LOOKING FOR LOCAL LAMBS?
In a stall at this season’s Milwaukee County Winter Farmer’s Market at State Fair Park, Steve Pinnow offered a warm smile to shoppers stopping to look at the packaged cuts of lamb in his cooler. Pinnow and his wife, Darlene, are the affable owners of Delavan’s Pinn-Oak Ridge Farms. Their meat – chops, loin, boneless leg, rack, spare ribs – comes from Wisconsin lambs raised on a hormone- and antibiotic-free diet. The healthy feed gives this superior meat a clean, subtle flavor. Find it at Metcalfe’s Market in Tosa and Outpost Natural Foods. wisconsinlamb.com.
In a city where eating a brat is a religious experience of sorts, locals may look at the beefed-up attention on butchering, sausage making and meat curing as a throwback to the days when head cheese was hot stuff. It feels right. Karen Bell, a local chef best known for running the kitchen at Café at the Plaza for two years, had originally planned to open a restaurant but “naturally progressed toward the idea” of a butcher shop as she learned more about the politics of food, she says. Bell has spent the first quarter of this year getting Bavette La Boucherie (330 E. Menomonee St.) off the ground. At the Third Ward shop, slated to open this spring, Bell will make fresh sausages and offer various cuts of beef, pork, lamb and poultry from animals pasture-raised on small Wisconsin farms. The focal point of the room will be the counter (the old coffee bar from prior tenant Kafevino), where customers can eat a sandwich or soup and watch Bell at work.