For this savory treat, we coarse-grind Berkshire pork, our own bacon, onion, Berkshire pork liver, brandy, and a selection of herbs and spices to create this masterpiece. Serve it as a stand-alone charcuterie option or schmear it on bread with raw onion and cornichon. Dress it up or down, this full-flavored paté is versatile! In our deli, we make a delectable sandwich with this paté, the Bahn Faux Mi. It includes Berkshire ham, Country Paté, Haus-pickled veggies, quick pickles, cilantro, hoisin, Sriracha & Babbitt butter on a hero roll.
Country Paté Details
Choose between 1/2 pound piece, or
1 whole loaf (2-2.25 pounds)
Due to the perishable nature of our specialty, hand-crafted food, we require expedited shipping using UPS Ground or 2-day services. Everything is packed in a lined box with ice to keep the food cold as it arrives on your doorstep. The shipping rate depends on the final destination of the order and ranges from $18-$65. Orders taken Sunday-Tuesday are shipped the day after they are received (pending product availability). We also ship on Thursdays for orders placed Wednesday that are shipped within Minnesota. Please see our FAQ for additional questions on shipping.
For all the years leading up to my time at the Smokehaus, I ate the Cajun Finn. Exclusively. My only deviation was if I was lucky enough to show up on Taco Tuesday. Once I started working here, I knew I needed to explore the very expansive menu for no other reason than product knowledge. While doing research under the cloak of product testing, I learned what I’ve always known: we make some ridiculously good food. If you’ve ever come to the deli and asked the person working what their favorite sandwich is and saw them hesitate, hmm and haw… it’s for good reason. There’s much to choose from and rarely is it a bad choice. While I still love The Finn, I have yet to go wrong deviating from my old standby.
I took an informal poll of some staff (okay, I drug them aside and demanded an answer), veteran and new-ish and everything in-between. Here are the results:
Nic P: “Italiensk. I love it because it features our salamundos (large diameter salamis) and the mortadella which are some of my favorite products we make here.”
Cho: “Probably The ‘06 because I really like our bison pastrami. Our meats are so quality and you can really taste it in the pastrami. And who doesn’t love a toasty sandwich?”
Tyler: “The ‘06 or a Phoebe for a good food coma. If I need to go light: Sitka Sushi for the win. Or, a pizza on a naan”. Author’s notes: I had to inform Tyler that pizza, indeed, is not on our menu. No, really, we can’t make you a pizza.
Emma: “Spring Roll on a Square (vegan mode!). I love the pickled veg, it has such a unique flavor profile. The almonds? DEVINE. So good! They give it the crunch. God bless Patricia.” Author’s Note: Our Spring Roll used to be served on a Naan (thus, the “roll”) but moving forward it will be served on a square ciabatta which makes this solid vegetarian option a vegan sandwich too!
Cal: “D-Luxxx with Turkey. Always the turkey. Or, a Cold Turkey or, a Cedar’s Secret. The turkey is so good.” Author’s note: Cal’s been working here since he’s been in the womb. So if he says the turkey’s good, it’s good.
Nicholas Matthew Ruszat Klee: “For years I’ve ordered the Cold Turkey, now I make the Cold Turkey, thus the circle of life continues.” When asked what he would do if we were out of Crayo, a critical ingredient in this second best selling sandwich, Nick responded, mournfully, that he “would simply weep”.
Taylor P: “Big Dipper. The porketta here is so good and it feels like the regional favorite that I grew up eating is less common. Plus, people generally wouldn’t think of making a sandwich with this as the key ingredient.”
Brian: “Hedonist or Bahn Faux Mi. Both feature the country pâté which has such a great, complex flavor. I see people who have worked here for a very long time regularly eat the country pâté which is an indicator that a product is good and has lasting power.”
Justin: “Bahn Faux Mi.” Author’s notes: Justin is a man of few words.
Ben: “I worked in the pizza industry for a long time. When I go to a place that specializes in pizza, I get the most basic thing they have, a cheese pizza. If their crust and their sauce aren’t great, their pizza won’t be great. So here, I would recommend some of our most basic sandwiches like the The Northern Bagel with Smoked Salmon or Gravlax. You’ll get to taste what we do best and guaranteed, it will be delicious.”
