Volume Oneâ€™s Guide To
PREPARATION AND MORE!
writers tom giffey editors tom giffey eric christenson photos andrea paulseth design serena wagner
JUICY, WELL DONE, PAN FRIED, ORGANIC
meat! SAVORY, MOUTH WATERING, GRILLED TO PERFECTION
steaking a claim RUMP’S BUTCHER SHOPPE EMPHASIZES QUALITY CUTS WORDS BY TOM GIFFEY // PHOTOS: ANDREA PAULSETH Bob Adrian readily acknowledges he can’t do anything halfway. When he decided to open an old-fashioned butcher shop in Altoona, he wanted to create a unique place to sell high-quality local meat. Over time, his dream grew to encompass a drastically renovated space, a wide range of grocery products, and a mind-boggling array of meats, ranging from eight kinds of bacon to specialty sausages to buffalo and elk (yes, elk). Call it a petit filet mignon dream that grew into the big ol’ T-bone that is Rump’s Butcher Shoppe, 1411 Lynn Ave. “Everything in here is top quality,” Adrian says of the shop, which opened in late October. The majority of the meat at Rump’s is locally sourced and all-natural; you won’t find meat pumped with hormones, flavored with MSG, or artificially plumped with injected salt water. The beef comes from Elk Mound, the buffalo from Rice Lake, and the elk from New Auburn. “Our whole mentality is just do it right, and don’t cut corners,” explains
Adrian, whose love of sausage-making and career as a commodity trader eventually led him into the butcher business. “To me, it’s insulting the consumer to say, ‘They ain’t gonna know.’ ” Considering the design of the shop, the knowledge of the staff, and the meat-
what you’re doing,” says head butcher Dan Horlacher, who has more than 20 years of experience in the meat business. Other than grinding beef, which is done in the freezer for sanitary reasons, all the meat is prepared within sight of customers. “We bring quarters of beef out. You should see people’s eyes,” Horlacher “Our whole mentality is just do it says, making wide right, and don’t cut corners,” says circles with his Bob Adrian, owner of Rump’s Butcher hands. Adrian says the Shoppe in Altoona. success of his store loving nature of the clientele, customers is linked to a societal shift toward wantdo know what they’re getting – or they ing to know where our food comes from can easily find out (if you need prepara- – a desire to make a deeper connection to tion tips, just ask). Walk through the front the things we eat instead of just throwing door and you are greeted by agricultural them in our mouths. Today’s shoppers are antiques and walls clad in reclaimed wood more likely to read labels and seek foods from an old granary. Just beyond, behind that are more natural and less processed. display cases brimming with steaks and Adrian says he’s bowled over by comchops, the gleaming meat-cutting equip- munity support for his venture: He figment stands out in the open, allowing ured it would take a year or two to build shoppers to watch the butchers at work. the customer base Rump’s has gained in “I think it’s good for people to see just over seven months.
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“Best hamburger I have ever made came from Rump’s ground beef,” raved one of 87 five-star reviewer on Facebook. “If you are looking for beef sticks they are by far the best around!” wrote another shopper, while a third declared, “Best cuts of meat in the Chippewa Valley, without a doubt.” While the store was closed as usual on a recent Monday afternoon, Adrian and Horlacher were still busy working inside. Adrian enthusiastically described the shop’s specialty products, from deli meats to asparagus-stuffed chicken breasts, while Horlacher prepared a batch of allbeef hotdogs, meticulously running the meat through a gargantuan grinder. A hot dog may seem like one of the most humble things you’d find in a butcher shop, but it’s vitally important to Adrian. He grew up eating hot dogs from the famed (but now sadly defunct) Gutknecht’s Market on Chippewa Falls’ West Hill, so he knew he wanted Rump’s to have what he terms “amazing” hot dog – and what the shop sells fits the bill, he says: “You cook that up and bite into it – the casing just snaps,” he says with a grin. Besides local meat, Rump’s also carries a range of other local edibles, from Sue’s Deluxe Bake Shop buns to Lazy Monk beer. Rump’s also has a growing wholesale business: It’s making burgers for the Brackett Bar and the soon-to-open Classic Garage, and this summer it will be supplying pulled pork and its specialty Railroader Brat (made with bacon, beer, and cheese) to Eau Claire Express fans at Carson Park. As wholesale and retail demand grows, it’s not unusual for the shop to make 1,500 hamburgers in a week. And now that grilling season is in full swing, Adrian doesn’t expect demand to tail off anytime soon. “Every single day, there’s people coming in for the very first time,” he says. Rump’s Butcher Shoppe • 9am-6pm, Tuesday-Saturday • 1411 Lynn Ave., Altoona • (715) 831-MEAT (6328) • rumpsbutchershoppe.com • www.facebook.com/ RumpsButcherShoppe
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CHARBROILED, ALL NATURAL, BRAISED
meat! CHOICE, HEALTHY, DECADENT, SAUTEED, FLAVORFUL
wheatfield hill beef FOR DURAND FARM FAMILY, GOOD SOIL AND GOOD GRASS EQUAL GREAT MEAT WORDS BY TOM GIFFEY If you’ve frequented the Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market, you’ve undoubtedly seen the Wheatfield Hill Organics display, which typically overflows with a rainbow of beautiful produce, from asparagus to muskmelon, not to mention homemade fruit spreads and toffee. It’s a veritable vegetarian wonderland. Wheatfield Hill, however, is the birthplace of more than just fabled fruits and veggies. The farm fills carnivorous cravings as well: Since the 1990s, the Winkler family has raised a herd of beef cattle. Like the produce, the black Angus cattle are certified organic, a process that entails all-organic feed, access to pasture, and other stringent requirements.
