Portable Chef Blog: Tasty Licks

Month: November 2009

The 2009 Beef Draft, pt. 3: Thoughts of Our Cow


This is the type of blog entry that I set out not to write.

The problem I have with many blogs is that they tend to be more for the writer than the reader. I’ve read too many whose authors use the forum work out their own issues, to describe their day, or to do a host of other things that have nothing to do with making the reader’s valuable time worthwhile.

That’s not what I want to do here. I aspire first and foremost to make this column an enjoyable and informative read for the people who choose to invest their time here. I want to be entertaining and educational, Fat Albert-style: Coming at you with cooking and fun. And if you’re not careful, you may learn something before it’s done. Hey, hey, hey! But I think this blog installment may develop a distinct “get some stuff off my chest” feel – if that’s how it reads I apologize in advance.


The Beef Draft is all about cooking and fun. But there is one particularly not fun part of the draft, and it would be unfair to gloss over it:

Today the steer we bought was slaughtered.


The 2009 Beef Draft, pt. 2: The Burger-off

And in this corner, weighing one pound...
And in this corner, weighing one pound...

portable_chef_beef_draft-smIn part 1 of this column, we went over the raisons d’être for the Beef Draft, chief among them being: ensuring a steady supply of sustainably-raised beef, learning something about our food, and IT’S A GODDAMN BEEF DRAFT!

Two providers met the criteria for responsible raising of cattle, capability to deliver on a whole steer, and ease of sampling: Arcadian Farms and 8 O’Clock Ranch.

Next up: a battle to the death.


The 2009 Beef Draft, pt. 1: Predraft Camp

Let’s do this thing

Ever since I found out that my favorite steak place, Les Halles on Park Avenue South, gives its animals the full factory farm treatment (warning: that video is gnarly; furthermore, it’s narrated by Alec Baldwin, whose authoritative, gravitas-laden voice makes it very difficult to turn away), I’ve pretty much limited my beef consumption to that which I prepare at home.

And it was there that I started realizing my beef knowledge limitations.

I’m a burger-and-occasional-filet man.  I make a big batch of boeuf Bourguignon once a year or so (side note: Amy Adams’ mangled pronunciation of said dish in the crappy half of Julie & Julia continues to haunt my dreams).  But really, that’s about it.