Get your grill on this Fourth of July with prime provisions from these Valley meat merchants.
Butcher Bob’s Quality Meats
This family-owned butcher shop has been peddling premium meat to professional pitmasters and amateur barbecue enthusiasts alike for the past three decades. Competitive grillers often patronize Butcher Bob’s, buying prime packer brisket and baby back ribs for grilling contests, and the shop’s knowledgeable staff has helped hundreds of novice cooks select the right cuts. Butcher Bob’s only sells certified Angus beef and grinds all of its hamburger in-house. “We carry the higher-end beef, rather than what you’d get in the grocery store,” owner Jason Smith says. In addition to superior steak, Butcher Bob’s also carries homemade sausage, naturally raised chicken, Colorado lamb, Iowa Gold natural pork and fresh Hawaiian fish.
Star Cut: Filet mignon ($30.99 per pound)
11663 W. Bell Rd., Surprise , 623-933-1518, butcherbobs.net
The Pork Shop
Those who swoon over swine will appreciate this traditional butcher’s allegiance to pork. The aptly named meat purveyor specializes in hand-crafted pork products such as hickory-smoked ham, brown-sugar cured bacon and a wide selection of smoked sausages, lunch meats, hot dogs and capicola. The Pork Shop also offers house-made salsa and carnivorous comfort food such as ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, burritos and “snack sticks,” stalks of sausage that come in a slew of savory flavors such as green chile and teriyaki. Manager Jason Corman and his small squad of pork-privy employees are also allegiant to tradition. “We’ve been here for 40 years,” Corman says. “We’ve been making the same recipes for basically that whole time.”
Star Cut: Smoked bacon ($7.99 per pound)
3359 E. Combs Rd.,Queen Creek, 480-987-0101, theporkshopaz.com
Nelson’s Meat + Fish
Nearly every morning at dawn, you’ll find fishmonger extraordinaire Chris Nelson at the airport, picking up boxes of fresh seafood flown in from Boston, New Zealand, Florida or Hawaii, upholding his three-days-fresh guarantee. In addition to supplying his customers with fresh, sashimi-grade fish, Nelson and his team of former chefs are dedicated to educating the public on the seasonality of seafood and valuable techniques like how to shuck oysters or clean a soft-shell crab. “People are craving that connection with local businesses, but moreover, having a personal connection with the people they’re supporting on a daily basis, that has been the biggest part of our success,” Nelson says. He also carries certified Angus beef that’s harvested within 200 miles of the shop and prepares ready-to-eat food like crabcakes, coleslaw and octopus salad with red wine vinaigrette. Customers also crave Nelson’s daily specials, such as shrimp salad buns, lobster rolls and poke banh mi sandwiches.
Star Cut: Faroe Islands salmon ($27.95 per pound)
2415 E. Indian School Rd., 602-596-4069, meat.fish