Just saw a post that might interest you regarding flavor of grass fed beef. It comes from a Nebraska feedlot operator family. Also explains how much longer it takes to raise a grass fed animal and why it costs more. http://www.omaha.com/article/20120608/LIVEWELL02/706089995/1161
You’ve undoubtedly heard the recent news regarding the “pink slime” found in industrial hamburger and the resulting decision of some of the big grocery chains to not sell it anymore. They are a little slow on the uptake. Note my previous post regarding McDonald’s ban on this stuff some months ago. This substance more properly called “lean, finely textured beef,” is basically poor quality trim (possibly dirty or contaminated) treated with ammonia to kill bacteria and mixed in with the real ground beef. It is the result of our collective cry for cheap food. We, as an American Society in general, are responsible for these disgusting industrial, adulterated food products. My thanks to you, my customers, and regular blog readers for opting out of this system.
Our butcher does not add this slime to our ground beef. I have watched them process beef, and it is a clean operation. We start with the best grass finished beef, have it processed right, and deliver it straight to you, our customers. Check out the blog post below to see some of the processing photos.
The FDA and the USDA do not have your (the consumer) best interests at heart. Believe me on this. If you don’t believe me, do your own research. And above all, get your food from a trusted, LOCAL source.
Again, thank you to our loyal customers.
Now is your chance to win a $50 gift certificate. We’re sponsoring a contest through the blog Is This Really My Life so you can go there for all the details. But don’t forget to leave a comment on this post for another chance to win. Good luck!
This post was originally published on the Menuism blog and is republished here with permission.
It’s a fact we all know, but often choose to ignore: the juicy grass-finished beef steak on our plate was once part of a bovine. At the farm, we strive to make our animals comfortable and content so that they will grow and develop in a stress-free environment. This is good for the animal, the forages, the land, and for the farmer. The cycle of life moves along until the measure of creation is fulfilled for the animal—and we omnivores continue that cycle at the dinner table.
A significant part of the field-to-fork process in the meat industry is the butchering of an animal. So I spent some time with my butcher the other day in order to share a behind-the-scenes look at butchering. The cutting of meat is somewhat of an art form, with lots of cultural variations. The standard American cuts that you see at the grocery store or on a chart such as this one distributed by the Beef Council tell only part of the story. Meat cutting is the art of identifying and separating the muscle groups from the bones and sinews. Once the muscle groups are separated, they can be sliced and trimmed into the familiar cuts of beef. Here’s a look at some of the most interesting beef cuts.
[Warning: The following photos may be too graphic for non-meat eaters! Read on at your own discretion.]
This cut comes from the front of the back half of the spinal column and ribs; the area is known as the loin. There are three main muscle groups involved. Depending on the cutting of this section, the butcher can produce a porterhouse, T-bone or strip steak. By removing the bone, he can get a New York strip and tenderloin steak or filet (as in filet mignon). Surely every beef eater has had a T-bone steak and noticed the difference on each side of the T. The small side is more tender and less fatty. Taken alone, that piece is actually the tenderloin. The tougher and larger side of the T is the strip steak, or, without the bone, a New York strip steak. A porterhouse steak is the largest cut from this part of the animal and is larger because there is a third muscle group on the large side of the T, which is small and quite tender. Only four or five steaks cut from this area will qualify as porterhouse because the muscle is small and runs out as the meat section tapers smaller.
The next photo shows a T-bone on the left and a porterhouse on the right as mirror images, but note the additional round segment on the far right side of the porterhouse.
The ribeye is my favorite steak. These cuts come from the back and rib section right in front of the T-bone area. Made into steaks with the bone in, it’s a rib steak, or de-boned, it’s a ribeye steak. Either way, it’s tender and flavorful and has just the right amount of fat. A ribeye steak is great for grilling or broiling. If this area isn’t cut into steaks, it will be cut as a bone-in or boneless rib roast. Sometimes this is referred to as prime rib, which may or may not be accurate; in the strict sense of the usage, this cut is only considered prime rib if it has been graded “prime” by a USDA inspector. When the word “prime” is used in this official sense, it means that there is a heavier internal fat content (aka marbling). Somehow, “choice rib” doesn’t have the same ring to it, but a rib roast graded to the USDA choice standard is pretty darn good if cooked properly.
The Lean Cuts
The large muscles at the rear of the cow provide the leanest cuts of beef. Sirloin steak is probably the most well-known cut, followed by rump roast. The rear-most muscle or round is most often cut into strips for fajita meat or stir-fry pieces. It can also be used to create round steak or kebab chunks.
The most interesting cut in this area is the tri-tip. This is a triangular muscle right at the bottom of the sirloin area, similar in size to the animal’s heart. The tri-tip is one of the best lean cuts because it is fairly tender. It can be grilled whole or cut into steaks. There are only two of these on the whole cow.
