Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Van Allen Farms in Glenmont
The Wife, the Giblet-meister General, and I stopped in at Van Allen Farms (Yelp link for all you weirdo Yelp people, they don't have a website of their own) the other day. Van Allen Farms has pretty good reputation as a butcher/market among the Bethlehem/Delmar set, so we decided to check it out. The small and unassuming store is on 9W in Glenmont. I like the above picture because the store is receiving a Freihofer's delivery. I know Freihofer's is not our local gem anymore (bought out by the Mexican bakery giant Bimbo), but I like to pretend.
The inside of the store is fairly small, one corner is dominated by some neat old farm machinery. A smattering of market dry goods is available, but I was more interested in the meats. I didn't get any good pictures of the inside because I always feel weird about snapping away in front of the proprietors, I feel rude. They had a good selection of fresh looking beef and pork at reasonable prices. I will probably fulfill many of my butchery needs here, as I find the slightly closer McCarrol's a bit expensive.
I ended up buying some of their bacon and Italian sausage. The products came nicely wrapped in proper butcher paper.
Here is the raw bacon.
Here it is cooked.
I indulged a deep bacon craving by making a giant bacon hoagie and split it with my wife.
The bacon is very good, not quite as smoky as Rolf's bacon, but very good. Sometimes you are in the mood for smoky bacon, and some times you are in the mood for less smoky bacon. It is good to have options. I am curing up some sweet honey bacon that I don't plan on smoking right now.
Here is the Italian sausage.
I am not a big Italian sausage fan, but my wife's parents swear that I make the best sausage and peppers, I am going down to see them this weekend and they requested a batch. Sausage and peppers is not my particular cup of chai, but they like it. My only real secrets are that I poach the sausage before browning, and that I cook everything separate. First I brown the (poached) sausage, then the peppers, than the onions. I add everything together at the very end, deglaze with more wine than most would use, spice/season, and add a couple hand crushed canned tomatoes. This only gets stewed for about 20 minutes. I don't really like the greasy, heavy tomato sauce that a lot of people make with this dish.
Anyhow, Van Allen Farms seems like a solid butcher. I am going to follow up and ask them about their sources next time I go, I will let you know what I find out as I can't track down too much info about them on the internets.