I have been mulling over the concept of a “Practical Guide to the Smokehaus” for a few months now. The task is daunting. It requires a vastness and depth of focus that could end up too vague or underdeveloped, and a precision of information that could lead us to conclusions that are not necessarily earned—a bunch of disconnected data gathered from anecdotes and opinions, leaving everyone wondering “why should I care about this?” As the weaver of this web, I find the task of creating a concise and comprehensive guide to your Northern Waters Smokehaus experience beyond my present resources and abilities. So, a thought occurred to me: I could save myself a great deal of concern over quality of output, I could generate a steady stream of content in digestible morsels, I could use this marketing-based writing as a means to connect with my co-workers and fellow human-beings; I could make it a weekly column, and I could get real answers to a variety of frequently asked questions from my esteemed colleagues. What follows is my first attempt:
“What goes well with this?” “Could you make a sample platter with the best stuff?” “What should I get?”
These are but a few of the daunting questions my co-workers and I engage with every day in the deli. I usually default to asking customers what they tend to like, then customizing my recommendations based on their response and my knowledge of our products. This doesn’t always work out. I am human and sometimes my preferences don’t line up with the customer’s. Sometimes the customer just wants someone else to do the thinking for them (which is very valid, and to which I often relate). And sometimes it is best just to judge by taste.
Today’s topic: The ideal sample-platter. (Note: complex sample platters at Northern Waters Smokehaus will still be made primarily at our employees’ discretion, but you are always welcome to sample individual finished products.)
“What would be on your ideal sample platter?” This is the question I asked my co-workers. Given the time and resources to prepare an inspiring combination of flavors or a greatest hits-style spread to share with our customers, what end result would we see, by each deli employee.
Leif — “Pork loin Squealy Dan samples. No, wait. That sounds like a lot of work. I don’t want everyone to come in expecting me to have those prepared,” At this time, I assured him that this is just a thought-experiment, and that he wouldn’t be required to make these, though we discuss whether to make them as sandwiches that are then slivered into samples, individually assembled/toasted open-face sandwich bites, or topped saltine crackers. We also discuss deep-fried saltine crackers—unrelated. “Oh, and I changed my mind: They’d be porketta Squealy Dans.”
Michael — Michael had just finished telling me about why salmon tails are his favorite product we carry, when I sprung this second question on him: “Tails, pancetta, a mix of the salumi, and a Jerry bread [Jerry bakes several of our breads in-haus],” Which kind of Jerry bread? “Definitely the rye.”
Hyland — “Saucisson sec with slices of pear or apple or cucumber. And a really nutty Brie.” Cele: You’re a really nutty brie. “Your mom’s a really nutty Brie,” Cele: No she’s not. She’s a really nutty T—. “I’d also put out castel vetrano olives.”
Cele — “Olivada, chèvre, pork loin, salamini, cajun salmon and black pepper salmon,” Any crackers? “Yea. Ritz. Because we’re fancy.”
Lucy — “Probably ham, pepperoni, saucisson, traditional [salmon] and bread.” Lucy grew up around Northern Waters Smokehaus food, and offered that the glue of this hypothetical sample platter is nostalgia for her childhood. She didn’t say that exactly. I am just trying to paraphrase her poetically.
Jacob — As I described my task, a light brightened behind Jacob’s eyes: “I already know what I’d make. ‘Lutheran Sushi’ — Is that offensive?” For those who don’t already know, Lutheran Sushi is a term which I am not going to research the origin of at this moment, but which I have come to understand as sliced meat, spackled with a binding condiment and wrapped around a pickle spear. When pressed on his preferred variety, he replied, “Pork loin, for sure. With mayo.”
Sam — “Hedonist bites. Saltine crackers spread with a bite of country pâté, a dab of mayo and mustard, a slice of onion, and a cornichon pickle slice. They’re great for tipping people who are on the fence about country pâté or the hedonist.”
In the spirit of not making my co-workers bear the entire burden of producing content, I’ll give my take on the week’s subject at the end:
Ned — “I sure hope we continue carrying our Sogn Tomme cheese,” This is my inner-monologue. “I had no idea what it was before we started selling it,” It’s a fatty, crumbly sheep’s milk cheese. “But I sure enjoyed the time I served it with smoked Alaskan King Salmon and blueberries, drizzled in honey, atop Carr’s water crackers.” This inner monologue is extrapolated from my frenzied mental short-hand.
From here on out, y’all can expect these practical guides on a variety of subjects, returning to some topics (like this) to eventually document all of my co-workers’ suggestions, and musing on new ideas as they occur. Hopefully, you’ll receive sagely advice from myself and my co-workers to guide you through your NWS experience, inspire you to try something new, or enhance your old favorites.
5 things coming to you from the desk of the Mail Order Director this week. I’ve had an amazing year in 2017 at the Smokehaus. From learning the ropes from my dear colleagues Flo and Mary (and the whole staff really), to being given the autonomy to research and implement new systems and processes to grow this department, to learning that you can have a job that is actually fun, challenging and creative but not all consuming. What a find, I think. I made it through the busy month of December, and now there’s time to breath and dream and scheme (as they say around here) on all the fun things we can do for our amazing customers this year.
