We all love our vegetarian friends, but sometimes the carnivores among us just want to chew the fat. And really, is there a better place to do that than at your local butcher?
Winnipeg is blessed with some choice cuts when it comes to finding quality meats, so don't bother with the supermarket, because these independent shops are all well marbled.
Whether you are looking for some old-school Italian sausage, dry-aged beef, often overlooked cuts from game, or meat from grass-fed cows that have lived the happiest of lives, we've got you covered.
Here, in no particular order, are our five favourite butcher shops:DeLuca's
Regulars often go for their top selling veal, but for me, it's all about the bangers. "We make about 1000 pounds of sausage per week," said Felice Tummillo, who has been working the butcher block at this Italian institution for the past 40 years.
Lamb leg being butchered at DeLuca's. (Mike Green)
That's a lot of sausage, but it all sells for a reason, be it pork and rapini, or their mouth watering chicken. You can also buy unique cuts like whole lamb shoulder, and they will do custom minces of lamb or pork to order.Frigs Natural Meats and More
They buy whole animals and everything is processed in house using no nitrates, wheat, MSG or any of that nonsense. Their house-smoked products like bacon and kubasa are crazy good, with just the right amount of fat and smoke and I've lately become obsessed with their frozen packs of free range chicken wings, as the thick skin crisps up so nicely.
And like the name says, all the animals used are raised naturally with no hormones or antibiotics.All Natural Meats
When Roger and Rachel Philippe bought the local abattoir in Carman, then opened up a shop attached to it to sell their own free range animals, locavore carnivores rejoiced. You simply can't find a more transparent operation when it comes to beef; as their 28 day aged cuts come from the family's very own bovine herd.
They also do sensational cuts of elk and bison and house made sausage. And get this, they deliver free to Winnipeg on Wednesdays (just place your order by Tuesday at noon).
Roblin Choice Meats
I was told that they will hate me for saying this, but the Maui ribs they dish out at this Charleswood butcher are alone worth the stop. These beef short ribs, cut flanken-style then marinated in a house made sauce, are unbelievable on the barbeque; you may get tears in your eyes from the depth of their flavour.
But call ahead to order please, because they have enough trouble keeping their regular supply stocked.G.J. Andrews
This often pricey little River Heights spot only carries aged meat, be it 50 to 100 days for their rib and New York steaks, or several weeks for their lamb products.
They have perfectly portioned short ribs cut ready to braise (and they will even grind them for you to make a better-binding, fattier burger), while their selection of interesting terrines, from wild boar and apricot, to duck and orange, make for welcome additions to any charcuterie board.
Related:Winnipeg's five best spots to feed your tots.