While the Accidental Locavore has taken things like Whole Foods’ 5-step program for raising meat with a grain of salt, don’t you think there is something to be said about bringing up animals in a beautiful setting? Whether you’d be able to taste the difference or not, there’s a feel-good aspect to knowing exactly where your food comes from, especially when it comes from somewhere as lovely as Brykill Farm.
In an attempt to add another piece of the local-and-fresh pie to our lives, the Locavore decided to add some local grass-fed meat, in this case beef, to our diet. My first attempt through the message board on Hudson Valley Food Network to share an eighth of a cow didn't work. Then Susan from Brykill farm contacted me to see if we were interested in an eighth of her beef and after cleaning out the freezer, we decided to try it.
One Saturday, we went to pick up our carefully packaged meat. Brykill farm is on the National Register of Historic Places with the farm dating back to the early 1700’s. There are several beautiful stone buildings with a flock of exotic chickens running around the yard. Let's put it this way, I can't imagine not being contented grazing and roaming around those picturesque acres!
Box of meat safely stored, we were looking forward to putting it to good use. This past weekend was the earliest opportunity. First up, a big strip steak. The Locavore patted it with some olive oil (mostly so it wouldn't stick to the grill pan, healthier than Pam, right?) and Montreal Steak Seasoning, seared it on the grill pan (still a little cold and dark at night for the outdoor grill) and finished it in a 400° oven. The verdict? Delicious! Frank paid it the ultimate compliment by not using anything (BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce) on it--something he's never done before! It had a nice chewiness and great flavor, making me decide, to do it justice, that the next steak was definitely going on the grill!
Next up? A daube de boeuf with homemade gnocchi (recipe for the daube on Thursday). It's essentially the Provençal version of a Boeuf Bourguignon, or beef stew with wine, with the addition of Nicoise olives and some orange juice, traditionally served over tiny raviolis or gnocchi. The Locavore used a package labeled "stew beef" which was perfectly cut into 1 1/2" cubes. Once again, a terrific dish!
So, if you have the freezer room, definitely search out a share in some local grass-fed beef. While initially we thought this would last us for a long time, as Frank said, we'll be going back to Brykill soon!
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