For starters – here’s 5 recent additions to our Mail Order website (in case you missed them):
#1 Country Pate (we know it’s not for everyone, but once you try it, you may get hooked) is now offered in 3 sizes: 1/3 pound, 1/2 pound, whole loaf. The 1/3 pound is obviously the cutest, coming in the small container we affectionately call “the casket.”
#2 We’re working on amping up the grocery items available to ship. Many have asked for them, and more to come. So far, you can purchase our Hausmade Kimchi, Kraut and Crayo. Take your home sandwich-making up 10 notches with these badass items.
#3 Cheese and crackers. It’s as simple as that. You can now add Cheese + Crackers to your order for $10. Just need the crackers? You can do that too. And you know you want to add them, because it’s the easiest way to enjoy so many of our products, and the fastest way to get a party started.
#4 We have a new section on our website for “Seasonal” items/gift boxes! With our plans to offer new pairings, seasonal offerings, and promotional discounts, you can find all those good things now in the Seasonal section. In case you missed it, right now, we have super awesome Super Bowl snack packs, and a Valentine’s Day box for sweethearts everywhere.
#5 And we’ll be working on a great many more things this year! Be on the lookout for Ham Steaks (in case you don’t want the whole 7 pounder), Portioned Porkettas (dinner for 2?), and Atlantic Salmon Boxes including 4 pieces of a single flavor (i.e. we know those purists love the Traditional Style!).
Please keep eating our food, and staying in touch with us 🙂 We love to hear from you, and we love to feed you.
Looking for catering? Want something delicious and different? Catering at Northern Waters Smokehaus starts with the finest products made right here in Duluth by our small, skilled crew, and served to you and your guests with elegance and drama.
Serve your guests a celebrated slice of the North.
At Northern Waters Smokehaus, we cater everything from weddings to art openings.
We cater the finest appetizers, and provide sandwich platters and boxed lunches for many a boardroom.
Our platters include four sizes:
Small — Serves 5
Medium — Serves 10
Large — Serves 20
Extra Large —Serves 50
To order, call 888.663.7800 or 218.724.7307, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more catering details and to book your special event. Catering ordering hours are 11 a.m – 7 p.m daily. Office hours are Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
CHEESE OF THE MONTH SELECTION
We choose three of the very best domestic and international cheeses and garnish them with seasonal accoutrements. Beautiful, rich, and delightful. Served with a basket of mixed crackers and breads.
Small (serves 5) $28
Medium (serves 10) $55
Large (serves 20)$107
Extra Large (serves 50)$260
SMOKED SALMON PLATTER
Our most popular platter of all time. Up to four glorious flavors of boneless Atlantic smoked salmon featuring a strip of each of our spice blends: gentle, classic Dill; punctuated, lemony Black Pepper & Coriander; savory, zesty Cajun; and soft, sublime Traditional. Served with ample rows of crackers or Haus-made crostini (perfect with our smoked salmon), scallion cream cheese, and a splash of seasonally-appropriate garnish, this platter is nearly always the first to go at any party.
Small: 1 Piece of Salmon (serves 5) $38
Medium: 2 Pieces of Salmon (serves 10) $76
Large: 1 All Season Filet (Pictured) (serves 20) $152
Extra Large: 2 All Season Filets (serves 50) $380
LAKE SUPERIOR PLATTER
Buttery smoked whitefish and sweet smoked lake trout decorated with pickles and sweety drop peppers. Served with savory scallion cream cheese and crostini or crackers. Taste the Unsalted Sea, salted and smoked to perfection in the historical DeWitt-Seitz Marketplace. *Due to the seasonality of freshwater fish, we reserve the right to substitutes in the event of limited supply
Small (serves 5)$37
Medium (serves 10)$74
Large (serves 20)$148
Extra Large (serves 50)$370
SMOKED LAKE SUPERIOR LAKE TROUT PLATTER
Our boned-out Lake Superior wild-caught smoked Lake Trout, which we brush with brown sugar during the smoking process, artfully arranged on a large platter. Served with butter crackers, scallion cream cheese, and gorgeously garnished. Local is beautiful, baby! *Due to the seasonality of freshwater fish, we reserve the right to substitutes in the event of limited supply
Small (serves 5)$31
Medium (serves 10)$62
Large (serves 20)$122
Extra Large (serves 50)$305
We make our meats in small batches, right here in Duluth! We source our meats from local (Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Minnesota) farms and use the freshest ingredients to create perfect flavors. We do not wholesale our meats, so our small shop in Canal Park is the only place to get it.
