We Profile Essex Street Market’s Newest Butcher: Heritage Meat Shop

Board check: After whole animals are broken down for customers on Tuesday nights the staff at the new Heritage Meat Shop will reveal what pedigreed protein is on special for just $3.99 a pound.

If you missed our most recent NY1 segment–the shows airs Fridays and Sundays–be sure to watch it online here. Last week’s show was on the brand new butcher shop  Heritage Foods USA just opened in the Essex Street Market. (We covered their forward thinking director, the Slow Foods USA co-founder Patrick Martins, a few years back.)

Until now Heritage, which is based in Brooklyn, only sold its meats directly to chefs and restaurants or online, serving as broker between small family farms who can’t afford to process their proteins or don’t have a place nearby to do it and the city customers who want sustainably sourced meat but can’t work with a whole animal. Last week they took over part of the space that used to house Jeffrey’s Meat Market, the butcher who shuttered his decades-old family business earlier this year. (They now share their space with another borough of Kings business: Brooklyn Taco, which sells taqueria treats just next door.)

While the focus on procuring pork, beef, sausages, bacon, goat and rabbits has shifted to heritage breeds raised by small American family farms, fans of the fourth-generation shop should be pleased to see the smile of Dionisio Silva (he’s usually called “Silva”), the butcher who’d been working at Jeffrey’s since 2004 and stayed on to work the counters at Heritage Meat, which were built, along with the shelving, in the workspace behind the Brooklyn pizzeria called Roberta’s.

Their bakers now supply the bread Heritage Meat Shop now slathers with butter and ham, layers with American-made charcuterie or tops with salad made from sustainably sourced tuna or pairs with their American “prosciutto” plate. Those are mighty tasty, though we have our fingers crossed the taco shop starts making their carnitas with some of Heritage’s Red Wattle pork.

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