why-shop-at-butchersOver the last few decades, food markets have been dominated by huge “box-store” chains thanks to a culture of convenience. Fortunately, people are now seeking a more reliable, better quality product– but how can someone on a budget justify paying higher prices by the pound? Keep reading for four value-adding reasons that will encourage consumers to vote with their dollar to support their local butcher, food industry and overall economy!


Many butchers, like D’Arcy’s Meat Market, have dozens of years (if not generations) of experience on their side! All professional butchers are well-trained, but there is a wealth of knowledge that is exclusive to independent butchers that manage every aspect of their businesses. Since your satisfaction is our first priority, we are happy to pass that knowledge and experience on as advice to all of our customers.


The butcher counter at your favourite chain may have a wide selection, but is often the same choices over and over again. Independent butchers provide an unparalleled flexibility when it comes to custom orders or special preparations. We also curate our inventory based on seasonal quality and taste. The digital age has broadened food options of families and gourmands alike– allow us to handle any of your needs, such as a regular order or a special request.


Local butchers know they cannot be as convenient as supermarkets, wholesale clubs or frozen food retail chains– so butchers ensure they have the edge when it comes to quality. D’Arcy’s exclusively uses reputable, local sources that deliver only the freshest products without exception. Eat better food and support local businesses, choose a butcher!


While a plastic-wrapped slab of ground chuck is easy to grab alongside your milk and bread, do you really know when that meat was prepared and what went into it? When you visit a butcher like D’Arcy’s, you can see almost every step of the process: choose your cut, have it prepared to order and walk out knowing your meat wasn’t handled unnecessarily. Our butchers can also tell you where your meat came from, when it arrived and how long it will stay fresh.

The four examples above are only a few of the advantages of shopping at your local butcher. At D’Arcy’s you can build a relationship with our friendly staff in a less intimidating atmosphere than a bustling supermarket. If you have any questions or concerns, contact or visit us today!

BUTCHERS’ BEST-KEPT SECRETS: The Truth from Behind the Counter

Male butcher hanging meat on hook in shop

Since we are the ones that handle the meat from some of its earliest stages, D’Arcy’s butchers have seen it all. From exotic game to how the sausage is made – our staff is proud to be a fountain of knowledge for any customers that walk through our door. Below is a peek at some of our industry secrets that we’re passing along for your benefit. Read on!


Flatiron steak: a tender, juicy steak often overlooked for its less recognizable shape.
Short ribs: affordable and delicious when braised long over low temperatures.
Rump medallion: lean and meaty with all the juiciness and tenderness of fattier cuts.
Hanger steak: only one per animal – a flavourful cut that excels when marinated.
Bone marrow: a ‘peasant dish’ classic that is exploding in gourmet circles.
Lamb neck: intense lamb flavour from a part of the animal that is often wasted.
Organs, etc: odds and ends such as bellies, sweetbreads and suet are considered delicacies in many cuisines.
Venison & other wild game: adds all new flavours and textures to any dish or cookout. D’Arcy’s offers special orders or even custom game carving.


Separable lean: when a cut of meat has all visible, exterior fat removed.
Separable lean and fat: when a cut of meat is left with its external fat.
Bias slice: cutting perpendicular to or against the grain of the meat; allows for clean, even slices.
Matchstick: adds another cut to bias sliced meat, producing narrow strips.
Cubed: just like it sounds, good for stewing or braising meat.
Minced or ground: finely chopped or pulverized; can be made from any quality or kind of meat.


Are you a hunter or have one in the family? Invested in an animal share, but butchering is extra? Consider D’Arcy’s for your next custom meat cutting order. We can tailor your order to your preference, whether it is deer, elk or any other kind of freshly caught game – even hand-raised livestock. Call ahead and book your custom order today. Availability is limited and spots fill up quickly!

There you have it, a few good nuggets of wisdom from your friendly, neighbourhood butchers here at D’Arcy’s Meat Market. Are you curious about any of the items or services above? Looking for something you don’t see on our site or blog? Visit or contact us today – our helpful staff can answer any questions or concerns you might have thanks to our years of experience.


fresh chopped mutton

Many homecooks avoid meats that seem exotic or difficult to cook. The fact is many of these “exotic” meats boast long traditions of preparation and cuisine, a solid foundation for cooks of all skill levels. While many North Americans are well versed in lamb chops, racks and roasts– the same people might shy away of similar cuts of meat labeled as mutton. Read below for D’Arcy’s quick-look definitions, comparisons and contrasts of lamb and mutton.

Lamb is defined as the meat of a sheep slaughtered between four months and one year old. Low in fat content, the meat is often pink or pale red with delicate yet distinctive flavour. Not all lamb is made equal– different cuts offer different advantages and disadvantages.

Mutton is nearly identical to lamb: it’s the meat of a sheep. The only difference is the slaughtered sheep has been allowed to mature past twelve months, usually in the range of three years old. Mutton is rich in fat, bright red and intensely flavourful. Often considered an “acquired taste” in North America, mutton is extremely popular throughout the Middle East and Europe.

