Like many families, we try ensure that the meat we eat is high-quality and sustainable. And like many families with teenagers, we just can’t keep enough meat in the house. (Seriously – every day – our kid comes home from school asking for steaks, burgers, and/or chicken!). Recently, we were introduced to ButcherBox – a subscription-based meat delivery system that promises only the highest quality meats – and that seems to solve both of those issues for us.
What does ButcherBox offer? Quality first. For starters, the beef is 100 percent grass-fed, from a curated selection of small farms. With less fat, fewer calories, and lower risk of dangerous bacteria, grass-fed beef hosts a range of health benefits over conventional grain-fed beef. Additionally, the chicken is all organic and free-range organic, and the pork is from a humanely raised heritage breed. All ButcherBox products are free of antibiotics and growth hormones.
The boxes start at $129 per month and include 7 to 10 pounds of meat for at least 20 individual meals, at an average cost of $6.50 per meal (shipping is free). You can choose from an all-beef box, or have chicken and beef, pork and beef, or a combination of meats – plus you can add on other cuts that you like. The meat is flash-frozen and arrives in an insulated box, ready to go straight to your freezer (or to your refrigerator for defrosting).
When we ordered, we chose a beef and chicken box, and we were able to edit it for our family’s preference (no chicken wings), which was no problem. Our box came with beef top sirloin, beef tri-tip, ground sirloin, chicken thighs, chicken drumsticks, and a package of Pederson’s bacon. (Note that Pederson’s is a Paleo and Whole 30 favorite because unlike just about every other bacon on the market, it is cured without sugar – and that’s HUGE if you’re trying to cut back on or eliminate sugar.)
If your next question is what to do with all of that meat, ButcherBox has you covered, because they include recipes in the box. Ours came with a recipe for Paleo Pumpkin Chili (used with the ground beef), and Pomegranate Molasses Mint Chicken (used with the chicken thighs). Not having any pomegranate on hand, we turned it into Cranberry Molasses Chicken, and it was super-tasty. Here’s our recipe, adapted from the original ButcherBox version:
- ½ cup molasses
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 4 T. honey
- 2 T. light brown sugar
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil, plus additional oil for coating chicken
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 6 to 8 ButcherBox chicken thighs
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 handful fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
- In a small bowl, whisk together molasses, vinegar, honey, brown sugar, and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Coat chicken in mixture; marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or up to overnight in the fridge.
- Remove chicken from marinade. Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Allow chicken to come to room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes. Meanwhile, transfer reserved marinade to a small sauce pan and add the cranberries. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to a rapid simmer and cook until thickened and syrupy, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken in a casserole dish and lightly coat in oil. Bake for 10 minutes, brush with glaze, cook another 5 minutes, brush with another layer of glaze, and then cook for 5 to 10 more minutes or until meat registers 165 degrees. Brush with remaining glaze, if desired, and place cranberries on top before serving. Garnish with mint leaves.
We loved this chicken with wild rice and a salad – and it’s definitely pretty enough to serve throughout the holidays. It also got our family interested in chicken thighs, which is a cut we hadn’t used much in the past.
If you decide to order ButcherBox, one great thing is that it’s super flexible. You can adjust or add on your favorite cuts of meat. You can also adjust the timing to fit your needs – you can choose to get monthly deliveries or you can opt for deliveries every other month or every three months.
And last but not least, having a bunch of ButcherBox meats in the freezer helped us eliminate that “what’s for dinner?” problem. It was a big relief having plenty of meat lined up to go, especially for those hungry teenagers.
To order ButcherBox, visit www.getbutcherbox.com.
Blogger disclosure: I received a complimentary box from ButcherBox to sample their products. I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.