Photo by Chris Casella

Market Research

(Editor’s note: Stock & Barrel Photo Editor Chris Casella is a big fan of all things meat. So this month he begged the editorial staff to let him explore the world of curing meats, with the aid of several North Market vendors as his mentors. The results still have all of our mouths watering).

I love meat.

I am definitely a carnivore’s carnivore, so spending time with this trio of passionate and informative North Market vendors was the highlight of this photography assignment. With the right advice and information, there is no intimidation in cooking, and there is no better place to get your cooking questions answered. The merchants all work together, pointing customers to other merchants to pair their purchase with the other ingredients to make kitchen magic happen. From wine to spices to fish and meat, the North Market is a living food Wikipedia—a sort of cross-pollination of culinary inspiration.

Pork Butt Steak (six-pound)

For rub, mix together:

1/8 cup paprika

1/8 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup coarse salt

2 tbsp. fresh ground pepper

2 minced garlic cloves

2 tsp. orange zest

On the grill:

Apply rub and let marinate overnight. Set grill on high, sear the meat on all sides. Once meat is seared, reduce heat to low/medium and close the grill. Cook to an internal temperature of 150-155 degrees.

Cured Salmon

Salmon (skin on)

Smoky Maple Blend (available at Spice LTD)

Coarse/kosher salt

Prep and serving:

Completely cover the flesh side in Smoky Maple Blend and the skin side with kosher salt (this will help pull moisture from the skin). Place on a cutting board and tip the board over in a container to allow the water to drain off. Refrigerate (tipped in container) uncovered for seven days. After seven days, slice thin, and serve on toast points or your favorite bread.

The Meat Mentors

Ben Walters, Spices LTD

“We’ve been at the North Market for about five years, and we love to talk with our customers. If someone comes in and needs help, we have a lot of ideas. We ask what they plan on cooking, how they plan to cook it, and what they plan to serve with it so we can try and find the best flavor possible for that meal. We’ll take you anywhere you want to go by your taste buds.”

Doug Denny, Fish Guys

“Fish Guys was started by ‘Bob the Fish Guy’ in 1995, and I started working with him and I bought it in 2006.  We get fresh deliveries of product six days a week; the only day we don’t get shipments is Sunday. The heaviest delivery days are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Salmon is shipped in from the Faroe Islands in Denmark. We also get Alaska king salmon, Chilean sea bass from Antartica, swordfish from the North Atlantic…fish from all over the world.  If I don’t have something, we can special order items and have them shipped in.”

Jamie Smith-Johnson, Bluescreek Farm Meats

“We’ve been in the North Market for 22 years, we opened in ’93, and we’ve kind of expanded in what we offer. Originally we started with beef, and we have expanded to beef, lamb, goat, pork and veal.  We do sausages—lamb, beef, goat—all made in house. We have a lot of people that want to do their own, so we offer sausage-making classes. Our farm is located in Marysville, and we raise everything there and take it to a state-inspected slaughterhouse. Then we bring it here and break everything down. If we don’t carry something, we do work with a couple of other slaughter houses and can get special orders.”