As promised last month, here begins a feature of a few local butcher shops this winter.
Byler’s Custom Cutting and Deer Processing
Interview with Hans Byler
Location & Contact Info: 6305 Orchard Dr., Timberville; Hans Byler (540) 820-2086
Owners: Hans and Carla Byler
Years in the business: 21 in total – 12 years in Virginia; 9 years prior to moving to this area.
A little history: Carla’s family owned a slaughtering business in upstate NY, so she grew up around it. Hans had always been interested in butchering as a teenager and was able to develop it into a life skill when he joined her family. He says he is “grateful for what they taught us and the values they instilled.”
What they offer: Cutting of beef, deer, pork, sheep; many smoked products, especially for venison, but others as well. Slim Jims, jerky, venison sausage, maple sausage, sausage links, hamburger patties, marinated steaks and burgers, and even a house seasoning rub!
Most popular products: Sweet Lebanon bologna and jalapeño cheese bologna
Hours: The shop is open from September to April to schedule meat processing. Typically, they are available 4 days a week, Monday through Thursday, usually from 7 am – 4 or 5 pm. “Deer season is a totally different story – some of us actually stay here a lot of times keeping the smokers going, so we’re here in the evenings quite a bit and weekends, more so as the season progresses on into muzzleloader and rifle.” Deer can be dropped off without an appointment.
Things to note: “We don’t have a lot of space, so customers need to bring their boxes (Deer doesn’t require that). We typically expect our customers to pick up within a day or so after we call them just because we do not have the freezer space to store for a long period of time. Thankfully our customers are great and work with us very well on that.”
A few more thoughts: Hans expressed his gratitude for the local community’s support. “It’s fun, we find joy in putting out a good product for our customers – many are repeat – we are thankful for them.” I asked the eldest daughter, Tazia, her thoughts about being involved in the butcher shop. She shares, “My favorite part is being able to work with my family. The older I get, the more I realize what a gift it is to be able to work with [one’s] siblings and to be best friends with them.”
Succulent Albemarle Pippin Smoothie
This recipe was featured in Shenandoah Valley Orchard’s (formerly Turkey Knob Growers) Tree to Table series with Mary Louise and Tina from the former Village Juice in Harrisonburg. The orchard is located at 17581 Mechanicsville Road, Timberville; shenandoahvalleyorchards.com.
8 oz. coconut milk (store bought or blend coconut meat and milk)
1 c. pineapple (frozen or fresh frozen) – gives smoothie consistency without being watery
½ c. mango (can freeze nearly overripe mango you might have on hand)
½ c. spinach
¼ c. cilantro
½ c. Albemarle Pippin apples
Mary Louise shared that the Albemarle Pippin is a very old variety that grows super well in the valley. In New York, it has the name Newton Pippin. This apple is not good to eat super fresh, but now is the time it is available. Clip out this recipe and grab a box of apples to keep stored boxed in refrigerator or cool place for about 2 months to develop flavor – turns a little more yellow when ready for use. Time allows starches to turn to sugar. Tina advised that the apples add sweetness without sugar. She pointed out that the order of ingredients is important in making a smoothie. Liquid first – if you add too much liquid, it can be watery and doesn’t have the smooth flavor that touches your palette. Then add frozen ingredients – act as the ice, gives a thickening to the smoothie. Last, top off with green parts (spinach, cilantro, apple – not frozen.) Flavors blend, yet stand out simultaneously.