Reading an article about the food scene in Portland, oregon, and this phrase caught my eye:
Most of the beef is grass-fed and grain-finished. " (6th paragraph down from "Beef heaven at laurelhurst market")
They're offering this beef as if it's something special -- unique. But that's pretty much the definition of what a feedlot fed cow is. It's fed on grass when born, and up to some weight, like 600 pounds. then sold and shipped to a feedlot where it's fed grain for 3-6 months, and then slaughtered. So this beef, in my opinion, is the same as that you'd get in any retail meat establishment. If they're trying for something special, grass-finished would be different -- but there's a problem.
I've been eating a steer that I raised on grass and finished on grass, and it's a different beast than I've had in the past. Lean is the word I'd use to describe it. The meat is good, tasty, but the amount of fat on this animal doesn't compare with that found on feedlot beef. In fact, it's been a wake up call for me because it's so different. I've changed my cooking habits to accommodate this -- braising the beef, for instance, instead of roasting. Or serving rare. Similar to what I'd do with venison, which is typically very lean as well.
Understand that I'm a fan of grass fed beef. Truly I am. I like the idea of a cow converting grass into meat, and I feed tons of grass to my cows, but as a typical consumer I've been trained to like the taste and texture of grain-fed beef. I like a rim of fat around my tbone. I like (and miss) intramuscular marbling. Our whole meat grading system is oriented around grain-feeding beef -- most grass-finished beef would not rate high; I don't think you could get a prime rating from a grass fed animal.
I'll even confess: I'm tempted to grain-finish my next steer.
19 hours ago