My Porter RoadReview
Beef, Pork, Lamb, and Stock for my Kitchen
Porter Road is an online butcher-shop dedicated to pasture-raised, antibiotic-free, added hormone-free, hand-cut beef, pork, lamb, and chicken. They source their meat from closeby smaller Tennessee and Kentucky farms and Porter Road does all of the processing in-house to maintain their high standard from field to plate.
While it has become slightly easier to stock my kitchen (finally!) I have become pretty comfortable getting as many things as I can delivered to my home. Between the meat and vegetable subscriptions, Will and I have been enjoying, we have short grocery lists these days and I have become a much better cook over the last few months. I am trying to make these changes more of a permanent choice, so we have been exploring more boxes to keep the pantry and freezer stocked. While we have been mostly cooking with ground beef lately, I decided it might be time to try some other meats and cuts. I am absolutely thrilled with the variety and tastes that arrived in my first Porter Road box.
About Porter Road
I have to do a little home-town boasting here for a second. Porter Road was born in Nashville, TN, which is where I spent my high school years. Even better, one of the founders was a University of Memphis graduate, and as a native Memphian, I had to brag a little. Go Tigers!
Chris and James actually met at a restaurant in Nashville, hit it off, and decided to start a catering business together. They quickly realized that good meat was hard to find, and the local farmer's markets weren't going to be a reliable enough source to bank on. Porter Road was born! Deciding that everyone deserved responsible and delicious meat, they began shipping their cuts around the country since 2017.
- Subscriptions start at $70.00 and include free shipping. Choose to receive a delivery every 2, 4, or 8 weeks. You can also select add-ons each month to customize.
- Curated boxes like the 10lb Ground Beef Bundle, 5lb Ground Lamb Bundle, and Bacon Box start at $45.00 for a one time purchase.
- Beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and sausage cuts can be purchased a la carte. Dry aged ground beef starts at $9.00 per pound and ground lamb starts at $12.00 per pound.
They restock cuts Monday through Friday, so if something is sold out, sign up for the waitlist and check back often!
What you'll get: The kind team at Porter Road reached out and allowed me to pick a few different cuts to try. What you will receive will depend on your order or subscription choice. Some cuts are sent frozen, but I found the majority to be fresh, and carefully packaged.
Ships to: The contiguous US
Are Porter Road shipments impacted by COVID-19?
"We are experiencing unusually high order volume, resulting in longer than normal shipping times. Orders placed today will take up to 3-5 days to ship with expected arrival 2-3 days after shipment. Our team is working diligently to cut down on these shipping delays." - Porter Road
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
Why Porter Road?
Aside from the Tennessee connection? I was impressed by their beefy (pun intended) FAQ section, the way they raise and process their meat, and the great variety. I also loved reading their About section and learning more about why they chose to do things the way they do. It truly is better for the animals, the land, and the consumer. The prices also felt more than reasonable compared to our normal grocery store meat and was certainly going to taste better.
My Review of Porter Road
That is a lot of meat!
1/2# Burger Patties, 0.98 lb - Buy for $10.00
FYI: These ship frozen, with two per pack ranging in weight from 0.95 - 1.05 lbs.
The first things we decided to cook when the box arrived were the hamburgers and brats! These patties are big, but Will can easily eat 2-3 hamburgers, so it made sense to cook up both so we each both could have a hamburger. Each of these patties is about half a pound and after they thawed, we took them out to the grill, where it promptly started to rain. A LOT. We did end up finishing these off on the stove, but it didn't affect the taste negatively at all! They were delicious and so much "beefier" than our normal grocery store patties. Even though it was a downpour outside, these felt like summer in the park.
We tend to stick to a pretty basic burger. We paired our patties with the classics: American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, and our fave condiments. YUM.
Beef Bratwurst, 1.04 lb - Buy for $13.00
FYI: These ship frozen, with three per pack ranging in weight from 0.95 - 1.05 lbs.
I don't really eat pork, so I was thrilled to see beef brats on the Porter Road site. These are absolutely HUGE. They dwarfed the normal-sized hotdog buns I thought would do. In hindsight, bigger buns are a must for these. These were also absolutely yummy, especially with the grilled flavor their (admittedly short) time on the grill gave them. I ended up only being able to finish one because I was already stuffed with hamburger, but I think I actually preferred these!
I like loads of caramelized onions on my brats, and that is about it. These were really juicy so I didn't feel the need to add any cheese or condiments. They had so much flavor on their own and the onions just added a slightly sweet element.
Flat Iron Steak, 1.01 lb - Buy for $20.00
FYI: This ships fresh, with one steak per pack ranging in weight from 0.8 - 1 lb.
This is one of the top 5 steaks of my life so far, and that is high praise. It was just SO tender! I guess I had no clue this was such a great cut of meat. It is one of my new favorites. I was a little worried it might become too well done because it wasn't super thick, but it ended up being pretty close to perfect! This was also a large steak, so I shared half with Will, though I probably could have eaten 3/4th of it because it was SO freaking good. I think this would also be the ideal sort of steak to thinly slice and add to a salad.
Will makes some of the best steaks I have ever had and his skill combined with this particular cut made for a darn good meal. He used a cast iron skillet, butter, seasoning, and just a tiny bit of water. I roasted some carrots, brussel sprouts, and onions to compliment!
Round Roast, 2.92 lbs - Buy for $20.00
FYI: This price is per piece ranging in weight from 2.3 - 2.8 lbs. Mine arrived fresh, not frozen.
