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The Latest News from Wheatsville

Meat & Seafood News

First, the fish. This case is as well-curated as the Blanton. We can tell you a tale about every fish in it. Each one is locally sourced whenever possible. And every selection follows the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s sustainability guidelines. We recommend you strike up a conversation with our fishmongers. They always know the best way to prepare a particular fish and can order you something we don’t have on ice that day.

Which brings us to the meat counter. On any given night this can be the star of your dinner plate. We make our own sausages, rubs and marinades from scratch every single day so it’s easy to bring home something spectacular. Of course we have everything you’d see in any ‘ole butcher case except ALL of our meat is humanely and sustainably raised. We only do business with reputable vendors. Consider what you see in the case as a conversation starter with our butchers. Talk to them about what you have in mind and they can custom cut anything your meat-minded heart desires.

Grate for Grilling :)

I am pretty sure that Texans would love to think that they invented grilling. While I am pretty sure they did not, I would not be surprised if Texas was not responsible for some perfecting. In all likely hood, the grill would have been one of the earliest ways to cook. We have come from spit roasting over an open fire to the propane grill. Oddly enough, grilling is heavily associated with the summer (seems a little counterintuitive to stand around a 300 degree fire in 100 degree weather, but I guess that's why there is beer). I think grilling is for the whole year, but there is something to be said for not turning on the oven or stove in our wickedly hot Texas summers. On that front, the crock pot or slow cooker would also be perfect for the summer.

I would like to provide a few thoughts on grilling here. First off-the charcoal chimney. This is an amazing tool for the grill. Top of the line models are under $30 dollars. My $20 Webber one has been around for about 5 years and I can't imagine it not lasting for at least another five. This tool requires coals (put in the top of the chimney), newspaper (put in the bottom of the chimney) and an incendiary device (matches or lighter). Just light the newsprint at the bottom. Newsprint works best. The heavier the paper is the harder it is to keep it burning. The holes at the bottom and up the sides of the chimney allow plenty of oxygen through to keep the flames stoked and to get those coals good and hot in about 10-15 minutes. As the coals begin to get grey, dump them into your grill.

When I grill, I try to cook the entire meal on the grill. It brings a similar flavor to the meal, and lets face it, if you use charcoal you might as well get as much as you can out of your time investment. Those coals have a limited life span and temperature peak—you might as well cook as much as you can. I like grilling corn on the cob, asparagus, broccolini, tomatoes. jalapeños wrapped in bacon and stuffed with cheese.

There are a few tricks that will be helpful in a great grilling experience. The fat content of what you cook will determine how much flare up you get. This includes marinades. If your asparagus is dripping olive oil directly over a flame, it is going to flare up. If you are cooking a ribeye over the hottest part of the grill, it is going to have some char. I like carbon and I think it is a legitimate and valuable component to the flavor profile of grilling, but I do like to keep it in check. If you are going to grill fattier steaks like ribeyes, I recommend using indirect heat by putting them outside of the area of the coals.  In the case of grilling veggies, I recommend those goofy baskets. I hate seeing delicious green beans getting burnt to a crisp after they fell through the grate.

Lubrication is also a vital player in your grilling. Even if what you are grilling has oil or fat, get more oil on your grate. You want to do it after it has heated up, so that the grate absorbs the fat.

Seafood, other than shellfish, may need a basket. Flaky fish will come apart. One way to combat this is to grill your fish with the skin on. It brings structure and I feel like it adds flavor. But shellfish just need the kiss of the flames. You can even grill mussels and clams. Just wait till they open and do not spill the liquor they leave in their shells.

I hope these tips are helpful and bring some great grilling this summer.

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Slicing and Dicing

You may have noticed that the Meat Department is now slicing your deli style meats. Along with some familiar names we are bringing in some new players and some more options from your favorites.

More uncured and cured options—what does that mean?

It means that the USDA requires processors who do not add salt cure or sodium nitrate /nitrite to their products to label it as uncured. Nitrate/nitrite occurs naturally in some vegetables and leafy greens. Some producers use these nitrates instead of ones that are combined with sodium to cure their meats. All of these products use some form of curing to help preserve them.

We offer cured turkey and ham as well as uncured turkey and ham from Boar’s Head. These are great selections from a very recognizable national brand.

Cured choices:

  • Roasted Smoked Turkey,
  • Mesquite Smoked Turkey,
  • Sweet Sliced Smoked Ham
  • Peppered Ham
  • Black Forest Ham

Boar's Head All Natural

  • Smoked Turkey
  • Roasted Turkey
  • Tuscan Turkey
  • Applewood Smoked Ham
  • All Natural Roast Beef.

