Beef, it's what's for dinner tonight, right?
Unfortunately, the idea of consuming a cut of meat from a mass-produced animal is losing its appeal to many of us...but fortunately, there are alternatives.
We wanted to know if going organic with our beef is worth it.
So we spoke with a former executive chef of a famous steakhouse, he explained to us how he developed an appreciation for the superior quality of organic food and sustainably raised beef.
While admittedly, organic-beef is more expensive than its conventional counterpart, the added expense is worth it.
Here's some reasons why we appreciate organic food and specifically, organic-beef:
Supporting local farms that raise cattle sustainably has a positive impact that extends far beyond the health benefits to you and your family.
Not only do these farms produce healthy and responsible organic food sources, they also preserve the bio-diversity of our environment that industrial farming damages.
In addition to organic food labels, look for "heritage" and "heirloom" animal breeds when making your selections.
What did your beef eat and how did it live?
Organic-beef comes from a cow that has been raised free of hormones and antibiotics and on a vegetarian diet of grass and organic feed.
By contrast, industry-farmed cattle often finish their lives by being crowded onto feedlots and fattened on corn; a food that is hard for them to digest.
Look for 100% pastured-raised beef.
This beef comes from cows that were never on a feedlot, began their lives in the pasture and finished that way.
Other humane methods include finishing cattle by spreading a controlled amount of grain in the fields where they are pastured.
Some cattle are fed hay on feedlots at times of the year when grass is unavailable.
Decide what's important to you.
Responsible cattle farming extends to the people who work on the farms.
If the workers are happy, I would imagine the cattle are happier as well!
When you buy organic food at the local market, getting information from the farmers is easy.
If shopping at the local market is not always possible, let your needs be known at your local stores or super markets.
Ask store managers if the distributors of the organic food and meat you buy can provide their list of standards.
If so, it will inform your organic food purchasing decisions.
If not, what does that say about their practices?
Organic-beef is healthier!
Some organic food purveyors contend that, on average, a six oz. portion of grass-fed, organic beef can contain 100 fewer calories and 10 fewer g. of saturated fat than conventionally raised beef.
A Perfect Steak Sandwich
A sandwich should be thoughtfully laid out, with components that add up to a complete meal, but the most important thing is that the ingredients should be of excellent quality.
They should also be easy to come by: It’s a sandwich, after all.
Start with a great organic-beef steak.
It’s never been easier to buy great beef.
For the perfect steak sandwich, don’t be afraid to buy a nice cut of beef.
The three basic cuts to make a sandwich without requiring the tenderizing process of a marinade are rib eye, New York strip (sirloin), and filet or tenderloin, all available from any butcher.
To season, simply salt and pepper the meat, and that’s it.
That’s all you have to do...
...a Perfect Steak Sandwich
This open-faced sandwich is a bit more elegant than one you pick up; it’s like a great steak salad on toast.
Again, other than salt and pepper, there’s no need for seasoning.
You get all the zing you need from glazing the sautéed vegetables with a little steak sauce added right to the pan. Everything you want is already in that bottle — the tomatoes, the spices, the vinegar — and in just the right proportions.
It’s a fail-safe way to add flavor; you’re going to look like a genius.
8-oz. organic-beef prime strip, rib-eye steak or tenderloin
Coarse salt and ground black pepper
1/2 c. red onion, sliced into half moons
1/2 c. pickled cherry peppers (hot and sweet), sliced
1 c. white mushrooms, sliced thin
2 Tbs. steak sauce
Hoagie-style soft roll, ends trimmed, split horizontally
Garlic mayonnaise (see below)
4 slices white cheddar (about 4 oz.)
Arugula, cleaned and dressed with red-wine or light balsamic vinaigrette
2-inch piece fresh horseradish root, peeled
Grill, broil, or pan-sear steak until medium rare, season with coarse salt and ground black pepper, and let rest before thinly slicing.
In sauté pan over medium heat, melt 2 Tbs. butter until lightly browned, and caramelize onions.
Add peppers and mushrooms and cook, flipping frequently, until well mixed, about 3 minutes.
Add steak sauce and simmer to glaze, about 2 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Lightly butter roll and lightly toast in skillet (buttered sides down).
Spread toasted sides with garlic mayo and place on foil-covered sheet pan.
Top with cheese and melt open-faced under preheated broiler.
Remove and transfer to serving plate.
Arrange organic-beef atop broiled bread, overlapping slices slightly, and evenly distribute vegetable mixture, finishing with dressed arugula salad.
Using small-hole side of box grater or a zester, shred horseradish root (as when working with raw chiles, do not touch your eyes) over sandwich and serve.
How to Make Garlic Mayo;
Place peeled garlic clove on clean work surface.
Using broad side of a chef’s knife, crush slightly and macerate, using circular motions, until it becomes paste.
Add a pinch of kosher salt and mix.
Stir paste into mayonnaise, adding ground black pepper and a pinch of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley.
Use about 2 garlic cloves to 1/4 c. mayo, more or less according to your taste.Tweet
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