I was delighted when this giant roast arrived and cooking it was really fun too. This piece of meat is from the rear leg of the cow, and can be a little tougher than other cuts. It is also extremely lean! My roast arrived with twine to keep it in shape. Will adores a roast, especially with some sort of potato (literally the definition of a meat and potatoes guy) so I decided to make it with homemade scalloped potatoes.
While I would normally just have tossed this into the crockpot and slow-cooked it into oblivion, Will requested I try it out in the oven. I rubbed it down with a combination of Lawry's seasoning and fresh rosemary, then I seared the surfaces on the stovetop, then moved it to the oven after encasing it in foil to seal in the moisture. This is a roast that should be fairly pink in the center, so I had to rely on my meat thermometer to make sure I wasn't under or overcooking it. It actually turned out pretty close to perfect! Will gave this meal two thumbs up, and while I prefer my roast more tender, the flavor here was incredible! I ended up tossing the leftovers into the crockpot with some beef stock and enjoying it again the next day, much more tender.
Lamb Stew Meat, 2.07 lbs - Buy for $35.00
FYI: This pack ships frozen, with each around 2 lbs.
I make stews pretty frequently, and since we are on the cusp of no more chilly nights, I decided to prep this the morning of a grey and chilly day. I like to cook my stews in the crockpot because I literally just pan toss the meat, then toss everything into the pot, to let it do its thing until dinner. This felt like a lot of meat for my typical stew, and I totally could have saved half of it for a second round but decided we might have better luck with leftovers than waiting for another cold day.
This meat was in larger chunks and had a noticeable amount of fat, something the delights Will. It smelled so good in the pan! I added in some oil, a little paprika, and salt. I then transferred the meat to the crockpot and used the left behind juices to caramelize 2 onions. Everything then went into the pot with some red wine, beef stock, and frozen veggies. We enjoyed it about 8 hours later and the lamb gives my typical stew a totally different vibe. The meat is super tender too! We barely have enough left over for another meal, which says a lot about this yummy meat!
Lamb Chops, 1.99 lbs - Buy for $49.00
FYI: These ship frozen, with 8 per pack ranging in weight from 1.5 - 2 lbs.
Fun fact: I never grew up eating lamb, and the first time I cooked it I just kind of made it up. Will won't eat lamb anymore unless I have cooked it, so I have to be doing SOMETHING right. This was a huge pack of chops! There were 8 inside, and though we maybe should have saved some in the freezer, we made the whole batch to share with our neighbors. They were all nestled inside some butchers paper and looked yummy straight out of the bag.
My go-to herbs for lamb anything are paprika and rosemary. We happen to have a fresh rosemary plant living by our sink, so I started by chopping a healthy amount and then combining it with hot butter in my favorite pan. While those two elements were becoming better acquainted, I rubbed the chops themselves down with paprika and salt. I then placed them into the pan and browned them int he rosemary + butter mixture. I served them with garlic mashed potatoes and the butter leftover in the pan. Will wanted me to mention that this was the best meal I made from the box, and delivering half to our neighbors nearly killed him.
1/2# Kielbasa Links, 1.07 lbs - Buy for $9.00
FYI: These ship frozen, with two per pack ranging in weight from 0.95 - 1.05 lbs.
I am not from western Pennsylvania, and I didn't grow up on Kielbasa like Will did. While I will enjoy it once a year or so, he would happily have it more often! We usually just buy whatever is at the store, but the thought of having a more gourmet option certainly appeals to me. This is another crockpot meal for me (why complicate things?) and super easy. I just combine the kielbasa with sour kraut and let it cook from the morning until dinner time. I like to serve it with fresh bread and mashed potatoes or pierogies. Since kraut has been impossible to locate right now, this is a meal we will be enjoying after this review posts, but I will happily update with pictures when I manage to make a meal of these!
Beef Stock, 32 fl oz - Buy for $12.00
I use loads and loads of stock, and literally all of it has been from a box or can. While I am not ambitious enough to want to make my own, I loved the idea of trying out the ones from Porter Road. Wow. Good stock is a game-changer. This has a beefy and roasted flavor that enhanced everything I used it in. The 32 oz. bag is generously sized and easy to thaw and freeze as needed. I am a convert.
Chicken Stock, 32 fl oz - Buy for $12.00
Much like the beef stock, I am obsessed with this chicken version too. I used this in a recent batch of chicken noodle soup and also in some rice instead of water. A+.
Porter Road Packaging
The packaging job here was thorough, careful, and eco-friendly. The green foam is that sort that you can dissolve in water or use as a firestarter (perfect for grilling!). The icepacks were easily disposed by cutting them open, pouring the non-toxic goo in the trash, and recycling the bags themselves. All of the meat inside was still super chilly!
There was a little welcome card inside too.
Porter Road truly has some delicious meat. It blew away anything I could ever get locally, and the pricing was honestly not that much more than what I find myself paying at our "fancy" grocery store. As someone who could easily go vegetarian if I wasn't married to a caveman, I feel so much better knowing that this meat came from a company that holds itself to extremely high standards when it comes to the animal's lifespans from pasture to processing. You can always tell when a chef is enthusiastic about his food and excited to make it for you, and a similar effect is certainly apparent with the Porter Road team. If you are looking for a responsible and tasty source of meat fo your kitchen, do yourself a favor and check out Porter Road.
What do you think of Porter Road ? What are your favorite cuts of meat?
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