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Need a vendor of Great Meat!

Disgusted with tasteless supermarket steaks, chops and roasts; somewhere in this US there gotta be a vendor (or several) who sells choice and/or prime beef, cut to order, that is raised properly, little or no steroids and such in the feed; and delicious; and ships. Must be one for pork and lamb too. Recommendations, please!

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  1. In St. Louis, Mo. a family owned 4 store chain named Straub's. It has been around since 1901. They carry Prime beef and Berkshire pork and will ship anywhere in the U.S. They also have a website. I highly recommend this store as an excellent source for high end meats.

    1. Nimanranch.com

      If you can't find a retailer that carries their product you can order it. They have beef, pork, and lamb.

      1. Try www.flannerybeef.com, a small family-run outfit in California. I have tried all the major online sites, and while Lobel or Allen Bros. or KC Steaks are good, Flannery is best and has great prices.

        1. Heartbrand Beef (www.heartbrandbeef.com) in Yokum, TX is
          the main supplier for Akaushi Beef in the US. Give their site
          a look. I've bought from them and the beef is excellent. Ex-
          pensive, but delicious. If you live near San Antonio, TX, there is a market (Greenfields at Stone Oak & Huebner) which has the beef for sale in their retail store. I have bought beef from LaCense, an outfit in Montana, I think that is grass fed and hormone free. The last I got was not up to their usual standards, so I've been looking for another source
          Loustine Cattle Co. on my list to try, but haven't gotten to them yet. Good luck with your search. Being a die-hard carnivore, I love a good sirloin strip steak, but they are getting harder and harder to find.

          2 Replies
          1. re: amazinc

            Thank you, Hounds! Amazinc, I'll be driving in to San Antonio from my Kerrville home next week, and will hit Greenfields. Steakman, I am very impressed with the Flannery site; rob and brandon too: I intend to do a taste test of the four vendors (Straub, Niman, Flannery and Heartbrand/Akaushi); may the best steak win! I grew up cutting meat in my father's gourmet butcher shop; you can fool me with poor broccoli, but when it comes to beef/pork/lamb my taste buds are set on Prime.

            1. re: amazinc

              I also gave up on LaCense beef. Just not up to par. Give a look to the two purveyors I recommend in my other post in this thread. If you're a beef lover (and who isn't?), I suspect you'll love the Charolaise beef. I use the tallow from it as "butter" on baked potatoes. Beefy goodness!

            2. Paradise Meats ships. They are suppliers for chefs interested in heritage breeds and sustanability. We are lucky to be close but I have included a link about their shipping.

              1. Duckgrub...I live in Kerrville,too. Let me know what you think of Greenfield's Akaushi. They don't carry many different cuts, but will probably cut what you want. I buy from them, as I like thicker cuts of beef than Hearnbrand offers. Hope you enjoy the beef.

                1 Reply
                1. re: amazinc

                  Speaking of Amazinc! That two Hounds live in Kerrville, Texas, a culinary backwater if there ever was one...or so I find it after two years. If Saveur did a feature on Kerrville, the one exception to that C.B. appellation might be the new Wahoo Seafood on Francisco Lemos; perhaps Cal Bobs. Any other suggestions??

                2. Dickgrub, sorry for min-naming you in previous e-mail...River's Edge, A Tuscan Grill used to be Saveur-worthy, but not so sure now. No other comes to mind, as I usually travel to SA to get good food. Do like Wahoo's. See Sunday March 31 Express-News for article on the Experi-mental Cook.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: amazinc

                    Amazinc: Surprised to find Greenfield's Market is basically and entirely a Birkenstock/granola store with the single exception of the 10% of the meat case devoted to Aukushi beef. Inexperienced counter help: asked him to cut me a 2" porterhouse and he goggled his eyes like I had asked for a slice of the moon. Bought a pre-cut 1" rib eye: very good taste, probably best for me in 5 years, tho thin steaks cannot develop the real flavor. Will return to GM and be more insistent. Very grateful to you for recc. Aukushi and Greenfield's. PS: Scott at Wahoo Seafood pleased to learn of your commendation.

                  2. I'm not sure about beef & lamb, but there are a large number of heritage pork producers these days who raise their swine on pasture. This is a clean process that yields an excellent product.

                    Many of these farms have web sites and ship.

                      1. Another Flannery recommendation here....

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: HoosierFoodie

                          Just got my first delivery from Flannery. I used the Burger Builder for some ground beef. I love how it came packaged in one-pound packs instead of one huge four-pound pack that I had to divide up!

                          We'll be grilling tonight!

                        2. Dickgrub: Hope you saw the ad for akaushi flank steak from Greenfield's Mkt. I bought two today and plan to do the "butcher's cuts" recipe with chimichuri sauce from one of the cooking mags. this month. Should be really good, as my
                          DH loves to grill! Enjoy!

                            1. I'm late coming to this thread, but if you're still seeking... But first be warned, I only eat grass fed, dry aged beef, so with that in mind, my two purveyors are:

                              This is marvelous Charolaise beef that has (imo) a great rich beefy flavor. What I grew up with! The tallow rendered from its fat is simply incredible for cooking. By far my favorite beef.

                              Angus (black or red? I don't know) and it's almost as good as Charolaise, but I buy from them more often because twice a month they will walk right up to my door and hand me my order. They also sell lamb (excellent!) and pork and even Texas raw honey, if you're into it.

                              In both cases, you will get grass fed dry aged beef that is truly exceptional. But be aware that grass fed beef cooks faster and at lower temperatures than grain fed beef. A lot of people are unaware of this, decide to give grass fed a try, then ruin it with overcooking and end up thinking they don't like grass fed beef. Which is a real shame because grass fed beef is so much healthier to eat. Omega 3s and all that jazz! Good stuff!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Caroline1

                                Thanks; will check out those vendors; have bought from several of the recommendations and am generally pleased, but beef vendors are sorta like restaurants: can always use one more good one. Your post touches on another thread/query of mine: wassupp with grass fed beef? Seeking the health benefits of GFB, I bought from three vendors and had three bad experiences, but am mostly persuaded by you and other Hounds that I just need to find the right purveyor.

