Whole-animal butcher offers series on broths, braising and buying local meat

With the right butcher behind the counter, butcher shops can be a great place to learn about the meat you are purchasing. Brad Doiron, a whole animal butcher specializing in grass fed, grass finished organic cattle, is working in collaboration with the PEI Certified Organic Producers Cooperative (COPC) to offer a series of workshops on, you guessed it, meat.

After working in butcher shops in BC and moving home in the spring of 2018 to work as the house butcher for Sims Steakhouse, Doiron wanted to continue the teaching relationship that often transpires between a merchant and a customer. “Most of my butchery career has been in retail environments where I’m directly interacting with customers. Now that I’m trying different areas in butchery and away from traditional butcher shops, I miss the connections made when you help people to cook better and utilize meat more efficiently and effectively,” Doiron said.

In partnership with PEI COPC, Doiron hosts a variety of educational ‘how to’ workshops. The workshops, which are partially funded by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, are part of a larger industry-wide campaign. It’s intended to increase the awareness of local and organic livestock on PEI, buying direct from local farmers and butchers, and creating affordable meals from local organic ingredients.

A previous workshop focussed on cuts of cattle and a cast iron grilling and barbequing series. Currently, Doiron and PEI COPC are offering a Bones, Broth, and Braising workshop and a How to Cook Your Christmas Turkey workshop in mid-December. “Unfortunately, there are no organic butcher shops in PEI and most people have to buy direct from organic producers. A lot of the time people may get cuts of meat they aren’t familiar with or be faced with trying to use all the parts of the chicken and I hope to give the participants some great advice on how to eat better and save money,” Doiron said.

Slow cooked bone broths impart a rich flavour Submitted photo

All workshops are designed to be practical themes that registrants will use regularly. The latest workshop teaches registrants about the various bones that can be used to make broth, proper storage of bones, how to deglaze pans to make delicious sauces, the various uses for freshly made stocks and broths, affordable cuts of meat for braising, and more.

In addition to teaching people how to choose and cook meat for the best results, Doiron is also passionate about the quality of meat and the life of the livestock that he uses. As a result, this workshop promotes using certified organic products and supporting sustainable industries on PEI, as well as promoting the use of whole foods, cooking from scratch, and supporting whole animal butchery.

Since moving to PEI Doiron has worked closely with certified organic beef cattle ranchers Mike and Evelyn LaFortune of Dexter Cattle Company. He notes how PEI affords consumers some great choice, “unlike more urban areas across the country, people on the Island are very fortunate to live so close to great agriculture and a strong and growing organic food industry, including meat.” Hanna Hameline

About Hanna Hameline

Hanna is a graduate of UPEI with a B.A. in Sociology. She has completed trainings in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Shambhala Meditation, and Maritime Yoga College 200-HR Yoga teacher training program. Hanna currently works as the communications coordinator for the PEI Certified Organic Producers Co-operative and has volunteered with PEI Food Security Network, ECO PEI, The Voluntary Resource Centre, and Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. She warmly invites you to contact her with any food lovin’ stories or ideas you would like written about.

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