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Grass Fed Beef in Chicago?

Grass Fed Beef in Chicago?
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  • Post #31 - January 1st, 2007, 10:04 am
    Post #31 - January 1st, 2007, 10:04 am Post #31 - January 1st, 2007, 10:04 am
    OK, steering this thread back to where to get grass fed beef...

    The little store next to Tango Sur on Southport has historically sold Canadian grass fed beef. It doesn't hold a candle to Argentine beef. But, it does have a certain grassiness in its flavor that's not too overpowering.

    However, from the perspective of being able to trust your butcher, I'll say this. For years, they claimed to be selling Argentine beef there until I called them on the carpet about Argentine beef being banned from entry into the US during the mad cow scare of the early 2000s. Suddenly, it became Canadian grass fed beef. So, who knows what it really is.

    As Cathy notes, Trader Joe's regularly carries frozen cut Austrailian Grass Fed Beef Staeks in its freezer section. I had them a couple of years ago and they tasted more grassy than they did beef like. I didn't care for them at all.
  • Post #32 - January 1st, 2007, 10:19 am
    Post #32 - January 1st, 2007, 10:19 am Post #32 - January 1st, 2007, 10:19 am
    Take a look at the Kansas sources: our cattle--at least the ones from the Flint Hills--only spend from July/Aug to Oct/Nov in feedlots. Now they gain 5/12ths of their weight there, true enough; but most of their lives are spent on grass either in TX or KS.

    Cf: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2001/may/2 ... e_call_in/


    Geo
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  • Post #33 - January 1st, 2007, 10:26 am
    Post #33 - January 1st, 2007, 10:26 am Post #33 - January 1st, 2007, 10:26 am
    Right, Will, I tried the Australian Trader Joe's beef as both steaks and burgers a few years ago. It made a decent burger, partly because you had other flavors in there, but straight on as a steak it was grassy and unpleasant for me (and, for that matter, everyone else at the table).
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  • Post #34 - January 1st, 2007, 7:21 pm
    Post #34 - January 1st, 2007, 7:21 pm Post #34 - January 1st, 2007, 7:21 pm
    stevez wrote:Can someone explain to me why grass fed beef is suddenly all the rage? When I lived on the West Coast, where grass fed beef is de riguer, people went crazy for midwestern corn fed beef, citing it's superior flavor and tenderness. Is this simpley a case of "the grass is greener" (so to speak).


    I recently read an article on Slate which rated a grass-fed steak the best in a tasting - better than 2 types of USDA Prime steak (wet and dry-aged).

    The takeaway from this article was that marbling, which all the distiguioshes the USDA grades, might be overrated. Straight-corn feeds do not deliver the beefy flavor of mixed-grain and grass feeds.


    I had a leg of lamb for christmas that was grass-fed. I felt it was less gamey than other legs I've had.

    So I'd like to try a grass fed steak or roast.
  • Post #35 - January 1st, 2007, 8:08 pm
    Post #35 - January 1st, 2007, 8:08 pm Post #35 - January 1st, 2007, 8:08 pm
    HI,

    If you try the Trader Joe's Australian grass fed steak, then you will be in for the full gamey affect. I didn't particularly like it, though the flank steak from Tall Grass was much better.

    As an aside, I was particularly impressed in the last year with the full flavor and moistness of a wagyu brisket, which was teaming with melted fat. I cannot say the standard brisket I encounter launches me into poetry. I also bought some wagyu hamburger at Costco, which was all the fatty deliciousness missing from lean hamburger.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #36 - January 1st, 2007, 8:28 pm
    Post #36 - January 1st, 2007, 8:28 pm Post #36 - January 1st, 2007, 8:28 pm
    Sounds like the best bet. I live and work in the city (lakeview and merchandise mart, respectively) so I'll just make a trip over there.

    Here is the slate article I was referencing:
    http://www.slate.com/id/2152674/

    They recommend Niman Ranch (grass-fed finished on a mix of grains) and Alder Spring ranch. http://www.alderspring.com/ (all grass).
  • Post #37 - January 2nd, 2007, 1:25 pm
    Post #37 - January 2nd, 2007, 1:25 pm Post #37 - January 2nd, 2007, 1:25 pm
    Cynthia wrote:Also, it is said that the grass-fed beef is healthier, with more omega-3 fatty acids than corn-fed beef. So while some are buying it for cache, some are buying it because they want what they perceive as being more healthful food.


    I also had heard reports about the nutritional superiority of grass-fed beef, so I found this post by Harold McGee very interesting.

