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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.

SalmonRecipe


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.

andersonlambs

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.

watson2

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.


Chili

Heritage Foods USA: Providers of Our Rare and Heritage Breed Pork

I’m proud of all of the beautiful, truly special and delicious, sustainably-raised meat in our Butcher cases at Bi-Rite 18th Street and Bi-Rite Divisadero. The cases themselves, and our amazing Deli and Butcher staff who stand behind them, are the hearts of our stores.

redwattle_piglet

a Heritage Red Wattle piglet and a friend

Our cases feature meat from suppliers we know and trust, and one of my favorites is the great folks at Heritage Foods USA. Heritage is a meat distributor that provides us with center-cut pork chops, Porterhouse pork chops, boneless pork chops (great pan-seared with roasted fingerling potatoes for the perfect cold-weather dinner), St. Louis-style pork ribs, smoked hamhocks (an essential component for making the perfect split-pea soup) and slab bacon. These products are exceptional because of the thought and care that Heritage puts into their operation from top to bottom.

duroc_pig

a Heritage Duroc pig

Heritage understands the value of preserving rare and heritage breeds. Factory farming places a dangerous emphasis on cheaper breed uniformity, and the hands-on care that family farms take in raising rare and heritage breeds results in animals that live healthier, happier lives and produce really flavorful cuts of meat. I love that these are not commodity animals; they’re no longer part of our regular food system because they’re neither easy nor efficient to raise. They’re nothing like what you would buy from a chain grocery store. This ultimately produces a safer food supply, since breed diversity helps buttress the supply chain against novel pathogens that can sometimes wipe out whole breeds and lead to food shortages.

I also like that I have a truly personal relationship with Heritage. None of the animals we sell are butchered until I place an order. And I can be sure that the animals are being cared for and slaughtered humanely, because I’ve personally visited four family farms with whom Heritage works, as well as the processing facility that handles the animals. Since I’m the last step in the chain before the meat gets onto your table, I like to know exactly what takes place at every step behind me, and Heritage have always been supportive in showing me how their operation runs. The farms they work with are small, run by families across generations: hard-working individuals committed to producing pork that’s miles above the supermarket options that get marketed as “the other white meat.”

goat_grazing

Heritage animals feed and mate naturally at their own pace

Heritage believes firmly in the value of allowing their animals to feed and mate naturally. They support family farms that don’t use artificial growth hormones or antibiotics. Heritage does the kind of business we love at Bi-Rite–the kind that supports communities, nurtures a stable and bountiful food supply chain and produces great-tasting food.

You can use Heritage pork to make this great recipe from the book by Bi-Rite Founder Sam Mogannam, Eat Good Food. Come by either of our Market locations to get everything you need for this recipe!

Pan-Fried Pork Cutlets with Bing Cherries (serves 2)

¾ cup Bing Cherries (about 18 cherries)

6 center-cut, ½-inch-thick boneless pork chops (aka cutlets, about 14 ounces total)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 large shallot, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon cider or red wine vinegar

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage

1 cup salt-free chicken stock or salt-free broth (see Note)

Pit the cherries and cut half of them in half. Set aside.

Season the pork with ¾ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper and let come to room temperature.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add as many pork chops as will fit in a roomy single layer and let cook undisturbed for 2 minutes. When the first side is golden brown, flip and cook until just firm and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer the pork to a plate, cover loosely with foil, and repeat with any remaining chops.

Lower the heat to medium and add the shallot and half the butter. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots start to soften, about 1 minute. Add the vinegar, Dijon, sage and a good pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft and the pan is almost dry. Add the stock along with any juices that have accumulated under the cutlets. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Add the cherries and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced to one-fourth of its original volume, 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove from the heat, season with more salt if desired, and swirl in the remaining half of the butter. Pour the sauce over the chops and serve immediately.


Chili

Five Dot Ranch Prime Rib: My Favorite Holiday Meat

PrimeRibPhotoI love prime rib. Decadent, luscious, succulent, and juicy–it’s what I personally choose to eat on special occasions. And nothing is more special than a holiday meal you share with your family.

