Our town offers very little in the way of gastronomy. No cheap take-out, no Mexican place, nowhere to get a decent glass of wine or a cocktail on a Friday night. Definitely no fancy grocery store, hipster food truck, or even decent slice of pizza.
Our village holds one and only one gem.
On the west side of town, across from Hank’s Hardware and next to the two-screen movie theater stands a cow, high on a pole, whose paint is starting to peel. That cow stands guard over Valley Meat Supply which is just like your hipster butcher shop but with 70-year-olds cutting up the meat right from the half carcass hanging from the ceiling with a chainsaw.
They sell beef butchered from cows the owner raises on his ranch outside of town, as well as crazy-good house-smoked bacon, housemade salami that my son affectionately calls “tiny meat”, and other odds and ends you’d expect to find at a meat market in North Dakota, namely lutefisk and lefse.
We have been going there religiously since we moved here six years ago and they’ve watched our kids grow from babies to humans with desires, slicing a piece of tiny meat or handing them a quarter for the jelly bean machine when they see them coming. Last weekend Armando ran in to get some bacon—God forbid we run out on a Saturday and have to wait until Monday to get more—and he came back to the car with the local newspaper that they had saved for us, because the kids were on the front page.
Our weekly purchase is usually bacon (sliced thick to order), tiny meat (sliced, not quite as thick, to order) a pound or two of ground beef, and maybe something else short ribs, flank steak, sometimes they’ll have lamb from the neighboring ranch.
These burgers made with that ground beef and the addition of chorizo are not the healthiest thing in the world, but as most not-healthy things, pretty phenomenal. The fat and spice from the chorizo bubble and melt into the beef as they cook.
Pan-fried these burgers are winter’s answer to any grill cravings you might be experiencing. Certainly the addition of salted and smashed avocado and a pile of crispy fried onion rings don’t hurt either.
One More Thing
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