the butcher

Yesterday we found a butcher in Hampton Roads, Central Meats.  What an adventure.  Founded in 1960, the decor represents a time when it wasn’t the ambiance, it was the product.  This wasn’t a Whole Foods kind of place or Whole Foods kind of crowd.  Ten foot long refrigerated cases with every imaginable cut of beef and pork and handmade sausages that were perfect.  The butchers stood on a raised platform ready to grant your every wish.  The choices seemed endless, from ten inch thick cowboy steaks to pigs tongues, with pheasant sausage and pig spleen in between. This is how we grew up.  You bought your groceries at the grocery store and your meat at the butcher.  We were in hog and cow heaven!

The Menu:  Beef Ragu, Oven Roasted Winter Vegetables, Fresh Bread & Baked Custard with Peach Coulis


  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons herbs de provence
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 medium sweet yellow onion, diced
  • small can good quality tomato paste
  • 4 lb chuck roast

Combine first six ingredients in the bottom of a 4-5 quart dutch oven

  • place roast on top of tomato paste mixture
  • cover with two cups water
  • cook, covered, for 8 hours at 275
  • remove roast from dutch oven to a large bowl
  • shred meat with two forks
  • using a bulb baster in reverse, skim off the fat
  • reduce the liquid as desired over medium high heat on the top of the stove
  • pour liquid over the meat in the bowl
  • serve over polenta


  • one leek
  • small celery roots
  • two small kohlrabi
  • one medium carrot
  • two small fennel bulbs
  • 1 cup snap peas

Preheat oven to 425.

  • cut vegetables into bite sized pieces
  • coat lightly with olive oil
  • sprinkle with sea salt-we used Falsalt Wild Garlic
  • place in a single layer on a large cookie sheet
  • roast 20-30 minutes until browned and carmelized


preheat oven to 350

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • pour milk and vanilla into medium saucepan and over medium heat, bring to a boil. remove from heat
  • in a medium heatproof bowl combine eggs and egg yolks and whisk to blend
  • whisk in the sugar
  • slowly add hot milk, whisking gently to blend
  • pour into 4 cup ramekin or baking dish
  • place baking dish in a large roasting pan; fill pan 2/3 with hot water; carefully place in the oven
  • bake for 40-50 minutes until set and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean
  • cool to room temperature

We served the custard with the last of our fresh picked peaches from the summer.  We cooked them over low heat with 1/3 cup sugar until syrupy and let them cool before serving.  You could still taste the summer in them.

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One Response to the butcher

  1. carrie says:

    Love oven roasted veggies.

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