As Head Butcher and Meat Buyer, I always search out the best possible products that I can bring to our guests at Bi-Rite for their seasonal celebrations. This year, I selected prime rib from Five Dot Ranch, producers of some of the finest pasture-raised beef in California.

What makes prime rib from Five Dot so special is that they strike the perfect balance between grass feeding and grain finishing. Starting cattle on grass and pasture-raising allows the animals to develop a rich beef flavor and to grow at a natural pace. Grain finishing creates the ideal amount of marbling, for a buttery mouth feel and texture. It’s the best of both worlds, like Jay-Z and R. Kelly.

Five Dot is also committed to natural raising practices. Their beef is always 100% free of antibiotics and added hormones. They have been practicing low-stress handling and holistic management of their herd for almost fifteen years.

I recommended a serving size of roughly 1-1.5 lbs raw weight per person. And I am pleased to share this exceptional beef at a value price–normally $18.99 per pound, we’re offering it for the holiday season for just $15.99 per pound.

Prime rib is fairly straightforward to prepare. All that is required is some patience and a meat thermometer to cook it to perfection! Don’t forget to always check the temperature while cooking. I’ve provided some instructions below for cooking, carving, and making flavorful pan sauces.

I and the other Butchers at Bi-Rite are always here to answer your questions, prepare your meat to your specifications, and discuss preparation techniques. We look forward to sharing this wonderful prime rib with you and your guests! Happy Holidays!

How to Cook Prime Rib

1. The night before you plan to serve the roast, remove it from the wrapping and season liberally with salt. Allow the roast to air dry uncovered on a rack in the refrigerator overnight.

2. The next day, remove roast from refrigerator at least one hour, and up to three hours, before you plan to begin cooking. It is important for the roast to be near room temperature when it hits the oven in order to achieve even cooking.

3. Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees. Place roast, bone side down, on a rack in a roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer into center portion of roast, being careful not to touch the bone.

4. Cook slowly until internal temp on meat thermometer reaches 120 degrees for medium rare, 125 degrees for medium.

5. Remove roast from oven and tent loosely with foil. Reserve all pan juices from roasting pan and set aside to make a pan sauce. Wipe out roasting pan.

6. Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees/broil. When oven is very hot, uncover roast and return to oven. Cook until a crispy, brown crust has formed, 6-10 minutes.

7. Remove roast from oven and transfer to a large plate. Cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 30-45 minutes.

How to Carve Prime Rib

Stand the roast upright, holding the bones with your free hand. Using a long thin-bladed carving knife, cut down between the bones and the meat, following the natural curvature as closely as possible. Once you reach the bottom, fold the bones out and cut through the last bit to remove them completely. Place the (now) boneless piece of meat on a cutting board, with the bone side down. Using your free hand, hold the roast steady and carve thin, even pieces. Carve only as many slices as you plan to eat right away; slice more as needed.

Don’t forget about the bones! There is lots of delicious meat in-between the bones that is great for eating or can be used in your pan sauce.

Making a Pan Sauce

Pan sauces are versatile, with endless flavor combinations.

1. After removing meat from pan, add more oil/fat (if necessary), onions, & garlic.

2. Deglaze the pan – add liquid and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom.

3. Bring liquid to a simmer and reduce by half of its volume.

4. Season any way you like:

Asian – broth, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, scallions, lime

Wine – onions, garlic, thyme, red wine, mushrooms

Caper – capers, shallots, white wine, lemon juice

…or just with salt & pepper!

5. Finish with a pad of butter (optional) and serve alongside meat.


Chili

How to Cook Your Thanksgiving Turkey!

Here’s a quick guide to help make the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving meal unforgettable. Keep reading for tips, recipes, and a printable .pdf guide to keep on hand in the kitchen.

Printable .pdf tips

Printable Guide- page 1 (pdf)

Printable Guide- page 2 (pdf)

Turkey

Tips for Roasting Heritage Turkeys:

  • We do NOT recommend that Heritage turkeys be brined. This ensures better texture, and maintains the naturally intense  flavor of these special birds.
  • Let the turkey come to room temperature before roasting.
  • Heritage birds typically have a humped breast bone, and the bird will be somewhat leaner than a conventional turkey, with darker meat. Because of their unique breast-to-leg ratio, the breast will reach doneness long before the legs and thighs. There are two ways to address this: Either roast the bird whole until the breasts are done, and then finish cooking the legs separately, or remove and braise just the legs and roast the rest of the turkey whole.
  • Let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes prior to slicing. This ensures evenly juicy meat.

