Grass Fed, Dry Aged Beef
Does anyone know where one can get grass fed, dry aged beef in Los Angeles? I know that Whole Foods required their beef to be raised at least a good portion on grass. Any one have any hints?
Maybe not what you're after, but there's a stand that sells grass fed bison at the Hollywood (and probably Santa Monica) Farmers Market. It's very good stuff, but you'd have to do the dry aging on your own. (Alton Brown has a how-to on this.)
grass-fed and dry-aged don't usually go together. Basically, all beef is raised on grass until the final 6 months or so, then they're finished on grain to get that rich, buttery flavor we like so much. Dry-aging emphasizes this character.
Grass-fed beef is not finished on grain. The meat is much leaner and, to my taste, has a slightly gamier flavor ... not bad, kind of like a touch of lamb, almost.
FED is right about these two not going together. Grassfed beef is extremely lean compared to the desired Prime rating of beef, and therefor doesn't have enough fat to age well. Meat must be nearly coated with fat in order to age. Butchers usually lard even Prime loins to ensure even aging, but I haven't heard of any butchers larding grassfed beef. You would most certainly pay a premium on this to have it done specially for you, and there would be a high risk of spoilage. If you wanted to do it yourself, you'd want to get yourself some loin cap fat, in large, intact pieces, and wrap whatever entire loin section you have in it, you'd probably want to warm up the fat beforehand so it's a little more pliable. You'd then wrap this very tightly with paper, chill it so the fat adheres, remove the paper, and then hang the loin in front of a fan in a large cooler for at least 21 days. Voila, home dry aged grassfed beef. Trim the fat off and any discolored parts and then portion into fillets.
That's not true at all. There are a number of producers that offer grass fed AND dry aged beef. Do a google search and you'll find several purveyors. It is true that it's difficult to find locally (I don't know any butcher that offers it) but it's certainly available.
The reason why it might seem the two don't go together is that dry aging really increases the cost of the meat. Adding that cost to the already very high cost of grass finishing cattle can lead to exhorbitant costs bordering on true Kobe prices. No grocery store is going to stock a lot of that I would think.
Dry aging has been around forever while finishing cattle in feedlots is a relatively new phenomenon.