Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Where's the Beef?

I just realized that St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, and we usually do the whole corned beef thing. For the past several years, we’ve been going to the Coop and getting their nitrate free corned beef, which we love. They call it the gray beef because, you guessed it, it’s gray without the nitrates, which preserve the red color of the meat. We try to avoid them whenever possible.

They cannot vouch for the beef, however, in terms of where it comes from. I.e., it’s neither local nor grass fed. To find that, you’d have to really search long and hard, and pay the big bucks. The solution? Make your own.

Now I’d never done anything like this until a few months back when my in-laws came for a visit, and of course I turned to my resource of choice (and for most of the world), Google. There were numerous recipes, some of which called for brining the meat for two weeks. No thank you. I ended up using one that brined for 2-3 days, and called for the addition of beer. This sounded good at first, but in retrospect, flavored the meat too much, and I think next time I’ll omit it.

We were off to our favorite beef farm, Cloudland Farms, to get the brisket and other assorted forms of beef. I saw on their website that they were open Thu-Sat, so on the way back home from Bridgewater, we made the long trek up to Pomfret. Since Spring is in the air, the roads were driveable, but just barely.

When we got there, however, my heart sank because the sign said closed. Bummer. Not to be deterred, however, I went and knocked on the door anyway, and sure enough, they were inside. BE opened the door and greeted me, and CE was in the kitchen. They were out of brisket because, if you can believe this, they were preparing for a St. Patrick’s Day feast. Shot down in flames. However, they said a round cut would work, so I went with that. This should be interesting, not to mention a learning experience since I don’t understand all the differences between the different cuts. I also picked up some filets and some ground beef, and we were on our way.

I’m glad we were able to score some meat, and it’s always nice to see B&CE, they’re great people, not to mention former homeschoolers.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Frans Andersson for the pic.

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