(and brownies at the end …)
A branch of The Meat House just opened in my Raleigh neighborhood. I know, I know, it’s weird that a primarily pescatarian food blogger is writing about a store known mainly for its meat, but as the title of this post suggests, they stock more than just animal flesh.
The franchised Meat House proclaims that it is trying “to revive the art of the neighborhood butcher,” with a focus on quality and customer service. My first impression is that they’re doing a pretty good job.
First, the meats. Not what I’ll be shopping for, but if you’re an everyday carnivore you’ll appreciate their premium cuts of meat, expertly butchered and cut to order. All the usual suspects are there, plus portions available in seven different marinades. Customers can also special order exotic meats like venison, elk, kangaroo, alligator and snake. Marinated meats are vacuum tumbled, a process that breaks down the connective tissues, ultra-tenderizes the meat and ensures the marinades are well incorporated. The shop also makes it own sausage.
Now for the other gourmet food items. While you can’t fulfill your entire weekly grocery list at The Meat House, you can definitely get all the fixin’s for a standout meal. In addition to meats, there are specialty cheeses, rubs and seasonings, pastas, grains, broths, soups, pickles, pastries, salsas, wines (coming soon) and limited fresh produce. Oh, and bulk/refillable olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
I was especially impressed with the wide variety of local goods offered. Especially since some of them are my personal favorites, like milk and ice cream from Maple View Farm, breads from Stick Boy and cupcakes from Audra’s Cakes and Creations.
I know the whole local foods movement is a trend that many establishments are rushing to cash in on. But that’s okay. I hope it takes hold and takes over. (Don’t even get me started on chains …)
The Raleigh Meat House is the third North Carolina location, the others being in Cary and Charlotte.
Welcome to the neighborhood! I see many satisfy-my-cravings jaunts to The Meat House in my near future.
That’s where the brownies come in …
… because what do you do when you’re craving a cupcake but The Meat House has closed? You turn to your go-to scratch brownie recipe, of course.
For me, chocolate cravings often happen at night when I’m in my jammies and loathe to leave the house. A couple of years ago my internet searching turned up a recipe for which I had all the ingredients on hand. I didn’t have quite enough regular sugar, so I substituted a bit of brown. And I increased the cocoa quantity a hair. And they turned out great. Moist, fudgy and oh-so-quick-and-easy, I’ve lost count of how many time I’ve baked them since.
Here’s the recipe:
- 2/3 cup butter, melted
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 t. vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan. In a medium bowl blend together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add and mix in the flour, cocoa and salt, just until blended. Spread into pan (mixture will be thick). Bake for about 30 minutes or until done. (I bake in a pyrex dish at 335 for 25 minutes.) They are definitely better once completely cooled, if you can manage to wait that long.