    Even if there are no significant health advantages though, I've personally really enjoyed the distinct taste of grass-fed.
  • Post #38 - January 2nd, 2007, 10:24 pm
    Post #38 - January 2nd, 2007, 10:24 pm Post #38 - January 2nd, 2007, 10:24 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:HI,

    As an aside, I was particularly impressed in the last year with the full flavor and moistness of a wagyu brisket, which was teaming with melted fat. I cannot say the standard brisket I encounter launches me into poetry. I also bought some wagyu hamburger at Costco, which was all the fatty deliciousness missing from lean hamburger.

    Regards,


    For hamburger, I usually buy ground chuck and I generally get raves from my friends on 'em. The 80/20 is just better than the 90% lean stuff.

    I am going to check out Fox and Obel, I think. I don't see myself making a trip to evanston or highland park
  • Post #39 - January 8th, 2007, 3:03 pm
    Post #39 - January 8th, 2007, 3:03 pm Post #39 - January 8th, 2007, 3:03 pm
    Some environmentalists do actually have a couple of arguments against corn as a crop:
    • a lot of (most?) corn is fed with petroleum-based fertilizers
    • the nitrogen runoff from corn fertilizer is a significant source of pollution for watersheds

    I believe that the majority of corn in this country is feed-grade corn grown for livestock consumption and, more recently, consumption by people in places like Chiapas, where cheap U.S. corn has taken the bottom out of the local corn markets.
  • Post #40 - January 8th, 2007, 3:13 pm
    Post #40 - January 8th, 2007, 3:13 pm Post #40 - January 8th, 2007, 3:13 pm
    Angie-lala wrote:Some environmentalists do actually have a couple of arguments against corn as a crop:
    • a lot of (most?) corn is fed with petroleum-based fertilizers
    • the nitrogen runoff from corn fertilizer is a significant source of pollution for watersheds



    One of the reasons corn requires so much fertilizer is that the farmland that produces corn exclusively becomes drained of nutrients that must be replaced artificially (rather than through crop rotation).
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #41 - January 8th, 2007, 3:52 pm
    Post #41 - January 8th, 2007, 3:52 pm Post #41 - January 8th, 2007, 3:52 pm
    And just to take this thread further off track.....

    Corn can't fix nitrogen, hence the application of nitrogen fertilizers....leading to excess and runoff and water pollution and global warming and the end of life as we know it. Or something like that.

    The pre-Columbian triumverate of corn, beans, and squash provided well balanced nutrition for the people eating them and the plants provided nutrients for each other--beans fix nitrogen....

    Now for a little soapboxing. Cows did not evolve to eat grain. They are perfect processers of grass. Feading them grain causes health problems. Humans then have to step in and medicate those problems. Human consumers of said cows probably consume remnant amounts of said medications. No thanks. If I want to eat a grain eater, I go for venison (and pork of course.)
  • Post #42 - January 8th, 2007, 3:57 pm
    Post #42 - January 8th, 2007, 3:57 pm Post #42 - January 8th, 2007, 3:57 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:HI,

    As an aside, I was particularly impressed in the last year with the full flavor and moistness of a wagyu brisket, which was teaming with melted fat. I cannot say the standard brisket I encounter launches me into poetry. I also bought some wagyu hamburger at Costco, which was all the fatty deliciousness missing from lean hamburger.

    Regards,


    If the main benefit of Wagyu is the incredible marbling, how can this help or be better than standard 80/20 (which can certainly never be accused of being fat-free) when ground?

    Jamie
  • Post #43 - January 8th, 2007, 3:59 pm
    Post #43 - January 8th, 2007, 3:59 pm Post #43 - January 8th, 2007, 3:59 pm
    october271986 wrote:Sounds like the best bet. I live and work in the city (lakeview and merchandise mart, respectively) so I'll just make a trip over there.

    Here is the slate article I was referencing:
    http://www.slate.com/id/2152674/

    They recommend Niman Ranch (grass-fed finished on a mix of grains) and Alder Spring ranch. http://www.alderspring.com/ (all grass).


    Thanks for the link. :)

    (I meant too...I meant too..)

    The other message from the article was that great beef costs. While they liked the grass fed beef best, they noted that all the premium beef was very, very good, but it was all, very, very, very expensive.

    About a week ago, we bought some grass-fed/organic ground beef at Costco. Now, before I can post about the results I got to remember to put it IN the refridgerator after getting home. By the time I discovered my error, I was more comfortable in tossing. :cry:
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #44 - January 8th, 2007, 4:53 pm
    Post #44 - January 8th, 2007, 4:53 pm Post #44 - January 8th, 2007, 4:53 pm
    Jamieson22 wrote:If the main benefit of Wagyu is the incredible marbling, how can this help or be better than standard 80/20 (which can certainly never be accused of being fat-free) when ground?