“It’s challenging, but I wouldn’t want to see it any other way,” Chris Kees Winkler says of meeting the organic criteria. “I want to feed your family what I’d want to feed my family.” Winkler is part of the fourth of the five generations that have worked the fields of the family’s rolling acreage overlooking the Chippewa River near Durand. What began as a dairy farm a century ago evolved into a produce and beef operation that became certified organic in 1997. From a herd that ranges in size from 80 to 100 head, the Winklers produce two kinds of beef. Some animals, after they are weaned, are entirely grass fed: They are rotationally grazed in pastures in the summer and fed organic hay in the win-
ter. These grass-fed animals are destined to become lean ground beef. By contrast, others are grain-finished to produce a different quality of meat.
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After being weaned at six months of age, these cattle are fed hay, corn, and barley over the winter. The grain, Winkler says, imparts a different flavor and a heavier
BRANDED, DELECTABLE, TANGY
marbling of fat: “We always say fat equals flavor,” Winkler says. So how does it compare to other meat on the market? Nik Novak, the meat buyer at Just Local Food Cooperative in Eau Claire, raves that the Wheatfield Hill steaks are the best he’s ever tasted. “You can practically cut it with a spoon,” he says. “It melts in your mouth.” Novak praises the Winklers’ “holistic” system of raising and grazing their animals, which are born on the farm and live their lives eating grass and grain grown there under rigorous organic standards. “They’re really growing soil and grass more than they’re growing beef,” Novak says. As Winkler explains, “We like to take into consideration the life we provide for those animals we have here. We strive to give them the most humane treatment
board president). Over the years, their operation has continued to grow. The 320-acre home farm includes 100 acres of pasture and 100 acres of cropland. Some cattle are grazed on a relative’s land nearby, while more crops are grown on another 120 acres a few miles away. A few years ago, the family added a kitchen where goodies such as strawberry and raspberry topping, turtles, and toffee can be prepared. Now that spring is blooming into summer, the produce season is in full swing. As of mid-May, 1,200 pounds of asparagus already had been harvested, and in the coming weeks and months there will be tons (literally!) of rhubarb, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, sweet corn, watermelon, muskmelon, raspberries, blueberries, squash, pumpkins, and more. The produce is available at the Saturday (and, beginning in July, “They’re really growing soil and grass the Wednesday) more than they’re growing beef,” says market meat buyer Nik Novak of Just Local Food. farmers in downtown Eau Claire, as well as at and conditions and respect, because ulti- farmers markets in Spooner and Hayward mately we end up taking their life so oth- and at several stores in the Twin Cities. ers can eat.” In addition to family members – Like fat in a well-marbled steak, such including Chris, husband Andy, children considerations are deeply ingrained Lucas and Robert, and grandparents Bob the entire Wheatfield Hill opera- and Helen – the farm relies on the labor tion. Winkler’s parents – Helen and of local high school and college students Bob Winkler – transitioned the farm to during the summer. certified organic after a conflict with The family is passionate about farma neighboring potato farm that repeat- ing as a way of life and a source of life. edly sprayed chemicals on its fields by Helen Winkler spoke eloquently on that helicopter. The Winklers were relatively subject in an interview broadcast in 2014 early champions of the now-flourishing by the locally produced Wisconsin Public organic farming movement. Television program Around the Farm “At first my dad was a little hesitant,” Table: “Literally by bones and my blood, Winkler says, “because to be honest with my marrow, my DNA, they’re built from you, there wasn’t a lot of research, there the soil,” she said. “My mother formed me wasn’t an opportunity for people to get here. I was built here. My very compositogether and brainstorm.” However, the tion is of this soil. I do get emotional.” Winklers became involved in WisconsinWheatfield Hill Organics, Durand • based pro-organic groups such as MOSES organic confectionaries, beef, forages, and (the Midwest Organic and Sustainable produce • (888) 255-0491 • wheatfield@ Education Service) and the Cornucopia nelson-tel.net • search for “Wheatfield Hill Institute (for whom Helen now serves as Organics” on Facebook.com
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SUCCULENT, RARE, TENDER, MARBLED
meat! BROILED, FREE RANGE, SPICY, MARINATED, CARVED
the shooting range SURE, MANY HUNTERS ARE CONTENT GUNNING FOR DEER. BUT FROM SNIPE TO PORCUPINE, THERE’S A LOT MORE THAN THAT TO HUNT IN WISCONSIN. WORDS BY TOM GIFFEY
Bear hunting permits are in high demand: Depending on where you live, you might wait anywhere from one to nine years for one. That should give you time to mentally prepare for stalking a beast that could tip the scales at 700 pounds!
