A few months ago, I was fortunate to become the recipient of half of a locally raised grass-fed cow from Greenwood Farms through a fundraiser for the Tulsa Farmers’ Market. It was processed, cut into pieces, shrink-wrapped, labeled and frozen, delivered straight to my garage, and now there are steaks and roasts and ground beef ready to grab out of my chest freezer for dinner.
It was a luxury at first, and I thought it was going to be too much for us to use in a reasonable amount of time. Looking back, thanks to the marked reduction of the meat industry due to COVID-19, we have never been more thankful to have this meat in our possession.
Over the past few weeks, I have ventured into grocery stores with bare-shelved meat departments, causing panic about when and what will be in stock in the upcoming months. Fortunately, things have been looking up lately, especially for those markets offering locally raised meats and other products, and their shelves are being stocked on a more regular basis. We have been able to share our beef with family and friends as well.
However, I think now more than ever our local farmers and ranchers will be the ones to step up and provide Oklahoma-grown meat, for we are not faced with a shortage of meat but a shortage of meat processors.
Sure, the grocery stores and big box stores are stocking up as supply becomes available. But why not visit these locally owned meat markets instead to curate a collection for the coming summer grill season, or simply to procure dinner for the weekend?
We are all somewhat stuck close to home but so are our grills. With the weather finally turning to spring, it is time for us to reclaim our backyards, patios and balconies by nurturing the charcoal instead of the sourdough starter. Normally, for Memorial Day, we would gather with friends and family in the backyard for a big cookout. That may or may not be possible now, but we can still light the coals and turn on the gas and grill for our family.
If your weekend plans include firing up the grill, stock up at these local favorites, and get cooking. Burgers on the menu? I’ve included a recipe for home-griddled Howdy Burgers from chef Ben Alexander of The McNellie’s Group and a spicy-sweet marinated flank steak that is in serious rotation on my home grill.
32707 S. 4360 Road, Big Cabin
Call 918-783-5647 or 918-783-5648 to order or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary and Cindy Greenwood raise all-natural, free-range, grass-fed beef, as well as grain-fed beef, pork, chicken, turkey, goat and lamb on Greenwood Farms in Big Cabin. Greenwood Farms processes all of its meats at its USDA processing plant in Big Cabin, one of a few in the entire state. Greenwood’s chicken and turkey are processed on the farm, so they require a pre-order.
Siegi’s Sausage Factory
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday,
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
8104 S. Sheridan Road
Siegi Sumaruk, a fifth-generation sausage maker from Linz, Austria, uses recipes passed down from his family to stock his south Tulsa meat market, where he has made sausages by hand since 1980. Sumaruk runs Siegi’s, along with his wife, children and grandchildren, and offers more than two dozen varieties of house-made sausages, beef, pork and chicken cuts, and beef ground fresh every morning. Siegi’s market also includes treats for your furry quarantine buddies, such as smoked beef or ham bones and pig ears. If charcoal is your preferred method of grilling, snag a bag or two of Hasty-Bake hardwood charcoal when picking up steaks for the grill.
Out West Farms
Out West Farms is a family-run business in Cleveland, Oklahoma, that is raising and selling natural, grass-fed beef and pasture-raised pork. The farm has a lot to offer and is working to keep up with inventory and orders, thus some of the specials have to be altered a bit due to inventory. Order online for meat bundles, individual items including pork, beef, poultry, lamb and eggs.
10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday–Saturday
1901 S. Elm Place, Broken Arrow
Harvard Meats began as a small butcher shop and meat market on the corner of Harvard Avenue and 15th Street but has recently expanded to a larger location in Broken Arrow. The market carries typical cuts of beef, pork and chicken but also fills a niche that other stores can’t by offering rare and hard-to-find meats, such as elk, quail, rabbit, alligator and frog legs. Harvard Meats recently received a shipment of rare and highly sought-after A5 Waygu beef. Weeks ago, Duke Dinsmore saw the possibility of a rush on meat as shutdowns happened around him and he stocked up the meat market to get ahead of the game. The risk paid off, and as big box retailers saw their meat departments emptied, more and more customers have turned to small businesses like Dinsmore’s to feed their families.
To order online for quicker pickup, visit harvard-meats.myshopify.com.
Butcher Bros. Meats
10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
13720 E. 86th St. North, Owasso
Butcher Bros. Meats is a family-owned, old-fashioned meat market, offering a full deli, hand-made sausages, smoked meats and beef jerky. The market stocks fresh and frozen beef, pork and chicken and will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, or until stock runs out. Online ordering is suspended at this time, until the market can catch up, so call or stop in to place your order.
Burn Co. BBQ
10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday, 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday–Saturday
1738 S. Boston Ave., 918-574-2777
500 S. Riverwalk Crossing, Jenks, 918-528-6816
Most barbecue fans know Burn Co. BBQ because of its smoked meats, but two locations of the cult fave ‘cue joint have a meat market stocked with house-made sausages, ribs, brisket, hand-cut steaks and other items — think short ribs, tomahawk steaks, T-bones and armadillo eggs — ready for the grill or smoker.
