Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a rookie in the kitchen, the holiday season is an excuse for you step outside of your comfort zone in order to deliver a feast that your guests will remember for years to come. This could mean dusting off a 100-year-old family recipe or creating your own tradition that sets a new benchmark for holiday meals. Whichever you decide, the Willy Street Co-op Meat department is here to help you plan your menu. You can special order any item and we can customize cuts and roasts in order to fit all your needs this season. Here are some suggestions.

BEEF
A simple rump, round or sirloin roast beef is always a crowd pleaser. Slightly more impressive would be a prime rib roast with au jus, a brisket or a full tenderloin garnished with mushrooms and root vegetables. Consider coating your roast in a crust of multicolored peppercorns and herbs. Our beef is sourced from both Black Earth Meats and Cates Family Farm as well as Organic Prairie and is always well-marbled, tender and flavorful. We also carry an assortment of summer sausages for snacking and meat and cheese trays.

PORK
Our meat case is regularly stocked with Willow Creek Pure-bred Berkshire Pork in boneless loin chops, rib chops and boneless loin roasts. If you would like to increase the “wow” factor, we are able to prepare pork roasts crowned or frenched with advance notice. We will also have a variety of boneless and bone-in hams which require little more than heating and garnishing with your favorite herbs, fruits or vegetables (such as small, hot peppers for color and a little spice). Remember to pick up sausage for stuffing and some bacon or sausage for your holiday or New Year’s brunch.

POULTRY
Simple to prepare and nearly universally appealing, it’s no wonder that roast chicken and turkey are a perennial favorite at the holiday table. We certainly have you covered in that regard with a variety of fresh, frozen, free-range and organic choices from Bell & Evans, Ferndale and Organic Prairie. Consider Cornish game hens as a main course for a dinner party. Or maybe this is the year that you try Muscovy Duck from Grimaud Farms, Eberly Capons or even a holiday goose. These are a succulent and flavorful alternative to the traditional chicken—especially if you love dark meat. We stock some of these birds and are able to order all of these with some notice.

LAMB
Leg of lamb as a holiday main course is either traditional or special, depending where you’re from. Fight the urge to slather it in mint jelly and consider roasting it with sea salt, pepper and fresh herbs such as oregano and rosemary. Add peeled potatoes and root vegetables to the drippings and braising liquid for the last hour for a memorable side. Braise some shanks or shoulder slowly on low heat and make a lamb ragu. We carry Black Earth Meats Halal Lamb and Pinn-Oak Lamb and can prepare a leg roast bone-in or boned and rolled as well as other favorites like rack of lamb or crown roast of lamb.

BUFFET & HORS D’OEUVRES
For a more casual dinner or New Year’s Eve party, think about a simple menu that just needs to be kept warm in chafing dishes or crockpots. Chuck roast or beef brisket in a beef gravy, pork shoulder for pulled pork or carnitas, Smart Chicken wings and drummies or an assortment of skewers and kabobs (there’s no law against grilling in winter). Along with an assortment of prepackaged sausages, we make a variety of our own sausages on a weekly basis including bratwurst, Italians, Thai, Chicken, and Turkey, Moroccan Lamb and Chorizo. All of our sausage is made in-house and uses all our own meats with no fillers and organic herbs and spices. We carry Bell & Evans chicken livers and Willow Creek braunschweiger for making pates.

GENERAL ADVICE/TIPS

  • Whether it’s a beef, lamb or pork roast or whole bird, remember to let it rest at least 15 to 20 minutes before carving.
  • If you don’t already have one, buy a meat thermometer on your next holiday shopping excursion.
  • Save your bones for soups and stocks! It only takes a few hours, a stockpot, water, celery, onion, carrots, bay leaves, peppercorns and salt. You can freeze stock for months and use as needed.

We hope this overview of some of our specialty cuts and products we offer help to make your holiday a memorable one. If you are looking for something you didn’t see listed, feel free to ask us and if we can’t get it we will help you track it down. Happy Holidays!

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