One of my favorite sections of Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma was his description of Polyface Farm, a super-sustainable enterprise that raised livestock in a manner that did its best to imitate nature. Cows and chickens grazed one group after another in large fields of grass, with no need for hormone treatments or antibiotics. Sadly, the majority of Americans just don’t have access to meat produced in this way–even if the label says “organic” chances are the chicken or cow was raised in less-than-desirable conditions. Which is why I’m so excited that a sustainable meat & fish shop has just opened up around the corner from my apartment. As rarely as I eat red meat, when I do it’ll be nice to know that it’s grass-fed and sustainably raised.
McCall’s Meat and Fish Company is run by a husband-and-wife chef team, Karen Yoo and Nathan McCall, two of the nicest butchers you’ll ever meet. They both attended Le Cordon Bleu and have spent time in some very famous restaurants. Given that chefs have been touting both the health and taste benefits of grass-fed beef for years, it’s not surprising that two of them would open up a high-end butcher shop. Karen and Nathan know their stuff–before you pick your beef, poultry, or fish they’ll ask you how you plan to cook it and make suggestions regarding spices and preparation. They’ll also tell you exactly where your purchase came from and how fresh it is.
At the moment a shepherd’s pie made with a half pound of their grass-fed ground chuck is baking in my oven–judging by the smell that’s filling the kitchen I’m not going to be disappointed with the quality of the meat.
If you’re a non-vegetarian and live in the Los Feliz area, be sure to stop by McCall’s–I’m determined to keep these guys in business for as long as possible. Granted, high-end butcher shops aren’t likely to have much appeal outside of more affluent and trendy neighborhoods, but if more people start to see that sustainable meat & poultry production is popular and profitable, hopefully we’ll see more shops like this.