'Lost art' alive and well at Palmer's Market

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Quality, cut and some old fashioned expertise make all the difference when choosing your Christmas roast.

Steeped in 96 years of tradition, The Butcher Shop at Palmer’s Market is prepped for the holidays with the best selection of beef, bird, pork, lamb, seafood and beyond.

“Christmas is about tradition and reminiscing about your childhood and smelling those scents you grew up with,” Palmer’s Market Co-owner Cindy Palmer Dean said. “It’s about cooking that special meal.”

The Butcher Shop’s traditional service and technique — coupled with a modern culinary selection — is a point of pride for Cindy.

“In most supermarkets, the meat comes pre-butchered,” she said. “It’s really a lost art.”

The art is alive and well at Palmer’s Butcher Shop with Tashi Tsering, the lead Butcher in the department. Tashi is passionate about his craft and working with customers.

Beef is one of the top selections during the holidays and, Palmer’s carries certified USDA Prime, Black Angus, all-natural and grass-fed beef.

The Butcher Shop also offers Dry Aged Prime Beef, which they describe as a “high-def” version of beef. Dry aging does for red meat what cave aging does for cheese or cellaring for Bordeaux; the taste improves with time.

“Dry aged beef is full of flavor and tenderness,” Tashi said.

Tashi’s pick for the holidays is the Palmer’s Standing Rib Roast, also known as Prime Rib.

“Our Standing Rib Roast is cut off the bone and then tied back on for extra flavor when roasting. This makes it much easier for our customers to carve and they can make the slices as thick as they want.” Tashi said. “The dry aged prime rib is awesome! Whoever said the best things in life are worth waiting for was right, especially when it comes to 21-day dry aged beef.”

Beef, however, isn’t the only star of the holiday. Nueske’s Award Winning Spiral Ham, out of Wisconsin, is the perfect combination of sweet, salt and smoke as each ham is hand glazed with honey and slowly smoked over Applewood embers.

“I tasted dozens of hams before deciding to feature Nueske’s in our store. I am so impressed with their quality,” said Cindy. “They’re also a family run business since 1933 and they couldn’t be any nicer to work with!”

Delicious pork doesn’t stop at ham. A Berkshire Pork Crown Roast makes an impressive and delicious showcase for your holiday table. This heritage breed of pork is succulent, tender and juicy. “Once you try Berkshire pork, you’ll never eat anything else,” Tashi said.

New to The Butcher Shop this year are fresh game birds. In Europe, roasted Goose has been a tradition since ancient times. Peking and Muscovy Duck, Capons, and Pheasants are also available with 24 hours notice. All of their game birds are fresh, free-range and humanely raised.

“Oysters are also a holiday treat! We’re bringing them in from Copps Island Oysters out of Norwalk,” Cindy said. “These are what made Blue Points famous and remain one of the best oysters coming out of Long Island Sound”.

In addition to The Butcher Shop selection, service is key, according to both Cindy and Tashi.

“It’s really all about interacting with the customers,” he said. “We answer their questions, give advice and do everything we can to make sure our customers leave happy.”

See the full list of Palmer’s Butcher Shop holiday offerings at PalmersDarien.com or visit the market at 264 Heights Road, Darien.