Jack Matusek makes food real again and it is not about all the fancy hipster stuff.Read More
By Laura Ewert | WELT Iconist | Berlin | August 2017 | © WorldN24 GmbH. All rights reserved.
The modern butcher blogs and goes on educational journey
(Translated from Deutsch)
The butcher is often thick in movies, a bit angry. Sometimes bald. Chabrol rather thick-haired. He is wearing a white apron or white rubber boots and has reddened skin. He saws animals apart and leaves them on large hooks through the slaughterhouse. A place for psychotherapists. Battles are not nice.
Jack Matusek is beautiful. He is wearing a cowboy hat, long brown hair, sometimes green cowboy boots, sometimes a jeans shirt. A soft face. There are many photos of him, because he is a blogging butcher, in English, it sounds as nice as it looks: blogging butcher. He has large pieces of meat in his hand, he shows swine-ear terrines, or how to rouse a whole animal. On his "Raw Republic Meats" page, he writes about his travels, where he wants to learn everything about the craft. The 26-year-old is the proof that even slaughterers can become pop stars today - it helps of course if they look like this.
The slaughterer's new star potential is well explained by the rules of modern gourmets, who eat his bread only artisan and carrots grow blue or crooked. For him, food must be fresh, easily prepared with effort, best self-cultivated. And, of course, ethically correct. This is a tedious business, particularly in meat. One that moves the minds tremendously, in the face of animal protection, in which cow eyes look sadly from truck slits. In the case of conscious eaters, it is, therefore, a good idea to try to find out whether you can kill your food yourself (see the book "Eating Animals"), or at least making a few sausages yourself.
This explains why the butcher is so interested.
Traveling around the world all over the world
This craftsmanship charmed Matusek. He is a Texan, seventh generation.
Texas is known for one of the most important economic sectors in the country, the cattle breeding. In 2011 the US produced more than one billion kilos of beef . "I grew up on a ranch. As a child, I enjoyed playing in the kitchen and refined my childish cooking skills, says Matussek. Combining cooking and cattle seemed to me a suitable idea."
At first, he studied history and business administration, where he also developed a business plan for a delicacy butchery. This idea grew more and more in him. "So I canceled the job offers after my graduation and decided to learn everything about the butcher's trade." That was 2015. Since then, he has been on an educational journey with regard to meat.
Jack Matusek first researched, wrote e-mails, and asked at various companies if he could learn from them. He enrolled at the best Fleischer school in the USA, Fleishers Craft Butchery in Brooklyn, New York. Because there was no free place for him, he worked in the next slaughterhouse to learn the basics.
At the same time, he began writing his blog. "I wanted to create a way to teach people about good meat with recipes and video tutorials." That's how you see how he cooks his steak. Directly in the fire. He calls it "Dirty Steak", and the video, in which he explains that you have to leave it four minutes per side in the fire to enjoy it "medium rare" is underlined with action music.
Finally, he moved to Europe. "If you want to learn to surf, go to California, if you want to learn something about sausage, go to France," he had read somewhere. So he sold his car, grabbed his backpack and went to France together with a cowboy hat and a good finish.
Learn from the best butcher
There he worked at the slaughterhouse, on a farm, in a restaurant, ate a lot and learned a lot about French sausages. He spent his 25th birthday at the "Le St. James", a Michelin-starred restaurant in Bordeaux.
Then he went on to Panzano in the Chianti, where he worked with his hero Dario Cecchini, the most famous butcher of Italy. Bill Buford, a New York journalist, was already working as a butcher's assistant. Cecchini sells the self-cut meat in his restaurant "Officina della Bistecca" (Italian for steak workshop).
Matusek then went to France again. In the Gascogne, he was introduced to the secret of national sausage specialties such as Pâté de Tête. He learned how to make the boneless ham Noix de Jambon from a pig's leg, and that any excess blood can cause the meat to rot during drying.
He also studied in Peru, Argentina, and Mexico. "Each country has its own style, which depends above all on local products. But also the climate and the weather influence the way of preparation and storage." A bit like the wine. The Germans, he says, are very exact at slaughter. They would hardly leave meat on the bone. The French cut rather elegantly.
