Food + Drink

5 Minutes With Melbourne’s Expert Butcher

By Clare Acheson - 17 Jun 2015

Meat lovers, it’s all well and good knowing about the best steak restaurant in Melbourne, or being first through the doors of the latest American BBQ grill. It’s even better to know how to cook the perfect steak yourself. But what’s really rocking our meat nerd socks right now—and setting us apart from our meat-fan mates—is tapping into the knowledge of Melbourne’s best butchers or, more specifically, the meat maestro that is Peter Bouchier.

Peter Bouchier runs his own butchery and deli in Toorak, which is widely regarded as ne of the best places on the southside to pick up fresh grass-fed meat, tasty cured meats and a variety of goods that make the perfect meat match. If you’ve ever lusted after the epic meat spread in David Jones’ food hall too, you’ll know the handiwork of Peter Bouchier and his team of world-class Melbourne butchers. Every time we drop by his incredible store or this top-notch meat counter, we seem to pick up another awesome recommendation—everything from how to choose a great piece of meat, to how to cook, slice and serve it.

As well as working form his Toorak premises, Peter Bouchier has a Moorabbin kitchen, where he and his team make delicious, meaty smallgoods (bratwursts, kransky, frankfurts, yum…), all from scratch. Turning out some of this city’s greatest premium meat, including what our tastebuds would class as the best sausages in Melbourne, Peter’s spent almost 40 years in the business—a true meat pro if there ever was one!

Keen to pick up a few tips from one of the best butchers in Melbourne? We caught up with Peter to find out what makes him tick…

What’s the first thing I should look for when choosing a piece of meat?

Good colour and even fat covering is a great place to start.

Okay, I’ve got that first thing down. What’s second?

After that, it’s always good to think about what is seasonal. Speak to the butcher, find out if there is anything particularly special in store. From week to week, we often have something extra special to offer—it could be a particularly impressive piece of beef or some French-inspired stuffed quail.

OMG, we’re drooling just thinking about it! Everyone talks about how tasty your sausages are. What’s the key to the Melbourne’s best sausages?

Always use fresh meat. And use the right cuts of meat to create a good, firm textured sausage.

It wasn’t that long ago that ox cheek, pig’s trotter and other cuts were deemed inedible, until some of our city’s top chefs got their hands on them! What's your top meat tip for the second half of 2015?

The oyster blade is really versatile—It’s a well-known cut for slow cooking but is also where the flat iron steak comes from. We’ve seen a growing trend in flat iron steaks—they’re juicy, and a good one will have even fat marbling.

And lastly, could you ever go vego?! What would you miss most?

Meat is my passion…I couldn’t live without it! If I had to choose one product in particular, it would probably be sausages.

If you’re a sucker for sausages or love a plateful of lamb, get acquainted with Peter Bouchier and the team from Melbourne’s best butchery via their profile, check them out on Facebook and Instagram, or get in touch here.

Image credit: Simon Shiff for The Urban List

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