Home Cooking

Butcher and Larder: A First Peek

January 26 2011 - 11:28 AM

Since they were open less than a week, I couldn’t resist taking a peek inside Butcher and Larder after taking a long walk down Milwaukee from an earlier engagement at Filter coffee. The first thing that struck me about the place was an almost old-school butcher feel not unlike visiting sparsely-furnished shops in northern England. The display case was very small, featuring a few homemade sausages, liver pâtés and beef hearts (regrettably, I had to pass on the beef hearts after getting into trouble for pan frying beef liver and onions the week prior), and there was a small selection of hot and cold sandwiches, such as beef-and-cider, as well as tobogan hinchable a soup of the day. Feeling full, I opted for the cold cuts instead of the ready-made offerings.

Thinking of marinating a flank or skirt steak, I asked the owner, and he said they had a run of beef over the weekend that had depleted their refrigerator. He instead offered a trimmed up end cut of New York Strip that I later marinated in a lemon-lime-cumin-coriander sauce overnight, followed by searing and cooking. I also tried a couple of their cheese-curd bratwurst, which I took home that night to boil in beer and onions. It had a nice cheesiness that did not overwhelm the pork meat, and it emerged grayish-yellow, a sign that this is a proper brat that needed no additives to turn it into something it was never meant to be.

My final purchase was a rustic chicken liver pâté that had a great texture of lard and spices that faintly reminded me of head cheese without the aspic. I prefer the more rugged terrain of more artisanal pâtés that contrast sharply to the creamy-smooth styles that have more in common with Oscar Meyer liverwurst.

I had to ask if they offer tripe, and they said they can get tripe if orders are large enough (over two pounds), and that they were contemplating intestine-laden menudo soup (count me in for that!). They also sell rendered lard, something I plan on taking advantage of for deep-frying. (No vegetable shortening for me!)

Butcher & Larder
1026 N. Milwaukee
(773) 687-8280

–Brian Ziegler