Sunday, March 31, 2013

New Beef

I'm just about finished with the quarter buffalo I purchased last Fall.  A couple pounds of ground and the English roast to go.  If you recall, about half of it came ground and the rest in various cuts.  Pretty early on I just gave up on cooking the cuts with any kind of bravado and stuck them all in the oven low and slow wrapped in foil.  Usually around 8 hours at 215 degrees or so.  Yep, even the steaks.  I know, I know, blasphemy, but that's just where I'm at with my 'cooking'.  I couldn't care less about forethought into meal planning.  Most of the cuts came out pretty tender and quite tasty, but as you can imagine, some of the lean steaks dried out a bit too much.  Everything was edible though, and that's what I'm mainly concerned with.  Anyway, unless or until my situation changes, I decided that I would just purchase ground meat from now on and supplement with the occasional fancier cuts if I so desire.  

This is where the story of our store's very own grass-fed beef program comes in.  We've heard talk of our store owner wanting to raise some cattle on his ranch in Basalt for a while now, and it's finally come to fruition.  Basalt is the next town downvalley from Aspen, so we now have the most 'local' meat you can buy up here.  It landed in our stores for the first time about a month and a half ago.  As you can imagine, I'm super stoked for this program.  Unfortunately, I learned that the owner only had 8 head of cattle ready to go and we just received the last of it.  This was kind of a test run and he's purchasing many more cattle to get the program going to where we can have it on a full time basis starting next Fall.  Coolio.

40 one pounders
So in the meantime I had our meat manager package up some 40 pounds of ground chuck to tide me over.  I asked him to make sure he made it on the fattier side of life, and I picked it up this weekend.  I've tasted it already as I've bought some 'fresh' off the shelves to try it out.  Good stuff.  And we have marrow bones for sale too ... I've tried me some of those as well!  I did request some of the offal, but, well, I think they thought I was kidding or something.  That's fine as I can pick some of that up at the Farmers Market when it starts up here in the summer.  But next time they'll know I want that 'junk' for reals.  People there are still surprised I eat meat - remember my whole spiel on how vegetarianism is associated with health?   I guess I don't exactly go around with a club in my hand touting my inner caveman.  Well, here's to good, nutritious, food.  But mostly to food that's easy to cook


The Primalist said...

I think it's awesome that you choose to eat well even though you're not into cooking. A lot of people who don't cook for whatever reason use that as an excuse to eat poorly. But as you've demonstrated it, it ain't rocket science. Cook meat, eat meat, done and done. Slow cooking and braising are some of the easiest cooking methods, and they yield some of the tastiest results.

And it's cool about the uber local meat. Are you going to visit the farm? The farm I got my last beef order from is too far away to visit. It's in northern BC so it would be quite a trek. I pestered them with a ton of questions before I ordered, but really, I wish I could've stopped by the farm.

Aaron said...

Indeed, eating well does not mean it has to be complicated.

I should stop by the farm sometime. I don't get out of town often, but I'm sure they wouldn't mind me dropping by if I let them know I was interested. Are there not any grass fed farms closer to Vancouver?

PS Ironic you should mention rocket science. You'll never guess what my degree is in :)

The Primalist said...

Lol. Well then saying that cooking isn't rocket science isn't really helpful in this case :P And that's pretty cool btw!

As for farms - not really. At least not ones that meet my requirements (100% grass-fed and finished, organic or basically organic if uncertified, 24+ months old, aged minimum 3 weeks...for starters). I actually couldn't find an organic farm, so had to settle on "natural" - this particular farm comes pretty darn close to organic. But there isn't that safety net of certification there. It's shocking how few options there are. I even looked in Alberta and Washington...

Aaron said...

Well then, I think you may have found a niche. I can see it now ... The Primalist Farmer!