Co-owner James Peisker says the butchery demos came about because customers have regularly expressed a level of curiosity beyond such Locavore 101 questions like, “Where did this animal come from?” They want to know things like where all the individual cuts of meat came from, and furthermore, how they might learn to do butchery themselves.
“People wanted to see more about how we do things here,” Peisker says. “Whole-animal butchery isn’t all that common. It’s a way to give regular customers and supporters a chance to see the whole process. It shows you that a pork chop doesn’t come from a Styrofoam package. It comes from a pig. We’ll explain how these animals are raised, and how industrial animals are raised. It’s important to know what you’re eating. There’s a lot of nasty, nasty stuff in industrial meat most folks don’t know about.”
Peisker says students will be shown how to cure bacon, make sausages, and more. They will also learn about the farms Porter Road sources for their meats. As for the chicken, Peisker says that since the shop regularly receives fresh chickens on Tuesday, students in that class will be able to break down, take home and eat (after cooking, natch) a chicken that was alive less than 24 hours before.
“We see this as a way to give back and share with our customers. They asked for it, and we’re happy to oblige. I mean, this isn’t a cash cow by any means,” he says with a laugh. “It’s for fun. But it’s a good time, and I promise you’ll leave knowing more than you did before.”
(No word yet on any cow butchery classes, “cash” variety or otherwise.)
The description of demos from PRB is below. For more info, call (615) 650-4440.
Hog Demo: You will learn how to break down half a hog. Walk through the steps of sausage making, mixing spices, grinding, stuffing as we explain why we use fresh herbs and freshly ground spices. And learn how to cure bacon. You will leave the class with two fresh-cut pork chops, one pound of bacon, and 2 pounds of sausages. Three-hour class. Cost $150. Sunday, Aug. 26, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.