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The Meat Is Marbled With Delectable Ethics By A British Butcher

Butcher Martin Kirrane offers a distinctly British flair to his meat business with openness, ethical sourcing, and an English-style ‘nose to tail’ approach. Martin Kirrane, owner and butcher at Featherblade Craft Butchery, carves beef at his shop in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.
Martin Kirrane, owner and butcher at Featherblade Craft Butchery, carves meat at his shop in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto
Martin Kirrane, owner and butcher at Featherblade Craft Butchery, shows a hog in the walk-in refrigerator at his shop in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto
Martin Kirrane, owner and butcher at Featherblade Craft Butchery, works with trainee Jimmy Henderson on carving beef in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal).
@csstevensphoto Apprentice Jimmy Henderson carves meat while being supervised by Martin Kirrane, owner and butcher at Featherblade Craft Butchery, in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal).
Martin Kirrane, owner and butcher at Featherblade Craft Butchery, left, instructs apprentice Jimmy Henderson on carving meat in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto
Martin Kirrane, owner and butcher at Featherblade Craft Butchery, carves meat at his shop in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto
Martin Kirrane, owner and butcher at Featherblade Craft Butchery, works with trainee Jimmy Henderson in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto
Martin Kirrane, owner and butcher at Featherblade Craft Butchery in Las Vegas, prepares to cut meat on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto
(Las Vegas Review-Journal/Chase Stevens) @csstevensphoto It’s unlikely that many butchers would urge you to eat less meat, but Martin Kirrane isn’t your typical butcher.
Featherblade English Craft Butchery, which opened this month at 8550 W, is owned by Kirrane.
Just east of Durango Drive is Charleston Blvd.
Kirrane co-owned two butcher shops in London, therefore he is truly English.
He first visited Las Vegas in 2017 for Thanksgiving with his wife’s family, and it was then that he realized his kind of slaughtering was as uncommon as a Union Jack in a Fourth of July parade.
“All-animal slaughter is normal in England,” Kirrane remarked.
“Not in Las Vegas,” says one butcher. “All-animal,” sometimes known as “nose-to-tail,” is a trend among butchers and chefs on the US coastlines.
It’s exactly what it sounds like: the animal’s entire body is used.
While most butcher shops and supermarkets obtain their meat in fundamental cuts (such as chuck or round), Kirrane gets the complete hog.
Maybe a calf, or a lamb.
He and apprentice James Henderson butcher the full carcasses that arrive in his business every two to three weeks: a steer, two or three pigs, and three lambs.
Dry-aging premium cuts can improve flavor and texture.
Other components are ground into meat, sausages, or meat pies, or sold to a jerky maker.
Even the fat is used, as it is rendered for the meat pies’ pastry.
Yet the differences amongst Featherblades meats don’t stop there.
Melinda Kirrane, dubbed the “real driving force of Featherblade Craft Butchery” in their newsletter, is a public health practitioner who worked for the National Health Service in England and now works for a consultancy.
Her main focus is on creating policies that will improve people’s health.
The Kirranes are committed to offering the healthiest, most ethically reared, and sustainably sourced meats they can, as well as being entirely upfront about it.
Martin Kirrane observed, “That was all about the ethics.”
“We just don’t know what we’ve been eating for the previous 30, 40 years,” he says, adding that the pork he sells is farmed locally, while the lamb, chicken, and beef he sells are raised in California.
Kirrane believes that he sells roughly 40% prime beef.
The rest comes from Santa Carota Ranch near Bakersfield, where the steers are raised on pasture but finished on carrots.
Carrots, indeed.
They’ve been doing it since 1989, and they claim it improves the meat’s flavor and nutritional value.
Martin Kirrane commented, “I thought it was a brilliant idea.”
“People come in specifically for that,” he said, adding that after a recent shipment, the rib eye and strip steaks — the popular cuts for grilling — were gone in two days.
“So I was stuck with a lot of round and chuck pieces,” she says, adding that some of them ended up in steak-and-ale pies.
Part of it was also used to make hamburgers; when grilling, “if you don’t have steaks, the next best thing is burgers.” As you might expect, Santa Carota beef is more expensive than prime cuts.
The couple is attempting to become eligible to accept electronic-benefits-transfer, or EBT, cards for people who are in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program because they believe the meat is healthier than retail cuts.
“Eat better meat less often,” Kirrane’s credo, is a way to encourage consumers to spend the same percentage of their budget on better-quality meat.
He’s already gaining a following, which includes restaurant workers.
Tervon Flowers, executive sous chef at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ Beauty &Essex, is one of them.
Flowers explained, “We used some for restaurant sampling — simply wanted to try it out.”
“The skin-on, double-barrel pork chops were incredible, and the lamb steaks were incredible.”
It has a nice dry-aged finish on the Santa Carota.
“I’m not a huge lover of dry-aged beef, but the flesh was tender,” Kirrane said, adding that consumers appear to like the shop’s principles, particularly when it comes to openness.
“I think the most important aspect of the place is that it was good to chat to someone who knew where their meats came from,” Flowers added.
“I like that they will break down the meat in the way you want it.”
It was a pleasant, friendly atmosphere, and they were concerned about the quality of their beef.
I’ll be back next week.” Erin Taylor, who was in the shop last week, is unlikely to return anytime soon.
Taylor, who resides in Phoenix, was in Las Vegas to see her father.
“I’ve got a list,” she explained as she walked into the store, explaining that her wife is English.
“I’ve been told to bring back some goodies,” such as “Featherblade genuine bacon,” which is more meaty than its American cousin.
And, in case you were wondering, the name is a tribute to tradition as well.
“Featherblade” is the English equivalent of a flatiron cut, with the fat appearing to create a feather shape in the center, according to Kirrane.
“It’s a classic English cut,” he explained.
“That’s kind of what we’re about,” says Heidi Knapp Rinella, who can be reached at [email protected]
On Twitter, look for @HKRinella.

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