Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Inexpensive Grass-Fed Beef? Yes!

People tend to complain about the cost of grass-fed beef and other high quality food, but I recently bought aged, grass-fed Angus from Sun Prairie Beef in Yuma, Colorado for $3.60 a pound. The catch: it was the bits box.

The bits box--my order was for back ribs, cheek, tongue, shank and soup bones--has actually been a great deal. I've cooked everything but the soup bones, and it's all been better than supermarket beef. In fact, my new favorite cut is tongue--a favored part for hunter-gatherers and a delicacy in some cultures. I threw it in the pressure cooker for an hour with water, tamari and pepper and had a wonderful dinner an hour later. Just peel off the skin when it's done; it has the texture of meatloaf and tastes like a roast, but moister. I had leftovers, too: the tongue weighed 3.11 pounds. And it made the best beef broth I've ever had.

The cheek had a unique texture--the fat turned soft and creamy in the pressure cooker. It tasted a little gamey, but some vinegar and thyme improved the flavor. (Hat tip to Scandinavian Classics by Niklas Ekstedt.)

The shank tasted really beefy--not strong or gamey, just more flavorful: beefy beef. The ribs were great--it's hard to believe they were odd bits. I sprinkled both the shank and ribs with Worcestershire sauce and roasted them at 350 until they smelled done.

Liver and heart are also available for the bits box.

If you're in Colorado or a neighboring state, give the bits box a try if you're adventurous or need to save some money.


Galina L. said...

I don't live close to Colorado, unfortunately, because you got a great deal.
In my native country a beef tong costs as much as a beef tenderloin.It is often served sliced and cold submersed in own broth in which a gelatin was added and some herbs and crushed garlic.

Lori Miller said...

That sounds good.

tess said...

we've gotten so we strongly prefer oddbits, unless we're specifically after a STEAK. :-) next time I get a cheek, I think i'm going to grind it coarsely to make it more homogeneous -- J's wonderful meatloaf will be even better made of that.

Lori Miller said...

The texture of the fat in the cheek reminded me of cream-filled chocolates.

I also got a pound of ground beef to make my order an even 25 pounds--I hadn't had such good hamburger since I ate a Burger Lounge in San Diego. (Their beef is also grass-fed.)

Val said...

I'm still recovering from the SHOCK of paying $1.99/lb for SOUP BONES when I was trying to be efficient, dropping by the Tom Thumb on the N (aka MORE EXPENSIVE) side of town to get odds n' ends for bone broth.
At least the PARSLEY was on sale for 99 cents/bunch!
(I'm going to Tex-Mex carniceria in my own neighborhood for next shopping trip - lesson learned!)