Yes, you’ve probably heard of produce CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscriptions—boxes of seasonal, local fruits and veggies from area farms that you can sign up to receive on a monthly basis. But what about an all-meat version?
Carnivores, your time has come: local butchery Red Apron will roll out the first of its Butcher’s Boxes in early April. Sign up for a subscription, and you’ll receive a monthly box filled with fresh meat from local farmers and occasional cured meats. You can opt to add in spices and rubs, as well as pantry items like pimento cheese or mustard. Recipes specific to the included goods will be thrown in, too.
The boxes were an idea the Red Apron group has been tossing around for several years, says chef Nate Anda, and they’ve already gotten a good number of preorders.
“We work with so many different products that it can sometimes be daunting [for customers] to go in and know what everything is,” he says. This way is better, he says: “You don’t have to shop. You can just pick it up and go home and cook.”
The boxes are available in two sizes: the $95 Biggie, which has 7 to 8 pounds of meat as well as bone broth and lard, and the $55 Biggie Smalls, which is 4 to 5 pounds. What kinds of proteins subscribers get will depend on what the butcher is getting in seasonally from its purveyors, but going forward, customers may have more say. The boxes will be available for pickup from a list of eight Neighborhood Restaurant Group sites, including Bluejacket in Navy Yard, Owen’s Ordinary in North Bethesda, and all Red Apron shops, among others.
While you can save whatever you don’t eat (everything is freezer-safe, says Anda), the boxes are designed to appeal to all tastes, whether you’d like a whole chicken for a family of four or a few steaks for yourself.
The contents will change depending on what’s fresh in-store as well as the season, says Anda. With summer coming up, expect to see less stocks and more grillable options like steaks, sausages, and gourmet hotdogs, or even charcuterie for an outdoor picnic.
And maybe the best part of all? Each box comes with a Spotify playlist curated by Anda. As an appetizer, we’ve included Anda’s first playlist for you here.