Our Antipasti Platter includes ample portions of smoked meats, cured meats, veggie charcuterie, cheeses, and olives. Arranged cleverly on a large platter. Meats may include Salamini, Bison Pastrami, Smoked Pork Loin with Rosemary and Honey, Chorizo, Pepperoni, Berkshire Ham, and/or Saucisson Sec. Cheeses include a selection of local Mid-Western cheddar, fresh chevre, and more. Whatever the combination, this tray is delicious!
Small (serves 5)$36
Medium (serves 10)$72
Large (serves 20)$144
Extra Large (serves 50)$360
The ultimate buffet! This board offers a little bit of everything. Buttery smoked whitefish with lemon garnish, a savory blend of assorted salumi, rolled cuts of sweet smoked ham, and mini loaves of rich country pâté round out the proteins; a choice of handmade boursin or pimiento cheese is paired with select regionally sourced cheeses; portions of tangy cornichon pickles and robust sauerkraut boldly compliment the cheese and protein selections. This platter comes with crackers or crostinis—based on availability—and is garnished with fresh herbs and sweety drop peppers. *Due to the seasonality of freshwater fish, we reserve the right to substitutes in the event of limited supply
Small (serves 5)$52
Medium (serves 10)$104
Large (serves 20) $207
Extra Large (serves 50)$516
Crispy-crusted slices of fresh-baked baguette. Swell with any of our meat, cheese, and fish platters!
Small (serves 5)$14
Medium (serves 10)$26
Large (serves 20)$49
Extra Large (serves 50)$110
Is there anything more pleasing than a heap of perky hard rolls stuffed with spectacular meats and bedecked with fresh sweet-cream butter? Smokehaus Sage-Maple Smoked Turkey, Berkshire Ham, and Smoked Berkshire Pancetta on fresh hard rolls with Dahl’s Butter. Bet you can’t have just three.
Small (serves 5)$36 (3 Turkey, 4 Ham, 3 Pancetta)
Medium (serves 10)$71 (6 Turkey, 8 Ham, 6 Pancetta)
Large (serves 20)$140 (12 Turkey, 16 Ham, 12 Pancetta)
Extra Large (serves 50)$350 (30 Turkey, 40 Ham, 30 Pancetta)
We are offering you the four bestselling sandwiches in Smokehaus history, all conveniently cut in half for sharing and comparing. Featuring the Cajun Finn, the Cold Turkey, Pastrami Mommy, and Sitka Sushi.
Extra Large (serves 50)$583 (15 Cajun Finn, 15 Cold Turkey, 10 Pastrami Mommy, 10 Sitka Sushi)
Pesky eating habits? We beg to differ. Have our fresh, unique pescatarian platter, brimming with gifts from the land and sea (in sandwich form, of course). This simple platter offers two vibrant choices, but we cut them all in half so your choice should only be which one to eat first: the Sitka Sushi, the Slammin Gordon, or the Fuzzy Bunny.
Extra Large (serves 50)$513 (15 Slammin’ Gordon, 15 Sitka Sushi, 20 Fuzzy Bunny)
Why do pizzas get to have exclusive rights to the term “meat lovers?” May we make our own humble contribution with a platter of protein for the ages? A hefty platter featuring the Pastrami Mommy, Gorilla, Cold Turkey, and Italiensk.
Researching the Chef Salad, we couldn’t help but geek out about this old world title for what has become an American classic. We combine mixed greens with, well, everything, composing a salad for the ages: Berkshire Ham, Smoked Turkey Breast, chunks of local cheddar, morsels of our Smoked Pancetta, cucumbers, red onion, tomato, and your choice of dressing (we recommend the pickle-y, sweet, creamy Russian).
Our marketing team has big plans for this new year and new decade, and among them is a goal to spotlight each of our various products on the blog. We hope you’ll enjoy deeper insights into our products—what makes them special and how best to enjoy them.
This week, we’ll direct you toward some of those product features we already have in circulation, beginning with the most recent.
From Bison Buddies to Smoked Salmon Buddies, the people love our snack sticks. At full stock, we’re pushing four varieties of these ideal grab-and-go snacks, but we’ve got plans to grow that list.
Eventually, the creative bug will hit Eric and the production team, and we’ll have new snack sticks joining the team, but until then, the above post has everything you need to know (and perhaps some question-fodder for things you want to know) about our sticks.
The wine list in this blog is a bit out-of-date, given the new-ness of adult beverages in our deli (just barely over half a year), but in the above feature, you’ll find pertinent information about how and why we select our wine offerings. Natural wine is the key—organically and/or biodynamically produced wines with no added sulfites.