We also offer some uncured Niman Ranch meats:

  • The Uncured Corned Beef is brined and roasted—a traditional corned beef that will make any sandwich fantastic.
  • Niman Ranch Beef Pastrami. Get ready to make your own Rueben with Niman Ranch Pastrami and any one of the delicious sauerkrauts that Wheatsville offers.
  • Jambon Royal Ham. Fantastic! Made in a more European Style, this equates to a stronger smoke and salt flavor that comes out with the applewood smoking. One of the best Hams I’ve eaten and now you can get it sliced for a sandwich or cut into as small a piece as you would like!
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Dewberry Hills Farm Chicken

Photo courtesy of Thomas Winslow

One of the great things about buying from local farms is being able to shake the hand of the person growing your food. I always look forward to seeing Jane & Terry Levan. They own and operate one of my favorite farms that we do business with -  Dewberry Hills Farm. Over the years, I have been able to bring in hearts and livers, frozen frames and even chicken feet and our owners and shoppers have been eager to use it all. Those chicken feet are a great source of collagen by the way, and are great for making rich, flavorful stock. Dogs love them for snacks, too!

The great care and treatment of the chickens from Dewberry Hills come through in every aspect. These birds are carried around the farm under the protection of moveable tents that help keep them safe from weather and predators. They are fed locally raised grains. In pasture, they are able to eat bugs and small rocks which aids their digestion.

Terry and Jane have decided to grow with Wheatsville and are expanding their operations while we grow our co-op economy with our second store. I have also heard plans of an organic line down the road. Check out their website to learn more about their story and check out some of the restaurants and spas that serve their really good chicken.

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Here’s Looking at Windy Hill Farm

One of the most exciting things we offer in the Meat Department is meat from Windy Hill Farm. Ty Wolosin has been ranching for 16 years and currently calls Windy Hill Farm in Comanche Texas his ranching and farming home. Ty does things differently than conventional farms and ranches. All of his animals are pastured and treated humanely. They eat grass in their pastures and are finished with a local, organically raised alfalfa supplement from Coyote Creek Farm.

Ty selects his animal's genetics very carefully. When choosing which breed of animals to raise, probably the most important fact to take into consideration is the climate. Texas can be a harsh and brutal climate to raise live stock in. All of the livestock breeds Ty have chosen are drought resistant and are capable of thriving in harsh, dry environments.

80% of the goats raised for meat in the U.S. are raised here in Texas.The Boer goat is a great choice for the Texas climate. They are good foragers and have great parenting instincts. Wheatsville offers ground goat, goat stew meat and goat loin. Goat is not as “gamey” as lamb, but has more of a twang than pork. It is very lean compared to other livestock its size.

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New to Wheatsville…Olli Salumeria

Charcuterie is considered by some to be the highest form of meat preparation. What used to be done in caves or cellars is now executed in controlled atmosphere containers. Like in most instances, technology has brought consistency, well…as much as you can get with micro organisms and their fickle processes.

Wheatsville is now offering Olli Salumeria products. Their pork is sourced from well managed family farms. Some of these farms specialize in breeds like Duroc, Berkshire and even Mangalitsa, which are the curly-haired descendant of pata negra, Spain’s coveted black-footed Ibérico pig. They use pastured pork from farms and farmers who care about the animals and the land that they are a part of.


The flavors Wheatsville offers are:

  • Molisana- flavored with whole black peppercorn and garlic – it’s the quintessential Italian salami that you would find in Molise.
  • Calabrese- a spicy salami that gets its kick from cayenne pepper and paprika. The Calabrese Salame is based on a traditional recipe from Calabria, where spicy sausages are popular.
  • Wild Boar-is smoked over applewood and has a unique flavor. The selected cuts used come from the lean shoulders and legs, giving it an almost purple color.
  • Chorizo-uses traditional pimenton de la vera to give our chorizo that classic taste.

Salami is great for hiking and camping since it does not require refrigeration to keep. It is also perfect for cheese plates and crackers. Firmer cheeses will add a fantastic texture contrast with the rich cured meats. Try the BellaVitano cheeses with the Wild Boar.

and check out their web site http://www.olli.com

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Seafood that is great for Grilling

One of the best things about seafood is that it cooks quickly!  When using the grill for seafood, try to grill as much of your meal as possible to help utilize all the fire has to offer.

Great Veggies for the Grill
Vegetables like asparagus and corn are perfect for the grill as well as just about every mushroom,. Brussels Sprouts and tomatoes may seem a little bit out side the box, but they are equally well suited for the grill. Peaches are a superb fruit for grilling and we will have a great deal on them in the produce department.

Wheatsville offers a variety of fish and seafood that are fantastic for grilling...

Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
Take advantage of seasonal favorites like salmon. The fishing season starts in the Copper River making these salmon the most cherished of all the Sockeye. When the state closes the Copper River fishing season, the rest of Alaska is opened up. Alaska is a state who takes the passion of sustainable fishing more seriously than just about any other place on the planet. Their waters and fish supply are both closely monitored and exceedingly clean and fresh.

Grill Tips To grill salmon, we recommend using a plank which adds subtle wood flavors. It's also a good way to keep skinless fish intact. Black Drum and Cod are also great choices for plank grilling. Black drum offers many options on the grill, including stuffed and rolled or just marinated and grilled.

