The Hard Way to Get Your Meat Fix
The Meat House is a young franchisor that aims to bring back the neighborhood butcher to cities across America—that once ubiquitous Main Street staple now nearly extinct. Well, this blogger got a chance to see why the master butcher is such a rare breed.
Mike Phillips is one of the few, and he has the oversized Popeye-style forearms to show for it. He just signed a lease to open a USDA-certified facility in Minneapolis, where he will take apart whole hogs the old-school way, by hand, in a grueling two-hour process that demands plenty of muscle and lots of sweat.
Phillips teaches a class from time to time called Whole Hog Butchery, and last Sunday he slapped a 162-pound pig—scalded, de-haired and cut in half—on the counter and showed about 20 students how to cut it apart.
Sound gross? It was, especially when it came time to make sausage. An enormous mound of raw pork, with globs of fat glistening, went into the grinder, which crunched and schlooped and then spewed out pounds and pounds of sausage. After this experience, I’ll never look at my favorite fast-food pork sandwich the same way again—and don’t even get me started on the hot dog.