If last year is any indicator, you can expect a new line of seasonally-influenced wine choices every few months.
The fish basket isn’t all that complicated: your choice of Smokehaus fish in a basket with crackers and cream cheese.
It’s a winning combination, and one of the quickest items prepared by our deli staff—usually your fish basket is ready to serve by the time you’re finished paying for it. However, there are some clever workarounds and customization options that can help you get the fish basket (or smoked lake trout sandwich) of your dreams. Read the above feature to find out more.
Patricia, once hired, quickly ascended into the role of baker-extraordinaire. Her sandwich-line skills are admirable (anyone who has enjoyed our Spring Roll sandwich has Patricia to thank), but once she began bringing in cookies, pastries and quick-breads, it was determined that her talents were misplaced.
We thought we had it good when longtime Smokehauser Jerry began making select batches of bread*—now all of the rye, white bread and ciabattas—but with Patricia joining the baking team, we’re now in the awesome position of having artisanal bread baked in-Haus, as well as amazing cookies, pasties, pizzas, scones, and much more available to us every day.
Check out the bakery blog, but really, just check out our selection of baked goods next time you’re in the deli, and ask anyone who’s working if you want to know more about any of the options: we have opinions, we have favorites, we will talk your ears off about which cookie to choose for any occasion.
*Jerry, I know you don’t read this blog, but I miss your rosemary potato rolls and cheddar-chive-chorizo biscuits.
The Adisalad has been on the menu for just over a year. This ultra-flavorful vegan or pescatarian salad (‘kraut or kimchi, respectively) is the brainchild of Adison—dishwasher, baker, intellectual—who sought a healthier way to refuel at work, without sacrificing flavor. He brought it to Sandwich Lab, and it was so universally commended that we added it to the menu full-time.
We love carbs and fat—they’re our bread and butter—but they’re not always an option. With fresh greens, cabbage, our Haus pickled vegetable medley (daikon radish, carrot, garlic, onion, jalapeño, and more, with an exciting blend of spices), fresh cucumber slices, chopped Marcona almonds, and your choice of kimchi or sauerkraut, the Adisalad packs a punch of flavor and eating it feels like you’re doing your body a favor.
The Next Feature
Next Tuesday (1/21), we’ll have a lot to say in a feature of our newest deli case offering—smoked jerky! This week we snuck two awesome flavors of bison jerky into our meat case, and next week we’ll be adding sockeye salmon jerky to the mix. And that’s just the beginning.
Next 5 Things™, well, we’ll see—Patricia’s been up to a bunch of kitchen mischief with puff pastry dough and Country Pâté, we have impending remodeling of our office and storage spaces, we’ve got a tough-to-find(-in-Minnesota) cheese in our grab-and-go case, and our deli hours will be changing temporarily in February—that blog could go anywhere.
We’re back with another gift guide for the upcoming holidays (or any time). Our smoked meat products are darn close to guaranteed hits, whomever is receiving them, but we’ve got some idea fuel for you:
Frequently found on charcuterie boards and our Hedonist sandwich, this rich and savory, slow-roasted loaf of pork liver, bacon, brandy and spices is the perfect reminder that it’s good to treat yourself.
Cured and seasoned meat—in a stick! What’s not to love?
Send your nomadic friend some fuel on-the-go. Whether it’s our flagship Bison Buddy (with bison and pork), Big Jim hatch chile beef sticks, or the Royale With Cheese bacon-cheeseburger stick, it’s reliable nutrition and a memorable flavor experience.
These are very popular in our deli, so availability varies. Get in touch with us to find out what’s in stock, or to plan ahead.
For the Grill Master.
Smoked Polish Sausage.
One of our oldest products. While this sausage is fully-cooked and ready to eat from cold, it soars when re-cooked over a grill or open flame. Whether its served sliced up cold beside cheese and crackers, or crackling hot and caramelized on a roll with sauerkraut, our Smoked Polish Sausage is exquisite.
You either are someone who believes that Sunday is for sports, or you know someone. Our Summer Sausage makes a fantastic snack for the weekly sports gathering, providing tangy, smoky beef and bacon excitement during those interminable commercial breaks. You know the play—send some Summer Sausage to your favorite Sunday sports fan.
The sunshine pouring over you and your loved ones. The boundless conversations and laughter. The endless coffee and mimosas pouring over you and your loved ones. The smell and sound of salty, smoky, thick-sliced pork belly sizzling on your stovetop. Eggs! Oh, the eggs! And potatoes. And more mimosas. Bloody Marys garnished with pickles and cheese cubes and a slice of crispy bacon. (Make sure you’re drinking water too.)