Shellfish
Shellfish are always a great option for the grill. Shrimp skewers are are great for a parties as are Mussels and Clams. Just drop them on and wait for them to open.

Spice It Up
Our Cajun Catfish from Quality Seafood is marinated and excellent for grilling. Despite the name, it is mild in heat, but does pack fantastic flavor.

If you like it VERY hot, I suggest you add a little hot sauce like Tobasco or Yellow Bird, or, make your own. I have recently become a big fan of the Chipotle Powder in Bulk Herbs mixed with paprika, some chili, garlic and onion powder and salt. That is also a pretty great rub for wings!

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The Ultimate Burger

Burgers are one of those backyard/park staples that makes it feel like summer. A grilled burger offers a different experience than a pan cooked burger. Flame licked charring adds that hint of crispy carbon. Wheatsville creates several ground meat options to help you build your Ultimate Burger!


Ground Round

Taken from the leanest cuts and is by far our leanest ground beef.

Ground Chuck and Sirloin

This burger grind runs less lean, but has all the great flavor of chuck and sirloin steaks. We grind briskets for our ground beef for the fullest flavor!

Premium Burger Blend

We use Niman Ranch Ribeye, Hanger, and Beef Shortloin (NY Strip and Tenderloin) for an unbeatable flavor, mixed with the leaness of Round for structure, to offer a fantastic ground beef. The best part is that we’ve LOWERED THE PRICE to $8.99lb! Yep, you save TWO BUCKS! We offer it in patties in our Full Service Quick-to-Fix case as well as in the Self-Service case. This is a special grind that is only available here at Wheatsville!

Housemade  Turkey Burgers

One of our top sellers and for good reason. It is reasonably priced and is packed with flavor. A classic pairing of poultry and sage gives it a familiar punch of flavor. Our turkey is from Norbest cooperative of turkey growers and is about 90% lean.

Housemade  Chicken Burgers

These burgers offer classic southwestern profile of chilies, lime and cilantro and the black pepper really “ties the room together.” We use Serrano chilies in this recipe, so expect some kick.  We use the Tecumseh Farms Smart Chicken in our chicken patties.


Favorite Veggie Burgers

  • The Hot Dang Grain Veggie Burgers, Locally Made!
  • Good Seed Vegan Veggie Burger, Locally Made
  • Sunshine Burger Garden Herb or Southwest

Grill on this!

All-Natural Lump Hardwood Charcoal

No coal, no fillers, no chemicals ... means you`ll enjoy the true flavors of your barbeque favorites. You’ll be cookin` in no time with quick-starting, all-natural lump hardwood charcoal. Made from round oak wood, acquired from tree pruning and forest thinning, and packaged in biodegradable bags, it’s good for you and the environment.

Our Favorite Burger Toppings

Bill Bickford
Fresh jalapeños (never the pickled kind), bacon, avocado OR bacon, a fried egg, sharp cheddar, onion!

Gabriel Gallegos
Daiya Havarti! This stuff melts like you wouldn’t believe. It’s one of those products that confuse my brain…it tastes so much like real cheese. Perfect with a handful of Butler Soy Curls!

Beth Beutel
Caramelized onions & blue cheese!

Nicole Purvis
Onion rings & avocado!

Niki Nash
Fresh, meaty, juicy local tomatoes straight off the farm or EIEIO Pesto! Tasty, fresh, vegan and local!

Dana Tomlin
Pederson Applewood Smoked Bacon!

Carol Campbell
Caramelized onions, bacon, cheddar cheese, and a sweet bbq sauce. A fried egg is also DELICIOUS!! There’s also the whole Canadian bacon and pineapple thing which is pretty yummy!

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Burgers, Burgers, Burgers

Burgers are one of the hallmarks of American cuisine. We have watched them progress from humble diner beginnings to elevated status in fine dining. Pretty awesome for a meal you eat with your hands
One of the great things about burgers are their inherent versatility, from the meat (or lack there  of ) to the bun to the cooking method. Some folks swear by grilling, and while I like a grilled burger, I prefer a pan cooked burger so that I can toast the bun in the cooking jus.

Wheatsville offers a variety of easy to cook burgers and patties that ready to cook straight out of the package. Poultry has become a huge alternative meat for burgers. This is most likely due to the leaness of chicken and turkey but also allows for some great flavor opportunities.

Housemade Turkey Burgers are one of our top sellers and for good reason. It is reasonably priced and is packed with flavor. A classic pairing of poultry and sage gives it a familiar punch of flavor.

Housemade Chicken Burgers offer another classic southwestern profile of chilis, lime and cilantro and the black pepper really “ties the room together”. We use Serrano chili’s in this recipe, so expect some kick in there.  Our turkey is from Norbest, a cooperative of Turkey growers who have been around since the 30’s and is about 90% lean. We use the Tecumseh Farms Smart Chicken in our chicken patties.

*Don’t forget to try out some of our other alternative burger both in the Meat Department and throughout the rest of Wheatsville.

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