The Thin Muscles
The thin muscles are found on the underside of the cow, and from this area we get cuts such as brisket, skirt steak and flank steak. One common use of brisket is corned beef. Properly marinated and cooked, it is also makes a wonderful roast-style cut. The skirt and flank are very thin pieces of meat, which, ideally, should be marinated before grilling, then sliced into strips for flavorful fajitas. All of these cuts can also be cured into beef bacon or pastrami.
The Front Section
The front section of a cow is also known as chuck. The most common usage is for chuck roast or pot roast, which are usually slow cooked to tenderize the meat. The meat from the front section is a little tougher because it’s cut from muscles that are used a lot. However, there is also a lot of beef flavor for the same reason. One of the most flavorful steaks from the whole cow is a chuck-eye steak. It’s not very popular, probably because sometimes it can be kind of tough. This varies from one animal to the next, however, and the degree of toughness is not as predictable as tenderness measures on other steak cuts. Chuck steaks should be cut thin, perhaps tenderized, and not overcooked. The flavor can’t be beat.
So there you have it. Work with your local butcher to get your favorite cuts!
Note: All butchering images courtesy of John Brady.
One of our loyal customers in Western Idaho sent me a Yahoo news link which I sourced further to an ABC story. Here’s the link http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/02/01/mcdonalds-announces-end-to-pink-slime-in-burgers/
Further evidence that you ought to know the source of your food. At Brady’s Beef we have pure, clean beef. No chemicals, no hormones, no antibiotics. A source you can trust!
In my business, I am pretty subject to weather related occurrences, so I check the weather channel regularly. Here’s a link to a recent article at weather.com:
That’s a long link address for a short revealing article, so copy and past it to your browser. You’ll be amazed at what we’re feeding our kids…
I have been guilty of ordering these for my kids and grandkids. Maybe our bodies can cope with toxins occasionally, but should we really volunteer for it? With a steady diet of this, is it any wonder we have a nation of obesity? Nobody is forcing this on us. We’re voting with our dollars. Hope you’ll vote for real food; locally produced, fresh from the farm.
I recently followed my butcher around for an hour. This is the fifth in a series that I have been doing for Menuism.com See some pictures and an article I published at http://www.menuism.com/blog/inside-the-butcher-shop-beef-cuts-101/ Cut & paste this URL to your browser. It was interesting to me, hope it will be to you.
I recently read an article in the Farm Bureau Quarterly about the cost of food. They do a quarterly market basket survey to keep abreast of the rise in food costs and how it might compare to official inflation indices. The average market basket price was up a whopping 15% from one year ago. The only survey items that were not up was sirloin beef cuts and toasted oat cereal. The article also mentioned higher farm input prices on energy and fertilizer. I might add to that equipment repairs and parts which are up big time. Beef remains a great value for your diet. May I suggest a freezer and a half beef? If you are a expecting a tax refund, food storage is a great way to use it. Order early as supplies of forage or grass finished beef are always short in the spring.
If you are even reading this article right now, you are familiar with the terminology in the title above. Being able to use the term “Grass Fed” in the same sentence with beef has become the darling child of the industry in recent years. As such, it has also become almost meaningless.
Although the term conjures up idyllic scenes of pastoral beauty, what are we really after when it comes to eating beef as part of a healthy, sensible, and interesting diet? Much has been written and researched about the health benefits, and environmental benefits of having cattle on pasture as opposed to a feedlot. Refer to other articles on my blog and elsewhere.
Before we go further, what does the term “finished” mean in beef? It means that the animal is physically mature in skeleton and muscle and that it has some fatty tissue as well. This fatty tissue will be both exterior of the muscle (fat cover) and also interior of the muscle (marbling). Much (not all) of the flavor and tenderness of the beef will be related to the fat content of the beef.
The term “Grass Fed” as it is now commonly used can refer to one of two possibilities:
- The animal has been on grass or pasture prior to being put on a grain finishing ration, or
- The animal is being butchered right off of the pasture while it is still in its growth or immature stage.
The result of the first scenario is a beef product no different than regular feedlot beef. The result of the second scenario is a very lean beef product that contains very little fat.
Now let’s look at the term “Grass Finished”. This is a much more descriptive term for what we really want. It means that the animal has been allowed to grow to a physically mature stage and then kept on grass until it begins to put on exterior and intramuscular fat. (The word grass is also a catch all term referring to grass, legumes, and other green vegetation and the hay made from such). No grain is ever fed to grass finished cattle. In most breeds of cattle this process will take 24 to 36 months. Much longer than the typical feedlot cattle period of 18-20 months. This is the “biggie” factor in the price difference between true Grass Finished and the less desirable grass fed. It is the factor that makes the eating experience and the health benefits of true Grass Finished so much superior.
Now that you’re informed, always choose the best—Grass Finished from Brady’s Beef.
I was getting fuel for my truck yesterday, so I walked into the C-store to check out the price for a regular Hershey’s chocolate bar. Yes, the good kind, that used to cost a nickel way back when. 1.55 ounces for $1.19. That’s $12.28 per pound! My grass finished beef is a bargain. Check our pricing at www.bradysbeef.com .Next Page »