When cattle are grown naturally on summer grass and winter hay, they produce beef that is really tasty and really good for you. The good fats are 3-4 times higher and the bad fats are 4-5 times lower compared with grain-finished feedlot beef. The taste is intense and the muscle tone offers a satisfying texture for mindful eaters who support local farms.
The partners of New England Grass Fed LLC were proud to deliver an entire grass-fed steer to the Newport Harbor Corp gang a couple weeks back. The chefs received a beautiful 100% grass-fed & dry-aged cross-bred Red Devon in 4 frozen bone-in quarters to be divided up among their 8 restaurant properties – Castle Hill Inn, 22 Bowen, The Boathouse, Trio, Waterman Grille, Smokehouse, Hemenway’s & The Mooring. After it slacked out for a night and a day in the walk-in cooler, 8 chefs gathered at Castle Hill Inn for the cutting out party.
They were excited to see the dense dark red muscle and beautiful internal marbling of this spectacular 26-month old pastured animal. The buttery yellow fat is full of B vitamins and soluble Omega-3 fats. The Devons, like other northern heritage breeds, retain the historically selected qualities of mothering, rich milk and excellent feed utilization that make them hardy, good all-rounders for the small traditional farmer. Because they don’t grow so big they were overlooked in the US for many years and retain their function and genetic integrity of a hundred years ago. The Red Devons have recently emerged as the class of the field among those who know truly outstanding grass-fed beef. Fine-boned and full-fleshed, they are one of the best converters of forage into fat – i.e. grass-finishers you will find. When given good pasture, they develop an outstanding fat cap that enables them to age for 2-3 weeks, tenderizing and developing incredible intense flavor.
An impressive gathering of chef power worked on the beast like excited kids on Christmas morning. Beautiful steaks and roasts and short ribs piled up. Scraps and neck meat filled tubs to go into kielbasa and landjager. Salamis were hung in the dryer with care. Sinew was saved for an elegant consomme that will accompany the tenderloin on New Years Eve. The top round, carefully trimmed for whole muscle cure in salt, sugar, bay leaf and juniper will be transformed into a magnificent bresaola (beef prosciutto). The pungent mountain flavors of a raw slice off the end several days later brought to mind lederhosen, high socks and a brisk fall hike.
They ground abdominal fat into the burger. Several said it was the best burger they ever had. Several others swooned like girls at a Justin Bieber concert. They achieved almost 80% yield, an amazing accomplishment and testimony to the animal considering 60%-63% is considered a good yield from the butcher at Westerly Meat Packing. The partners at New England Grass Fed LLC are excited about pursuing their passion for animals raised naturally with respect.