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Chili

Think Spring Lamb

Spring is a time of rebirth, renewal, and refreshment. The flavors of spring are a vibrant reminder of the harvests to come and the reward for a long winter’s wait.  In California, spring is very special to our Butcher Department as the harbinger of one of our favorite products, spring lamb.  This year in particularly, El Nino rains have given way to lush grasses, meaning the lambs will be at their tastiest – this is the season to think spring lamb!

If you celebrate spring holidays like Easter or Passover with lamb as your centerpiece, or you enjoy eating with the seasons, now is the peak season for the highest quality, best tasting lamb available:

SacDeltaBNRanchLambFor the traditionalists, our BN Ranch Pasture-Raised, Grass-Fed Lamb have the bolder, fuller flavor and larger legs typically associated with lamb.  Raised by a fourth generation sheep herder, John Cubiburu, in the Sacramento Delta, the BN Ranch lambs are weaned then graze on pasture in order to reach their larger weight.  These special lambs will be available in the Markets and on Instacart where you can order from our online Market for convenient delivery.

watson2For those seeking something excitingly off-beat and extremely limited, we are thrilled to announce that Don Watson Milk-Fed Spring Lamb is now available at our butcher counters. Born in the winter and harvested right before they’re weaned, Don Watson’s lambs are much smaller than your typical lambs, with an incredibly mild flavor and tender texture.  Don Watson’s Milk-Fed Spring Lambs grace the tables of restaurants like Chez Panisse and The French Laundry, and due their limited availability (typically only for the four weeks of April), are available for pre-order at the Markets.  These lambs arrive whole, and our butchers will be cutting to order for you. Fun fact:  Don Watson’s Napa Valley-based herd lives on the grounds of the Infineon Raceway, and from there are hired by many neighboring wineries to help keep their vineyards free of weeds without doing the damage to the terroir that mechanical weeders would do!

SpringLambSideIf you’re considering a lamb roast for beautiful spring meals, our butchers are turning tradition on its head with their Spring Lamb Roast recipe. Using the butcher’s cut front leg of Don Watson’s Milk-Fed Spring Lamb achieves an incredibly tender, mildly-flavored roast that pairs perfectly with an array of spring side dishes, from asparagus salads to artichokes to strawberry desserts and spring Rosés.

So whether you prefer the longstanding tradition of exceptional quality BN Ranch Pasture-Raised, Grass-Fed Lamb, or are looking to elevate your spring celebrations with a rare twist on the classic with Don Watson Milk-Fed Spring Lamb, now is the time to think spring lamb and enjoy it at its seasonal best.


Chili

Amazing Braising Meats

BraisingHopefully, many of you were able to take advantage of our great lamb shank sale over the last couple of weeks.  So now that you’ve dusted off the dutch oven, found a home on the counter for your crock pot, and honed your mirepoix game why not keep the braises rolling.  El Nino is doing his best to keep us indoors, so make the most of it by keeping the kitchen cozy and the belly full.  Over the next two weeks check out our butcher case for some terrific braising options like:

  • Beef Short Ribs
  • Pork Shanks
  • Ox Tails
  • Duck legs
  • Pork Belly
  • Lamb Shanks
  • Pasture-raised, heritage chickens

In a day and age where many grocery stores’ butcher departments consist of an unmanned refrigerator full of pre-wrapped meats, we are excited to have a counter hosted by a skilled butcher, who can cut to order, provide recommendations, and is also quite knowledgeable about the meats and cuts they are selling.  Our butchers are here to provide you with the services of a trained meat cutter. Our knowledgeable butchers can set you up with everything you need to get your braise going, and while you’re at it, go for the full monty and grab a box of Baia Pasta and a bottle of  Cab Franc to pair it with! The same way you have someone that cuts your hair, your favorite bartender, and your tailor, we want to be your butcher.

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Chili

ONE DAY ONLY: 12/11 Save $3/lb on Prime Rib for Christmas via Instacart

A7oRWNa-WG8ySjqC-4hGwPYuxjCmu_52psFbYbRZbjoNothing tells your guests you love them more than an elegant Prime Rib, the perfect showpiece for your holiday table!  For ONE DAY ONLY on Friday, December 11, save $3/lb on Five Dot Ranch Beef Prime Rib when you pre-order from our online Holiday Market (only $15.99/lb, regularly $18.99/lb), for in-store pick-up.  Order your Prime Rib here!

Five Dot Ranch, located in Susanville, CA,  produces grass-fed beef raised without hormones or antibiotics.  Finished on rice bran and barley, their beef is tender, juicy, and deliciously marbled.  First time cooking Prime Rib?  We’ve got you covered with our simple and delicious recipe.

