Brent Peltier, boudin maker
Peltier’s Specialty Meats
When Brent Peltier was growing up in New Iberia, his Cajun father made boudin at home for the family, using a bull horn to stuff the mixture into casings. They would eat the boudin either by the link or in po-boys. Brent also watched his father make cracklins, cutting the pork bellies by hand and distributing the finished batch throughout the neighborhood. It was somewhat of a natural progression, then, when Brent got his first job, as a teenager, in a meat market. He later worked for twenty-two years at Winn Dixie, before striking out on his own at Peltier’s Specialty Meats. Brent modeled the boudin at Peltier’s after his dad’s recipe—long-grain rice, plenty of vegetable seasonings, pork liver—though his main source of income at the shop comes from the meat case and the specialty products that he prepares from the slaughtered animals that customers bring to him. Deer, elk, moose, buffalo, bear, hogs—Brent turns these into sausages, patties, steaks, salami, tamales, jerky, and anything else the customer requests. At the time of this interview, his payroll consisted of all family members, including his wife, daughter, and nephew. Brent considers that the best part of owning his own business. “I don’t have to go home to see them,” he says.