Brunch is power, and there are some people who are destined to wield it. Send that someone in your life some NWS Smoked Bacon and elevate them to the next level.
Summer isn’t over yet, but the morning air is crisper, and the pace of life is slowing down. The tall ships have come and gone, the flood of students is just beginning to trickle into town. Walking past our deli, it may not always appear this way, but life is on the calmer side, at least for a few weeks.
But that doesn’t mean life at the Smokehaus is any less interesting.
We have new faces in the deli.
For those keeping score, over the past few weeks we’ve steadily mentioned that we’re hiring, and as a result, we already have a handful of new staff training in. I’d caution the world to be patient with and/or kind to them, since they are new and the pace of our little deli can be overwhelming, but they’re already performing like seasoned veterans.
Labor Day Mail Order Sale.
Beginning August 26th, we’re running a mail order special: 20% off your cart (online only) when you enter the discount code bluecollar. The sale runs through Labor Day (9/2). However, if you want your food to arrive in time for Labor Day weekend celebrations, place your order by Tuesday, August 27th—those orders will be shipped on Wednesday (8/28) and arrive by Friday (8/30). Otherwise, you can schedule your shipping date for whenever you’d like. Pro-tip: this is the best mail order sale of the year, so if you know exactly what you want to order for Fall and Winter holidays, this is a good time to do it.
Bookmark this page as an easy reference when ordering for holidays, and you’ll be guaranteed to get your orders at the perfect interval for gifting or entertaining. Become the master of your own destiny; know for yourself exactly when to place orders, and when to have them shipped for best results.
Monday night D&D returns to The Midnight Axe.
The Summer season of our unofficial office Dungeons and Dragons crew is coming to a close with a short adventure tying us back into our ongoing campaign, right before our DM heads on an extended vacation, leaving us to fend for ourselves.
This Summer, we set our main campaign to the side, in order to focus on a handful of smaller, unconnected adventures. Not only did this allow each of us to test out a number of character ideas, and novel settings, but it also gave us time to miss our main characters, as distance does indeed make the heart grow fonder.
“The Midnight Axe” is the name—generated by rolling percentile dice against a chart of fantasy party names—of our primary party. When we’re not embroiled in a scavenger hunt for a cache of money embezzled long ago from the treasury of the Manhattan-esque city of Waterdeep, and avoiding/averting the frequent pitfalls of gangs whose rivalry we earned incidentally, we’re just trying to earn a mostly-honest living running a tavern called The Malt Solstice. However, some way or another, we’ve gained some notoriety as adventurers—and it’s drawn some public interest.
In our session on Monday, Harrison (our Dungeon Master) presented each of us with three characters (shout out to Harrison for developing fifteen character concepts in a single weekend) who are looking, for one reason or another, to join our ranks. This coming session, we’ll be embarking on a mission with our chosen secondary characters to discover their strengths, and how they’ll fit into our adventuring party. Perhaps they’ll join us on the front lines, perhaps they’ll stick around headquarters and craft potions nonstop, perhaps they’ll alternate between venturing into the Undermountain (where our campaign has us heading) and providing security at the Malt Solstice. Only time will tell.
Character biographies forthcoming.
Let’s get one thing straight: Any week that there are not five immediately obvious other Things™ to talk about, Patricia is going to get a nod. Ever since she moved to full-time baking, we’ve become accustomed to carrying an assortment of cookies—chocolate chip, ginger, peanut butter curry, carrot cake cookie sandwiches with honey cream cheese, coconut macaroons (which are gluten-free*), and most recently chocolate walnut flourless cookies (also gluten-free**)—pasties, cheddar crackers, savory scones, and even personal pizzas. This week’s pizza featured smoked bacon, blackberries, and chèvre, and her pizza sauce, in general, is composed of the odds-and-ends bits of tomato from the morning’s prep.
That’s honestly one of the best things about Patricia’s approach to baking for NWS—by utilizing more parts of the foods we use, we generate substantially less waste as a business, which improves our model of sustainability (not to mention profitability) overall, and in the process, we end up with these delicious, fan-favorite items in our deli
*/**: It’s worth noting that these are not baked in a completely gluten-free environment. In terms of ingredients, they are entirely gluten-free, but those at serious risk should be aware of the chance of cross-contamination.
I got to observe production of Country Pâté.
Compiling recipes for the cookbook is great fun, but not without its challenges. In addition to needing to massively scale down some recipes—we’re operating under the assumption you’ll never need to make one-hundred pounds of Smoked Whitefish at home—other recipes in our own workbooks lack, well, instruction.
Country pâté, for example, is just a list of ingredients, which our skilled production crew understands how to massage—eh, grind—into the savory loaves we all love. Brandt happened to catch me during a fresh air break yesterday to let me know he was making it.
