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Josh Jones of Austin’s Salt & Time is an accomplished chef and charcutier, plus a lifelong Slow Food member and 2014 Terra Madre delegate. Here are his five songs perfect for a romantic Valentine’s Day or, you know, chopping carrots.

Valentines Day. Probably the most over the top dining holiday of the year. So many menus of Lobster, Crab, Tenderloin, T-Bone, and Caviar. Five to seven courses of over the top decadence and price.

We call this an amateur night. It’s a night for folks to go out and spend too much money trying to impress their date.

At our shop we wanted it to be a holiday of compassion and love for the animals we work so hard to respect year-round. In the past we have done heart related dishes, and offal goodness all around, but this year we decided to take a lighter approach.

I wouldn’t call it an anti-Valentine’s Day, but it will certainly be a more lighthearted affair. Being a restaurant in a butcher shop could afford me the higher end cuts, and all of the offal one’s heart desires.

Instead, this Valentines Day we’re making burgers. A lonely burger for one and an over-the-top burger for two.

The idea is to fully utilize beef carcasses. As we are a whole animal shop, there tends to be a lot of time spent trying to find outlets for all parts of the animal. In this case we have loads of beef trim that need to be used up – so why not have a burger blowout?

Plus, it gives us a chance to have fun with our mostly neighborhood clientele who may not be looking to go out and fight the crowds on this exorbitant holiday. For the “Burger for One” we’ll pile it high with all those things you would normally skip on date night: smoky Blue Cheese, raw onion and roasted garlic.

The Burger for Two is a lot of fun. Your first course will be a salad with veggies from farms within a mile of the shop, an eight ounce burger patty, Taleggio Cheese, Gremolata Aioli, and a two inch crosscut Marrow bone cut from the same cow as the burger. For the final course you will have dueling deserts: chocolate yogurt cake (yogurt made in house), and an apple-pecan tart with local apples and pecans in a lard pastry.

We really wanted this dinner to be fun. We aren’t trying to gouge in price or quality, we just want our local neighborhood friends to have a place to come and hang out, single or on a date. It also lets us talk to our customers about using the whole animal and just how important that is. Bones and trim are two things we are in no shortage of, so a special dinner to move through the back stock is just what we need to ensure we stick to our guns on full utilization.

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