It’s Beef Season

UPDATE: See the revised schedule

It is late spring and this is the time to be eating beef. The steers have been eating plentiful amounts of green grass (from our plentiful rains) and several important ranchers have presented us with offers too good to turn down.

First, Mac Magruder’s 8-month-old veal came in a couple of weeks ago. Then, the huge and delicious 4-year-old steer from Jack Monroe in Covelo. And next week Moira Burke, of Agricola: flora et fauna in Dixon, CA, will send us half of a 22-month Angus. These are all grass fed and grass finished animals.

Three Angus animals: 8-mos, 22-mos., 48-mos. We are first to admit, that’s a lot of meat! But we thought we could do some pretty neat things with them. The animals will all be hanging in our meat locker, aging, and at the appropriate time, Chef Jonah will prepare them for the menu over the next month. Here’s a schedule of these extraordinary (seriously though, this is some exceptionally tasty beef) offerings and events over the next few weeks:

Friday, June 17
48-mos.
Short Ribs
We wanted to get into these without too much aging. Such a fatty cut doesn’t benefit from a lot of age and can end up tasting a bit stale. We are salting these for twelve hours before braising them.

Friday, June 24
22-mos.
Flank Steak & Carne Crudo/Carpaccio — three animals
This will be a rare opportunity to taste the same cut/preparation of three similarly raised and fed animals from the same breed, but different in age. This should be an interesting demonstration on what characteristics are associated with the age of an animal.

Sunday, June 26
22- and 48-mos.
Osso Bucco
Our first of two classics from Milan. With three animals, we’ve got quit a few shanks on hand. These will be cut and braised in the classic preparation.

Wednesday, June 29
22-mos.
Cotoletta
Our second dish from Milan. Tender ribeyes pounded paper-thin, breaded, then fried.

Thursday, June 30
22-mos.
New York Top Loin

Friday, July 1
48-mos.
Bollito
This is THE way to eat mature beef in Italy. All the cuts you’ve been wondering about, in one bowl.

Saturday, July 2
48-mos.
Bollito
Because a good thing deserves repeating

Thursday, July 7
22-mos.
Rib Eye
No explanation required.

Saturday, July 9
48 mos.
Prime Rib
The 48-month steer has a huge rib section. We’ll take the rack and slow roast it (12 hours) and carve prime rib in the dining room, for as long is it lasts.

We’ve got lots of other cuts, so you’ll be seeing corned beef, beef braises, meat balls, pepperoni and other cured meats. We expect you’ll do you’re part.

Beef Dinner Sneak Peek

magruder_cows

Although this is our first Beef Dinner, it has been a long time in the making. Based on close relationships with local ranchers practicing alternative methods of raising grass-fed beef, Chef Canales has obtained a wealth of knowledge in regards to butchery, aging and cooking technique over the past six years. This, along with the construction of our meat locker, and numerous requests from our customers has finally resulted in the 2010 Beef Dinners.

The menu is still being finalized but two items have been leaked:

Grilled bone-in Rib Eye with duck livers

Smoked manzo brisket

UPDATE: see the FULL MENU

As for wine, beef needs a wine that is still somewhat tight, fruit-driven and full of tannin. Therefore, we’ll be featuring an array of glass wine selected for their tannic prowess, including:

Barolo:
Castello di Verduno 2002
“Vigna Castellero” Barale 1999

Brunello di Montalcino:
“Corte Pavone” Loacker 2000
“Riserva” Canalicchio di Sopra 2001
Casanov di Neri 2001 and 2005

Taurasi:
“Radici” Mastroberadino 2000 & 2003

Chianti:
“Vigna del Sorbo” Fontodi 1999

We are excited to be sharing this event with the ranchers who have made so much of this possible. Moira Burke of Agricola: flora et fauna will be in attendance on Thursday night, Bill Niman will be here Friday, and Mac Magruder & his family will be with us on Saturday. All of these ranchers will be available to chat in the cafe before dinner. Additionally, we will also be serving Highland beef from Larry Walters of Cedarbrook Ranch and Piedomtese beef from Ken Silva.

Agricola: flora et fauna – Profile

agricola pic

Since 1969, Moira Burke and her family have raised beef cattle on their family farm, west of Dixon in Solano County. Here, her sons grew up doing farm chores, raising animals and dining on “grass-fat” beef, as it was then called. Family and friends raved about this delicious “grass-fat” beef they served at their table.

Moira’s passion for both plants and animals inspired the business name of “Agricola: flora et fauna.” Emphasizing sustainable production, Agricola produces specialty tree crops, grass/clover hay and high quality grass fed (and finished) beef. Additionally, the farm facilitates wildlife habitat with native plantings and nest boxes.

With 12 years experience in beef cattle research at UC Davis, during which time she specialized in live animal evaluation and carcass quality, Moira emphasizes growing Angus steers with the qualities that produce a superior carcass at under two years of age. Moira’s son, Barry Tanaka, who is her partner in Agricola, has an undergraduate degree in Agroecology and Biology and a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering in addition to his experiential farm-based education growing up on the farm. He is a civil engineer in San Francisco, working in environmental hydrology and ecological restoration.

Moira and Barry believe that the healthiest, most flavorful beef is that which is raised in an environmentally sustainable and humane manner along with a high quality, natural diet. Agricola grass-fed steers feed solely on rich irrigated pastures of grasses, clovers and trefoil grown without pesticides, chemical fertilizers or herbicides. Agricola grass-fed steers are never fed antibiotics, hormones or other supplements.

Just as in prairies and meadows, Agricola pasture builds soil, sequesters carbon and recharges groundwater. Via rotational grazing, their steers enjoy this rich, natural diet and healthy growing environment, with continually fresh grazing and freedom of movement. Quiet, unstressed animals are relaxed, grow better and enjoy better health. Along with daily monitoring, humane treatment is paramount in Agricola’s husbandry practices.

Truly sustainable agriculture is not only a function of production methods, but also connects with the overall environment and local community. To that end, Agricola raises their grass fed beef responsibly and markets only within the bountiful Bay Area region.

Moira is a member of Slow Food Solano County, and serves on the Solano County Agricultural Advisory Committee. Moira and Barry hope that you find your Agricola grass-fed beef as wholesome and fulfilling to eat as they do to raise for you.

March 31st, 2010|Agricola Farm, Ranchers|0 Comments