Seeing that static list of ingredients—browned bacon and onion; Berkshire liver, pork and back fat; brandy; cure; rosemary and thyme; etc.—ground once and then half again (to achieve the preferred inconsistent consistency), mixed with what could reasonably pass as TLC, and packaged to chill overnight before being packed into loaf pans and slow-cooked, was enlightening, and proof that someone needs to write down those steps, because there’s a lot of them. If not for our own benefit, certainly for the book.
Once again, I’d like to give a public shout-out to the smokers for the sheer volume of high-quality product they consistently churn out.
I’ve done it again. Yesterday, I stared at my week’s notes and wondered, “which five Things™ am I going to write about? Are there five Things™ that may intrigue or inspire our readership(?),” and here I am, writing Thing™ six-and-a-half. I hope you’re happy.
We hope to see you in our deli this weekend—whether you wait in line, or skip the line via pickup —or your name and address in our delivery system. If you’re going to be near Canal Park/Downtown, make sure you bring ear protection, because the Tribute Fest will be rocking hard.
Stay tuned in the next handful of weeks for some new sandwich options—including your blogger’s own contribution to the Sandwich Lab specials—and exciting collaborations.
We’ve added beer, cider, and wine to our menu. It only took us just about twenty-one years to do it—fitting, given the federal minimum age limit for purchasing alcohol.
All of our beer inventory is locally and regionally sourced, seasonally appropriate, and reasonably priced ($10 for Hoops Brewing crowlers, $6 for 16 oz craft beer/cider, $4 for PBR pounders). Whatever you’re getting to eat, any of these beers and ciders is going to be a great match.
We’ve carefully curated a tight selection of four natural wines—organically farmed and crafted without additives—available by the glass and by the bottle, with recorking service available.
Since folks are perennially interested in pairing advice, here’s a primer of our suggested pairings for each of the wines. However, beverage pairing is subjective, and any of these will go well with whatever sandwich/salad/salami basket sounds good to you.
Vinho Verde – Vale do Homem, Quintas do Homem, 2017.
This green-hued (hence the name) estate-bottled wine comes from a family-owned winery in northern Portugal and features a blend of Loureiro and Arinto, the two best indigenous grapes of the region.
Light bodied, with citrus and green apple notes and a slight effervescence, it is great alongside the Cold Turkey, Sitka Sushi, Slammin’ Gordon, and the NWS Salad, or with our dry-cured pepperoni or Spanish-style chorizo.
$5 BTG / $20 BTB
Rosé – Réserve de la Saurine, Lauduan Chusclan, 2018.
Grown on the gravelly banks of the Ceze River in southern France, this blend of Grenache and Cinsault grapes is light, crisp, and dry, with bright, crushed berry fruit.
We suggest this wine alongside the savory flavor palates of our flagship Cajun Finn and Silence of the Lambwich sandwiches, as well as our mainstay veggie sandwich, the Fuzzy Bunny. Try it with our smoked ham and porketta as well.
$5 BTG / $20 BTB
White – Le P’tit Blanc, Clos du Tue-Boeuf, 2017.
The Loire Valley, where this vineyard is situated, has been a seat of wine production since the 1st century CE. Winemakers in this region are esteemed for their organic, biodynamic and natural winemaking processes. This white features a blend of Sauvignon Blanc with a little Chardonnay, and a complex palate of stone fruit, mineral, and citrus.
This wine is a perfect pair with just about everything we make and retail, but we recommend it especially with the Phoebe, Pork Lion, and Hedonist sandwiches, and alongside our smoked lake trout and salmon. Though it is perhaps a bit too on-the-nose, this wine also highlights the notes of Chardonnay in our Saucisson Sec.
$7 BTG / $30 BTB
Red – La Grume Beaujolais-Villages, or “La Grume”, Domaine de la Grume, 2016.
This soft and versatile red comes from a tiny winery in central France. It’s made from 100% Gamay Noir grapes and has a core of blackberry fruit, laced with bright cherry and minerality.
Pair it with buttery, savory sandwiches like the Banh Faux Mi, Squealy Dan and DeWitt-Seitzer. It’s truly a delight alongside our country pâté, smoked Berkshire ham, and any of our dry-cured salumi.
$6 BTG / $23 BTB
Have you tried any of our beers, ciders, or wines alongside our foods? Have any favorite pairings to share? Let us know in the comments, or tag us in a post on your social media. This is all new and exciting for us, and we’re dying to hear about your experience!
On Monday, we headed to Hemlock Preserve in Esko, MN for a photoshoot.
