Meatsmith is the kind of butcher that everyone wants around the corner from their house.
The shop is a collaboration between Melbourne uber-chef Andrew McConnell and butcher Troy Wheeler, who started their relationship with wholesale restaurant trade but wanted to supply best quality heritage meats and skilled butchery to the general public.
From the outside it looks upmarket and somewhat intimidating but step inside and you realise that the products are very reasonably priced given the high quality of what’s stocked.
The gorgeous bright and sleek fitout by award-winning architectural and design practice Herbert & Mason (including the giant meat by Tin & Ed in the window!) and pristine cabinet presentation makes shopping there a delight.
The vision for Meatsmith is to partner with dedicated producers that raise ethically reared breeds and to specialise in on-site butchery drawing on Wheeler’s experience of seventeen years as a butcher. Wheeler also managed Peter Bouchier butchers for the past eleven years.
Everything is butchered or made fresh in house and the turnover of stock means that you can be confident that everything is fresh. For instance, when I go to buy some sausages I’m told that what is displayed in the cabinet is no good anymore so they won’t sell them to me. I am impressed by their honesty!
Along with meat you can buy premium cooked and cured meats, smallgoods and charcuterie.
Meatsmith also houses a food store filled with pantry items and kitchen accoutrements, from oils to vegetables, utensils to wine.
My favourite items from Meatsmith are their prepared meals – the sort of thing you can just bung in the oven or keep in the freezer. I was provided with a sample pack and but have since revisited the shop to restock. Everything has been kid-approved!
I highly recommend:
- House made lasagnas ($22) with bolognese, egg pasta, ricotta and parmesan which serves 2-3 people. I stockpile them as emergency meals (or give them to friends on maternity leave);
- Bolognese sauce ($13.50). I’m not normally a pasta-sauce-out-of-a-jar person but this bolognese is based on Heston Blumenthal’s recipe. A big jar lasts for 2-3 meals and again is great for emergencies.
- Sausage rolls ($4) with the most buttery, flaky pastry you can imagine and juicy pork, mustard and thyme filling inside. Seriously moreish;
- Classic Toulouse sausages or really any of their sausages;
- Duck confit legs ($42 per kilo, around $13 each) which are an easy but fancy meal crisped up in the oven along with some roast veg; and
- The famous slow-roasted lamb shoulder from Cumulus Inc ($45 feeds 4 people) which you only have to cook for 40 minutes in the oven. Impress your friends with a restaurant-quality dish at your next dinner party!
Finally, try their barbecue sauce! It’s smoky without being sweet and especially good with the sausage rolls. My 3yo will eat almost anything if he’s allowed to smear it with this barbecue sauce.
Meatsmith is the kind of food store that’s worth travelling for. The quality of the produce is impressive and the prices are surprisingly reasonable – so it’s not just a special occasion butcher. I’m addicted!