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Published November 24th 2015
Best Butcher by a Country Mile
Meet Gary Stenzel, the butcher who's bringing the art of butchering back to the block. Gary bought the butcher shop in the Manly Harbour Village earlier this year and has steadily turned the place into a cook's/BBQ nut's/busy homemaker's/flying executive's dream!
Welcome to The Local Butcher. This is good, old-fashioned butchery with real service and quality.
Gary will butcher any kind of cut for you and is happy to oblige. I cooked for my 40th (ahem, 29th), this year and Gary was happy to chat with me about what I needed to feed the masses. I settled on 2 whole pork shoulders, and 2 whole lamb forequarters and he cracked the joints and the shanks for me to make carving easier. The meat had come in fresh the day of pick up and I bowled 150 people over with the flavour and texture, it was a fantastic feed.
2 whole forequarters of Tasmanian Free-range lamb - image by author
Gary's lamb comes from The Collective Royal Group of Lamb growers in Tasmania, which is free range and comes in fresh twice a week. My barbecued lamb loin chops I cooked last week were honestly the best I've ever eaten and all I did was splash on some olive oil and toss in some cumin seeds!
South-East Qld pork, cut to order by Gary at the Local Butcher Manly
His beef is award winning grass fed beef from Rangeland Quality Meats, a wholly Queensland owned and operated family company. These are paddock raised cattle grazing on native and improved pastures and the Hughes family properties are registered with Land for Wildlife and are accredited with the Cattle Care Quality Assurance which means the animals environment and welfare is of top priority.
Gary makes his sausages fresh every other day, and his flavours deliver a knock out combo; they have less preservative in them then most sausages so you can actually taste the flavour of the sausage and not just salt. Gary will also make preservative free sausages to order and always has a few of them on hand in the freezer, as he only makes these once a week.
And now we get to good bit... Gary smokes all his hams and makes a variety of small goods on the premises (including great pet mince btw), but you need to wander in and try the Brisket! Gary dry marinates brisket and then smokes it, and then cooks it using the sous vide method for a further 12 hours. Oh. My. Goodness. This is tender-melt-in-you-mouth-heaven!
The Local Butcher is taking orders for Christmas hams now, and maybe you'd like some of that brisket on your Christmas table as well? Cold cuts of deliciousness would certainly go down better in our Queensland heat this summer and would be a great match with prawns.
With the ethos of thinking globally and acting locally gathering momentum, now is an important time to consider our hard working local business owners. Sure, it super convenient to grab all our shopping from a big one-stop colossal giant but we are losing that imperative "community experience". Get to know your local butcher, your florist, your fruiterer, have a conversation with them, even if you think you don't have time. This is how you strike gold such as Gary's brisket, glean recipe tips and know where exactly your meat comes from, and when. Because the little guys are supporting the little farmers and the little farmers are doing a damn good job, and if we are supporting our local, we're supporting our community and our country.
Gary opens the Local Butcher every day, from 7:30am. He closes week days at 6pm and weekends by 3pm.
Could it be more delicious? Free range lamb cooked on a fire pit - image courtesy of author