When preparing lamb or mutton, it is important to adjust your plans and recipes to accommodate the differences of either meat. While lamb is prized for its subtlety, a cheap cut of lamb can end up just as greasy and odorous as a mutton counterpart when prepared incorrectly. Conversely mutton has a bad reputation, but it can easily be served as part of a fine, gourmet meal.

Are you interested in trying out lamb or mutton on your dinner table? Visit or contact our helpful staff at D’Arcy’s and they will put their expertise to work for you. We will cater to you by ensuring you have the right cut of meat for your needs.

RAISE THE STEAKS: Why Buy Steak at a Butcher Shop?

Selection of meat at a butcher shop

Predicting the weather, playing blackjack, picking out a cut of meat… there are some things we tell ourselves we’re good at, but we know deep down there’s a science to it that we have yet to master. This is where a good butcher like D’Arcy’s comes in! Don’t waste your time staring into a giant cooler, trying to unlock the secrets of cellophane-wrapped steaks with your hidden mind powers– just call, email or visit and our experienced staff will customize your order to your exact needs and specifications.

Still want to unlock some of those secrets? The list below contains several reasons why you should buy your next steak at D’Arcy’s!


Tell your butcher what recipe you are cooking or what you envision as the end product. They may ask a few questions, but it is only to determine the perfect cut to meet your needs. Think of your butcher like a caddy, but instead of golf clubs they know which cut of meat suits each situation.


“Steak” is a popular favourite food, but ask a butcher for steak and he’ll ask: “What kind?” There are dozens of varieties of steak, each with their own advantages and disadvantages– depending on the situation. Ribeye, strip, tenderloin, t-bone, Porterhouse, Flat Iron… and the list goes on! Serving size and style vary from one to the next, but all can be delicious in the right context. Your butcher is a wealth of information on the different cuts of steak and their purpose.


Lesser widely known steaks like tri-tip or sirloin can outstrip their “cheap” status with proper grilling or even a simple marinade. World famous BBQ pitmasters and gourmet chefs alike have made their fortune by taking so-called lesser cuts of meat to the next level. Looking for something special that won’t break the bank? Ask your butcher for suggestions next time you’re looking to grill something different.


Compare a butcher’s counter to a supermarket cooler– what’s different? At a butcher like D’Arcy’s the meat is open in a sealed cooler, while supermarket meat suffocates in cling wrap and styrofoam. Not only can packaging negatively affect optimum moisture levels in the meat, but you also cannot inspect the entire product. Our butchers will gladly show you every cut available, helping you pick the right one for you needs.

Steak Tips

  • Look for a rich, red colour in the meat of the steak
  • Good marbling– threads of fat throughout the cut– is key to a tender steak
  • Any meat with a sour or ammonia smell is not fresh & should be returned
  • Overly sticky or tacky-feeling beef should be returned
  • Read the fine print: flashy labels don’t tell the whole story!

Getting to Know your Local Traditional Butcher Shop


Traditional Butcher Shop Meat Counter

In recent years, the “age of convenience” has accustomed consumers to getting everything in one place at a bargain price. While certainly convenient, that system often leads to lower quality product and inconsistent customer service. Those are just some of the reasons more people have given up supermarket aisles for a more traditional or “old-style” butcher shop experience. D’Arcy’s Butcher Shop welcomes all customers– (even first-timers!)– and our staff is experienced, friendly and hands-on.

Read on for a brief summary of what to expect at your local, traditional butcher shop.



Butchery is one of the world’s oldest professions with traditions and practices dating back to the first humans to ever use tools. Of course modern, commercial slaughter and butchering is radically different from the first hunters and their stone knives. In fact, the sheer volume of meat required to supply supermarkets has led to wide usage of practices that reduce the overall quality. A supermarket butcher has likely never met the person who slaughters their meat, let alone the animal. D’Arcy’s Meats is a traditional style butcher shop, meaning we work closely with our suppliers, ensuring animals receive humane and ethical treatment– sourced locally and organically whenever possible.



Supermarkets rarely work with full animal carcasses; instead they purchase high numbers of pre-cut sections that provide popular cuts of meat. These bulk portions are churned out to meet a demand for quantity, not quality. D’Arcy’s butchers buy and cut from whole animals, ensuring a close inspection for quality throughout the entire process. This makes less popular, but just as delicious cuts available to our customers as well as harder-to-find, specialty cuts and meats. Our staff can work with you to build custom orders tailored to your needs– whether you’re feeding a small family or a huge crowd!



Tired of pale, unappetizing slabs of meat crammed into styrofoam and plastic wrap? Frustrated with limited selection or impersonal staff at the supermarket? Then plan your next visit to D’Arcy’s! We have many years of experience providing top-notch product and customer service because we know that’s what it takes to earn and keep your business. From advice for one-time, specialty orders to taking care of your family’s staples– you can rely on D’Arcy’s to deliver a better tasting product, produced ethically at competitive prices.