Smoking Goose Making a Name for Indiana Charcuterie
In June, the owners of the meat and sandwich shop are set to open Smoking Goose, a meat smoking and curing house, and an adjacent tasting room dubbed the Meat Locker, on the Near Eastside across from Flat 12 Bierwerks.
The wholesale shop will supply Goose the Market and other businesses with hand-crafted charcuterie and other meats, including some adventurous varieties–say, elk salami that has been dry-cured with blueberries. The market's owner, Chris Eley, will serve as the curemaster at Smoking Goose, turning whole animals from Indiana farms into a variety of salumis, sausages, dry-cured full-muscle meats and smoked meats. Keep an eye on smokinggoose.com for a firm opening date, then watch for Eley's products to roll out across the city.
That's because Smoking Goose can distribute to restaurants, bars, hotels and retail markets, which Eley couldn't legally do from the market. (But it's no secret that local chefs pop in to the market like any other customer to buy meats for their restaurants.) Eley says he'll target Indianapolis businesses first, but eventually he hopes to branch out to Louisville and Cincinnati.
Eley already cures on a small scale for Goose the Market, filling the charcuterie case with a thoughtful selection of meats produced elsewhere. Now he plans to offer mostly his own versions of items like soppressata, capicola and truffled baloney, plus deli-style meats for sandwiches, including smoked turkey breast, salami and ham.
Eley describes the upcoming meats as clean and free of preservatives other than salt.
"The whole product from beginning to end is meant to be at its best," Eley says. "I'd like to produce a product that Indianapolis is proud to call its own."
As for the Meat Locker, Eley says to think of it like a brewery. Samples are offered, but instead of going home with a growler, customers buy a package or two of meat. It's not a slice-to-order kind of place–expect pound-sized packages and whole pieces of salumi. You wouldn't leave a brewery with a just a single bottle of beer, right? Special items will be offered throughout the year: Picture whole smoked turkeys at Thanksgiving and smoked ham at Christmas.
Open Thursdays through Saturdays, the Meat Locker will have an industrial-rustic feel with concrete floors, an exposed ceiling, garage-style door and a bar built from barn wood. Eley plans to offer butchering classes there, too.