Northshore Magazine

Northshore November 2019

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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NORTHSHOREMAG.COM 46 NOVEMBER 2019 in the supermarket, but the Means think about it constantly—especially since they don't have a freezer. "If we had a freezer, it would be our best customer," Warren says. "A freezer makes you lazy. Instead of being creative, you're just like, 'Throw it in the freezer. We' ll deal with it later.'" Instead, if a product isn't selling well, the Means find a way to turn it into something that does sell. So pork belly turns into bacon. And flank steak might be marinated for grab- and-go tacos. Skirt steak becomes a stir-fry with vegetables. It's fun and creative, says Lisa. "If something's not selling a certain way, how can I get it to sell? How can I transform it?" One way they transform meat is through unique sausages. The pair loves to come up with offerings that change daily, and their sausages have included flavors like Biscuits and Gravy, Dim Sum, and Cider Hill Apple Cider Donut. Drawing inspiration from Willy L I V E + P L AY CONTACT themodernbutchershop.com Wonka's Three Course Dinner Chewing Gum, they even made a three-course sausage —each hand-stuffed link started with a caprese flavor (tomato and mozzarella) for an appetizer, followed by loaded baked potato, and finally beef Wellington. "I thought he was going to swear a lot more, hand stuffing each one," Lisa says with a laugh. "But they came out awesome." And Warren wasn't scarred; he plans to try it again, putting breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a single link. In addition to sausage, their case holds a variety of chicken, pork, and beef cuts—some you know, and some you really should know, like the merlot, which Warren says is great for someone who loves flank steak. "It's incredibly lean, like having an already marinated flank steak, with tons of flavor and tenderness." Other suggestions include the coulotte, which is popular in Brazil and has an almost dry- aged flavor. ("It has a thick fat cap, which you can request to cut off, but it contains tons of flavor that makes for great cooking.") Or try the Denver, which comes from beef shoulder, also known as the chuck. "It is incredibly versatile, contains a nice bite, is flavorful, and grills up perfectly," Warren says. "We sometimes compare it to a boneless short rib." That high quality doesn't come cheap, compared to the supermarket, but that's because the Means are focused on supporting local farms and paying a living wage. "Our prices are based solely on what the farmer is charging us for the animal," Warren says. "I'm not making money on the meat. We're making money with things like sausage and prepared food. So I'm not in it for a million dollars." They are in it to start a conversation about choices—and community, Lisa says. "This is our way of fighting big agriculture," Warren adds. "This is how you bring awareness [and] give these farmers the platform to show how wonderful their work is." The shop has also provided them the opportunity to encourage people to take time in the kitchen. Lisa and Warren are happy to make suggestions, offer cooking techniques, or tell you about the farms where their meat is raised. Show them pictures of dishes you've made—they'll love it. "It's about the food, but also it's about the connection to every person that walks through the door," Warren says. "We'll chat with customers for as long as they want. They become family." TURKEY TIME The Modern Butcher, 226 Merrimac St., Newburyport, will be offering fresh local turkeys for the holidays, along with game birds and some house made charcuterie. For more information, call 978-465-6500 or visit them on Facebook or Instagram. IN THE KNOW

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