Sunday, August 30, 2015

Painted Hills Porterhouse Steak

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.  


Let's talk a little about where I purchased these delicious steaks. There is a quaint little Meat Shop located in Gig Harbor Wa that has everything "MEAT". My buddy Mike works there and he cut these special steaks just for me. Mike 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 awesome beef you know you gotta give it a taste. The adage "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words" applies most definitely to this picture. Wow take a close look at these steaks. 

Of course 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. These Porterhouse steaks were two inches thick cut to order and weighed in at 4.53 Lbs. Yea a lot of steak for a big guy who is a monster carnivore. These babies are the bomb. 

Last time I had a Natural or Grass fed steak it didn't look like these. These steaks have impressive marbling for a USDA Choice Grade cut if I do say so myself and they're visually very appealing. 

Protagonists will tell you that grass fed or natural beef is healthier and tastes better and it's the only thing worth eating. 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. I have to mention there are variables here that are different from farm to farm. 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 gamy, 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.

I prepared these steaks 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. Truth be told I would have preferred to cook these steaks out side on my Weber using a reverse sear technique but the weather was not cooperating. When you cook high end beef you are better off using the Reverse Sear technique which I wrote about here in much detail- SOUS-VIDE "VS" REVERSE SEAR.


24-36 hours in advance dry-brine the steaks. All dry-brining means is adding salt and letting them sit in refrigerator. I did mine for 36 hours because of my schedule. For more info on Dry-Brining CLICK-HERE. In this case I used Montreal steak seasoning. It's an awesome store bought seasoning. 

All Vacuumed sealed up and ready for the Thermal Bath. I will cook for two hours. 

Sous-Vide set at 128.1 degrees. There's the meat floating around in Sous-Vide container. 

After the meat finished cooking in the Sous-Vide I plunged it into an ice bath shocking it and of course lowering it's internal temp. The meat was refrigerated for a couple of hours after the ice bath. I knew I was going to smoke it and did not want the smoker cooking the steak any higher than 128.1 degrees. Refrigerating the meat like this, of course mitigates the concern that the smoker will raise the temp of the meat. 

Unfortunately I had to use my propane smoker. Yea my Weber would have been great.

Art on a plate....
De-boning for the family....
The dogs got the bones after the family gnawed on them for a bit.
Slice Filet
Loin section
Note: the steak was so good no sauce necessary. 
Cauliflower Rice and my steak.

REVIEW- One word GREAT. Melt in your mouth good. Very little and almost non-existent connective tissue and gristle. 
If you live in Gig-Harbor go to Rays for your meat!!