    I ask this question every time someone mentions wagyu hamburgers or hot dogs. It doesn't make sense to me. The beef might have a different flavor, even after adjusting for fat content, but is it one that can handle the spicing or a hot dog, or the foie gras on that wagyu burger?
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  • Post #45 - January 8th, 2007, 6:34 pm
    Post #45 - January 8th, 2007, 6:34 pm Post #45 - January 8th, 2007, 6:34 pm
    Oh, I'm so sorry, I apologize, but I just can't stop myself!

    If I want to eat a grain eater, I go for venison (and pork of course.)


    Might I make A Modest Proposal ?

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #46 - January 8th, 2007, 7:21 pm
    Post #46 - January 8th, 2007, 7:21 pm Post #46 - January 8th, 2007, 7:21 pm
    Geo wrote:Might I make A Modest Proposal ?


    You might, indeed.

    But I rather expect that children these days might not be the grain eaters they were of old. :D
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #47 - January 9th, 2007, 10:45 am
    Post #47 - January 9th, 2007, 10:45 am Post #47 - January 9th, 2007, 10:45 am
    I was not really serious, deer are ruminants....except for the ones foraging in my garden...they're the (massively destructive) grain eaters I'd like to eat.


    Diannie
  • Post #48 - January 9th, 2007, 10:49 am
    Post #48 - January 9th, 2007, 10:49 am Post #48 - January 9th, 2007, 10:49 am
    Gypsy Boy wrote: But I rather expect that children these days might not be the grain eaters they were of old. :D


    I suspect they are....that HFCS gets into a lot of things....but unfortunately I am neither Irish nor a parent.
  • Post #49 - January 10th, 2007, 7:31 pm
    Post #49 - January 10th, 2007, 7:31 pm Post #49 - January 10th, 2007, 7:31 pm
    Vital Information wrote:
    About a week ago, we bought some grass-fed/organic ground beef at Costco. Now, before I can post about the results I got to remember to put it IN the refridgerator after getting home. By the time I discovered my error, I was more comfortable in tossing. :cry:


    Which Costco?
  • Post #50 - January 10th, 2007, 9:26 pm
    Post #50 - January 10th, 2007, 9:26 pm Post #50 - January 10th, 2007, 9:26 pm
    october271986 wrote:
    Vital Information wrote:
    About a week ago, we bought some grass-fed/organic ground beef at Costco. Now, before I can post about the results I got to remember to put it IN the refridgerator after getting home. By the time I discovered my error, I was more comfortable in tossing. :cry:


    Which Costco?


    Oak Brook
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #51 - January 21st, 2007, 10:41 pm
    Post #51 - January 21st, 2007, 10:41 pm Post #51 - January 21st, 2007, 10:41 pm
    I picked up two dry-aged Tallgrass ribeyes on Saturday. They were $23/pound at Fox and Obel. Tallgrass cattle, as most of you know, are pasture raised and grass finished. They never eat grains.

    I grilled them on my weber Q, with just some olive oil, sea salt, pepper and garlic powder.

    These steaks were dang tender with some nice marbling and robust beef flavor. The best steak I've ever cooked at home and better than a lot of steakhouse steaks, to be honest. I picked up a great wine to go with it. What a meal. (2004 Catena - a Malbec from Argentina).

    If you don't mind dropping some $$, go for these steaks.

    I've noticed that Whole Foods has started carrying grass-fed beef. I am curious about the source. Also they are a bit cheaper ( I think thr ribeyes were $16) which I am going to guess is because they are wet-aged.
  • Post #52 - November 1st, 2007, 3:49 pm
    Post #52 - November 1st, 2007, 3:49 pm Post #52 - November 1st, 2007, 3:49 pm
    I realize that I'm resurecting an old thread here. I came looking for someplace in Chicago to get grass-fed beef, and thought, while I'm looking, I'd share my source for anyone interested. My job takes me down to Springfield occassionally, and when there, I stop at Sangamon Valley Cattle Co. and buy there. They've also indicated on the phone that they'd meet half way, which would give a buyer the chance to sample the fine cuisine of Normal, IL. They offer all kinds of packages of cuts, from 12 pounds or so to the whole cow. I think they have lamb too. As for taste, I can't say I like grass-fed beef better than grain fed. They're very different products, I think. I choose grass-fed beef when I cook at home for health and environmental reasons, but I certainly enjoy my share of grain fed beef when I go out. Anyway, here's Sangamon Valley's website if anyone is interested.
    http://www.svgrassfedbeef.com
  • Post #53 - January 2nd, 2008, 1:39 pm
    Post #53 - January 2nd, 2008, 1:39 pm Post #53 - January 2nd, 2008, 1:39 pm
    After dining on an excellent (home made) braised grass-fed chuck made from Sangamon Valley Cattle Co. beef, as well as grass-fed skirt steak at a New Years Eve dinner at Terragusto, I have grass-fed beef on the mind and wanted to reread this thread.

