A popular Nashville butcher shop now delivers its high-quality, pasture-raised meat across the whole country — here’s what it’s like

A popular Nashville butcher shop now delivers its high-quality, pasture-raised meat across the whole country — here’s what it’s like

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When the residents of Nashville want a good cut of meat for dinner or a barbecue, they stop by butcher shop Porter Road, where everything is sourced from a local farm and hand-cut by people who know their meats.

The neighborhood favorite, which opened in 2011, was founded by trained chefs Chris Carter and James Peisker, who realized while shopping for their catering business that it was difficult to find quality meat, even when they visited farmer’s markets.

In 2018, they took the business online to recreate the local experience for home cooks nationwide. “Bringing Porter Road online truly happened out of necessity, as we had friends, family and loyal customers outside of Nashville who kept telling us they couldn’t find good quality, humanely-raised meat,” says Peisker.

Porter Road

Porter Road sells beef, pork, lamb, and chicken, which is conveniently delivered to your door so you can enjoy the taste and care of the original Tennessee butcher shop, whether you live one state over or on the other side of the country.

Meat quality is undeniably affected by how the animal is fed and raised. All the animals sent to Porter Road’s processing facility are pasture-raised and treated humanely on carefully vetted farms in Kentucky and Tennessee. They aren’t given any added hormones or antibiotics, and live under the least amount of stress possible. When it comes to sourcing meat ethically so you can consume it with peace of mind, Porter Road ticks off all the boxes.

Porter Road

The company’s beautifully designed website and large selection of cuts make shopping for dinner very enjoyable, not to mention educational. You can browse by type of meat and further narrow your choices by cooking time and cooking gear (e.g. oven, grill, sous vide).

Intrigued by osso bucco, but not sure what part of the cow it is or the best way to cook it? Porter Road will tell you with its illustrations and cooking notes so you can experiment with new cuts without feeling intimidated.

The possibilities for all the delicious recipes you can cook will start brewing in your head as you shop through the many cuts offered, from a rich oxtail to smoky andouille links. The site has curated Combo Kits to get you started or make your party shopping easy, but you can also pick and choose your favorite cuts to create a box that any carnivore will drool over.

The Porter Road Starter Pack ($100) includes: two dry-aged steaks, two pork chops, two pounds of dry-aged ground beef, two pounds of bacon, one pound of country sausage, and one pound of chorizo sausage.

Porter Road

If you’re not sure where to start, Carter can’t recommend the Denver Steak enough: “It is a very large, marbled piece of meat that has a nice chew, incredible flavor and grills up incredibly well. It’s also very versatile. My preferred cooking method is to sous vide, then char it on the grill. You can also braise it like short ribs, or sear it in a hot cast iron pan. No matter how you cook it, it will be incredible.”

Peisker says the St. Louis Pork is his personal hometown favorite: “St. Louis Pork Steaks are a lazy cook’s fantasy. They’re a lesser-known cut that packs a ton of great flavor, cut from the top half of the shoulder. We leave the bone in to maximize the flavor. We like to char the steaks heavily first then cook them slow and low in BBQ sauce and beer.”

Porter Road

For $100, I personally picked up these cuts:

Connie Chen/Business Insider

Four days after I placed my order, they arrived safe and cold in an insulated box, and I got to cooking. Everything cooked and tasted great — the filet mignon was tender and juicy, the loose sausage had an elevated taste thanks to Porter Road’s addition of sage, ginger, fennel bulb, and garlic, and the lamb shoulder and oxtail were perfect for a slow cooker. Any cut I didn’t cook immediately stored well in the freezer, but still tasted fresh and delicious on the plate.

I wouldn’t hesitate to order from Porter Road again because it clearly cares about sharing the best meat and best cooking experience with its customers, from the way it carefully controls its sourcing process to how it designed its digital shopping experience.

While competitor ButcherBox can be a commitment and investment because it sends you large quantities of meat, Porter Road offers a more flexible, but equally high-quality service with its array of à la carte options. Even though I can’t physically visit its Nashville shop and meet the founders in person, in a way I already feel like I have after shopping on and buying from its online shop.

You can shop beef, pork, lamb, and chicken at Porter Road here

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