FUR-BEARING ANIMALS The fuzzy mammals are most desired for their fur, but we suppose you can eat ’em too – as long as you don’t mind the onslaught of Jeff Foxworthy-style jokes. (Possum, we’re told, tastes like chicken.) n Raccoon n Fox (red and gray) n Coyote n Bobcat n Skunk n Opossum n Weasel
White-tailed deer MIGRATORY GAME BIRDS
A small game permit is all you need to hunt these guys, because – well – they’re small game. (Oh, and you should pay attention to the seasons, too.) n Squirrels (gray and fox) n Snowshoe hare n Cottontail rabbit
be hunted year-round without bag limits or hunting hours restrictions.” All you need is a small game license. (To learn more, visit dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/ smgame.html.) These species include: n Starling n English (house) sparrow n Chukar partridge n Coturnix quail n Opossum n Skunk n Weasel n Porcupines n Feral pigs
The DNR defines “unprotected species” as “mammals and birds that can
Want to turn feathered friends into your feathered enemies? Here are game birds that are legal to hunt in Wisconsin as long as you’ve got a small game license. n Pheasant (you need a pheasant stamp, too) n Ruffed grouse n Gray (Hungarian) partridge n Bobwhite quail n Crow
Tired of playing Duck Hunt on your Wii? Try shooting one of the real things (check with the DNR for the appropriate permits and stamps, of course). n Ducks n Geese n Brant n Mergansers n Coots n Gallinules
SMALL GAME MAMMALS
There are spring and fall hunting seasons for these would-be Thanksgiving entrées. You’ll need a turkey permit, a turkey stamp, and a turkey license.
al fall deer hunt (and its muzzle-loader, antlerless, archery, and other variations) is deeply ingrained in our state’s culture. Yet despite all this emphasis on Bambi’s family, hunting in Wisconsin doesn’t begin and end with the whitetailed deer. In fact, deer are just one the many animals you can legally hunt in the Badger State (just don’t hunt actual badgers, please). As long as you’ve got a small game license, some of these critters are fair game (pun intended!) year-round. Others require special permits or stamps. Hunting is subject to reams of regulations, so please check with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (dnr.wi.gov) before hunting, hooking, or trapping anything. Opposum That being said, here’s a breakdown of Wisco animals you can put on your plate or mount for your wall – if you’ve got good aim.
ROGER SAUNDERS/WISCONSIN DNR
Bagging a big buck is the stuff of many Wisconsin hunters’ dreams, and the annu-
Some game birds come and go from the state (kinda like beaked and feathered tourists). For these you’ll need a small game license and must be enrolled in the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (see dnr.wi.gov for info on that). n Mourning dove n Woodcock n Snipe n Sora rail n Virginia rail
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you want the official scoop on all hunting regulations, how to get safety training, and how to get licensed, don’t take our word as law. Instead, please visit the folks who actually enforce the law at dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/.
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JOHN NELSON VIA FLICKR
Snipe (yes, they’re real!)
ROGER SAUNDERS/WISCONSIN DNR
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BRANDED, DELECTABLE, TANGY
LOCAL GRILLING SIDEKICKS SCONNIE FOODS SQUEEZABLE SAUERKRAUT
Accessibility has never been one of sauerkraut’s advantages, until now. The locally made handheld condiment is a must when you’re out and about and need some kraut.
WATER STREET DELI’S HUMMUS As much fun as meat is, society usually expects us to have some kind of side dish (and no, hot dogs don’t count). Chips and hummus are the perfect extra with grilled goods.
SUE’S BAKESHOP ONION ROLLS 3.
You’ve gotta put that burger on something, and there’s no better option than the onion rolls from Sue’s. They add just the perfect flavor to what we’re sure is the delicious hamburger you’ve concocted.
LUCETTE HIPS DON’T LIE There’s plenty of local beer that would sit well with a grillout, but the light, sweet taste of Hips Don’t Lie make it ideal for standing out in the heat over the flames.
SILVER SPRING MUSTARD The sweet, spicy local mustard is a perfect condiment for everyone: They offer all sorts of crazy varieties. Still, nothing beats the taste of the classic blend on your brat.
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EAT LIKE A WILD MAN - REBECCA GRAY - $25
Lifelong food connoisseur and cookbook author, Rebecca Gray selects and infuses a wonderful-tasting standards with her own culinary wizardry and provides meticulous instruction on the best methods for cooking fish and game ... ideal for any meatloving Wisconsinite!
205 N. DEWEY STREET EAU CLAIRE, WI 715-552-0457
STORE HOURS: M, T, W, FRI: 9AM–6PM; THU: 9AM–8PM; SAT: 10AM–5PM OR BUY ONLINE AT VOLUMEONE.ORG/STORE
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Published on Apr 28, 2016