Top 5 Butcher Shops in Mississauga
Ah... "Summertime and the Grillin' is Easy" - that's my motto for some delicious alfresco cooking and it all starts with a trip to one of my Top 5 Butcher Shops in Mississauga. When it comes to shopping for items to toss on the BBQ, I prefer to skip the larger grocery store's pre-packaged meat aisle and head to a local butcher whose knowledge I can count on. These featured butchers are experts in their field and they offer genuine customer service. They have developed a long standing relationship with their suppliers, they know the quality level of the product and are well versed on the many different cuts of meat available - for me, they all top my list of go to deliciousness. Whether you are heading off to the cottage for the long week-end or to a backyard cook-off; plan on visiting one of these butcher shops and get ready to cook up something succulent and incredibly tasty.
(Trevor Clark and Belinda Rice of Elmwood Meat Market)
Whenever I walk into Elmwood Meat Market the friendly owners, Ali Jiwani and Trevor Clark, and their staff are always there with a smile and happy to answer a question or two about specific cuts of meat, cooking time or just to catch up on daily life. Belinda Rice, who has been the Deli Manager from the start, runs the front end of the shop and is known as "the face of Elmwood". Ali and Trevor have been behind the butcher block and in business together for thirty-four years and both have plenty of experience in the industry - Ali's family was in the hog and poultry farming business in Europe and over the years they owned several butcher shops in Mississauga. Trevor started his career on the slaughter house floor and then moved onto working at a small butcher shop in Knowle, England where he learned his craft. He makes a traditional roast beef for their deli counter and all the savory pies like tourtiere, steak and kidney, chicken and sheppards pie. Both ,Ali and Trevor, take pride in the fact that they deal with smaller, local Ontario farms that offer natural meat products without the use of hormones or antibiotics. Ali goes onto explain; "Over the last fifteen years, our customers are more educated about the food they eat and are demanding better quality and organic products therefore, to meet the demand, we carry certified organic meats from Beretta Farms and Yorkshire Valley Farms as well as naturally raised meat products from Rowe Farms and Cumbrae Farms." Along with their top quality cuts of beef, lamb and pork, you can also find organic, Irish salmon which is available year-round, frozen sea-food and the popular in house marinated beef ribs or Moroccan lamb kebobs. Now onto the topic of steak - Elmwood offers a variety of cuts (rib-eye, T-bone, N.Y. Strip-loin and tenderloin) and in order for these cuts to be tender and juicy, Elmwood likes to dry-age their meat for 21-28 days. They also recommend a steak with good marbling for the best taste. Elmwood Meat Market is the perfect, local butcher shop for all my grilling needs - the meats are top-notch and their customer service is sincere and always served with a smile.Not Just Steaks
(Frank DiGenova of Not Just Steaks)
Step into Not Just Steaks and you're stepping into a little taste of Italy. Shop owner Frank DiGenova's grandfather was a shepherd and a butcher in the mountainous region of Abruzzi, Italy. His traditional views on raising and caring for the animals, before they were sent to the slaughterhouse, were passed down to Frank's father, also a butcher, who in turn passed his knowledge onto Frank. The day I met with Frank, the shop was filled with the comforting aroma of roasting chickens and ribs slowly churning in the rotisserie oven. "I wanted to create a one stop gourmet shop for my customers - they've been loyal over the years therefore I relocated from Lorne Park Rd. to this larger Mississauga Road location so I could offer them more meat and produce choices and an array of specialty food items," says Frank. There's a full-time chef on the premises cooking up delicious take-out items for the steam table and they also have pre-marinated leg of lamb, seasoned burgers and chicken - all easy to toss on the grill. (That evening, I grilled up some coconut-lime marinated chicken legs that were really supurbe.) Looking around the store, I was intrigued by a huge stainless steel vat of olive oil; Frank explained that he imports the filtered-once, extra virgin olive oil from a small olive grove in the Abruzzi region and it arrives in January but sells out by September. My taste buds were further ignited when we moved onto the meat counter; there on display was a 40oz. bone in cowboy steak- heat up the BBQ , sear the steak on all sides to seal in the juices and then cook on indirect heat for about 20 minutes, remove from the grill and let the steak rest. Finish with a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of the speciality olive oil. Now keep in mind that this steak is meant for sharing but if you have the appetite - go for it - it's heaven on a plate for all carnivores!The Apple Market
(James Tiveron and Mike Pirri of the Apple Market)
