The cutting crew
What's a butcher's most important tool? The right attitude, says Chris de Waal, part-owner of Getaway Farm. As de Waal puts it, that means coming into work and asking "How do I use the whole animal, respect the farmer, respect the land and respect the animal?" Getaway aims to "bring healthy, sustainably produced, meat products" to Halifax, de Waal says, which entails not just raising the animals on the farm, but guiding them to consumers through Getaway's two shops: on Kaye Street in the Hydrostone, and at the Seaport Farmers' Market (pictured).
Roll with it
After the sides of beef (literally one side of the animal) have been aged for three weeks at the abattoir, they are brought to the shop. To make serving customers a bit easier for the butcher—like Andrew Hart, above—the sides hang from the ceiling on "the trolley," which runs from the fridge out to the shop tables.
The Schmancy Burger II
For Burger Week, Getaway Farm partnered with Stillwell (1672 Barrington Street) to create an extremely dry-aged beef burger. Dry-aging the beef before grinding it concentrates the flavour and tenderizes the meat, says de Waal.
Every week through the winter, Getaway's shops sell about 500 pounds of ground beef, and double that come summer. De Waal advises choosing a grind with as much fat as the dish or cooking can handle, because the fat is flavour. Getaway staff will suggest for DIY burgers you get medium-coarse ground beef, season simply with salt and pepper, then to cook to desired doneness.
The meat in the display was ground or cut from a larger piece of animal that day. And you don't just have to take their word for that—when customers ask about the freshness of the meat, de Waal says Getaway butchers have been known to reach into the display and eat a pinch of raw ground beef.