” He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived and let me watch him do it”~
-Clarence Budington Kelland-
Quality over Quantity…
The artistry in Butchering….
Top Quality and Customer Service~
With Father’s Day approaching it feels appropriate to focus on The Butcher and the artistry that he creates everyday.
A little back story…
Listening to Grandma describe her days as a young child in Brooklyn, one thing that stands out is the imagery of her stories about the Vegetable man, The Meat Man, The Milk Man…and so on. Each one of these entrepreneurs were specialists in their field and traveled house to house with a horse and wagon…I know….sounds like a scene right out of the movies.
It’s true though, and although things have progressed and changed rapidly over the past sixty to eighty years, I am old-fashioned at heart. I love the idea of the mom and pop stores and the knowledge of where our food is coming from. I love summertime farm stands, small shops and all of the love and personal service that comes along with shopping in that manner.
I was lucky enough to marry The Butcher six weeks after I turned twenty-one. At that time, he was partners with Sal at R&S Meats in Huntington, New York. R&S Meats was opened by Sal and his father Ralph, in the late 1980’s. The building where R&S still is today, has as far as can be remembered, housed a Butcher. Anthony started working with Sal when he was in his early teens and learned the trade of butchering by watching and doing. Along the way he became partners at the Meat Market. Now that he has been the sole owner of R&S Meat Market for the past ten years, Anthony has added his own special touches and strives to bring unique and special items into the shop.
Today, when I watch him break down a piece of meat, I am awed by the art of it. There is a beauty that comes by knowing how to handle the knife and trim this large piece of beef into the smaller items that it will become. Anthony is meticulous and takes great pride in each steak and piece of meat that he puts into the case. Of course, he does not fill the meat case alone and the butchers that work with Anthony take the same care in fabricating meat.
It certainly was appropriate for me to marry The Butcher, as I love good food, and I love to cook! Now that our children are growing up and I have more free time, I find myself drawn to the shop and enjoy to spend more time there. I have found that the more you are around quality, the easier it is to spot. I have learned so much about the different cuts of beef and love to use family recipes to highlight these beautiful pieces.
Our boys are growing up at the Meat Market and have learned so much just by watching Dad. They love to come to “work” and although they may not all follow in The Butcher’s footsteps, they are learning lessons of hard work and dedication.
A special person that is very important to the meat market but works behind the scenes, is our Meat Jobber. Walter Brent is legendary in the meat business, and we are fortunate enough to have him travel into Brooklyn and Manhattan to pick out the best pieces of beef for us.
Walter has been picking meat for fifty-seven years. Needless to say, he knows what he is looking at, he knows what The Butcher is looking for, and therefore only brings us top quality.
Preference with steaks varies by personal taste. Prime Rib-eye, Shell Steak, Filet Mignon, Porterhouse Steak, Dry-Aged Beef, All-Natural Grass Fed, Waygu Beef, you name, it’s available at R&S. If there is something you are looking for and don’t see…just ask! Chances are it can be custom cut or special ordered. That is the beauty of the small town Butcher shop.