If you live in San Francisco and haven't heard of Olivier's Butchery, you need to. This artisan butcher came to us from France and has started a small Butchery in the Dog Patch, bringing incredible meats to the area. The quality of meat is beyond outstanding. Boasting grass & grain-fed animals, humanely treated, and completely hormone-free, Olivier's is the spot for any cuts of meat one desires. When you walk into this unassuming fraction of a warehouse, there is a humble counter, a double-door fridge displaying all types and cuts of meat for immediate purchase, and a slight opening to the back butcher table. It is hard not to get mesmerized by the beautiful meat inside the display case. From full roasts, individual steaks, and perfectly tied roulades the selection is, well, magical. A staple in his display case are many types of sausage; breakfast, chorizo, lamb (merguez), and kielbasa are usually standard offerings. No matter what your selection is, it is guaranteed to be far more tasty than anything you'll find at Whole Foods or equivalent purveyor.
I recently indulged with some friends to split the contents of the Winter Box, which we dubbed Meat Box. It was an outstanding deal with a great variety of meats, which I had a lot of fun cooking. In the box was a couple of lamb shanks, three packages of different types of sausage, 2 packages of amazing ground beef, 2 packages of beef stew meat, pork belly, flank steak, hanger steak and a whole chicken. After portioning off much of the box to each person, I sent out on an ambitious menu starting with the lamb shanks. After much debate I decided to braise them in some red wine and fresh pitted cherries. To say they came out great is an understatement. The meat was melt-in-your-mouth delicious, complemented by a savory and slightly sweet reduction sauce of the braising liquid. Paired with some pearl cous cous cooked risotto style with some black trumpet mushrooms, dandelion greens, and fresh ricotta, the meal was stellar. I couldn't get over how tasty the meat was. And, that thought echoed a few times over when the next few meals were created.
Going on in no particular order, the meals created out of the 'Meat Box' were no short of incredible. Balsamic flank steak sandwich with Humboldt Fog Cheese, Roasted Brined Chicken & Bread Salad ala Zuni Cafe, Sausage Sampler Platter with dipping sauces, and one incredible Bacon Cheese Burger. It is truly tough to explain how good this meat was. The steak melted in your mouth, the chicken was extremely savory, juicy and flavorful, and the sausages were just outstanding. I have made most of these dishes using a lesser quality of meat and the difference is extremely noticeable. Olivier's Butchery would be my first pick as a meat purveyor for any occasion. And, he also hosts weekend BBQ's cooking up an assortment of sausage and seasonal cuts. So, if you're not into cooking the meat, then you have an option to have it grilled directly off of the butcher table.
So, in short, go there!
Info: 1074 Illinois St, San Francisco, CA 94107