PrimeRibRecipe_Web


Chili

American Wagyu: A Bi-Rite Exclusive

WagyuCattle
It’s amazing when you get the opportunity to taste something that so completely exceeds your expectations. Last June, Clydene Bultman, owner of Thompson River Ranch, reached out to see if she could arrange to taste me through her American Wagyu program. What I tried was some of the most amazing beef I have ever tasted, I almost felt like it was a disservice calling it beef.  Each cut of Clydene’s Wagyu has an unparalleled level of tenderness that creates a truly sensational flavor experience. After that first meeting, I knew that I had to find a way to bring her American Wagyu beef into Bi-Rite.

shortribsSo what is Wagyu beef? It is the same breed of cattle that creates Japan’s famed Kobe beef, prized all over the world for its amazing marbling, tenderness, and flavor. Clydene has been raising her herd of “High Percentage, Long Fed American Wagyu” for the last ten years; by slowly allowing her animals to gain weight and aiming for a 75%-100% Wagyu genetics, her beef is far superior to most Wagyu available for retail. Thompson River Ranch is a heritage, working cattle ranch set on a 120-year-old homestead in Montana’s picturesque Thompson Valley, where the cattle graze on forest land, forage in the mountains, and are finished on barley. Bi-Rite has chosen to partner up with Thompson River Ranch for this exclusive offer to our guests of the most luxurious and sought-after beef around, from a rancher who is fully committed to raising cattle the responsible way you’ve come to know and expect when you purchase your meat from Bi-Rite.

WagyuPlateThis holiday season we will be accepting weekly pre-orders for a Thompson River Ranch American Wagyu Beef Box (orders must be received by 5pm Sunday for in-store pick-up the following Friday). This is an exciting opportunity to purchase over five pounds of fresh, Wagyu beef, cut-to-order and butchered locally, for an extremely reasonable price of $175. Each box contains a generous, 16-ounce portion of ribeye, a 16-ounce New York strip steak, two, 8-ounce sirloin steaks, 1.5 pounds ground beef and a zabuton (Japanese-style boneless short rib). This box is a fantastic gift for any beef lover, and is also the perfect way to introduce yourself to the wonderful world of American Wagyu. Stop by the meat counter at either Market and place your order today, or email chili@biritemarket.com for more information!

Chili

Paellapalooza at the Markets

As the summer grilling season starts to wind down, now is a great opportunity to revisit some of our forgotten seafood favorites.  Paella has always been one of my favorite dishes, as it can really highlight a diverse array of the ocean’s goodies.  I like to think of shrimp, mussels, clams and squid as my flight attendants on my culinary flight to Spain’s Mediterranean coast.Paella

The key to really tasty seafood paella is choosing the best quality seafood that you can find.  At Bi-Rite, not only are our offerings incredibly fresh, they are also impeccably sourced.  For ten years we have partnered with FishWise, a sustainable seafood consultancy that promotes the health and recovery of ocean ecosystems through environmentally responsible practices, which has led us to being much more informed about the sourcing of our offerings.  As much as we like to consider ourselves experts in all aspects of meat and seafood, we realize that we are constantly learning and developing a greater understanding of the ever-evolving world of responsible sourcing and sustainability. Over the last ten years FishWise, in addition to frequent communication with our seafood partners, has been an integral part in advancing our understanding of the seafood industry.  They have also helped us better develop ways to convey the challenges of thoughtfully purchasing seafood to our guests.

This week (September 13 through 20) also happens to be Sustainable Seafood Week- San Francisco, a national program that advances the sustainability conversation in American cities with a rich seafood history.  So visit us at the Markets (or shop our Paella recipe from our online store at Instacart.com) and celebrate some delicious seafood that you can feel good about.  Now is the perfect time for a Paellapalooza!

Paellapalooza recipe card SINGLE-FINAL


Chili

Stacks ‘o Racks on sale for Labor Day

Summer is coming to a close and we’ve got a fantastic price on BN Ranch‘s California-Raised, Grass-fed Racks of Lamb! For just one week – August 31 through September 6 – BN’s Racks will be on sale for $21.99/lb. (normally $29.99/lb.). These mild and tender chops are a great way to say goodbye to summer. So get your grill ripping hot, give these beauties a couple kisses on the hot flame and enjoy the ideal choice for a light summer meal.  Looking for the perfect Labor Day dish?  Try our Grilled Lamb Chop with Cucumber Raita recipe from the Markets or on our online store at Instacart.com!

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Chili

Celebrate Hogust at the Markets

LargeBlack-tag-04Over the last few months we have started to introduce more local pork producers committed to raising various heritage breeds.  I really feel that pork is one of the more complex proteins, and its flavor profile is greatly influenced by breed, feed, and terroir.  It is this thought that drove the idea of creating “Hogust,” our celebration of rare and heritage pork breeds throughout the month of August.

Since 2005, Bi-Rite and Heritage Foods USA have partnered to support small family farms that are committed to raising unique breeds of hogs with varied flavors and tastes.  Through the entire month of August we will be highlighting center-cut pork chops from breeds like the Tamworth, Old Spot, Duroc, Large Black, and my favorite, the Red Wattle.

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So raise a glass to “Hogust,” and take advantage of this opportunity to taste experience pork from the breed perspective.  Be sure to visit our butchers throughout the month to try our rotating selection of heritage pork. To quote our friends at Heritage Foods, in order to preserve this amazing breed diversity, “You have to eat ‘em to save ‘em!”  See our field guide for flavor profiles to find your favorite breed, and what better way to taste the difference than in our Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Figs recipe, adapted from Eat Good Food? Shop the recipe in both Markets or from our online store at Instacart.com. Enjoy!

