Porterhouse. Rib Eye. Filet Mignon. Are you hungry yet? From city-style hot spots to down-home dining rooms, here are eleven of the Valley’s best places to find the beef
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Josh Applestone is every bit the old-style butcher his grandfather and great-grandfather were before him. He and his wife, Jessica, run Fleisher’s, the only independent butcher shop in the Valley, selling organic, pasture-raised meat from local farms.
Butcher is an odd profession for a former vegan — even one who worked for years as a chef. The switch came after Josh made what he calls “a mixed marriage” (“Jessica ate meat, and I didn’t”). The couple’s concern about the cruelty of most animal husbandry and a desire for “clean” meat led them to open this delightfully old-fashioned store in June 2004. “It was the only way to deliver a product that’s safe, treated humanely — and very tasty,” says Josh, whose grandfather taught him butchering skills.
These days, Josh picks up whole animals from local slaughterhouses, delivers some to restaurants in New York, and cuts the rest for the shop, which also carries farm-cured bacon, local cheeses, dairy products, and organic dry goods.
“Josh and I eat nose to tail — tongues, everything,” says Jessica. “These animals died for us, so nothing goes to waste.” Scraps become sausages (they make 18 types), bones go into stock, suet becomes soap or bird food.
As with all artisanal products, prices are a little higher — but you also get cooking tips. “Pasture-raised meat has a very beefy, full-bodied flavor, and cooks much more quickly than supermarket meat,” Jessica says. Here’s her suggestion for cooking a Fleisher’s steak (she recommends their aged sirloin):
Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Heat an oven-proof pan on the stovetop until it’s searingly hot (add a little oil, if you wish). Cover the room-temperature steak with coarse salt, and sear each side for one to three minutes, depending on thickness, until there’s a nice, brown crust. Place the pan in the oven for four to six minutes. “I like to put a dollop of butter on top,” says Jessica. “Josh usually puts a dollop of bone marrow reduction, but he’s decadent that way.”
307 Wall St., Kingston
► How well do you know your cuts? Keep clicking to read about everything from the T-Bone to the tenderloin, plus a few fun facts