Traditionally used by the butchers to wrap fresh meat, a butcher paper has gone beyond its name and found a new purpose. It is no longer only a butcher paper, but an extraordinarily powerful and versatile Kraft-style paper.
Now, please don’t confuse it with Kraft paper, as those are two different things.
Butcher paper comes as a roll of white or pink (peach paper) color, and you can also find it in various sizes and packaging shapes. And although both butcher paper and craft paper share the same wood fiber, there is a particular processing difference that makes the butcher paper 100% FDA approved and free to be used with food. The engineering behind this process allows the butcher paper to withstand moisture and blood better than any Kraft paper.
It maybe started small, but Butcher paper application has grown in the past few decades. Here are some of the most popular:
It would be weird if this weren’t its primary usage, but tradition is still going strong, and butcher paper still rules every butcher shop in the world. Its task is simple-to wrap around the fresh meat and seafood for customers to bring to their homes. The butcher just needs to cut out the meat, wrap it up, and label it.
Restaurants and Delis
This is where a Butcher paper is not only useful but also economical. A long time ago, many delis and restaurants looked to replace tablecloths and plates with something more functional and cheaper.
The Butcher paper proved to be the perfect solution and now takes the form of paper tray liners, basket liners, and table coverings at every major deli and restaurant. Customized with the restaurant’s logo, contact information, coupons, or even made into a tear-off menu, Butcher paper also serves as a marketing tool.
The new trend slowly spreading all over the country is most certainly using pink Butcher paper to wrap meat while it cooks or smokes. Professionals did it, backyard enthusiasts repeated it, and soon every beef brisket cooked with this method became mouth-watering, all the while maintaining that sweet bark on the outside. This lead to the production of separated and perfectly sized pink butcher paper sheets, popular with the amateur pitmasters who only cook about a handful of briskets a year.
This is just a fancy French way of saying ‘’cooking in paper’’ although the rough translation means cooking in pouches. This is how meat is cooked by the French for centuries, and they even make a great show of it ‘’unpacking’’ it at the table in front of the guest, giving them a chance to sense that first burst of aromatic steam.
Butcher paper is amazing for this kind of cooking and is slowly replacing aluminum foil in many uses. You simply create a pouch, place the meat inside along with some butter, herbs, and spices that will create a magnificent pocket of flavor for your meat to swim in.
Create a Pouch
Fold a sheet of butcher’s paper in half and cut out a specific shape. The shape you are cutting is half-heart, and it should be twice the size of the food you are cooking. When unfolded, the paper should look like a butterfly wing, or in French ‘’Papillion,’’ which makes En Papillote make more sense now.
Opened paper brush with oil and place the meat in the center. Fold the top and secure the edges by rolling them several times. Cook according to the recopies recommendation and congratulations- you have mastered creating and cooking in pouch.
A Great Recipe for Butcher Paper Beginners
Fish in pouch with tomatoes and olives
- Heat your oven to 450°F. Make a pouch as instructed above and place 1 fish fillet in the middle.
- Warm 1 tbsp oil over medium heat in a small skillet. In it, you should sauté sliced garlic and paper flakes for 1 minute, enough for the garlic flakes to turn golden.
- Remove skillet from the heat, add tomatoes, capers, and olives and stir.
- Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper to the fish and divide the tomato mix among the fish.
- Add 2 teaspoons of wine, 1 teaspoon butter, and 2 thyme sprigs to each fillet.
- Fold the pouch.
- Place the pouch on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 8 minutes.
- Make some great ciabatta by toasting it or broiling until golden. You can also rub it with garlic cloves to add flavor and brush it with the remaining oil.
Make sure you serve your dish like a pro and let your guest open the pouches themselves. They are sure to love the aromas and flavor of these tasty packages.