In pursuit of showing off our catering department, we headed to one of our favorite spots to serve (and photograph) food: Hemlock Preserve.
Although the weather was not in our favor, it was still quite a productive day. To start, we set up base camp in the log cabin. From there, we generated around a dozen curated plates of food to showcase our standard offerings—smoked salmon, cold cuts, dry-cured salumi, and locally-sourced cheese—as well as our versatility—handmade candies, fresh and dried fruits, and artful settings & plating.
The day largely consisted of assembling plates & floral arrangements, getting our feet wet running plates back and forth between the log cabin and the various settings within the barn, and brainstorming ways to utilize the outdoor gathering spaces in future shoots, and eating a bunch of Peanut M&Ms, but our team was able to encapsulate some transcendent moments. The spread of food, once it was all assembled on our signature Douglas fir board, was breathtaking, and to top it off, no one caught a cold, despite the weather.
We’re so excited to be working with Sue at Hemlock Grove. Wandering around the property, you can see the love she puts into this place. Even among the bare remains of a winter that overstayed its welcome and the rigging of ongoing renovations, it is the curated installations of antique signage, furniture, and table settings, the open bureau acting like a frame for vintage camping & outdoors gear, the subtle humor of the “No Gathering Firewood” sign above the woodshed, the seemingly endless hidden shelves of extra glasses & dishes suggesting that there’s always room for one more person to join the party, and the lamps (Oh! The multitude of eclectic and beautiful lamps!) that catch the eye. It’s sort of like a wonderful uncluttered antique marketplace that hosts parties. You could get lost in conversation, get lost in a self-guided tour of the décor, or get lost in Jay Cooke State Park, all with a beverage in one hand and a small plate of food in the other.
Hemlock Preserve, which is situated just far enough from the city to feel like a getaway, and just close enough to make the travel go by quickly, is situated just on the edge of Jay Cooke State Park—there are trails from the property right into the park—features two elevated yurts (on their own isolated tracts of land), and is an ideal location for all scales of gatherings: an intimate anniversary celebration, a weekend corporate retreat, an elaborate dinner, a family reunion, or a wedding & reception. We at Northern Waters Smokehaus rejoice in any opportunity to collaborate with Sue.
Patricia made smoked brisket and bleu cheese pasties.
If you haven’t stopped in for a Wednesday lunch lately, you may not know that we’ve been rocking a BBQ Brisket Sandwich as our daily special—you can settle for the buttery goodness and BBQ tang of the brisket sandwich alone, or you can go big and add a side of smoked pork & beans and/or hausmade potato salad. But I digress. On days that we have a little bit of the special left over, Patricia swings in and makes pasties. This This week, she whipped up some enormous and delicious pasties with brisket, potato, rutabaga, and crumbled bleu cheese. Look for the day’s variety of pasties in the meat case. We’ll even heat them up for you, if you want to enjoy one in the deli. All varieties of pasties are $10.
On Thursday, we headed back to Hemlock Preserve.
Despite the productivity of our first day, there was more to be done. For instance, we had to get some outdoor shots, and to document the landscape around us. On our second day out in Esko, we had plenty of sun. This meant that Bruno, the 12-year old ball of pug-love who runs the whole operation, joined us in the field. While Bruno oversaw the day’s work, we created several scenes, including two different outdoor picnics, a buffet-style dinner in the barn, and various small plates lounging around the remarkable array of sitting areas. It seems like everywhere you look, there is a place to sit (or stand), take a breather, and spark up a conversation.
On Friday (today) we went back to Hemlock Preserve once again.
As soon as this 5 Things™ blog is posted, I’m heading down to our deli for an opening shift, so I am not attending this particular field trip. From what I gather, this is a clean-up day.
If I were there, it would be a pet Bruno day as well. I hope they also carry that spirit with them.
Also on Friday (today) we are at the annual Raise the Roof One Roof Community Housing fundraiser.
One Roof is an institution that gives so much to our community, in terms of creating affordable housing opportunities, educating renters, cultivating neighborhoods, helping first-time home buyers, and much more.
It has been our privilege to take part in their annual fundraiser for many years. Not only do we get to share our food, but we also get to share our passion for it, our stories, and knowledge of the process that goes into making our food, all to a receptive audience (anyone who stops by our table and asks), and in the name of a good cause.
This year we’ll be serving Traditional Atlantic Salmon & Scallion Cream Cheese bites; Hedonist bites (with Country Pâté, onion, cornichon pickles, and a dot of mayo & mustard); and olivada, chevre & pepperoncini bites. The tasting segment of the fundraiser is 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, check the event page on their website. Olivia, our mail order director, and I will be behind the table. Stop by, enjoy a few bites, and keep us entertained.