By The Secret Gourmet
MeatWorks Butchery & Market, the recently-opened natural meat and produce store at 816 De Queen St, that caters to people who want the finest naturally grown beef, pork, lamb, and poultry, plus other naturally raised, or grown vegetables, eggs, cheeses, homemade jams, without preservatives, etc., has just opened a new section of the store, The mEATERY. It is a large kitchen that is creating dishes that are an extension of the natural foods that come from the store owners’ Youngblood and Hickl farms, plus other natural-products farms in the area, with whom they partner. They held a well-attended open house for the community last Friday evening to provide samples for tasting, and presentations and demonstrations about preparing locally sourced, naturally grown, meat and other food products.
The chef at The mEATERY is Jessica Robbins, herself a MeatWorks provider of naturally raised poultry and eggs, and one of the MeatWorks shopkeepers. She works, everyday, with MeatWorks partners, Tracy and Andy Youngblood and Lavonne and Greg Hickl, as well as butcher Ethan Mizell, to create delicious items including stuffed chickens and pork chops, homemade sausage, cured meats, stuffed mushrooms, and specialty dishes, like smoked brisket, that are processed through a huge smoker that has just been installed in the store.
The mEATERY is a charcuterie; the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork, though at The mEATERY the charcuterie-style of food preparation extends to the other meats MeatWorks offers.
Specialty baking is also another aspect of what is happening at The mEATERY, with artisan-baked, breads and all kinds of cakes and cupcakes, in addition to gluten-free artisan baked goods. Artisanal cooking and baking refers to foods that are all hand made, using traditional methods.
“The primary intention of this new section of the store is to provide both take-away meals, and to educate consumers about the preparation of naturally produced meat products and artisanally produced baked goods, both gluten-free and not,” said Robbins, as she prepared a stuffed chicken. “It is the goal of Tracy, Lavonne and I to provide delicious, nutritious full take-home meals and special meat and baked good preparations, as an alternative to fast foods, while exposing the people of Polk County to the natural food products MeatWorks offers!”
MeatWorks and The mEATERY are open Tuesday through Friday, from 10 AM to 6 PM, and Saturday from 10 AM to 3 PM. Their telephone number is (479) 394-2900, and their website is www.meatworksbutchery.com. The staff at MeatWorks is great, as is everything they offer, and it unquestionably deserves a visit from everyone!