I’m Stuffed

I’m Stuffed

Product InfoSanagans

Is it stuffing or is it dressing? Cook it inside or outside the bird? Moist or dry? These controversies had us considering avoiding stuffing altogether. We’re a butcher’s newsletter — not Vice Magazine. But we are undaunted! So here it is; some notes about stuffing (or dressing, if you’re a Victorian, or from the Southern U.S., well, only certain parts of the Southern U.S., actually).

Sanagan’s house-made stuffing featuring sourdough bread, onion, butter, turkey stock, carrot and herbs is a classic addition to any Thanksgiving feast. Or make your own. They’re very few dishes that allow for a more intuitive, loosely-based-on-a-recipe approach to cooking. Just start with bread and go from there. If you want to add your own special touches to bread stuffing, ours or yours, consider the following additions:

• That package of weird bits that comes wrapped up inside your turkey? That’s the gizzard, heart AND WHAT ELSE?. Chop those up and add them in to sauté. More turkey flavour! Just don’t use the neck. (It’s the thing that looks like a neck.)

• More stock, preferably turkey but chicken will do. For those of you in the Moist Stuffing Camp. Make a mini-batch of turkey stock with that raw neck.

• Pork sausage. Because people like meat in their meat. Be sure to order some of our sage and thyme seasoned loose sausage meat when you order your turkey. When adding sausage consider some apple to lend a touch of acidic balance.

• Speaking of acidity — throw some orange juice in there.

• You know what you don’t see in any stuffing recipe? Wine! What’s up with that? I think a splash of something bright and tangy like a Muscadet Serve et Maine, a Gruner Veltliner or a dry Sauvignon Blanc would jazz things up.

• Chestnuts. We’re getting into some real olde-timey stuff here. The chestnuts should be boiled or roasted, shelled and chopped. Avoid chestnuts in sweet syrup — unless you like sweet stuffing. Now THAT’S controversial.

• Oysters. Extra olde-timey. Add the oyster liquor too to really up the oysterishness.

• Bacon. Because.

• Mushrooms: Fresh, wild or dry. Adjust quantities accordingly.

• Dried fruits like chopped cranberries or raisins. Tastes good. Looks good.

All of the above are suggested with bread stuffing in mind but don’t limit yourself to crumbs, especially for those saying no thanks to gluten. Corn bread, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes; rice, wild rice, bulgur and couscous can all be used to fill the bird.

Now that we have freed ourselves of any stuffiness regarding stuffing, let’s consider the suggestions of our Kensington neighbours and Sanagan’s co-workers for their multicultural stuffing inspirations.

Lester, the butcher from the Philippines, where, “about 50% of the people do Thanksgiving” says that his mother would add lemongrass to the stuffing.

Our friends at Caribbean Corner on Baldwin Street cite the Jamaican tradition of cramming the bird full of whole onions combined with clove, whole peppercorns and scallions. Aromatic!

Meat Hawker Angelica suggests a dim sum-style sticky rice stuffing hack with glutinous rice, sweet Chinese sausage, dried shrimp and shitake mushrooms.

So, as we can see, the inside of your turkey is an empty canvas awaiting the unlimited creativity of your stuffing expressions.

And now, a Thanksgiving classic:

A turkey walks into a bar.

The bartender says, “Wattle ya have?”

Let’s Talk Turkey (and all the other wonderful things Sanagan’s has to offer!)

Producer InfoSanagans

Make Sanagan’s your holiday destination this year! We have everything you’ll need to create a successful feast for your family and friends, so join us at either location and get your harvest feast on!

To place your order, either call us at 416-593-9747, or email us at (Kensington) info@sanagansmeatlocker.com, or (Gerrard) gerrard@sanagansmeatlocker.com.


We source our birds from two different farms; Shady Grove (Guelph, ON), and Elm Creek (Grand Valley, ON). If the former sounds familiar, that’s because it’s where we get our maple syrup from! Both farms adhere to our standards of antibiotic & hormone-free, and free-run meat. The turkeys come in a variety of weight ranges, and as much as we sincerely try to get everyone EXACTLY what they ask for, there is sometimes a variance (on the heavy end). For example, if you want a 16 lb bird, your order goes in the 16-18 lb range, and it’s possible that the birds dress out on the heavy end, so you might have to take a 18lber. But that’s ok, just more turkey sandwiches in your future!

As for Heritage Turkeys, we’ll be getting some in from The Packing House, one of our preferred suppliers who sources game birds, specialty beef, and other great items like these Orlopp Bronze birds from a farm near Meaford. These are beautiful, pasture-raised birds, and I can say from personal experience that they’re some of the tastiest turkeys around! These birds will be coming in between 15 and 20 lbs – we have a limited supply so get your orders in early!

As well as fresh turkeys, we will be getting in whole Smoked Turkeys from Metzger Meats.


Are you one of the few people who don’t like turkey? No worries, we have you covered!

Capons (usually range from about 8 to 10 lbs)


Cornish Hens

City Ham (smoked, bone-in hams) We get them whole, so we can cut them to size.

Baseball hams (small, boneless smoked hams, better for a small number of people)

Breakfast Sausage Stuffing (loose breakfast sausage mix to put in your stuffing)


As well as these “main event” items, Anne and her team in the kitchen will be making up some lovely sides to accompany everyone’s turkey dinners. Here’s what we’ll be offering:

Cranberry Sauce

Turkey Gravy

Turkey Stock

Bread Stuffing

Brine Bags

Brining Kits (includes a brine bag and the brine mix – just add water!)


It wouldn’t be a feast if you didn’t start with the perfect charcuterie board! Come down and see what Scott has made for the occasion. No one else in the city has the selection of house made pâtés, rillettes, and mousses that your friends here at Sanagan’s have! Impress your friends and your taste buds!

The Penokean Hills Story

The Penokean Hills Story

Producer InfoSanagans
We talk about crossbreeds regularly around Sanagan's, but a cross we haven't seen before is a financial planner with an agricultural engineer. Peter, myself, and a few of our managers had the chance to see the results of this combination a couple of weeks ago when we visited Mike (the Engineer) and Chris (the Finance Guy) of Penokean Hills Farms, just outside of Sault Ste. Marie. Though they may be the producer we work with that is farthest away from us, they may be one of the closest to us in terms of shared values. Penokean Hills is establishing the bulk of their sales in the GTA and Southern Ontario, but they are an intensely local company. They have essentially been born out of a need to utilise the resources around them in a combined effort to benefit the community at large. Not only do the principals raise their own animals, they also work with another 20+ farmers in the area to raise animals to their specifications. They share the best of their breeding stock, working to regenerate the herds with the most desirable traits (rib eye size, back fat/marbling, and feed efficiency). They've contracted farmers in the area to grow specific crops for them to be used as finishing feed for the animals (includes wheat, corn and dried peas). When the local abattoir was going out of business they took it over, preserving not just a half dozen jobs, but also the one location in the area farmers had to bring their animals to be processed. Though their own processing makes up the majority of the abattoir's week, they still process pigs, lambs and chickens for local farmers on a weekly basis. Their focus though is their own beef, and it is spectacular. As mentioned, they are using their own breeding stock throughout the area to produce consistent animals with the most desirable traits. Their cattle have a minimum of 50% Angus genetics, and are primarily crossed with other British breeds (Hereford, Galloway, Longhorn), though they have incorporated some other continental European breeds in the mix as well (Charolais, Limousin, Simmental). Calves are raised with their mothers, on milk and pasture (or haylage, as the season dictates) for the first 6-7 months. After that time, they are weaned off of milk and move to all pasture/haylage. Their finishing mix is constantly being monitored and slightly adjusted based on nutritional assessments and the needs of the cattle. Components of the feed (again, including corn, wheat and dried peas) are kept separately and mixed to recipe specifications twice daily, which is then provided to the cattle for them to graze at their leisure. The attention to detail and their desire to have input and control on every aspect of the animal's life-cycle is what impressed me the most. It wasn't enough for them to ensure the animal was raised properly, but also to ensure it was fed properly, and slaughtered properly. It is now on us to ensure the product is butchered properly, and sold with the love, care and attention that it deserves. For the time being, you can find the Penokean Hills product with greater regularity at the Gerrard store, but as the Penokean Hills operation grows (they have a new processing plant in the works, with the hopes of being open by May 2020), you'll only see their expansion in Sanagan's as well.
Harvest Time at Sanagan's

Harvest Time at Sanagan's

Product InfoSanagans
Just in case you haven’t noticed, Sanagan’s is starting to look like a produce market. It’s the harvest season and our baskets are bulging with ultra-fresh garlic, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, heirloom tomatoes and corn all from local farmers. Already this year, I’ve whipped up a couple of crowd pleasing grill dinners featuring Sanagan’s meat and a couple of those Southern Ontario favourites, corn and tomatoes. Allow me to set the scenes: BACKYARD PARTY WITH BEEF COULOTTE AND CORN ON THE COB A bunch of friends are all gathered in the backyard. There’s lots of beer and sparkling wine and later, whisky. The play list is dodging between the raucous and the nostalgic. My contribution is to stay sober long enough to work the grill and cook up about 5 pounds of coulotte. This is the muscle that caps the top sirloin and it’s great for a group. It features the affordable, medium tender, mild-flavoured, fine-grained properties of the top sirloin but it comes in big flat wedge-shaped slabs. I grill-roast these (direct and indirect heat), rest them, slice them thinly across the grain and fan them out onto a big platter. It looks great, people can help themselves and because of coulotte’s tapered thickness, it’s possible to serve them with varying degrees of doneness. Not everyone wants rare beef. Prior to grilling the coulotte, there was some debate about the corn. Oh yeah, of course it would be great to grill it. Did anybody pre-soak it? No. Well you can just throw it right on the grill. Yeah, you can. But you know what? I’m trying to cook three large irregular-shaped steaks to perfection, drink both wine and beer and keep up with the conversation. Now you want me to also grill, like, 20 cobs of corn? We boil it. It’s sweet tender fresh Ontario corn. It tastes freaking fantastic. People gobble it up like there’s no tomorrow. THOUSAND ISLANDS DINNER WITH PASTA IN FRESH TOMATO SAUCE AND ITALIAN SAUSAGE Friends of ours usually rent a sprawling rustic cottage on a private island and this year, we were lucky enough to be invited. There were nine of us including kids, the weather was fantastic, the swimming glorious, all set in the splendor of St. Lawrence River. When I was in my early twenties and decided to get serious about cooking, I bought a book called the New York Times 60-Minute Gourmet by Pierre Franey. When I was in my late twenties and decided to get serious about being happy, I got married. Ever since, my wife and I have made variations on two pasta recipes in this book that feature fresh, uncooked tomato sauces. It was this dish that we prepared for our designated dinner on Little Grenadier Island. Full disclosure: we used tomatoes purchased at the Brockville Farmers Market but the heirloom tomatoes we sell at Sanagan’s will be every bit as delicious as those beautiful throwback varieties we bought in the country. And a great deal to boot! This is the simplest most satisfying sauce but it demands fresh ripe in-season tomatoes at room temperature. You just chop them up as small as you please (or roughly food process if you prefer) add minced garlic, salt and pepper, chopped fresh basil and parsley and a glug of olive oil. Mix lightly and let the whole thing sit in a bowl on the counter to get all juicy. Boil the pasta, toss it with lots of olive oil, douse with the sauce and top with a snowcap of grated Parmagiano-Reggiano or Pecorino. Normally that would be more than enough but not when you work at Sanagan’s, so it’s on with the Italian sausage. Our Italian sausage is made with our house ground pork, garlic, roasted fennel and salt and pepper; hot or mild. As I grilled these babies up I look out over the deck at roughly 10 out of the Thousand Islands, observe an osprey family nesting across the channel and keep the flame on low. Our sausages have natural casings that will burst if you hit them with the high heat. You take that fresh sweet juicy pasta and add the savoury sizzle of perfectly grilled Sanagan’s Italian sausage? Let’s put it this way, the nine-year-old asked for the recipe.

Sanagan's TV Dinners

September already. It’s back to school. The days grow shorter. You can’t just walk around all the time in shorts and a T-shirt. Yeah, summer’s over. But there is some consolation — the sun’s setting earlier so there’s less glare on the TV screen! Whether it’s network, Netflix, box-set binging or sports, September is the beginning of TV season. Just wait until October when there’s hockey, basketball, football (round and oval), and the World Series all happening at once. Obviously, nobody’s got time to cook anything. But that’s okay because Sanagan’s provides any number of low-effort, high-flavour, flat-screen compatible snacks and meals. All you have to do is find the remote control. Please keep in mind, some of these items are only available at our Kensington Market location. To be sure if we have it, call us at 416-593-9747! JERKY: Chips are for kids. Up your snack game with our great selection of meat sticks, jerky and biltong. Serve these to your TV party guests and there will be no quibbles with your nibbles. COLD CUTS: Normally we call this stuff charcuterie but for the purposes of TVing, let’s go with cold cuts. We slice ‘em, you like ‘em; salamis, mortadella, capocollo and especially suitable, our dried sausages like kabanos or cacciatore. And while you’re at it, cube up some of our all-Ontario cheese, throw it on some crackers and you’ve got a lot of the food groups covered right there. CHILI: If you manage to hit us on one of the days we’ve got chili in the Grab and Go fridge, your weekend football party just got a lot better. PIES: Don’t let the wholesome, house-made, nutritious quality of Sanagan’s savoury pies throw you off. They’re perfect for the screening room. Just heat and serve. SALADS: We put the vegetable back in vegging out. Lentil and pear, kale and quinoa, beet and other seasonal favourites. Heck, even vegans watch TV. ROTISSERIE CHICKENS: Straight out of the heated display and onto your fold out TV tray. It’s the same high quality chicken we sell in the store, roasted with Sanagan’s bbq rub. Finger licking… FREEZER ITEMS: Mac and cheese, Shepherd’s pie, pasta sauce. We’ve done the cooking so you can keep on looking.

Quick and Easy Dinners for People on the Go Go Go

Oh boy! Do you smell that? That aroma of fresh pencil case? C’mon, you know what I’m talking about – that smell that brings you right back to grade five, when you were nervous and excited to start classes again. Would this year be different than the last? Who would you sit next to? What did everyone do over the summer? I hope mom doesn’t make me wear that stupid sweat-shirt with my cousin’s rock band on it – no one even knows who they are! Yes, school is back in session and for many of our customers that means getting back into the habit of rushing everyone out of the house by eight, just to rush back home by six to get dinner on the table. A feat that is difficult at the best of times, and damn near impossible all of the time. Let’s face it – most of us don’t have the luxury of shopping at the market every day, sniffing at the peach bin for the best one, or sharing an espresso with the fishmonger and discussing the virtues of Ontario-farmed shrimp. Most of us are happy to get to the market once or twice a week with meal-plan in hand, getting a haul and making it home in good time to put your groceries away and share a conversation with your partner. With that in mind, I’m here to help with that meal-planning list. Let’s assume that you didn’t have time to batch cook a stew or a roast chicken on the Sunday before the beginning of the week. Here are five easy and quick dinners that can be on the table within 30 minutes of getting in the door. Relax, it’s been a stressful day. Throw on some smooth 70s pop-rock (Fleetwood Mac, I’m looking at you), fire up the essential oil diffuser, and get cracking at one of these recipes. _______________________________ Smoked Pork Chops with Green Beans, Mini Potatoes, and Dill Serves 4 Ingredient List 2 cups of green beans (about 2 handfuls), tops removed 1 cup mini red potatoes, cut in half 1 tbsp vegetable oil 4 smoked pork chops ½ red onion, sliced 2-3 tbsp fresh dill, chopped 2 tbsp mayonnaise Your favorite mustard to serve. Method 1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over a high heat. Add the potatoes and cook for five minutes. Add the green beans to the pot and cook for another 6-8 minutes, or until both the green beans and the potatoes are fork tender. Drain and set aside. 2. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the smoked pork chops, and sprinkle the red onion on top of the chops. Brown on one side, then turn the chops over and lower the heat to medium low, and cover the pan. Cook for an additional five minutes, or until the chops are hot all the way through and the onions are cooked through and slightly golden. Take the pan off the heat. 3. Take the chops out of the pan and keep warm. Add the potatoes and the green beans to the pan. Add the mayonnaise and the dill and stir well to coat the vegetables. Place the potato and green bean mixture into a serving dish and top with the smoked chops. Serve immediately with some mustard. _______________________________ Sausage and Peppers on Cous Cous Serves 4 Ingredient List 2 tbsp olive oil, divided 4 Italian sausages 1 red onion, sliced 2 red peppers, cored and sliced 2 garlic cloves, minced salt and pepper to taste 1 can (2 cups) of pureed tomatoes 6 fresh basil leaves 1 cup cous cous Method 1. Pour 1 tbsp of the oil into a large sauté pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, place the sausages in the pan and brown on one side, about five minutes. Turn the sausages over and add the onions, garlic, and peppers to the pan. Reduce the heat to a medium low, season with salt and pepper, stir well, and cover. Cook for ten minutes. Add the pureed tomatoes, turn the heat back up to medium, and cover. Cook for an additional ten minutes, then add the basil and stir well. 2. While the sausages are cooking, cook the cous cous. In a pot, bring 1.5 cups of water to a boil, and add 1 tbsp of olive oil and a tsp of salt. Put the cous cous in a large bowl. When the water comes to a boil, pour it into the bowl with the cous cous, stir once, and cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside for fifteen minutes. Remove the plastic and fluff the cous cous with a fork, then place it in a large serving dish. 3. Place the sausages on top of the cous cous, then pour the tomato sauce and peppers all over the sausages and serve. _______________________________ Seared Tofu with Peanut Sauce, Roasted Broccoli, and Rice Serves 4 Ingredients 1 cup jasmine rice 1 pinch salt 1 tbsp butter 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets 2 cloves of garlic, minced 2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided salt and pepper to taste 1 block of firm tofu, cut into four even slabs, about ¾ inch each 2 tbsp peanut butter 2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar 2 tsp sesame oil 2 tbsp toasted salted peanuts 2 tbsp green onions, sliced and divided 2 tbsp soy sauce 2 tbsp butter Method 1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. 2. Rinse the jasmine rice by running it under cold water in a bowl, and shaking the grains with your fingers to release the starch. Rinse and repeat two more times. Strain the rice, and put it in a pot. Add 1.5 cups of water, the tsp of salt and the tbsp of butter. Bring the water to a boil over a high heat, stir the rice, then cover with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the temperature to a low heat. Cook for fifteen minutes, then take the pot off the heat and let sit for ten minutes before taking the lid off and fluffing the rice with a fork. 2. While the rice is cooking, make the broccoli. In a mixing bowl, toss the florets in 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, the garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Lay on a parchment paper-lined baking tray and roast in the oven until golden, about fifteen minutes. Take the broccoli out of the oven and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the soy sauce and butter and mix well to incorporate. Keep warm. 3. Pour 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a large skillet on a medium high heat. When hot, carefully lay the tofu in the oil and sear for five minutes per side, or until golden brown. Remove from the pan and keep warm. 4. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, vinegar, and sesame oil. If too viscous, add a tbsp of warm water. Stir in the roasted peanuts and green onions. 5. To serve, arrange the broccoli on a platter and top it with the seared tofu. Drizzle with the peanut sauce, and serve with the rice in a bowl on the side. _______________________________ Broiled Salmon with Mushroom Trifolati and Polenta Serves 4 Ingredients List 2 tbsp vegetable oil 4 filets of salmon, 5-6 oz each, boneless salt and pepper to taste 2 tbsp butter, melted 2 cups instant polenta 2 cups chicken stock 2 tbsp grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese 1 tbsp butter 2 tbsp olive oil 3-4 cups sliced mixed mushrooms (cremini, button, shiitake, oyster, portobello) 4 garlic cloves, minced 2 tbsp parsley, chopped 1 tbsp chives, chopped Method 1. Turn your broiler on a low setting. Line a baking sheet with tin foil, then spread the vegetable oil over the foil. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper, and brush them with the melted butter. Place in the oven on the second highest rack to broil. Cook for about 6 minutes, or until the salmon becomes firm. Remove from the oven and keep warm. 2. Make the instant polenta using the package instructions, using the two cups of chicken stock as the re-hydrating liquid. Once cooked, vigorously stir in the cheese and the 1 tbsp of cold butter and set aside, keeping warm. 3. Meanwhile, make the mushrooms. In a large mixing bowl, toss the mushrooms and the garlic with the olive oil. Season to taste. Preheat a large sauté pan over a high heat, then add the mushroom mixture to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have softened and start to glisten, about ten minutes. Stir in the parsley, then take off the heat and set aside to stay warm. 4. Pour the polenta on the bottom of a large platter. Top with the mushrooms, then lay the four salmon filets on top. Sprinkle the chives on top and serve. _______________________________ Top Sirloin Steaks with Blue Cheese, Fries, and Green Salad Serves 4 Ingredients frozen French fries 4 top sirloin steaks, 6 oz each salt and pepper to taste 2 tbsp olive oil 4 tbsp blue cheese, crumbled 3 tbsp red wine vinegar 4 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp chopped tarragon (optional) 1 head green lettuce, roughly chopped and washed 1 carrot, peeled and grated ½ cup sliced cucumber 4 radishes, sliced thinly 1 green apple, sliced thinly Method 1. Preheat the oven and cook the French fries as per the package directions. 2. Turn the broiler to a high setting. Preheat a large sauté pan over a medium high heat. Season the steaks with the salt and pepper and rub them with the olive oil. When the pan is hot, sear the steaks on each side until the desired internal temperature is met. For medium, cook for about five minutes per side. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Once cooked, place the steaks on the tray. Divide the blue cheese between the four steaks. Place the steaks in the oven on the highest rack and melt the cheese until golden, about 2 minutes. Take out of the oven and set aside, keeping warm. 3. Make a vinaigrette by whisking together the vinegar, oil, mustard, and tarragon (if using). Season with salt and pepper, then dress the lettuce, carrots, cucumber, radish, and apple. 4. Serve the steaks on a platter, with the fries and the salad on the side.
Sanagan's Cheese Locker

Sanagan's Cheese Locker

Producer InfoSanagans

Doesn’t really have the same ring to it does it? But we’ve been selling cheese now for years. It was the logical extension of our vast deli counter that now, along with charcuterie and salads, can provide you with the perfect picnic, party platter or cold supper. Currently space only allows us to sell cheese at our Kensington location but you can still get your cheese on at our Gerrard branch too. Just get all your charcuterie and meaty requirements with us and then head directly across the street to Pantry Fine Cheese for the fromage.

Cheese has had such an impact on our business, it stole one of employees. Steve Ward, long-time meat hawker in the Kensington shop, is now the lead cheese maker at Monforte Cheese in Stratford. Whey to be, Steve!

In case you’re thinking that you too might drop your current gig and become a cheese maker, Steve will tell you it’s no (cheese) cakewalk. “It’s an exacting and unforgiving process. Your job is trying to make a consistent product with the ever-variable ingredient of milk which is the product of an animal. An animal that experiences different environments, weather, grazing etc. I’m not using automated paddles. I’ve got my hands in there. I’m feeling the curds, the releasing of the whey - It’s artisanal.”

So please consider some of Steve’s efforts and those of our other all-Ontario cheese makers.


Monforte Providence Saler

Firm cheddar-style. Very nice caramel start followed by a balance of fruity-sour-tang. Sort of like a serious caramel apple. And if you happened to throw that on a burger? Watch out!

Thornloe Medium Cheddar

Firm. A touch of gratifying grain in the texture. For a younger, all-purpose cheddar, it’s no pushover in the sharpness department.

Thornloe Mozzarella

Semi-firm. Mild and pliant as expected but with a nice sour lactic undertow. Great in caprese salad or, of course, sliced thin on pizza.


Fifth Town Buffalina

Firm Gouda-style. Salty-sweet with a touch of grit leading to an elegant blooming mouth-feel and nice edge of rustic funk on the rind. Great with lighter red wines.

Monforte Waltzing Matilda

Looking for Camembert style soft creamy luxury? Dance your way over here. But don’t overlook the intrigue lent by the delicate layer of ash under the expressive rind.

Monforte Fontina with Fenugreek.

Hard. The fenugreek adds a musky quality of wild mushroom. But the overall effect is balanced while offering one of the bigger flavours in our selection. The rind brings savoury depth. Pair with other full flavours like olives and pickled peppers in a starter tray. And sherry!


Monforte Little Boy Blue.

Soft. Let this drain off its residual moisture before serving. A lovely salty edge of true-blue funky ripeness playing off a sweet milky core. Pass the port.

Monforte Tomme

Hard. A full, round, sweet, fruity delight right out of the gate with subtle funk from the long-aged craggy rind. Great mouth-feel. Feature on a cheese plate after entrée.

Monforte Chevre.

Classic expression the style. Soft, creamy, full goaty flavour with tangy lactic core.