Meats N’ More
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday
24767 E. Oklahoma 51, Broken Arrow, 918-486-6328
1421 S. Dewey Ave., Wagoner, 918-485-1515
Select fresh retail cuts, such as fresh-cut steaks, roast, patties and ground beef from the old-fashioned meat counter, choose from pre-selected family bundles, or stock your freezer with a side or quarter of beef. Owner Ron Burton also offers fresh-cut pork and poultry, as well as sliced deli meats and freshly ground beef. They also play host to Luke’s BBQ (Broken Arrow) and Smokin’ Sisters Barbecue (Wagoner), restaurants inside the store that serve up smoked cuts of Burton’s meat.
Perry’s Food Store
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday
1005 S. Lewis Ave., 918-583-2000
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
8013 S. Sheridan Road, 918-622-7648
Over the past 80 years, Perry’s Food Store has gained the reputation of a “Custom Beef and Specialty Meat Market” where you can choose your cuts from the counter or watch the butchers cut your meat to order. From the beginning, founder Perry Isom wanted the store to have that “old time” neighborhood appeal, and the popular market strives to maintain that type of atmosphere to this day. Popular choices at Perry’s are ground beef, traditional-cut steaks, ribs, bologna and catfish. For the more adventurous, Perry’s sells buffalo, goat, quail, rabbit and frog legs.
Prairie Creek Farms
Prairie Creek Farms is known for selling pork, chicken and beef, raised sustainably on its 80-acre farm. Now, it has teamed up with several other local farms offering their products through the Prairie Creek Farms online store. New vendors include Swan Bros. Dairy, Emre Natural Foods, Alimade Bone Broth, Dale and Daughters, Grand Cattle Co., Roark Acres Honey, Knight Creek Farms and Native Land and Bison. Owner Nate Beaulac said the list will be changing over time as new vendors are added going forward, so visit the website for the latest details.
Order online only for delivery. Farm pick-up available from 4-7 p.m. Mondays — orders must be placed online by noon Sunday.
Bodean Seafood Market
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday
3376 E. 51st St., 918-743-3861
Not everyone will opt to grill meat, and thankfully, Bodean Seafood Market is open and stocked to the gills with fresh seafood for grilling, including swordfish, salmon, halibut, scallops, oysters and gulf shrimp. Call ahead with your order, pull into the market’s curbside pickup location and a Bodean team member will deliver your fresh order to your car. The market is also carrying barbecue essentials, such as Hasty-Bake hardwood charcoal and liquid fire starter, bamboo skewers, and cedar planks.
Griddle-Your-Own Howdy Burger
Makes 1 burger
The newest burger spot in town has proven to be as popular as it is delicious. Howdy Burger at Mother Road Market is Tulsa’s tribute to the classic roadside burger stands that fed hungry travelers on Route 66. Chef Ben Alexander, vice president of culinary operations at The McNellie’s Group that started Howdy Burger, shared this recipe for readers, which makes a dang good home-griddled burger.
2 slices American cheese
Fresh-sliced tomato about ¼-inch thick
Bibb lettuce leaves
Shaved Vidalia onion
Howdy Burger-inspired burger sauce (recipe follows)
A nice brioche bun or Kings Hawaiian burger bun.
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Place the burger balls into skillet and flatten with a sturdy spatula until about ¼-inch thick. Season patties with salt and pepper
2. While the patties are cooking, butter the bun and toast either in the oven, toaster or on the skillet until golden brown.
3. Once you see lacy brown edges on the patties, it’s time to flip.
4. After flipping the patties, add the cheese. Once the cheese is melted, the burger is cooked.
5. Place the patties on top of each other and place them on the bun. Top the burger with the classics or get creative and add some Gouda cheese and fried onions to it.
The actual recipe is top secret, but Ben Alexander suggests mixing together ketchup, mustard, pickle juice and mayonnaise into your own concoction, using ingredient ratios that you enjoy.
Sweet and Spicy Grilled Flank Steak
Serves 4 to 6
This comes together simply with a great steak, a few pantry staples and a minimum of fresh ingredients from the grocery store. Marinate overnight (or 20 minutes if that’s all the time you have) before tossing it on the grill. Serve with rice, tortillas or lettuce leaf wraps.
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped scallions
1 tablespoon peeled and finely chopped ginger
1 fresh jalapeño, seeded if desired, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
Zest of ½ lime
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon sriracha or other hot sauce (or to taste)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1½ teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1½ pounds flank steak
1. In a food processor, pulse together scallion, ginger, jalapeño, garlic, sugar, lime zest and juice, and sriracha. With the motor running, pour in oil until smooth.
2. Season steak with salt. Place in a large bowl and pour marinade over meat. Turn to coat well with the mixture. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
3. When you are ready to cook the steak, heat the grill to medium-high, or heat the broiler with the rack set 4 inches from the heat source. Transfer meat to the grill and cook, covered, until it reaches the desired doneness (about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare), or broil until charred and done to taste, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Let rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes, then slice thinly.
— Adapted from NY Times Cooking