Recipe for Whole Roast Heritage Turkey:
Courtesy of Chef Dan Barber of Stone Barns and Blue Hill, NY

Ingredients

BN Ranch Heritage Turkey
Butter
Salt and Pepper

  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  • Let turkey come to room temperature. Carefully separate skin from the breast meat and rub softened butter on to breast. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Set the turkey, breast side up, on the rack of a large roasting pan. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Roast for 20 minutes.
  • Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and cover turkey loosely with tin foil. Roast until the thermometer inserted into the inner thigh registers 150 degrees (2 to 3 hours, depending on turkey size).
  • Transfer turkey to cutting board. Let stand for at least 45 minutes to cool down. Remove legs and thighs, careful to not take too much skin with you.
  • Place thighs, skin side, on a roasting pan and continue cooking 40-45 minutes or until juices run clear. Separately slice breast and thigh and plate while still warm.

Recipe for Traditional Broad-Breasted Turkey:

After removing neck and giblets from the body cavity, rinse the bird with cold water. Pat cavities and body dry with a paper towel. Rub body and neck cavities with salt if desired, and stuff loosely. Truss neck cavity with metal skewer and truss legs. To remove the truss just lift the ring and pull it up and over the end of the drumstick. To secure the truss, hold the drumsticks together, lift the ring and pull it over the drumsticks.

Spread exterior of turkey with a blend of your favorite herbs and spices or with a paste made of the following ingredients:

4 Tbsp oil (melted butter or olive oil)
4 tsp. salt, or to taste
2 tsp. paprika

  • Heat oven to 325º F. Place bird in open pan, breast side up. Pour two 8 ounce cups of water in bottom of pan. Place in oven. If roasting turkey unstuffed then decrease roasting time by approximately 30 minutes. There is no need to turn the bird while roasting as it will brown to a rich, golden color. However, a piece of foil should be placed loosely over the breast for the last hour of roasting.
  • Take the temperature by inserting a meat thermometer in the thigh joint, where the leg connects to the breast; the turkey is done when it reads 155-160°. When done, the thickest part of the drumstick will feel soft. Remove from oven. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.

Weight    Approximate        Time to Start
(lbs)      Roasting Time     Checking Temperature

6-10 lbs.      approx. 2 hrs.         1 ½ hrs.
10-12 lbs      3 – 3 ¼ hrs.            2 ½ hrs.
12-14 lbs.     3 ¼  – 3 ½  hrs.     2 ½ hrs.
14-16 lbs.     3 ½  – 3 ¾  hrs.     2 ¾ hrs.
16-18 lbs.     3 ¾  – 4 hrs.            3 hrs.
18-20 lbs.     4 – 4 ½  hrs.           3 ¼ hrs.
20-22 lbs.     4 ½  – 5 hrs.           3 ¾ hrs.
22-24 lbs.     5 – 5 ½  hrs.           4 hrs.
24-26 lbs.     5 ½  – 5 ¾  hrs.    4 ¾ hrs.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 


Chili

Bi-Rite Tips for Cooking the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

TurkeyThe big day is almost here! I’ve been working with the best producers in California to bring my favorite heritage, organic, and free-range turkeys to our markets. But just as important as selecting a great sustainably-raised turkey is cooking it to perfection. So here’s a quick guide to help make the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving meal unforgettable. Keep reading for tips, recipes, and a printable .pdf guide to keep on hand in the kitchen.

If you haven’t reserved your turkey yet, we still have a wonderful selection available from BN Ranch, Diestel, and Mary’s available for pre-order here.

Bill Niman‘s BN Ranch heritage turkeys are the closest you can come to what the Pilgrims ate at Thanksgiving. Their vegetarian diet is free of growth promotants, antibiotics, and corn, which produces rich, flavorful dark meat. The turkeys are truly free-range, and are able to graze and forage on their own. Their body composition is different than conventional turkeys, so they require a different approach to cooking to ensure that their larger legs and smaller breasts cook evenly.