Don't let the name fool you, The Apple Market doesn't specialize only in apples; this independent, family owned and run grocery store has been around for over 40 years and has evolved from being a small fruit stand, operating out of the Tiveron family barn to what is now one of the more sophisticated one-stop-shops for farm fresh produce, prepared foods, specialty food items, a health and wellness section plus an in-house butcher and deli counter. James Tiveron, along with his sister Jennifer and her husband, Mike Pirri are the next generation to continue in the footsteps of their grandfather and their parents. In my discussion with Mike and James, it's obvious that both men are savvy when it comes to knowing their client base and the need to keep up with the times, they created a Facebook page to inform customers of "pop-up" specials plus they have an in store flyer . I then asked James about the butcher counter and he explains, "We offer Angus beef that's aged six to eight weeks, Ontario lamb, chicken and pork and our staff is well- trained to "coach" our customers through dinner with fresh ideas if they are stuck." The top grilling items in demand include their in-house made natural beef burgers (I've tried them and they are juicy and full of flavour), chicken and turkey burgers, sausages, marinated skewers of steak or chicken with fresh vegetables, seasoned ribs and flattened, marinated chicken. James also mentions that every day he roasts an outside round cut of beef for their deli counter which is perfect for sandwiches to take on a summer picnic. Even though this is grill season, James wanted me to know that they adapt with the seasons and come fall they will carry fresh turkeys and hams from small Ontario farms, house-made meatloaf, pot roasts or cubes of meat for the slow-cooker. For now I will look forward to some more of those natural burgers but that comforting feeling of a roast turkey in the oven is also something to look forward to.Paramount Butcher Shop
(Mohammad of Paramount Butcher Shop)
Paramount Butcher Shop has been open since March 2012 however, if you've eaten at one of their four restaurants you will know that this is the place for your tastebuds to explode. The new 3,400 sq.ft, Middle Eastern shop prides itself in offering "high quality Halal meat" in a pristine, "boutique concept" enviornment. The term Halal is "the Arabic word for permitted or lawful therefore the food is permitted under Islamic guidelines" and most importantly, that the livestock is raised traditionally, so it's free of anitbiotics and hormones and is slaughtered manually in a clean enviornment. I met with Mohammad,one of the shop's head butchers, and he gave me a tour of each of the display cases showcasing the variety of fresh dry-aged Angus steaks, lamb and poultry as well as their incredible selection of marinated items. My mouth was watering as I checked out the trays of marinated beef short ribs, chicken and beef shawarma, shish tawouk , spicy tandoori chicken, links of specialty lamb sausages and Middle Eastern beef kebbeh, which is similar to steak tartare. Mohammad tells me that their doors are open to everyone so if you are not familiar with this type of food, I really recommend that you venture out to Paramount Butcher Shop and speak with any of the friendly and knowledgeable butchers. They can guide you in terms of the spice level of the marinated meats and how easy it is to grill up some shawarma chicken, then stuff it into a pita with your favorite greens, some pink, pickled turnip, store-made hummus and let yourself be transported to an exotic land!Black Angus Fine Meats and Game
(Mike Kelly with butcher, Aaron, at Black Angus)
Get ready to take your grill over to the "wild side" when you visit Black Angus Fine Meats and Game. The company has two locations, one in Thornbury, ON and the other in a new facility on Revus Avenue in Mississauga. The Mississauga location is managed by Mike Kelly and Mark Chandler. Mike's dad has been in the industry for over twenty years and has created a niche market when it comes to offering exotic meat and game. Mike tells me; "For anyone who is health conscious, game meats are extremely nutritious because they are low in fat but high in protein and taste." The shop has a selection of venison, wild boar, game birds and, imported from Australia, - kangaroo and crocodile. Want to know what crocodile tastes like? Mike says it's similar to turkey. In the mood for burgers? No problem, the shop offers a variety of bison, venison and wild boar burgers which cook up really quickly (2-3 minutes per side on a hot grill) and are delicious in a whole grain bun with gourmet relish or caramelized onions. Now I cannot talk about Black Angus without mentioning their fresh Angus beef - Mike let me take a look in their temperature controlled meat locker which houses racks of their sixty-day, dry aged Angus beef all dated and ready for the grill once completely aged - it's a beautiful site! It's hard to do justice to the variety of products available at this unique butcher shop therefore, check out their detailed website for more information and wildly-delicious recipes - or, better yet, just pay them a visit and have a gander for yourself - you will be amazed.
Words and Photography by Ann Ivy Male