Like a cook, a butcher always has his knives, he recommends that of F. Dick. Matusek's favorite sausage specialty is the Italian Coppa of the Schweinenacken. And he loves Hanger steak, the tail of a long bison loin. He likes to work, the boy from the cattle country, but now with pig. "I just know the most about it now." And his favorite vegetable? This is the potato: "So versatile!" The best sausage is made from fresh ingredients, he says. Naturally. He is enthusiastic about Chorizo: "With different types of peppers, smoked, spicy or bittersweet." In addition, only meat from animals, which had grown well.
With extreme vegetarians , he had so far no problems. "Vegetarians love the welfare of the animals, just like me. Animals have to live a happy life, and they have a right to pain-free and decent slaughter. "
Battles, Blogging, and Travel
Matusek is currently working in Denmark, where he is working for a few months. At the end of August, he will come to Germany and look at some pig farms and abattoirs. For the future, he has nothing less than to produce the best sausage specialties in the world. For this, he has to found a company in which he can control everything - from the breeding of the animals through their rearing to their slaughter. "I hope I will return to my ranch in Texas and build an ethically correct slaughter house, with pig farming. And a school for the butchers."
In the meantime, he wants to travel further, to continue writing, to continue learning, to continue, as in Copenhagen at the annual "Butcher's Manifesto Summit". There meet Fleischer from all over the world, to formulate goals for the craft and to exchange ideas about what the world's foodie now calls charcuterie : Superstar meat products.
from Dallas Morning News / June 6, 2017 / Coryanne Ettiene, Special Contributor
If you haven't already, it's time to get on board the charcuterie craze sweeping Dallas. Not too long ago you needed a vacation to Europe or some hidden neighborhood in New York City to find mouth-watering charcuterie. But now, thanks to a growing number of butchers and chefs with a culinary curiosity for this time-honored technique, it is not hard to find a shop or restaurant featuring charcuterie with enthusiasm.
Jack Matusek, 25, of Raw Republic Meats is a native Texan from Yoakum who spent the last year studying the art of butchery and charcuterie from some of the biggest names in the industry. He is now completing his butcher training in Europe with the aim of returning to Texas to open his own shop in Fort Worth and a wholesale charcuterie program on his family farm in Yoakum.
"A big difference between Europe and the United States when you start talking charcuterie is prevalence," Matusek says. "Europeans initially preserved their meat using these methods before the invention of refrigeration. You can find some form of charcuterie or cured meat on just about every lunch table in France or Italy. Charcuterie is a staple in the European diet while it is emerging as a specialty item here in the states."
For him, charcuterie is "just like wine, certain tastes or hints in charcuterie develop because of the weather, protein source, or storage and curing conditions."
From spicy, tangy salamis to full-bodied, nutty pates, charcuterie embodies a wide-reaching plethora of incredible flavors and textures that whisper tasting notes specific to the terrain and environment it is produced in.
With so many old-world favorites and emerging flavors to choose from, Matusek says you can't go wrong with a quality prosciutto or culatello, both products from the ham that get aged for two or more years.
"With a curing cycle that long, some incredible flavors develop that aren't found in other types of short-term cured meats," he says.
If you are looking for something that will add a kick to your board, Matusek is in love with nduja, a spicy, spreadable salami. He recently dined at Knife Dallas and highly recommends their nduja and other charcuterie.
And for the adventurous eater, Matusek suggests lardo, a cured and seasoned back fat sliced paper thin.
"It's a delicious addition to a charcuterie board made from a part of the pig that usually gets overlooked," he says.
The rising popularity of charcuterie in Dallas is due in great part to an emerging number of local chefs who are experimenting with curing meats. Start at Lucia in the Bishop Arts District and order their salumi misti — a tasting of house-made cured meats such as lardo, nduja and rabbit terrine.
Pop over to The Blind Butcher in Lower Greenville for another take on in-house cured meats. Chef Oliver Sitrin's menu is what he calls "worldly local," adapting with the seasons and sourcing local to match his global palate.
For Sitrin, the charcuterie trend appeals to the artisan, small-batch consumer that is gaining momentum. It's thanks to the "animal movement that is helping people become aware of waste, but also moving them to try different parts of the animal they may not have been willing to try before," he says.
