Beef, It’s What’s in the Freezer

How did a former vegetarian come to be the proud owner of 1/4 of a cow? Well, it’s a long story that involves familial bovines. I hail from a farming family, and when the opportunity to buy humanely raised meat came up, I took it. But how do you eat that much cow? Slowly, very slowly.

Beef, It's Part of What's for Dinner

Beef, It's Part of What's for Dinner

You see, Team Practical Cook is not a huge meat-eating family. But the individual packaging gives us the opportunity to make more than one meal out of the beef filet, accompanied by a variety of veggies.

A Wee Bit of Beef Filet

A Wee Bit of Beef Filet

The advantages of high-quality beef? You don’t have to do much. This was salt, pepper, and a fairly quick medium-high heat sear in a cast iron skillet, in bacon fat. Yes, when in doubt, use bacon fat.

Beef Filet Charring in Bacon Fat

Beef Filet Charring in Bacon Fat

And of course, like all the books tell you, because in this case they’re right, let it rest. Don’t steam it, tent it with foil.

Peek-a-Boo, The Filet Is Resting

Peek-a-Boo, The Filet Is Resting

Then slice and serve. Beef can be very quick and easy. Of course, if you’re a fan of all things bovine, as Miss Clairol is, go for a big roast. It’s a great option when you’re feeding a crowd, love beef, and don’t have a ton of time. The leftovers are great, and a roast is less fussy than endless single dishes.

Roast Beef, Courtesy of Miss Clairol

Roast Beef, Courtesy of Miss Clairol

But for me on a weeknight, it’s sides and a steak. More plant than cow.

Marsala Mushrooms, Roasted Baconflower with Carrots, Peas with Sea Salt, and Beef Filet

Marsala Mushrooms, Roasted Baconflower with Carrots, Peas with Sea Salt, and Beef Filet

Are you a fan of beef? Is it what’s for dinner? Post a comment below, even the vegetarians can pipe up, or Tweet.

Send your beef queries to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Stay tuned tomorrow for Marsala Mushrooms Recipe.

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2 Comments

Filed under Kitchen Philosophy, Recipes

2 responses to “Beef, It’s What’s in the Freezer

  1. Blended Familia

    OK PC, Love this post but I have a couple questions.
    1) my CSA doesn’t do beef and let’s face it, I’m just not going to get to the farmer’s market anytime soon. Do I trust the meat in the grocery store? “Food Inc” tells me not so much–better to not eat it at all than buy it there. What do you think, for those of us without a direct supply?
    2) showing my complete ignorance here, but if the answer to #1 is “it’s ok,” then what do I buy? There’s so many different types of meat/steaks and I have no idea which is the same as what you’re talking about, nor what a decent price would be.

    Thanks!

    • The Practical Cook

      Here’s the scoop BF:
      1. Honestly, I have found it very difficult to buy beef in the grocery store after reading Omnivore’s Dilemma and other such books. It’s hard to think “downer cow” and “dinner.” I have eaten a lot less meat.
      2. Other sources include other CSAs, Farmer’s Markets, local butchers, etc. There’s a lot of people making an effort to do this right. Locally, Cliff’s Meat Market has a good selection, and all of the Farmer’s Markets have options. In terms of learning your beef basics, recommend grilling guru Steven Raichlen or Mark Bittman. For steak, I’m fond of thick-cut ribeyes. NY Strip steaks are popular, or the porterhouse, with a bit of something for everyone in the crowd.

      The cheaper the cut, the more likely it’s tough and will require a bit more prep. Doesn’t mean it’s not delicious and a good value, just different.

      Write back with more questions if you’ve got ’em. Perhaps we’ll do Steak 101 soon!

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