Tips for Roasting Heritage Turkeys:

  • We do NOT recommend that Heritage turkeys be brined. This ensures better texture, and maintains the naturally intense  flavor of these special birds.
  • Let the turkey come to room temperature before roasting.
  • Heritage birds typically have a humped breast bone, and the bird will be somewhat leaner than a conventional turkey, with darker meat. Because of their unique breast-to-leg ratio, the breast will reach doneness long before the legs and thighs. There are two ways to address this: Either roast the bird whole until the breasts are done, and then finish cooking the legs separately, or remove and braise just the legs and roast the rest of the turkey whole.
  • Let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes prior to slicing. This ensures evenly juicy meat.

Recipe for Whole Roast Heritage Turkey:
Courtesy of Chef Dan Barber of Stone Barns and Blue Hill, NY

Ingredients

BN Ranch Heritage Turkey
Butter
Salt and Pepper

  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  • Let turkey come to room temperature. Carefully separate skin from the breast meat and rub softened butter on to breast. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Set the turkey, breast side up, on the rack of a large roasting pan. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Roast for 20 minutes.
  • Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and cover turkey loosely with tin foil. Roast until the thermometer inserted into the inner thigh registers 150 degrees (2 to 3 hours, depending on turkey size).
  • Transfer turkey to cutting board. Let stand for at least 45 minutes to cool down. Remove legs and thighs, careful to not take too much skin with you.
  • Place thighs, skin side, on a roasting pan and continue cooking 40-45 minutes or until juices run clear. Separately slice breast and thigh and plate while still warm.

Recipe for Traditional Broad-Breasted Turkey:

After removing neck and giblets from the body cavity, rinse the bird with cold water. Pat cavities and body dry with a paper towel. Rub body and neck cavities with salt if desired, and stuff loosely. Truss neck cavity with metal skewer and truss legs. To remove the truss just lift the ring and pull it up and over the end of the drumstick. To secure the truss, hold the drumsticks together, lift the ring and pull it over the drumsticks.

Spread exterior of turkey with a blend of your favorite herbs and spices or with a paste made of the following ingredients:

4 Tbsp oil (melted butter or olive oil)
4 tsp. salt, or to taste
2 tsp. paprika

  • Heat oven to 325º F. Place bird in open pan, breast side up. Pour two 8 ounce cups of water in bottom of pan. Place in oven. If roasting turkey unstuffed then decrease roasting time by approximately 30 minutes. There is no need to turn the bird while roasting as it will brown to a rich, golden color. However, a piece of foil should be placed loosely over the breast for the last hour of roasting.
  • Take the temperature by inserting a meat thermometer in the thigh joint, where the leg connects to the breast; the turkey is done when it reads 155-160°. When done, the thickest part of the drumstick will feel soft. Remove from oven. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.

Weight    Approximate        Time to Start
(lbs)      Roasting Time     Checking Temperature

6-10 lbs.      approx. 2 hrs.         1 ½ hrs.
10-12 lbs      3 – 3 ¼ hrs.            2 ½ hrs.
12-14 lbs.     3 ¼  – 3 ½  hrs.     2 ½ hrs.
14-16 lbs.     3 ½  – 3 ¾  hrs.     2 ¾ hrs.
16-18 lbs.     3 ¾  – 4 hrs.            3 hrs.
18-20 lbs.     4 – 4 ½  hrs.           3 ¼ hrs.
20-22 lbs.     4 ½  – 5 hrs.           3 ¾ hrs.
22-24 lbs.     5 – 5 ½  hrs.           4 hrs.
24-26 lbs.     5 ½  – 5 ¾  hrs.    4 ¾ hrs.

If you have any questions or need additional tips, you can always call us or stop in and talk to a butcher, and we’ll be happy to help. Happy Thanksgiving!

ThanksgivingScapePrintable Guide- page 1 (pdf)

Printable Guide- page 2 (pdf)

 

 


Chili

Do the Turkey Tango: Pre-Order Yours Today!

