Portable Chef Blog: Tasty Licks

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.

There would be three senior judges: my mom, my dad, and Angela, and two junior: me and my friend Jesse.  Jesse and I were downgraded because our role in preparing the burgers prevented us from participating in a true double-blind taste test, Pepsi Challenge-style.  We wanted no bias of any kind.  The stakes were just too high.

The beef from 8 O’Clock Ranch (top) was ground finer than that from Arcadian Farms (bottom).
The beef from 8 O’Clock Ranch (top) was ground finer than that from Arcadian Farms (bottom).

We seasoned the beef only with salt, and made five burgers: one medium, two medium-rare, one rare, and one à Uri (very hot pan: sizzle, flip, sizzle, plate).

DSC_0066

The burgers each looked delicious – even the burger done medium, which I normally can’t stomach. And they tasted delicious.

Cutting to the chase: the winner: 8 O’Clock Ranch, by a unanimous 5-0 margin. While both were tasty, the combo of a slightly higher fat content and a distinct flavor of grass gave 8 O’Clock the edge. I mean, it had actual terroir (and yes, that’s my third italicized use of French thus far. You can’t do nothin’ about it. It’s my column).

So 8 O’Clock it will be. We’ll be taking possession during the first or second week in December. I’ll be doing some serious scouting and keeping an eye out for a sweet Draft Day suit. Stay tuned.

In this competition, we’re all winners.
In this competition, we’re all winners.

Next: Thoughts of Our Cow

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