Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's Organic AND Local, Y'all.

At Labon's urging I swung by What's Your Beef here in Charlotte a couple of Saturdays ago.  It's a local butcher with all local foods and all organic foods.  As the butcher bragged to me the pork chops, ribs and sausage all came from the same pig, from the same farmer from down the road.

I felt like a kid in a candy shop.  I picked up some chicken breasts and a NY Strip which had been dry aged for 21 days.  You can see the results of the dry aging there on the side where it's got that gray coloring.

In order to appreciate the natural flavor of the food I seasoned everything lightly with salt & pepper and a light coating of olive oil.


I got the Egg roaring.  Here's a peek in through the bottom vent.
Keeping me company as the Egg got going was New Belgium's winter ale 2 Below.  Mmm.  Nice and toasty-feeling beer on a chilly night.
I used the T Rex method to cook the steak.  I understand it to be a cooking style geared toward steaks and chops.  But for the first time ever I made T Rex chicken breasts too.  Briefly T Rex is where you get the Egg up to a searing temp.  In this case I was humming along at 650f.  You sear your meat on each side for 60-90 seconds and then throw it on a plate and take it back inside for 20 minutes while you choke the temp back down to around 400f on your Egg.  Get the meat back on there for 3-6 minutes on each side depending on what sort of doneness you want.

You can see that I was interested in erring on the rare side.  I certainly didn't over cook the meat.  Rest assured the chicken breasts got a thorough cook.  In fact, the T Rex method was great on chicken--nice crispy crust on the boneless breast with a tender, juicy inside.  I digress.

I'm a big fan of What's Your Beef.  If you're in Charlotte, you need to pay a visit.  The proof is in the food.  The chicken was scrumptious.  It's hard to describe, but the absence of all the hormones and antibiotics yields a very "clean" taste.  The steak also had great flavor.  I don't have aged meat very often so it was a little difficult to know what flavors to attribute to the organics and what to attribute to the aging process.

Do you eat aged beef?  Is it me, or does it have a bit of a funky taste?  It's not bad, but it gives you a definitive depth of flavor that tends to the musty, old side.  Any insight into what the aging does to the beef?

5 comments:

  1. I haven't tried dry aged yet. I have had local, organic grass fed beef and honestly, did NOT care for the texture (or "mouthfeel" as food snobs might say, ha ha).

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  2. I know I should make a comment about the steak or cooking method or some other BGE thing, but you should have seen the smile that spread across my face when I saw the pic of the 2 Below. That's my winter go to beer here in Denver. Glad to see you enjoying it in Charlotte.

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  3. Chris: I had some free-range, grass-fed stuff once at a restaurant and thought it was pretty bad. The "mouthfeel" was unpleasing. In other words it was all chewy. Blegh. This stuff was somehow better. Can't tell you what the difference was.

    Trey: Glad we're on the same beer page. That's some good stuff. I hope you guys are doing well and getting some good sleep.

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  4. I wish I had an egg.

    We have an aged prime rib roast ordered for the New Year. I will report back about the taste.

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  5. Chilebrown: Can't wait to hear about the prime rib roast. I want all the details!

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