Bacon Lovers Unite

The Ethical Butcher

New twist on "bacon of the month" club

By Stacy Austin May 7, 2010


Berlin Reed, also known locally as the Ethical Butcher, is starting a “bacon of the month” club, in which members can receive a 2 lb slab of bacon each month. There are three purchasing options, from month to month ($36/slab), a six-month commitment ($27.50/slab), or annually ($20/slab).

Originally a Northwest native, Reed is returning to Portland after working various jobs in wine, cheese, and meat in New York. He was a self-described “militant vegan” until his job as a butcher eased him onto sustainable meat sources. He found he could make more of a positive impact by supporting local, sustainable farmers, than merely all-out ignoring the meat industry.

As the Ethical Butcher, Reed offers Oregonians access to local, heritage meat in a choice of different gourmet flavors. Reed has dozens of self-crafted bacon recipes, including everything from pineapple to peanut butter. He purchases his meat from smaller farms that often can’t sell just a few pounds of meat to local consumers, but that are also too small to sell to stores or restaurants.

He visits every farm personally and then custom-cures the heritage pork and lamb bacon. The bacon is not smoked; it is oven-roasted to provide a layered essence. Seasoning ingredients are local and seasonal when possible. Reed is curating a product that one cannot find elsewhere.

Last Friday was Reed’s last bacon event held at Salt, Fire & Time (609 SE Ankeny), a community-supported kitchen. Reed prepared small entrees, including three bacon flavors. “Colonel Mustard with a Clove” was served on a sweet pastry, and included Stumptown coffee, stoneground mustard, cloves, and coffee-soaked cherries. “Jalisco” was served on a skewer, with bacon complementing tequila, lime jalapeno, serranos and guajillo. “Ya-ya’s,” named after a family member, was easily consumed on lettuce with blue cheese, flavored with fig, homemade tapenade, and preserved lemons.

Reed and Tressa Yellig (owner of Salt, Fire & Time) have found a new space (1902 NW 24th) to pursue their separate businesses. It is a converted house with two kitchens where they can hold intimate dinners and classes.

Filed under
Show Comments