Hogust_Recipe-Card

 

 


Chili

New York Strip Steaks Only $19.99/lb for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is right around the corner and with the weather gods saying that sunshine is on the horizon it will be a great weekend to spark up the grill.  Take advantage with our special pricing on New York Strip Steaks.

Starting this Friday, June 19, and running through Sunday, June 21st (Father’s Day!) both our 100% grass fed BN Ranch and our grain-finished Five Dot Ranch New York Strip Steaks will be on sale for $19.99, $5 off their regular price at both Markets and on Instacart.

I think of New Yorks as being the rib eye’s leaner, meaner little brother.  Just as flavorful and tender, but with more balanced marbling than the rib eye, the New York has serious versatility.  Serve it as a thick-cut steak for a big poppa Father’s Day dinner, slice it into thin strips for a pimped out stir fry or fajita meal, or order your steaks thin-cut to create the dopest sandwich known to man, a.k.a. “Chili’s New York Cheesesteak” (no disrespect to my people in Philly), with savory Omnivore SauceMimi’s Confitures smoky-sweet onion jam, and tangy Cabot Vintage Cheddar on Acme‘s herbaceous Herb Slab.  Pair it with the peppery Green & Red “Chiles Canyon” Zinfandel ($22.99) and you’ve got the perfect gift for dad!  Shop the full recipe at 18th Street and Divis, or online at Instacart.com.

NY Steak-Sandwich-web

 


Chili

Fresh-Caught, Wild King Salmon Is Now Just $19.99! Through 6/9/15

You’ve waited for it all spring, now wait no more! At its peak of flavor, our fillets of fresh-caught, wild King Salmon are now just $19.99/lb until June 9, 2015. Bake it, broil it, grill it, or poach it, this is the best deal of the season!  Whether you’re cooking for two, four or just yourself, our chefs have you covered with some of our favorite salmon recipes.  Try the sumptuous Slow Baked, Herb-Crusted Salmon, or our Seared Salmon with Late Spring Succotash – the time is now to enjoy Wild King Salmon fillets, just $19.99 at both Divis and 18th Street.

Seared Salmon with Late Spring Succotash Slow Baked, Herb Crusted Salmon


Chili

Local, Locale & the Evolution Of BN Beef

As climate issues have made it more difficult to produce great grass-fed beef locally, even seasonally, Bill Niman and BN Ranch have modified their approach to grass-fed beef.  Bill has chosen to reach out to his network of like-minded ranchers to seek out the best pastures in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere.  Bill has long preached about locale being as important as local – raising the plants and animals best suited to a given locality – and with cattle production being severely challenged by our global climate issues (particularly in drought-stricken California), the need to find quality pasture has become key to offering great grass fed-beef year round.

BN Ranch Bolinas

The herd at BN Ranch in Bolinas

We’ve gotten off to a great start with this year’s BN Ranch grass-fed beef program, and the beef coming from New Zealand has been spectacular.  Raised on grasses similar to those here in Northern California and in a comparable climate, the beef has had terrific flavor and exceptional marbling.  Beginning in July, we will start seeing the transition into BN’s North American beef.  Some strategic changes have been made to this year’s program in order to maintain more consistent marbling throughout the season.  Last year Bill’s team learned that although the lush pastures of the Sacramento Delta provided bountiful grasses to graze on, the intense summer heat greatly reduced the amount of grass consumed by the steer, resulting in less marbled beef during August and September.  In the same way Bill extended his network into New Zealand to provide us with great grass-fed beef during our winter months, he has also reached out to his peers in Alberta, Canada to secure cattle that will be grazing on equally lush pastures but in a much more temperate climate.

Bill Niman explaining his grass-fed beef program

Bill Niman explaining his grass-fed beef program

In preparation for the launch of this year’s North American beef, we spent a few hours last week with Bill Niman on his ranch in Bolinas.  We toured his pasture, met the cows, and got the low down on what makes his grass-fed beef so special. We also checked in on his heritage turkey flock, which will be laying the eggs for all our heritage turkeys.

While we walked out to the pasture where the herd of Black Angus was grazing, Bill gave us a quick primer on the grasses that make up the diet of the herd (including rye and clover).  He spoke at length about how he rotates pastures to optimize the nutrition from the grass, allowing the cattle to efficiently put on mass.  When we were about 150 yards away from the herd, Bill gave them a yell and a whistle and about 45 calves and their mothers ambled over to gather around us.  It was striking how calm and curious his animals were; in all my other experiences cattle rarely let a stranger invade their space, let alone a dozen strangers eager to befriend them.

Bill takes a Zen approach to raising his beef – he believes that keeping animals calm and living harmoniously with their environment greatly improves the quality of their meat.  If the flavor, marbling, and that ocean view are any indication, we have a lot to look forward to this summer.

BN Ranch Bolinas

Chef Guy making new friends