Steelpan and Frying Pans

Steelpan and Frying Pans

August is time for Caribbean Carnival, or Caribana as many people still call it. But you know what? Every month here at Sanagan’s is Caribana month thanks to our Caribbean-Canadian customers who include us on their shopping list when preparing the traditional dishes enjoyed throughout the year but especially during Caribana. Here are a few popular dishes for which we’re often asked to provide the meaty foundations. If these favourites aren’t already in your repertoire, maybe this list will serve as inspiration the next you’re looking to bring some tropical flavours to the table. And, as a business in Kensington Market discussing Caribbean Carnival, it would be an oversight not to acknowledge the historic Caribbean presence in the neighbourhood that continues to thrive with businesses such as Caribbean Corner, Tribal, The Jerk Spot, Rasta Pasta, Genesis One and We Are Radar. If you doubt the Islands’ influence on the Market, come help me close the Kensington shop some night. As we lock the front door you will hear the sounds of U-Roy, Big Youth and Dennis Brown echoing out across the intersection of Baldwin and Kensington and beyond. OXTAIL STEW Oxtail is the traditional name for this cut that would be more accurately called cow tail. An ox is just a cow or a bull that’s used for farm work instead of eating or milking. To the best of my knowledge, none of our beef is ever hitched up to anything except extreme tastiness. Our oxtail, like all the rest of our beef, is from small Ontario, family-owned farms and can be cut to order or we’ll just grab whatever you need right out of the window. Stew that up in water or stock with garlic, carrots, green onions, beans and any number of personal variations and you’ll be hauling a lot of Island goodness. Check out Peter's recipe for it here. GOAT CURRY We get a limited supply of our Ontario-raised goat every other week from Beverly Creek farms, so please call ahead. It’s available as leg, shoulder and rib cuts, all suitable for stewing. Scotch bonnet, curry leaves, onion, carrot and curry powder (prepared or homemade) will get your goat (curry). STEW PEAS Stew beef, salt beef or salted pig tails (not available at Sanagan’s), red peas (kidney beans), coconut milk, and Scotch bonnet peppers are the starting points to this classic. If you can’t find salt beef or salted pig tails, a smoked ham hock is a great cheat-substitute. But don’t forget the spinners (dumplings). COW FOOT SOUP You won’t see cow feet in our display case. Just ask a meat hawker and we’ll retreat to Antarctica, otherwise known as the basement freezer, to rustle up some hooves for you. After that you’ll be adding some combination of pumpkin, carrots or okra, lime juice and pimento berries (allspice) to the big pot. As of press time, I can’t confirm if cow foot soup contains any of its purported aphrodisiacal qualities but it will embody all the protein goodness you can obtain from long-simmered beef bones. JERK CHICKEN You’re secret’s safe with us. “Oh, I’ve been working on this for days. I put in the Scotch bonnet, green onions, allspice, clove, cinnamon and a few other, ah, secret ingredients. Oh, and you have to use the best chicken. You know I love to make it for you”. We sell marinated drums, thighs and discretion; you can rely on Sanagan’s for your jerk chicken reputation.

Smoking, Simplified

Producer InfoSanagans

If late 90's TV sitcoms (Home Improvement, Everybody Loves Raymond) have taught me anything, it's that most men/fathers are essentially cavemen. I wouldn't generally agree with that assessment of myself, with the notable exception of my burning desire to cook meat over fire.

Although I've been using a propane (and very occasionally a charcoal) grill since I was in my early teens, it's only in the last year or so that I've developed a fascination with American Barbecue.

The romantic vision I have in my head involves long, possibly overnight, cooks of full briskets, pork butts and ribs, using an offset stick burner. This would mean constantly monitoring temperatures, adding wood, controlling the fire, etc. etc. As much fun as I think this would be (and I do plan on moving in this direction at some point), with two kids 6 and under, I know that it's a very unrealistic view of how to make it work.

The compromise I arrived at was a pellet grill. Pellet grills have been growing in popularity and the simplicity of it is what really sold me. Essentially, they work electrically to create a consistent environment with temperature and smoke using pure hardwood pellets. It gives me a chance to focus on building flavours that I like and getting rough guidelines for time and temperature, without dominating my time managing the fire.

I went with a slightly larger model than I probably needed and picked it up on the Saturday before Canada Day with 20+ people booked for a BBQ the following day. For my first run through I decided to smoke a pork shoulder and a couple of boneless turkey breasts. I knew that if I ran into issues with my cook I'd be able to take steps to salvage them no matter how the smoker performed.

I needn't have worried. The pellet grill worked like a charm, and with just a simple rub (salt and pepper only for the turkey, a few more spices for the pork butt), smoke and time, we easily fed 20 guests without having to neglect them to prepare the meal. Two days later, I smoked a couple of tri tips low and slow (225 F for approx. 2 hours), rested them for 30 minutes, and finished them off on a hot propane barbecue, in what amounted to essentially a reverse sear. It was a delicious dinner for six that required almost no effort on my part. At this point in my caveman existence, that's about all I can ask for.