When it comes to the last Thursday in November, some of us are thankful we don’t have to cook because of people such as Al and Donnie Cusack. Al and Donnie, who own and operate Cusack Meats, have never known any other business than providing high-quality meats. They were born into it and happily will die a part of it. That’s why their warehouse is beyond hospital clean. That’s why they not only embrace the daily state Health Department inspections but exceed the cleanliness standards. (Don’t get Donnie started on healthy storage habits unless you’ve got an afternoon to kill.) "My family started this company 76 years ago. If that doesn’t motivate us to continue providing our customers the very best meat products and the trademark Cusack service, I don’t know what does.” Al said. It’s that same pride that moved them to engineer their own glazing machine more than a decade ago in the warehouse at 301 SW 12. "After we spiral cut and glaze the ham,” Donnie said, "we run it through an open flame. No one made a machine to do what we wanted, so we had it made.” The honey and spice that make the hams so nice isn’t just on the outside. "Our hams are injected with 100 percent pure honey prior to smoking,” Al said. "That way, you’ve got that honey flavor inside and out.” Cusack Meats has been producing 270 hams a day to meet the demand of their customers, which start in Oklahoma but extend north into Canada and to all points between. They also offer smoked turkeys, rib roasts and steaks for the holidays.
Try turduckenFor those looking not only to avoid cooking but also offer traditional holiday fare, consider turducken. Tulsa’s Ed Hebert is a Louisiana native who brought his knowledge of this Cajun tradition with him and shares it across the country through Hebert’s Specialty Meats. You can order from Hebert directly or drop by The Beef Jerky Emporium, where Mark Garvey proudly carries Hebert’s products. "We do special orders,” Garvey said. "I can hardly keep that stuff on the shelf.” And then there’s the Pearl’s Restaurant group, which has been offering Cajun-style fried turkeys for years. Orders are taken at Pearl’s Crabtown, 303 E Sheridan, in Bricktown. If you can’t make up your mind, try one of each. That would be a Thanksgiving to remember.
Holiday meal providers
→Pearl’s fried turkeys: call 232-7227 or go online to www.funfresh.com/pearls-crabtown
→Cusack’s spiral cut fire-glazed hams and smoked turkeys: call (800) 241-6328. →Hebert’s Specialty Meats: In Tulsa, call (918) 298-8400 or go online to www.hebertsmeats.com. In the Oklahoma City area, call The Beef Jerky Emporium at 751-6275 or go online to www.tbje.com.