I've been doing a lot of steak at home lately and I'm itching to try meats esp from the small, family-owned ranches and butchers that have put their goods up for online ordering.
I dug around a bit and found a whole bunch of these places; I'm glad for the variety, but I had trouble finding any opinions on most of em.
Anyone have any experiences to share?
I'm was looking for dry-aged steak, but would like to hear about anything that was really good.
a few i found:
Lobel's (www.lobels.com) is a butcher in NYC that gets rave reviews in general, though their prices are high.
Tallgrass (www.tallgrassbeef.com) is a grass-fed beef ranch; their hot dog was tops in some new york magazine poll.
Heart Ranch (http://www.hearstranch.com/) has deep pockets and runs an impressive-sounding operation. I hope they're good cause prices are cheap with the discount promos theyve been running (~$50 shipped for 4, 10oz new york strip steaks)
Alderspring (http://www.alderspring.com/) is a really small grass-fed operation, some restaurant nearby was using it.
If you want to find a small family owned place look locally. Here's a link that has a directory by state: http://www.eatwild.com/products/index...
I don't like buying frozen, several farms sell meats at some of our local farmers markets but only a few sell fresh, not frozen
Lobel's is a butcher, not a ranch. Their natural beef is "vegetarian" fed which could mean anything and usually means corn finished
My local supermarket, Fairway, stocks Tallgrass and the ground sirloin, at $4.99 lb, is pretty beefy tasting. Their beef is grass fed and grass finished
Niman Ranch is grass fed and corn finished and a big operation.
Fairway also has the Oze beef I mentioned. Mine doesn't carry much of the Tallgrass meat yet, only hot dogs and ground beef, which I prefer to grind at home. I also try to avoid meat labeled only "natural" or "vegetarian" and not grass fed, since natural organic grains don't make for healthy animals or meat the way range feeding does.
I have purchased couple orders from Lacense beef and it was very worth it. I get free shipping over $95 so it’s about the same as if I were to buy from my local butcher in La jolla who sells grass fed beef with the their lowest offer of $10.99 for top sirloin. Plus I liked the fact I don’t have to go home and hassle of putting them in zip loc bags since each piece is arrives frozen individually so I just throw them in the freezer and take one out at a time.
In comparison I have also gotten some steaks from QVC’s Kansas city steak co and it was “ok” for being frozen I love steaks so it has to be very bad for me to put it down. But After tasting Lacense it was like going from Ruth Chris’s to The Sizzler, quality and taste going to Lacense. Kansas City was kinda dry if you cook it medium whereas Lacense is surprsingly melt tender and had deep robust beef flavor.
I found this food blog on perhaps not only posiibly the best prime but grass fed steaks at fraction the price of Lobel's. It's from Bryan's foods in madera county Ca. They have 2 day air free shipping in CA or over $120. La Cense have been great but this will be heaven.
I haven't liked any meat or products I've bought from Niman ranch (or Coleman), ever, but it's been a few years since I've had any. Compared to other range fed animal growers, their meat always seems dryer and less flavorful to me, especially as compared to the Oze beef from Australia I can buy locally, or Tall Grass. Can't say why, unless it's breed differences?
Lava Lake Lamb is a wonderful certified organic, 100 percent grass-fed lamb producer out of Hailey Idaho that sells most of its lamb online. www.lavalakelamb.com
The ranch is on a landscape-scale conservation project and all profits from sale of the lamb support habitat conservation and restoration. Site has details. Prices are competitive, but not cheap -- as you know, organic is not inexpensive, but it's worth it. The company often offers special packages and sometimes, shipping discounts.
I have ordered from the following:
LOBEL - for my money has the best prime dry aged beef. It is all expensive.
NIMAN RANCH - is second and has high quality and is cheaper
ALLEN BROTHERS - is good, but I think most expensive
The above all have prime dry aged beef. Some really good 14 oz. prime but not dry aged NY strips are available from Harris Ranch.
All of them are good. Enjoy.