Few scents say “summer” quite like the rich, smokey aromas wafting from a hot grill. But not all proteins are created equal, which means not all barbecues are either. If you really want to impress at your next cookout this summer, pick up fresh, local meat at one of these eight shops in Hastings County.
York River Meats & Whole Foods
198 Hastings Street North, Bancroft
You have a couple of solid meat options in the Bancroft area, including this family-owned and operated butcher shop and deli on the outskirts of town. Everything is high-quality at York River Meats, from the grass-fed beef and lamb to the fresh-cut roasts and ribs to the organic chicken and pork. And if you want to add some surf to your turf, check out the lobster, crab, scallops, and other seafood. You’ll also find a variety of non-meat organic and natural health foods here to round out your meal.
Jack’s Butcher Shop & Deli
27812 Highway 28, Bancroft
Jack’s is about a 10-minute drive west of Bancroft, but it’s worth the trek. This unassuming shop has been keeping locals and cottagers happy for years with a well-stocked variety of barbecue-friendly meats. Not sure what to get? Just ask owner-operator Penny, who has been at the helm since 1998 and is always willing to recommend what’s best. You can’t go wrong with the steaks, though. They’re as legendary as the home-baked butter tarts.
The Barn Chefs
5543 Highway 620, Coe Hill
Barn chefs Sarah and Luca are best known for their Italian-inspired charcuterie, cheeses, breads, and desserts, but they also stock barbecue-friendly proteins. And like all of the products on offer at their Coe Hill deli, these meats will be hard to beat. The two trained in the fundamentals of Italian cooking — simplicity, freshness, and quality — and you’ll taste them all whether you go for a ribeye steak or a rack of lamb. Just don’t forget a jar of spicy onion marmalade for the side.
One Stop Butcher Shop
37 Saint Lawrence Street West, Madoc
The name sums up this meat shop located in the heart of Madoc right beside Ace Pizzeria. No doubt you’ll be greeted by a smile and a bit of banter from owner Tim when you walk through the door. He’s been at the helm for about 30 years, so he knows his cuts well. You can’t miss with anything you choose at One Stop, but the ribeye steaks and homemade burgers are highly recommended. Another plus: great prices.
2553 Crookston Road, Tweed
Bob Palmateer is the man behind this well-stocked abattoir and meat shop just west of Tweed. You’ll find fresh and frozen cuts of beef, pork, and poultry here, as well as deli meat and frozen seafood like cod, haddock, and shrimp. If you’re barbecuing for a crowd, consider the 10-pound packs of beef, which you can get in burger, liver, stew, and steak form. You’ve got to try the sausages, though. They’re house-made, come in a variety of flavours, and are also available in 10-pound packs.
Enright Cattle Company
326 Hunt Road, Tweed
It’s all about beef and sustainability at this fourth-generation family farm and meat shop south of Tweed. Take your pick from hormone-free brisket, burgers, steaks, ribs, roasts, liver, stewing beef, stir fry strips, and sweetbreads. All cuts are dry-aged for about 21 days before they’re cut and packaged to give the beef an incredible tenderness and flavour. Can’t decide? Try a Kara’s Selection Box. These family-sized meat boxes are hand-picked based on the season and come with suggested recipes. enrightcattlecompany.com
Hastings Meat Market
570 Moira Road, Stirling
Locals have been flocking to this butcher shop for decades — and for good reason. The Widemans source all of their meats from local farms, they process each one using artisan-style methods, and they also do custom processing, including smoked options. Beef and pork are the specialities here, but for barbecues, go for the smoked pork chops or sausages. And for the ride home: jerky (trust me).
Ontario Water Buffalo Company
3346 Stirling Marmora Road, Stirling
This Hastings-famous dairy doesn’t only do mozzarella and other fine cheeses. Stop in to the Buff Stuff Store for a range of water buffalo products, including barbecue-friendly steaks, burgers, sausages, and roasts. Haven’t had water buffalo before? If you like red meat, you should like it too. It has a similar taste to beef, but it’s lower in fat and cholesterol and higher in protein. In other words, definitely throw in some buffalo milk gelato for a post-barbecue treat.