In the days before large chain grocery stores were on every block, when you needed a specific cut of meat you traveled to your local butcher shop. The butcher stood behind the counter in a white apron, ready to take your order and share expertise about cuts of beef, pork, lamb and poultry.
We should consider ourselves lucky that one such meat market is alive and well right here in Bend—Primal Cuts is an ode to the old-timey meat market where along with owner Brian Tremayne's vast knowledge of all things meat, you'll also find a wide selection of his house-made sausages.
You could say butchering and sausage-making is in Tremayne's blood—his grandfather was also a butcher. He researches recipes that have been handed down through generations of sausage makers to create specialty links like hot Creole, Italian, Polish and savory breakfast sausage with hints of apple and sage. Everything is hand-made by the butcher himself using tried-and-true recipes that he has been tinkering with for years.
He uses all natural ingredients with a minimum of additives and chemicals and whenever possible uses high-quality meat from livestock regionally raised and sustainably fed.
Local purveyors include Oregon Natural Meats, headquartered in Eugene; DD Ranch in Terrebonne; Dancing Cow Farm in Prineville; and Carlton Farms in Carlton.
Tremayne also offers goat breakfast sausage, courtesy of the goats from Sand Lily Goat Farm right here in Bend. He said these can sell out faster than the pork variety, but, most of the sausages are made with ground pork shoulder from Carlton Farms and Oregon Natural Meat's ground chuck.
Tremayne blends the meats with select spices from The Savory Spice Shop here in Bend and encases the forcemeat in all natural hog casings.
Among his long list of house-made sausages is one of the best hot dogs you'll ever bite into. Tremayne said only quality ingredients go into his franks—no mystery ingredients or fillers that you might find in a typical store-bought variety.
Simply grilled, added in place of ground beef to your favorite lasagna or spaghetti sauce, or served with some of Primal Cut's house-made sauerkraut, flavorful sausages will add excitement to your next meal.
I like to add some Mediterranean flair to my burgers by mixing some sweet Italian sausage to a pound of ground beef before grilling.
Along with his sausages, steaks, chops and a selection of specialty meats like bison, ostrich, duck, pheasant and rabbit are also offered when available.
COMING UP AT PRIMAL CUTS
In April, Tremayne, in partnership with Growler Phil's, is opening his own in-house growler station with up to 30 local brews on tap.
In May, Adam Bass's Paradise Produce Stand will be moved from its old location on Century Drive to the lot next door to Primal Cuts. Among all the fresh fruits and vegetables, you can expect to find local lettuces and fresh herbs picked that morning from Good Earth Farms. You'll also find locally grown strawberries, marionberries, blueberries, fresh seasonal corn on the cob and some of Eastern Oregon's first spring asparagus. Talk about one-stop shopping!