                                1. re: dickgrub

                                  Hmmm... "Wassupp with grass fed beef?" you ask? Well, for openers it’s the benefits of their natural diet. If you study the anatomy of a cow, it is not designed to forage off the top of tall plants or tree limbs. They graze with their heads down, and therefore, grass it is! For millions of years cows happily lived on that diet. But as so often happens, MAN stepped in and decided to improve on nature. Well, there was an impetus to it… After WWII, with all of the returning military to the welcoming arms of wives and lovers, it’s no big surprise there was a population explosion. How to feed so many people? Simple. Feed cows corn and grain, of course! If you feed cows corn and grain they gain weight a lot faster than they do in a pasture, and that means they attain marketable mass in record time, so a short sighted switch was made to feed the masses more expansively with corn/grain fed beef.

                                  And it worked! But the solution was far from optimum. Feeding cows grain and corn is extremely hard on their digestive systems. As a result they have to grow many many many more times the normal amount of e-choli bacteria in their intestinal tracts in order to digest the new diet. And that upsets their systems, so they are sick much of the time, so antibiotics are made a regular part of their diet to minimize the impact of the unnatural food. As a side effect of the new diet, cows develop high cholesterol problems which are passed on to those who eat the cows. So hey, as long as they’re doctoring the cows’ dinner, why not throw in a little growth hormone to speed up what the corn and grain are already doing when compared to a natural grass diet and get the beasties to market even quicker? So that is the common fate of feed-lot cattle today. Corn and grains mixed with antibiotics and growth hormone to eat, and restricted space to move around in. Not good for the cows and certainly not good for the people who eat the cows!

                                  As an interesting footnote to “scientific research and thinking” in our modern world, it was around the later fifties to early sixties that American science got all up in arms about the dangers of the cholesterol content of butter and started pushing margarine for “health” reasons. No one yet knew about trans fats, something that margarine is rich in. Then it was determined that the entire population of some islands off the English coast (Shetlands? I really don’t remember) ate butter all day long and had no cholesterol problems in the entire population! The “scientific” conclusion was that that specific population must have a natural genetic disposition that is immune to cholesterol. The fact is they had no such thing, but were simply eating grass fed beef and grass fed butter! Turns out if humans in any part of the world eat grass fed beef and beef byproducts, most of the cholesterol problems we suffer will just go away. This does not mean that people with a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol can cure it with grass fed beef, but it can help ease the condition. Your genes are your genes, and you have to learn to live with them.

                                  Today’s “food science” scares the hell out of me! These are the good folks who decided it would be more efficient to feed cows the ground up bones of their slaughtered predecessors, and voila! Creutzfeldt-Jacob’s (mad cow) disease! When will our agri-scientists figure out that cows don’t eat things that grow high and that they are certainly not cannibals? Scary.

                                  There is tons of information on the web about the benefits of eating grass fed beef. butter, cheese, milk... In addition, it’s also good for the environment. Not too surprisingly, a grass diet reduces cattle’s flatulence, and that markedly reduces the herd’s output of “greenhouse gases.” Who knew?

                                  And just for the record, because grass fed beef IS expensive, and I don’t want to ruin expensive beef, I ALWAYS cook it sous vide. No chance of overcooking it that way! ‘-)

                              2. Dickgrub, oh Dickgrub.... Just learned of a new meat vendor. A friend who lives in The Dominion says that the Tri County Meat Market on Ralph Fair Rd. has some of the best meats in our area. I'm going tomorrow for the akaushi toma-hawk steak or the bone in rib eye. Their meat is Choice, not
                                prime, but for those cuts, I don't care. I'll let you know what I find and how good/not-so-good it is. They are 4 miles east of I-10, so a lot closer that Greenfields and probably without all the Birkenstocks.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: amazinc

                                  You get the Memory Award and the Courtesy Award; thanks.

                                  PS: In case my reference to "Birkenstocks" was offensive, I hasten to clarify: I didn't mean to disparage the customers of Greenfields, but rather meant to describe the grocery selections which I found to be oriented to the Sprouts customer who is seeking Vegan/Fair Trade/Organic, without much emphasis on excellence of taste.

                                  Will eagerly await your Tri-County Report.

                                2. I took your Birkenstock quip just the way you meant it, certainly no offense. Went to Tri County yesterday after my regular Costco run. Didn't buy the Tomahawk steak...they were so huge as to be obscene. Would have felt like I was
                                  consuming the last wooly mastodon.....Did, however, get the
                                  "cowboy" bone-in 2-inch rib-eye. DH cooked it last night on the brand new Weber and we feasted like royalty. It was as good as advertised. They also have an excellent selection of other cuts of steak, pork etc. They are able to get me a whole pig when I decide to do that. They had veal, but frozen and just got a new "lamb man" who will do whatever cuts you need or a whole lamb. When you go, talk to Simon as he was so helpful to me. I'm really excited by this find.
                                  DH says I'm like a kid in a candy store when I find a good meat market! It's true.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: amazinc

                                    Thanks so much for the report. As soon as we burn off the inhouse stock of steaks, will make a run to Tri-County and see what Simon Says.

                                    1. re: dickgrub


                                      This is a link to a Heston Blumenthal video of him cooking a Longhorn steak, and it looks like the steaks I am jonesing for. He says on the video that Longhorn won their taste test.

                                      Any Hound experience to report, w/ Longhorn vendors or grilling Longhorn?