Can you believe Thanksgiving is just two weeks and two days away!? Are you ready to cook your bird and dig into some cozy fall dishes?

Come by the Market today from 4-7 to taste our roasted BN Ranch Heritage Turkey, along with favorite side dishes on our Thanksgiving Menu (including several veggie-friendly), available for pre-order now. And don’t forget the Creamery’s famous Pumpkin Bundt Cake and pies!

Have you ordered your turkey yet? We have five fresh turkey options available for pre-order–check them out on page nine of our Holiday Guide!

We’re here to help, 9 am – 9 pm every day (call us at 415-241-9760).

And while you still have a couple weeks to plot your course, check out our authoritative guide to making your bird and side dishes shine!


Chili

Dine Out For Wild Salmon, take 2!

Tomorrow, Thursday August 23rd, 50% of sales of raw King Salmon from our fish case will go directly to Salmon Aid, to help spread the word about supporting wild salmon.

Wild salmon need our support–these legendary fish are in trouble! They face problems migrating upstream – dams block their path, climate change is warming their waters, and the rivers themselves are being diverted from their natural paths. Farmed salmon operations, meanwhile, are polluting the oceans and making it harder for wild salmon to successfully spawn.

We hope you’ll support our second annual “Dine Out for Wild Salmon” event. The money we raise will be used by Salmon Aid to increase awareness about the plight of West Coast salmon and the rivers they depend upon. This will educate the Bay Area public about the importance of protecting wild salmon, why they’re in trouble, and how we can work together to save them.

Salmon Aid will be in front of the Market tomorrow from 5:00 to 7:00 teaching our staff and guests about Wild Salmon–come by and pick their brain!


Chili

Fabrication Nation: Deli Team Lamb Breakdown

One of my favorite parts about being a butcher at Bi-Rite Market is getting to talk to people about where their food comes from.  Last week I was able to walk some of our deli team through the breakdown of a lamb.  We normally work with Don Watson and his Napa Valley Lambs, but recently Marc Cohodes of Alder Lane Farm (whose gorgeous pastured eggs we sell at the Market) has been exploring raising lamb and wanted us to help evaluate one of his animals.  I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to demo a lamb breakdown and give some members of our deli team the chance to see where the cuts that they sell every day come from, as well as talk through the various cooking methods for some of the underappreciated cuts.  As the demo wound down, everyone was excited about getting the chance to try some of the cuts and cooking methods that we had discussed.  Jenny, not a big lamb fan, was given a leg roast.  Robeen and Laura braised a shank and a neck, and Wes cooked a shoulder chop.  Here’s what each of them had to say about their lambfest:

Hi guys, my lamb turned out awesomely!  Beginners luck (maybe).  I marinated the leg in rosemary, garlic, evoo, salt and pepper for a couple hours. Then I added a little more salt and threw it in the cast iron. Seared it a little, then put it in the oven for a half hour. No muss, no fuss. Using my thermometer, cooked it to about medium, which I realize is how I like my meat. I let it rest for about 15 while I made some pasta, and it was perfect. Seriously, delicious. And I just used the leftovers with some veggies in a stirfry. The meat was super tender after being recooked. Thanks for encouraging me to try something new, Chili. It was great.

-Jenny


Hey guys, I finally cooked the lamb shank Chili gave me and want to share. I’ve never braised anything before so I was a little nervous, plus I was so tired when I got home that I was super close to just doing it another time, but I just sucked it up and braised it and I’m really glad I did. I started by frenching the shank then rubbing it with a nice layer of salt and pepper. Then I seared it and set it aside in my Dutch oven. I sweated the mirepoix, then added some beef stock and red wine and got it nice and hot for the oven. I then added it into the Dutch oven and stuck it in the oven at 300 to cook for about 3 hours, turning occasionally. I then took the liquid and veggies and reduced them quite a bit. The end result was a little salty, but that’s how I like it. I strained the veggies as a bed for the shank, then poured the reduced stock+wine on the shank. I apologize if this seems super simple to you but I wanted to share how I prepared it because I really wanna know how you all prepare yours. I hope all of your prospective lamb pieces turned out as great as I thought mine did :-) Bon appétit!