"Recently we have had more people asking for fun things like head cheese, rillettes and anything pastrami," he adds. "We do a few different types of bacon, and people seem to really enjoy anything you can turn into bacon these days."
His menu reads like a love letter to cured meats. It's reminiscent of old world flavors but with a contemporary flair that draws you in and sparks a hungry meat-eater to try everything.
Try it at home
For those looking to embrace charcuterie at home, Jimmy's Fine Food Store in East Dallas has been dishing up charcuterie long before it was a buzzword on the tip of every foodie's tongue.
Visit on a Saturday afternoon and you will find yourself sharing a line with locals hungry for smoked prosciutto or Beretta spicy salami. Their old-fashioned deli counter packed with a huge selection of charcuterie, cheese and Italian delicacies is a must for those looking to create the perfect board.
A learning environment
You can always try your hand at curing your own meats. There is an emerging number of home cooks and hobby butchers that are learning the art of charcuterie with the hope of crafting their own spin on traditional cured meats inspired by restaurant boards and deli counter finds.
Matusek isn't the only chef passionate about educating consumers and chefs on the art of charcuterie. A variety of workshops by trained chefs and butchers are appearing across the country. You don't have to attend full-blown culinary school to get a taste of the cure.
Cuisine University held a charcuterie and salumi workshop in Dallas in April taught by chef Brian Polcyn, author of Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing.
"The recent popularity for charcuterie has been going on for about seven years, maybe a little longer," says Vic Rose of Cuisine University. "Chef Polcyn's book was the one book that really got many of the young chefs interested in charcuterie."
You could also head to Austin and visit Salt & Time, a butcher shop and restaurant, for classes on meat curing basics and sausage-making.
Coryanne Ettiene is a McKinney freelance writer. / Dallas Morning News / June 6, 2017
YOAKUM - A self-professed carnivore, Jack Matusek, has traveled around the world to learn the craft of butchery.
Matusek grew up outside Yoakum and graduated from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth before bucking corporate culture for the life of a craft butcher.
He began his meat mission at a packing house in Hallettsville. Then he headed to New York City to a three-month butcher training program.
"I was raised here in South Texas. I'm used to the $2 pork chop," he said. "It was kind of eye-opening to go to New York where they have pasture raised pork that's like $7.50 a pound. It's like, what's so special about it? Why am I paying $7.50 for a pork chop?"
Matusek soon learned that for craft butchers to get the taste they sought they were working more closely with farmers.
"You have to taste it. You have to eat it. You have to experience it," he said. "There's been a lot of tender love and care that's gone into this meat."
From a fellow classmate in New York City, Matusek learned about a cooking school in France led by Kate Hill.
"We all are interested in touching our customer base and teaching them more about the food. It's not just good for business," Hill said. "The consumer has to appreciate what goes into it, not just the work but the joyfulness."
Craft butchers are a movement of meat producers returning to the small, local butchery that was once the norm. Part of the movement is a kind of radical transparency, where meat eaters are invited to witness butchers break down an animal.
"First, it was chefs that were the rockstars in the food world," Hill said. "Now, it's the butchers. And we're trying to pass it on to the farmer."
Hill's model for bringing attention to the farmer came from Dominique Chapolard, who has about 100 acres in France that he farms with his family. Chapolard and his family craft their meat from field to the local market, where they share with their customers the best ways to cook their product.
"It begins when you put the seed in the soil, and when you finish, the customer eats," Chapolard said.
While studying overseas, Matusek ate traditional French dishes, such as blood sausage, pate, and beef tartar. But he understands that the French palate and Texan palate are very different. He plans to open up a butcher shop and supper club in the Dallas- Fort Worth area with hopes to eventually have a pig farm and slaughterhouse on his family ranch near Yoakum.
His dishes will be more traditionally Texan because he is Texan and is proud of what the state's landscape has to offer.
"You can't just go full bore and say, 'Here's blood sausage, eat it,'" he said. "I need to Tex-ify a little bit of everything I learned over in Europe. I can't bring over a French pate, but maybe throw in some jalapenos, maybe some pecans. Making it more similar to what Texans are used to eating."
From the Victoria Advocate
Jan. 24, 2017
By Sara Sneath