Butchers Saving Face-and Tongues and Hearts

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When you think butcher shop, you typically think about prime filets of beef or New York strips so flavorful that your mouth begins to salivate. But Tom Mylan, Brent Young, and Ben Turley, three butchers at the Meat Hook, a new butcher shop in Williamsburg, want to, at the risk of sounding overly corny,  feed your brain with a different kind of food for thought and it’s as far away from a T-bone steak as you could possibly imagine.

“Extreme meat” is what they’re pushing customers to sample and embrace, novelties such as duck heart, pork tongue, and other guts and organ meats. Most of us wouldn’t normally run right out to try and get a taste of this strange meat pie, but the trio swears by the said palette-pleasing flavors. The three previously worked together at butcher shop Marlow and Daughters where Mylan says the duck hearts were a huge hit. “People think that it will taste like liver or kidneys, which are an acquired taste, but they’re steak-y, so we’ve been turning people on to all these different ways to do heart,” he says. Heart sandwiches and salads anyone?

I say that as a joke of course, but that’s exactly what Turley did with one of his “extreme meat” creations. Slices of pork tongue were used as the bread of the sandwich, while herb-roasted sausage composed the meat-filling. Talk about extreme. How do you even ask your customers about their meal without either laughing or getting sick? Excuse me sir, would you like your tongue toasted or no? But as comical as it may sound, Turley says the shop had repeat customers who just couldn’t get enough tongue.

The Meat Hook shares space with Brooklyn Kitchen Labs, a 7,000-square-foot warehouse that offers cooking and butchering classes. The butchering classes for November are already sold out. Looks like tongues and hearts just may be a staple in the kitchens of normal, everyday families everywhere pretty soon here. As for the other random parts of the animals used in the trio’s cooking, well, those may take a bit longer to catch on. “If we have a lamb’s neck lying around, which is not enough to sell to someone as a braising item, we will debone it and stuff it and make it into a roast,” Young says. Sounds like a pretty intense task and method or preparation, one that I myself am not interested in taking on. I’ll leave the deboning of lambs’ necks to the butcher extraordinaires thank you.

Via: New York Daily News

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