    I am pretty sure that my first taste of grass-fed beef was a few years ago at Tango Sur. I didn't like it, perhaps because it was cooked more on the well-done side of medium. But I also didn't like the gamey flavor.

    Fast forward a few years and I'm trying grass-fed beef again and I love it. I was first inspired to give it another chance after reading The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. This was followed by a purchase of a mixed case of meat from Sangamon Valley, and I'm now growing accustomed to the slightly gamey flavor of grass-fed beef.

    As an aside, I was under the impression that nearly all grass-fed beef is finished on grain, if only for a short time. The difference is that corn-fed beef is weaned from grass to corn closer to the beginning of its life, rather than the end.
  • Post #54 - January 2nd, 2008, 1:57 pm
    Post #54 - January 2nd, 2008, 1:57 pm Post #54 - January 2nd, 2008, 1:57 pm
    Darren72 wrote:As an aside, I was under the impression that nearly all grass-fed beef is finished on grain, if only for a short time. The difference is that corn-fed beef is weaned from grass to corn closer to the beginning of its life, rather than the end.


    Since grass-fed has no legal definition you need to find out from each producer. The handful of grass-fed producers that I am aware of feed no grain whatsoever.

    Another note is that corn is technically a grass. When you chop up the whole corn plant (silage), you get a lot of grain with it. So if you are being a stickler you can inquire if the animals were fed corn silage.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #55 - January 2nd, 2008, 2:20 pm
    Post #55 - January 2nd, 2008, 2:20 pm Post #55 - January 2nd, 2008, 2:20 pm
    October-
    At the Willowbrook WF several weeks ago I sampled some very tasty GF beef offered by a young man from southeast Missouri. We chatted since my father's family has been in SE MO for a very long time (he knew my uncle!) and I got their information...

    www.americangrassfedbeef.com

    It's a family business ; They have a very sophisticated web site.

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeLM on January 11th, 2008, 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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  • Post #56 - January 2nd, 2008, 2:36 pm
    Post #56 - January 2nd, 2008, 2:36 pm Post #56 - January 2nd, 2008, 2:36 pm
    Here is a local supplier of 100% grass-fed beef:

    www.providencefarms.org

    The website's order form indicates that they are sold out of beef for the season (sorry - I realize I'm not being helpful there). But it's another option to keep in mind for the future. I'm not sure how they arrange shipment, but it's about a 2 1/2 hour drive if you wanted to make a daytrip out of it.
  • Post #57 - January 2nd, 2008, 3:04 pm
    Post #57 - January 2nd, 2008, 3:04 pm Post #57 - January 2nd, 2008, 3:04 pm
    Here's a producer I know personally:

    http://www.prairiehillfarms.info/index_ ... age350.htm
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #58 - January 2nd, 2008, 4:59 pm
    Post #58 - January 2nd, 2008, 4:59 pm Post #58 - January 2nd, 2008, 4:59 pm
    Growing Power has sold grass-fed beef at Green City Market. Following the links on their site, the beef is from Cates Family Farm http://www.catesfamilyfarm.com/Order2.html.

    I'm a very big fan of Tallgrass and use it in my business. The tenderloin, in particular, is fantastic - unbelievably flavorful.[/url]
    MAG
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  • Post #59 - January 2nd, 2008, 5:25 pm
    Post #59 - January 2nd, 2008, 5:25 pm Post #59 - January 2nd, 2008, 5:25 pm
    Tallgrass (as mentioned above) is Bill Kurtis' farmed beef, and it is very good!

    http://www.tallgrassbeef.com/
    Leek

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  • Post #60 - January 2nd, 2008, 10:33 pm
    Post #60 - January 2nd, 2008, 10:33 pm Post #60 - January 2nd, 2008, 10:33 pm
    Darren72 wrote:I am pretty sure that my first taste of grass-fed beef was a few years ago at Tango Sur. I didn't like it, perhaps because it was cooked more on the well-done side of medium. But I also didn't like the gamey flavor.


    Tango Sur serves Canadian Grass fed beef. That's also what they sell at the little market next door. I found it far superior to the Australian grass fed beef sold frozen at Trader Joe's. But, nothing close to South American pampas grass fed beef that I have had both here in the US before it was banned in 2001 and in Sao Paulo at the terrific steak House Baby Beef Rubiyat.

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