-Robeen

 

Ok, finally got a chance to cook my cut: lamb shoulder chop. Seasoned it well with salt, pepper, ground cumin, fresh-chopped rosemary, minced garlic clove & olive oil. Let sit for a while until it came to room temp. Seared it off in a blazing-hot cast iron skillet with butter and olive oil, meanwhile basting. Flipped after an imprecise 3 minutes. Basted quickly and dropped in the oven at 425. Checked after 10 mins (by touch: done). Also roasted russet potatoes with herbs in the oven. They turned out nicely. The cut was very fatty and chewy, the meat a mild pink color.  I might try slow-roasting it next time. If I were to sear and finish it in the over again, I might shave off a few minutes of oven time, or drop my temp to 375-400. Thanks again, Chili! The lamb butchery class was time well spent.

-Wes

Alrighty, last but not least…. All of yours sound so delicious! After looking in my fridge and around my kitchen I found that I was not in the least bit prepared to braise lamb as I usually would…. no onions, celery, savory herbs, carrots, stock, or even olive oil haha…but that didn’t stop me, oh no! After taking a peak in my flavor bible book (one of my favorites) I decided to take my lamb to a place I had never taken it before.  I made a spice rub from nutmeg, cinnamon, a little ground clove, salt and heavy pepper, and lightly coated the neck with that. I seared it as well as I could with some butter, removed it and put in about 3 cloves of roughly chopped garlic, threw in more butter until they got nice and golden, replaced my lamb and added water about half way up. I also added a small piece of vanilla bean. I covered it, and in the oven she goes at about 250…. after two hours I checked and it was coming along nicely, but I was getting hungry so I turned up the temp to 300, and after about 45 minutes she was oh so ready. I thought it a bit pathetic of me to reduce down my garlic butter water as a sauce, but I did have some polenta which I thought would taste great as a base…and it most totally did. There was much more flavor than I had ever anticipated from this neck, and the added fat already in the neck that released into the broth made the polenta really creamy. In the end I was happy I didn’t use so many extra ingredients this time because it made me realize how much flavor the neck really carries. Amazing! My pic is of the whole finished neck, but I ended up shredding it in my polenta to get all those juicy bits out, yum! And I didn’t even need an added sauce (although I did add a little more butter while cooking the polenta because I just really like butter). The baking spice flavor combination was fantastic, I actually wished that I had used more….I ate leftovers last night and again, delicious!

-Laura

 


Chili

Dust Off the Summer Grill…BN Ranch Beef is Back

Today is a big day: we roll out this year’s BN Ranch grass fed beef in our meat case!  Bill Niman’s seasonal, grass-fed beef is only available at certain times of the year (we should have it through the end of this year); I asked him to join us as a guest blogger and share more about what makes his beef  unique. Here’s what he said:

Beginning this week, BN Ranch will be offering grass grown and finished beef from our own ranch in Bolinas (Marin County).

This beef will be quite different than other beef in the marketplace today. For starters, it comes from truly mature beef. These cattle were nearly three years old at harvest (a full year older than most beef at slaughter) which provides a unique flavor and finish. Additionally, these animals were harvested directly off our pastures – not a feedlot or dry-lot — at precisely the moment they reached their peak condition. Just as elk and venison have a peak moment, so does beef that is truly grass raised and fattened. In our view, the very best grass-fed beef is a seasonal offering like great ripe tomatoes, peaches, and Beaujolais Nouveau.

The exact time of year when cattle on grass will achieve prime condition varies slightly from year to year, according to climate and geography. And for us, this year, the moment is now.
This year’s BN RANCH beef will come from Black Angus and Hereford-Angus-cross animals, all born from our own breeding cows on our Bolinas ranch. They spent their entire lives on pasture. It goes without saying that none of these animals was ever given hormones, or fed antibiotics or any meat or fish by-products. They were raised entirely on mother’s milk and natural forage (including a very small amount of hay), and according to the highest possible animal welfare and environmental standards.

We have been perfecting this method for excellent grass-fed beef (similar to traditional methods that prevailed before World War II) for the last eight years. We believe you will find it to be the finest grass fattened beef available.