Where’s The Beef?
A friend suggested that we try the organic beef at the little store in the Coarsegold Historic Village. Since my husband has become “freaked out” about eating beef due to reports of pink slime, mad cow disease, etc., I thought, “OK, lets try it.”
I bought some short ribs, brought them home, and cooked them according to my favorite recipe, and all I can say is WOW. It was a trip back in time as I began to remember what beef was supposed to taste like.
I decided that I need to know more about this wonderful tasting beef, so back to the Coarsegold Village I went. The store where I bought the beef is called Pete Millar Ranch Grass Fed Beef.
Pete was kind enough to let me ask him some questions so I started with the obvious, what is grass-fed beef? Well grass-fed beef is exactly that, cows that spend their days roaming around the country side eating grass. Pete says that grass, a salt lick and fresh water equal happy, healthy cows. No antibiotics or hormones.
Up until World War II, most beef grazed on grass their whole lives, as they continue to do in many beef producing countries throughout the world. After the war there was an abundance of government subsidized corn and soybeans, and beef began to be confined and grain fed. It takes 3 to 4 years to bring a grass fed steer to the proper size. Grain fed cattle take half that time.
Due to our demand for healthier food options, in the past 5 years more than 1,000 U.S. ranchers have switched their herds to an all-grass diet. Sales of grass-fed beef are expected to increase 20% per year. When animals are 100% grass-fed, their meat is not only lower in saturated fats but also higher in omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fats found in salmon and flaxseed.
Pete generally has 30 or 40 head of cattle on his 3000 acre ranch, so the cows have plenty of room to roam and lots of grass to eat. Also most of his calves come from his own stock or from his adjacent neighbors, so you know Pete knows his cows personally.
If you want a healthy, local beef option, stop by and see Pete in the Coarsegold Historic Village. I know he would be happy to meet you.
Here is a delicious short rib recipe courtesy of “Big Daddy” Aaron McCargo Jr.
Fall-off-the-Bone Short Ribs
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 45 minutes
• 6 (4-ounce) beef short ribs
• Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
• 3 tablespoons oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• 1 cup dry red wine
• 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
• 1 (14-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
• 4 cups beef stock
• 2 sprigs fresh thyme
• 1 sprig fresh rosemary
• 6 Brioche Buns
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat, add the oil. Sear the ribs on all sides until well colored and slightly charred. Remove the ribs from pan to a plate and set aside.
Over medium-low heat, add the onions to the Dutch oven and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the red wine and vinegar and reduce liquid by half. Stir in the tomatoes, stock and fresh herbs. Add the short ribs and cover the pot. Put in the oven and cook until meat is fork tender, about 90 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer the short ribs to a large bowl and shred the meat. Assemble the sandwiches on brioche buns with slaw. Skim the fat from the cooking liquid, strain into a serving bowl and use for dipping the sandwiches.