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Bad to the Bone

Wild Game Meat Processing Done Right

Bix’s Butcher Shop is not the kind of place a person can walk in and come out with a single T-bone steak. It is the type of place for people who realize that meat does not come from a Styrofoam package at the market, according to butcher Dan Bix.

He deals with the whole animal.

“We slaughter them. We hang them to dry age them. We process them to [the customer’s] specifications, like how many items per package, what size roast they want, we do everything for them.”

He described himself as the facilitator between the rancher and the buyer. He takes care of the beef in between.

And his business saves the consumer money.

“One pound of grass-fed, organic beef is $8 a pound,” he said. “We offer it for significantly less.”

And on that subject, the couple, Dan and Caron, has an announcement to make. “We are now carrying organic beef, whole and half beef,” he said.

Caron has done a lot of research on grass-fed organic beef and has learned that for each 100 grams of beef, there are about 217 calories and that lean animal protein plays a crucial part in the body’s growth.

“Beef is also a rich source of vitamins and essential minerals such as vitamin B12, which is beneficial to the nervous system,” she said. “Other nutrients include zinc, iron, phosphorus and niacin.”

Eating grass-fed beef improves physical performance; builds and maintain muscles; prevents anemia; supports heart health; boosts immunity; and improves blood sugar levels, she says. “We make a lot of specialty items offering a variety of sausages, jerky and smoked meats. All our recipes are our own and the spices that go into our meat are also organic.”

Recipes can be found on the Bix’s Butcher Shop website.

Dan has been working in meat departments for the past 34 years. He started his career at Basha’s in the Phoenix area and stayed there for 16 years. He became the company’s meat manager in Show Low after that for another 16 years. He left the business for a time to do game processing. Later, his brother, Troy, urged Dan to come up to Flagstaff.

He learned Safeway was looking for a meat cutter. He got the job. This is where he met Caron, who has an exotic culinary background.

“I grew up in South Africa and cooked wild game out in the bush for 10 years,” she said.

She was working as the Safeway deli manager in the same store.

Dan now works at Safeway from February to August. He spends the rest of the year processing game. Caron is a restaurant manager in town.

Bix’s Butcher Shop is located at 10145 Aurora Drive in Flagstaff. For more information, visit Bixs Butcher or call 928-699-5557.

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