My review of Painted Hills Natural Beef located in Wheeler County Oregon. This all natural beef has NO growth hormones, NO antibiotics, No by-products. The cattle are fed a 100% Vegetarian diet. For a large portion of their lives they free range on rolling grass hills and at about 14 months the cattle are moved to a finishing facility in which they are fed a combination of locally grown barley, corn and alfalfa hay.
This farm also has Grass Fed Beef which I cannot wait to try. The differences between Grass Fed and all Natural Beef are simple. Grass-Fed Beef Cattle are pastured and maintained on a grass fed diet. 100% Corn-Free Veg Diet.
My impromptu review of Painted Hills Natural steak came to pass because a benevolent meat-cutter (my friend Mike A) and a fan of the of Painted Hills Beef wanted me to try one of their steaks. Mike was convinced I would love their beef so he put his money where his mouth is and kindly purchased a 1.69 lb lb (29 oz) Rib-eye steak for me (thank you Mike). Mike A. has been around the block a few times and is a great connoisseur (go to guy) of meats. With that in mind; if Mike tells you that this is great beef you know you gotta give it a taste. It's worth mentioning that Mike works at Rays Meat Market in Gig Harbor which is a great little meat market that carries a great assortment of everything that is meat.
|Lights on in Kitchen|
|Lights off in Kitchen|
I prepared this steak like I do so many other steaks which is Under-pressure or SOUS-VIDE. I could have placed this post in my Sous-Vide blog but this post is about a steak review and not about Sous-Vide cooking techniques.
Impressive marbling for a USDA Choice grade cut if I do say so myself and visually very appealing.
Proponents of grass fed or natural beef say it's healthier and tastes better.
Hmm, I don't know about the taste part because it's been my experience that this can be a HIT or a MISS and sometimes a grand-slam but this is dependent of the farm, cow and type of grass the animal has pastured on. 100% grass fed beef will have less fat and give you a much higher percentage of omega 3 fatty acids. The steak I am eating today is of the natural variety and is described above. I have had grass fed beef and natural beef that tasted awful. In some instances the beef I tasted was overly gamey, sometimes flavorless and most often too lean. I don't recall eating a Grass Fed steak I liked. I will save that for my next review.
This this was an impromptu steak meal so I didn't have a lot of time to properly dry-brine the meat. What I mean by dry brine is simply sprinkling salt on both sides of meat.
The meat is then placed in the refrigerator on a trivet allowing the air to circulate around the meat for 3-4 hours. I dry-brined the beef for 2 hours using Montreal Steak seasoning. How simple is that?
Meat vacuumed sealed and ready Sous-vide. The meat will be cooked at 128.1 degrees for 2.5 hours. If I wanted to tenderize and break down all the connective tissue I could have cooked the beef for 3.5-4.5 hours. Since this meat is suppose to be top notch I wanted to evaluate the meat at 2.5 hours.
To the left, a pic of Beef in Sous-vide and to the right a pic after Sous-vide. Obviously no Maillard reaction but the grill is fired up and awaiting the beef. Note: I ice-shocked the beef to bring down the temp prior to introducing it to the flames of the Weber.
BBQ at 725 and meat fired on both sides for about a total of 90-120 seconds.