Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Who Says We Dont Have Quality Beef In New England?

Archer Angus Sirloin, Carrot Puree, Baby Root Vegetables, Bordelaise Syrup

Its amazing to me that when I tell people that we are serving beef raised right here in New England that they look at me like I have 10 heads. Now I'm not claiming that we have an abundance of local beef, but in my opinion the beef that I have sourced is by far some of the tastiest & tender I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

We here in New England are very lucky, our agriculture industry is growing at a pace that no one ever thought it would. In fact Massachusetts has even had meetings with the public about too many farmers markets popping up and not enough people to frequent them. Crazy huh?! Prices have started to drop at farmers markets therefore making it an option that all of us can afford .

 I digress as usual, let me get back to BEEF... Whether you are looking for a 100% grassfed product, grain finished or superior Black Angus beef , New England has got it!

 As New Englanders we need to continue to develop a network that allows us to be self sufficient by growing more foods of our own. But one problem and probably one of the reasons that you have to search high & low and pay a premium for local land based proteins is that we do not have many slaughter houses here in New England. We have approximately 30 slaughter houses, where a state like Wisconsin has well over 200 slaughter houses.

Two of my favorite and both represented on my menus currently are,  Archer Angus out of Chesterville, Maine and Blackbird Farms in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

Both raise some amazing 100% Black Angus cattle, while Archer is almost 100% grass fed ( they work together with a co-op of farmers and some of the ground beef is grain finished)  Blackbird uses a combination, raised on pasture their grass diet is supplemented with grain, including corn, hay and essential minerals. two very different flavor profiles and fat content, both have the best beef in New England hands down!

No hormones are injected nor fed to either of the farms animals.

Traceability you wonder? They both have that covered as well! They can tell you the pedigree, birthday, how it was raised, harvest date & carcass grade.

Like most farms in our area, both are family run, both take time to build relationships with their customers and both care about the animals as much as their own pets.

And their is even a connection, Ray & Linda Buck ( Archer Angus) even told me that he has selected breed-leading Angus from several well-known cow families......And one of those cow families, well it is Anne Marie & the Bouthillette family ( Blackbird Farms).

Where can you find this beef? Well first off you can taste Archer Angus anywhere I am cooking, and several other fine restaurants from Maine all the way down to a few of us in Boston lucky enough to have developed this friendship.

Blackbird Farms Beef & Chicken is on my menu as well,  and south through Rhode Island you can find it at the best restaurants and retail shops in Rhode Island. To locate restaurants serving Blackbird Beef click here.  Blackbird also runs a seasonal farm stand that sells not only their beef, but eggs, chickens ( only chickens I use) turkey and other fine products produced in Rhode Island.  Cooking classes? Well they have those as well.

For a recipe that is by far the Best Burger I've ever had, follow the link below!! But you must promise to ONLY only use Blackbird Farms Ground Beef....

Tailgate Burger With Red Onion Jam & Tomato Vinaigrette

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