Appetizers

Whole-animal butcher shop planned in East Sacramento

Eric Veldman Miller, once a chef at Mulvaney’s, will be the butcher/owner of V. Miller Meats in East Sacramento.
Eric Veldman Miller, once a chef at Mulvaney’s, will be the butcher/owner of V. Miller Meats in East Sacramento. Special to The Bee

Two professional chefs are poised to open a whole-animal butcher shop in East Sacramento, riding a national trend tied to a farm-to-fork ethos in which discerning customers not only seek out top-quality ingredients but want to know more about the provenance of the food they eat.

The shop, now under construction on the corner of Folsom Boulevard and 48th Street (across the street from OneSpeed Pizza and East Sacramento Hardware) is scheduled to open in May.

Called V. Miller Meats, it will be owned by Eric Veldman Miller and Matt Azevedo, both experienced chefs. Miller was once the chef de cuisine at Mulvaney’s and went on to work for a time as an instructor at Le Cordon Bleu, the culinary school in Natomas.

The shop will try to distinguish itself from other highly regarded full-service meat counters like Corti Brothers and Taylor’s Market by doing 100 percent whole-animal butchering. Corti and Taylor’s butcher whole animals but supplement their inventory with boxed cuts of meat.

“We’re bringing in the animals from local farms and will have a wide array of steaks, chops and everything under the sun that you can eat off of an animal,” said Miller. “Matt and I have been visiting farms and interviewing farmers all over Northern California. We are committed to using small farms to ensure the quality of the meat.

He said they are working with Stemple Creek in Marin County for their grass-fed beef and lamb. “We are blown away by the quality and taste of this grass-fed, grass-finished beef. Our pork will be coming from Rancho Llano Seco in Chico. Again, the quality and consistency of these animals is stunning.

For chicken and game birds, he said they’re looking into Chow Down Farms in Woodland. “We both have served these birds in restaurants to rave reviews, the pasture-raised chicken that really tastes like chicken.”

V. Miller Meats also will feature charcuterie made in-house, a selection of deli meats and broths and stocks.

Additionally, there will be boxed dinners available some nights for takeout.

In recent years, this style of meat shop, nearly wiped out in recent decades by large grocery chains and grocery customers’ habits, has been revived in large cities, responding to a growing interest in the slow food movement.

“The thing that really got me interested in this was that, with all of the farm-to-fork stuff going on, it’s hard to find locally raised meat close to Sacramento,” Miller said.

The 1,400-square-foot shop will have a large maple butcher’s table “where we’ll be breaking down animals, so everyone can see what we’re doing,” Miller said. “People are so excited to know where their food comes from.”

Because the two business partners are also chefs, they will be able to answer questions and give advice about cooking the meat.

Call The Bee’s Blair Anthony Robertson, (916) 321-1099. Follow him on Twitter @Blarob.

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