Pursuant to the grueling research that attends yet another article, I’ve gotten hip to numerous first-rate local sources for the very best meat one could hope to eat. Or, in the case of people with actual hearts and souls, the only sort of meat one would agree to eat: from animals raised humanely and fed things like grass and/or kitchen scraps and which live the best possible life evolution and domestication have combined to construct for them.
In this case, it was 100% grass-fed Black Angus T-bones from Cedar Ridge Farm over on the Connecticut line. Feeling lazy, I pulled a couple out of the freezer and dunked them in tepid water to thaw (they’re vacuum-packed) while I figured out what to adorn them with. We happened to have leftover brown rice and whole wheat couscous, neither in sufficient quantity to make much of anything. Combined, though, they added up to something, so I made a pilaf of sorts by tossing them with olive oil, cider vinegar, scallion, cilantro, and a bit of kimchi brine. I let the mixture sit to harmonize while I blanched lovely big collard leaves after pretty expertly stripping off the extra stem with my very best knife.
Having at least one high-quality knife that is kept very sharp makes almost every task easier.
Once blanched, and thus a pliable and resplendent British racing green, I rolled up each leaf with a generous dollop of the pilaf and then simmered them gently for a few more minutes in some of the lusciously gelatinous pork stock from the last post. I cooked the steaks in butter, flipping them often to get a good sear–their thickness (1″) precluded a gorgeous, dark crust–and then removed them to rest on a plate, covered. While they reposed, I deglazed the pan with kimchi brine and dijon mustard, whisking it into the steaky fond to make a thick sauce.
Grass-fed meat, because it’s much healthier and less fatty (and with entirely different kinds of fat) needs a bit of care in the cooking. Fat tends to allow wiggle room to clumsier cooks, making for a wider zone of acceptable doneness and tenderness. This kind of beef wants to be rare to medium rare. It’s so beefy and wonderful that it’s a sin to cook it past 130 degrees. And with a tangy, mustardy sauce and some bright green grain wraps, life is good indeed.