Alice Waters Digs Grass-Fed Beef
Ever been to Chez Panisse over in Berkeley, California? Pricey, but worth it. We're big fans of the restaurant's owner, Alice Waters, who is the grand dame of modern American cuisine, by which we mean food that is sustainable, healthy, delicious, and local whenever possible.
It's no surprise that Ms. Waters is a big fan of grass-fed beef.
I eat meat, but only meat that is pastured is acceptable. We probably need to eat a whole lot less meat in general, but choosing to eat only pasture-fed encourages you to eat differently, to think, “If I can’t get real meat, I don’t want it.”
"Real meat" is a great way to put it. At Estancia, real meat is beef from cattle raised the way they evolved to thrive--roaming pastures and eating grass. There's been a big uproar lately about "pink slime", one of the more disgusting outputs of industrial beef production and something that is the antithesis of "real meat." But lost in the rightfully indignant outcry over that profit-driven, school-children-endangering nastiness is how far from "real meat" most of the beef Americans consume is, be it a burger or a steak, ordered in a restaurant or picked up at the local supermarket.
Real beef as we define it here at Estancia is produced in a way that is sustainable, humane, and safe to eat. Real beef is as healthy as it is delicious. Don't take our word for it, listen to Ms. Waters:
Grass-fed cattle are leaner. But it’s not true that they are less flavorful. You do want to learn how to cook them though, because grass-fed is less tender -- less fat, less tender. Take tenderloins -- I buy them every so often, and they cook wonderfully. We salt them a little bit. We put herbs on them. We’ll grill them or pan fry them. They’re tender and I think, incredibly flavorful. Once you discover the flavor of a cut like a hanger steak, or short ribs, which are naturally more fatty, you can just cook up something divine.
Want to be sure you're getting real beef and not some hormone and antibiotic byproduct of a feedlot? Buy grass-fed, pasture-raised beef. Why would you settle for anything less?