sausages, but the same amazing quality meat goes into our Raw Dog Food for your furry friend. We create our dog food with pasture-raised beef and some traditionally less popular parts of the animal, such as heart, tongue and liver (sometimes also chicken backs and veggie scraps), which help with your dog’s digestive system, a shiny coat and higher energy.
“It started as a way for us to use the whole animal more efficiently and be as sustainable as possible,” CEO Ryan Fibiger. “I have not seen a dog that doesn’t go absolutely bananas for raw dog food.”
Read more from our CEO Ryan Fibiger in, “To Reduce Food Waste Fleishers Turns Leftovers Into Dog Food.”
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