One of my favorite discoveries of 2018 was a butcher shop located in Nashville, Tennessee called Porter Road. Porter Road was started by a James Peisker and Chris Carter in 2010 after these chefs had problems sourcing reliable supplies of quality meat.
And by quality meat we are talking about meat from animals that have been raised humanely. Animals that were raised in pastures and not confined in crates or industrial feedlots. Animals from local farmers who they can visit and inspect to make sure that they are doing things right.
Porter Road buys whole pasture raised animals from local farmers and does all of the processing in their own facilities. I love the Porter Road business model for several reasons.
- They buy animals from small farmers in Kentucky and Tennessee. When you buy meat from Porter Road you are supporting several layers of small businesses. I like that.
- This is as close to ethical, clean meat as you are going to get. These are not animals that have been confined in crates and cages their whole lives.
- Because they start with a whole carcass they have cuts of beef that are extremely hard to find.
- They sell online and shipping is cheap.
I have been buying a lot of different meat products from Porter Road and give these guys a massive thumbs up. The meat is excellent and the shipping cost from Nashville to Baton Rouge is only $5.
I have bought quite a few steaks from these guys in my mission to understand ALL of the different cuts of steak on a cow. If you are looking for a source for Blade, Denver, Bavette, Picanha, Flat Iron or Tri Tip steak then these guys have you covered!
I asked the shop what grade of beef they were selling and got an interesting answer. It turns out that since they buy directly from the farmers and process their own meat in house on such a small scale that it doesn’t make sense to have have an inspector come in and grade each animal. Makes sense.
While the beef is not formally graded as Choice or Prime all of it comes from either Black or Red Angus cattle which are high quality breeds.
This whole small scale thing creates another interesting issue. These guys sell out of the specialty steaks FAST.
Here is an example of why you often see the Sold Out banner on their steak selections. There are only two Teres Major steaks on a cow. If you only process three cows a week then there are only six Teres Majors available.
An insider tip these guys gave me is that any new inventory is listed around 11:00 a.m each day. If you want to grab of of the hard to find cuts then start checking around that time.
Porter Road sells more than beef. They also have a nice supply of pork, chicken and lamb.
I have been really digging their pork products.
You can get a pack of jowl bacon and use it to make the best BLT in the history of the world.
I have also been buying some pork steaks and making up some pretty nice tacos 🙂
I realize that there isn’t anything particularly amazing about how I am cooking this stuff. What is amazing is to be able to tear into a big pile of pork and know that the animal lived a good life wandering around in the hills of Kentucky.
You should head over to the Porter Road website and check out the shop. I think you will like what you see.