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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!

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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.

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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.

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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


Chili

California King Salmon Season Is Here!

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Long live the king!  Wild California King Salmon season is back, beginning in spring before the action really gets going during the summer months.   King Salmon season has always been a special time for me – as summers meant no school and ample free time, my grandfather had the task of keeping my sister and me occupied.  Luckily, he was never at a loss for things to do – some of my favorite memories were our adventures down the coast to find fishermen selling their salmon catch right off the boats.

During king salmon season, we work closely with our fishmongers (All Seas, TwoXSea and Monterey Fish Company) to secure incredible quality California King Salmon at a very competitive price.  As we enter the height of salmon season in the summer, we usually see the price dropping several dollars.  This year the season will run through September 31, with monitored quotas for California’s fishery to ensure sustainability.

The Smithsonian has called King Salmon the “soul food of the North Pacific,” and we’re thrilled to celebrate it in all its delicious forms.  Kick off king salmon season for yourself with our Slow Baked, Herb-Crusted King Salmon with Full Belly Farm’s New Potatoes recipe.  Baking the salmon slowly allows the butter, herbs and mustard to gently flavor the fish, while the breadcrumbs brown to give it a nice crunch.  Pair it with Idlewild’s 2014 The Flower, Flora, & Fauna Rosé ($22.99), whose blend of Piedmontese varietals (Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto) are bursting with citrus and minerals, with aromas of pine needles and wildflowers – a perfect complement for your salmon dinner for two!

Herb-Crusted Salmon Recipe


Chili

BN Ranch Rib Eye Bonanza

BN Ranch Rib Eye

Butcher David showing off beautiful BN Ranch Rib Eye

The Cadillac of beef at the price of a Chevy: for one week only we’re hosting a BN Ranch Rib Eye Bonanza, showcasing Bill “The Beef Guru” Niman’s 100% grass fed beef

  • BN Ranch Bone-in Rib Eye: $15.99/lb (Regularly $22.99/lb)
  • BN Ranch Boneless Rib Eye: $19.99/lb (Regularly $26.99/lb)

This is grass-fed beef at its best, raised on lush, open pastures and harvested at maturity. Packed with distinct flavor, these rib eyes have the perfect amount of intermuscular fat you typically get with a grain-finished steak, without the guilt. A fantastic steak to pan roast or to throw on the grill before San Francisco summer descends, these BN Ranch rib eyes are available now at both Bi-Rite Market locations while supplies last.


Chili

Spring Has Sprung, Time For Lamb!

Flowers blooming, bees hard at work, new life everywhere….it’s springtime! Easter and Passover are just around the corner, too, which means lamb season is in full swing. This year we have an amazing lamb program, featuring two exceptional California producers, designed to offer the finest selections for your table.

Sheep and Lambs at BN Ranch

Sheep and Lambs at BN Ranch

Don Watson‘s Milk-Fed, Pasture-Raised Lamb is very special–the animals are born in in the Napa Valley during the winter, fed for four months on mother’s milk, then harvested before weaning. The meat extremely tender, with a distinctly mild flavor. This lamb is very limited, so please visit the markets, or call us to pre-order for your Passover and Easter celebrations.

BN Ranch Grass-Fed Lamb is a traditional, rich, full-flavored lamb, born on farmland outside of Tracy, California. These lambs are raised by John Cubiburu, who comes from a family of Basque shepherds, and is committed to the BN Ranch philosophy of raising and harvesting animals. The lambs are grown and finished solely on grass, moving seasonally through open pastures. BN Ranch lamb is available now at both Markets, as well as from the Bi-Rite store on Instacart.com, our partner for grocery delivery in San Francisco.

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Shepherd John Cubiburu with his flock at BN Ranch

We are always committed to offering you the best, most humanely-produced food possible. With Don Watson and BN Ranch lambs you will get exactly that. Come in to either Market to speak with our butchers about which option is best for your needs. Whether you need boneless lamb or an entire rack, we can help.


Chili

4 Days Only! Friday-Monday Fresh-Caught Wild Local King Salmon Just $19.99/lb

Fishies

Wild Local King Salmon season is booming! To celebrate the kickoff of a bountiful season, we’re pleased to offer fillets of fresh-caught Wild Local King Salmon at just $19.99/lb, a special price we’ll be offering for just 4 days–from Friday, May 9 through Monday, May 12.

Fresh from Half Moon Bay and brought to us by our good friends at All Seas, this hook-and-line caught fish is beautiful; ideal for a special Mother’s Day weekend brunch, grilling, broiling, or as a centerpiece for dinner on a warm evening, such as Sam’s Eat Good Food recipe for Seared Wild Salmon with Late Spring Succotash.

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Chili

Incredible Spring Lamb from Anderson Ranches and Don Watson

Easter and Passover are both coming up in a few short weeks. is  If you’re planning to serve traditional lamb as part of your celebrations (or if you just want to try a truly special meat option), stop by our Markets to talk to the folks behind the Deli or Butcher counters. We have some of the best lamb available, and are here to provide you with just the right cut and help out with cooking and serving tips.

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Anderson Ranches’ heard of lambs

I buy lamb year-round from Anderson Ranches out of Oregon. These guys were recommended to me by our great local friend and lamb expert Don Watson. The Anderson folks have been raising grass-fed lamb for five generations and they know what they’re doing. The lambs are fed on a strict diet of 100% grass, which means their meat is lower in fat and healthier for humans. Unusual for this lamb ranchers, Anderson owns their own processing facility, which means that they can oversee every aspect of their production without outsourcing to a third party. The result of all of this is that they consistently turn out a delicious lamb with total transparency in raising and processing that is an excellent option for a traditional Easter or Passover dish.

For something different and excitingly off-beat, we have another option available this spring. The above-mentioned Don Watson is an excellent lamb farmer in his own right, albeit it on a smaller scale. One of my favorite products that we get from Don is milk-fed spring lamb, which is only available at this time of year, typically just for the month of April. Milk-fed lamb tends to be hard to find in the United States because it is not economical to cultivate on a large scale. Fortunately for us, Don is doing it on just about the smallest scale possible, personally overseeing his small herd of lambs (with the help of his expert Peruvian lamb-herders) and exemplifying the sort of local producer that we love working with. Don’s Napa Valley-based herd lives on the grounds of the Infineon Raceway, saving on the cost and environmental impact of lawnmowers by munching on the grass and keeping the Raceway grounds in good condition.

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Don with his herd of lambs

Don’s milk-fed lambs, which have been described by the New York Times as, “some of the best milk-fed lambs on the planet,” are only available in the spring. They are harvested right at the stage when they’re about to be weaned off of mother’s milk, so they have never had any other form of sustenance pass through their systems. This produces a sublime tenderness and distinctly mild flavor.

We love working with Don because of his sustainable, hands-on approaching to raising livestock and doing business. When the season is right, Don hand-delivers lamb to us every week, and since these are peak-of-the-season animals, their availability is limited. We won’t have milk-fed spring lamb for very long after April, so it’s worth coming by now to pick some up. Or better yet, if you want to play it safe, give us a call! We’d be happy to set some lamb aside for you to help make sure that your celebrations or any meal you want to cook with lamb is a stunning success.