Hagens Organic Butcher @ Prahran MarketPosted by: Scott Ko
Humans have been enjoying red meat since the dawn of time with the first major evolutionary change in the human diet occurring approximately 2.6 million years ago. Our hunger for meat has not altered, with meat consumption rapidly rising. The off-farm meat value of Australia’s beef industry is $12.3 billion and the gross value of Australian cattle and calf production is estimated at $7.4 billion (Meat & Livestock Australia). That’s a lot of steak and burgers! Unfortunately, our unwavering desire for red meat has had a detrimental impact on the environment and animal welfare. The water and agricultural needs to raise a single cow is enormous, not to mention the deplorable conditions that factory raised cattle are exposed to. An increasing number of people are turning towards organic, grass-fed and biodynamic beef for a number of reasons including health, environmental and animal welfare concerns (read more here).
Hagens Organics is a market leader in providing quality organic, biodynamic and grass fed meats. They offer a comprehensive range where all animals have been raised on certified organic and biodynamic farms where animals are free to graze on open pastures. In all it’s carnivorous glory, Hagens Organics understands that happy cows equals sensational meat. I shared a chat with Cameron – the manager of the Prahran store and true blue Aussie butcher and meat aficionado.
Walking into the store, the first thing I notice are several ginormous cow carcasses hanging behind a glass screen. Cameron explains that one of their specialties is dry-aged beef – a real rarity in the market scene considering most dry-ageing occurs at upmarket restaurants such as Rockpool. Hagens purchases the entire cow straight from the farm and dry ages the meat directly in store. Not only does dry-ageing produce sensational meat, but it emphasises the effort and time that Hagens has invested in providing quality meat to its customers.
What is Dry-ageing?
Dry-ageing is a process where beef is allowed to dry and dehydrate in a heavily controlled environment (temperature, humidity, air-flow, UV lighting) for a prolonged period. In the first 10-20 days, enzymes found naturally in the body start to break down the protein and fat strands, this occurs alongside the dehydration process which concentrates the flavour of the meat. The resulting taste is mind-blowing with amazing tenderness and flavour with every mouthful.
- Hagens also specialised in organic wagyu. My personal favourite cut.
- Rare breed pork
- Nitrate free bacon & ham (Nitrate is an artificial food additive added to cure and preserve meats, Hagens uses celery extract instead for a healthier natural alternative)
- Ready-to roast cuts, and
- Standard cuts of meat of course including beef, poultry, lamb and pork.
If your a budding butcher or just want to get down and dirty in learning the tricks of the trade, Hagens also have fortnightly Butchery classes where participants are taught the ‘ins-and-outs’ of the trade. You also get to keep the meat you butcher and you also get a free meal matched with a thirst quenching beer. Both educational and delicious!
Hagens know their meat from left to centre and is one of the few butchers in Melbourne where home cooks can purchase restaurant quality meat. Not all of us has the strong will of a vegetarian but by buying organic and free-range, your doing your bit to help the environment with a whole host of other benefits. So, if your ever in the Prahran area, make sure you visit Hagens Organics for premium quality meat.
1. QUEEN VIC MARKET
Shop 16, Meat Arcade
513 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Telephone: 03 9329 5534
2. PRAHRAN MARKET
163 Commercial Road
South Yarra VIC 3181
Telephone. 03 9827 1899