Thursday, June 22, 2006

Unclear on the concept

Feeling extra-ironic, I grilled a Uruguayan grassfed ribeye last night. It definitely tasted better than the last time I attempted a similar cut of the local product (which was a long time ago, because it was not good). Iodine-y and a little offal-y, without tasting off. But, please:

Amateurish back-of-napkin calculations based on Power Steer, metafilter, and a new variable I've invented called CMPG (carcass miles per gallon) reveal that each cow shipped from Montevideo to SFO requires 545 gallons of jet fuel, versus 284 gallons of crude for a US cornfed steer. [Obviously, I have no idea how good this is, but I'm sticking with this until someone comes up with some real numbers].

So if you base your consumption decisions on vague and uninformed desire to save the planet, don't eat South American meat. If you want to eat well and right, this is still the answer as far as I can see:

No "American," no human, should be denied the joy of dry-aged prime cornfed beef. This does not mean that we should be able to procure it from the drivethrough twice a day. And of course, we can't -- we can't even, as I learned last weekend, get it for $40 at more-or-less highly regarded restaurants that specialize in the product. So let's excercise a little impulse control, people. Grassfed beef tastes better than whatever you're eating now. Treat yourself to some real prime beef every now and then and you'll save on narcotics.


Anonymous kk said...

I feel strongly about steak, a mainstay of my diet, and I am grateful to live in walking distance of Peter Luger's, although it's ruined me for most everything else. All the other hyped places here are notably inferior (not to be catty, but I suspect BLT Steak wet-ages their beef). Beef should be prime, dry-aged, and corn-fed. That's expensive, but so it should be. Grass-fed beef, at least what they sell in union square, is repulsive. I would love to like it, but I can't. I say, if you can't get, can't handle, or can't afford the good beef, turn your attention to our succulent friend, the pig, arguably more tasty than even the best beef anyway.

Fri Jun 23, 06:00:00 PM GMT  
Blogger mmw said...

That was my point, sort of: some cuts from some grassfed producers are good at some times of year, and if you're going to eat beef regularly you should find those... unless you have to ship it from Uruguay. My local grassfed skirt steak is excellent most of the time, for example. But you can't eat it just because you're supposed to if it tastes bad.

Which applies equally to cornfed beef, as you note: basically not that good unless you splurge on dry-aged prime.

Fri Jun 23, 10:49:00 PM GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

beef should NOT be corn-fed, EVER. cows that eat tons of grains do what what people do- they get unhealthily fat. specifically, their omega 3 balance is destroyed (grassfed cattle have a omega 3/omega 6 ratio similar to fish). for the record, grassfed tastes far better once you purge your current tainted pallate. i can't even eat "regular" steak now- THAT tastes funny. if you can't get or afford grassfed beef, then don't eat the stuff at all.

Tue Oct 31, 09:11:00 PM GMT  
Blogger mmw said...

Sorry, unhealthy fat=flavor. Particularly if there's lots of it and it's half-rotted ("dry-aged").

I challenge anyone who honestly loves meat to find something grassfed that tastes better than a Peter Luger porterhouse.

Wed Nov 01, 05:53:00 PM GMT  

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