Thursday, February 08, 2007

Holy Cow - It's a tough job but someone has to do it.

Which steak tastes the best?

There are a huge variety of options in premium steak now. Here was a taste test to see what actually affects the flavor. Is this face-off of steaks costing between $21.50 and $40.00 a pound the two best were the two cheapest. Both had dry aging and were from farms that prided themselves of their humane treatment of cattle. Neither finished their beef on straight corn or treated them with hormones. The grass feed was a bit tougher as it had less fat but all but one taster were willing to trade a bit more chewing for a bit more flavor. The second choice was finished in a feedlot with grains instead of corn and was also judged mahhvelous.

Grass-Fed Beef
Price: $21.50 per pound
Aging: Dry
Purveyor: Alderspring Ranch
The knock against it: Consistency, or lack thereof. One grass-fed rancher I spoke to refused to send me any steak for this article because, he said, it sometimes tastes like salmon. Restaurants and supermarkets don't like grass-fed beef because like all slow food, grass-fed beef producers can't guarantee consistency—it won't look and taste exactly the same every time you buy it. Grass-fed beef also has a reputation for being tough.
Naturally Raised Grain-Fed Beef
Price: $26.70 per pound
Aging: Dry
Purveyor: Niman Ranch

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