All About Steak

We were making steak today when it occurred to us that we don’t know a whole lot about it. Then, while poking around Slate, we stumbled upon a shopping article about steak. Is it all about the marbling? Or grass-fed vs grain? What’s the best steak?

    Before you walk into your neighborhood butcher and say, “Three rib-eye Angus steaks, please, pastured in the Rocky Mountain foothills, finished on barley, but with a hint of oats, and dry-aged for 28–no, make that 29–days,” keep in mind that as a consumer, such choice does not exist. That said, if you scour specialty butcher shops or Google “steak,” you’ll discover other options, including naturally raised, grain-fed, and grass-fed beef. Which leaves carnivores with the question: Which steak tastes the best?

The Slate writer held a taste test and decided on grass-fed beef at $21.50 per lbs, not the most expensive variety tested. “Never have I witnessed a piece of meat so move grown men (and women).” Check it out.

Raising the Steaks[Slate]


Edit Your Comment

  1. LowestCommonDenominator says:

    Corn-fed/grain tastes the best. Hands down. West Coast mostly sells grass-fed. That’s why the beef tastes so bad (grass) and is expensive (West Coast).

  2. B says:

    Slate today has an article on why cloned steak isn’t a bad thing.

  3. weave says:

    Have you considered cloned and/or vat meat?

  4. junkmail says:

    GREAT photo for this one. The family visits that particular establishment several times a month. MMMM…. BEEEEEFF

  5. Meg Marco says:

    Vat meat!

  6. Musician78 says:

    As long as it is rare and barely warm in the middle, I am happy. *Needs to go to the Outback*

  7. Jesse in Japan says:

    You should try the Japanese steaks that cost 10 or 20 dollars per 100 grams (3.5 ounces). The marbling is just incredible. The cows are massaged and pampered and made to drink beer (seriously).

  8. Chongo says:

    For those on a budget… Buy some Tri-tip or other “lower” end meats and marinate them for 24-48 hours. Usually you can only get them in bigger portions (roasts, etc), but the cost per pound makes up for it. Plus you’ll have leftovers for a few days.

    Oh, also, marinate it in Soy-Vey Terriyaki sauce! WOOOHOO!

  9. homerjay says:

    I second the marinated tri-tip. A high heat seare followed by a nice slow roast makes the tri-tip a family favorite.

  10. flyover says:

    The Japanese beef is called Kobe.

    I had some amazing Prime graded steak from Adronico’s grocery on New Years Eve.
    Prime has the most marbling which makes it fatty but oh so flavorful.

  11. Slack says:

    My favorite, Ribeye – Blackened, on cast iron outside on the side burner of the grill. I hang a stop watch around my neck and get very reliable results.

    Although tonight I had a strip (vs usual Ribeye) as they were on special.

  12. alhypo says:

    I rarely eat meat anymore because the good stuff is too expensive. I’m really looking forward to the genetically engineered cows that might possibly increase the supply of high-quality meat. Also, scientists are working on growing the meat without the cow attached, so we won’t have to feel guilty about killing animals any longer. Not that the guilt doesn’t quickly subside anyway when I’ve got a chunk of beautifully marbled prime-rib melting in my mouth. Mmmm.

  13. Blackneto says:

    If you can afford the upfront cost the best way to go is to find someone that raises cattle the way you like and buy a side from them.
    not only do you get it cut the way you want from the butcher the overall price these days can reach a whopping $2/lb.

    My last side was 420lbs
    paid the rancher $519
    Paid the butcher $208

    1.70/lb for each pound of meat.
    Of course you need freezer space and you really should eat all the steaks and roasts within a year to avoid freezer burn.

  14. MDT says:

    Buying local is your best bet. And you don’t necessarily have to buy bulk to do so. Find a local farmer’s market and do a little research on farms in your area. You can almost certainly find something to suit your taste (and address whatever concerns you may have about what substances the animal has been fed or injected).

    The type of feed, the marbling of fat, how early the animal was slaughtered and the aging all effect flavor. And flavor means more than just how something tastes – we’re talking tenderness, mouth feel – all that good stuff.

    Of course whatever cut you choose (I’m partial to a hanger/onglet) you’ve got to cook it right for it to be worth a damn. The “maillard” reaction is your friend. Dry heat, seared, crusty on the outside, moist on the inside. Let is set, covered and kept warm for a few minutes before serving.

    Great meat flavor deets here: