Testing Meats

brisketI made brisket last night for Passover.  I usually order a brisket from Dicksons but instead ordered one from the new butcher down the street, El Colmado.  We ended up not getting the full amount that I wanted so we picked up a second piece of meat at Citarella.  I figured it would be great to do a little taste test.

I should have taken a picture of the raw meat.  The different is huge.  The one from El Colmado was beautiful.  A healthy piece of meat that has been treated with care without added hormones and more than likely grass fed.  Citarella’s meat doesn’t look like that.

I started buying meat from local butchers almost a decade ago.  Now I wouldn’t buy anywhere else unless I had no choice.  Particularly after last night’s taste test.  The difference between the two meats was not only obvious to the eye it was obvious to the taste.  Those meats were the same size.  They cooked in the oven at 225 in a sauce for 10 hours in the same pot.  The meat from El Colmado was perfect.  Tasty, falling apart, had absorbed the sauce and was delicious.  The Citarella meat would have needed to cook another 10 hours to capture that and even then it would not have been the same thing.

It wasn’t like I didn’t expect these results but seeing them and tasting them really drives the issue home.  If you are going to eat meat, buy it from a local butcher who sources the meat from grass fed quality farms that don’t administer hormones or antibiotics at any point in the life of the animal.  The difference is incredible.

If you haven’t figured out which is which from the photo the meat on the left is from El Colmado and the meat on the right is from Citarella.


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    YupI’ve stopped buying meat or fish from anyone other than the producers/foragers or a very select group of shops.Can’t remember the place in Williamsburg I got my briskett from last year but we agree.What is interesting about Whole Foods is that they have–to their credit–created a scale for meat from 1-5 based on a number of criteria. What you have is probably #5. But they admit and mark that nothing in the store is more that #2 or 3.Happy Holiday to you. Last night with the Israeli’s, today with my mom.

    1. ellen sing

      I am so disappointed with whole foods. Their tenderloin is horrible and my husband can always tell if I pick up a piece of salmon from whole foods. It doesn’t taste fresh. That store is overrated.

      1. awaldstein

        Their meat is not where I buy.My point is that they created a scale of excellence and at least place themselves at the bottom.Not the place to shop for meat–or fish–in New York at least.

        1. Erin

          But whole foods’ meat is at least organic right? Or grass fed or something?

          1. pointsnfigures

            They have both. Give Whole Foods credit for moving the ball forward. One of the biggest hurdles is education of the public. Research is showing that there are chemical differences in pastured meat, and that makes a difference in your gut bacteria-which they are finding has a gigantic effect on health.

          2. awaldstein

            HmmDon’t agree with this as I’ve spoken with them.Toughest thing for them with meat and fish is supply not education of the consumer.

          3. awaldstein

            Nope.But clearly marked.I work with them with one of my investments and they both disclose and do care.

        2. ellen sing

          same thing in Newton, Massachusetts where we have 2 whole foods.

      2. LE

        Amazing! Same thing at the Whole Foods where I am and I was just remarking to my wife the other night about the Salmon and freshness.

    2. Gotham Gal

      Happy Holiday to you too

  2. pointsnfigures

    My first angel investment (2005) was tallgrassbeef.com. still going, in the black but probably won’t be the blow out firm we envisioned! You can certainly taste the difference between a factory farmed commoditized animal and one that is pastured. I wouldn’t mandate that the factory farms go out of business. I’d end all the subsidies in the food/farm industry though. Then the market could decide. I bet your way wins.I saw this article this morning: http://jeffsiegel.liberty.m… You might find it interesting.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Thank. Will readI’d end all subsidies too

    2. Erin

      It could be a blow out firm if they updated the look of their website. That bill Curtis guy has an amazingly convincing speaking voice.

      1. pointsnfigures

        Yup. At some point, it all becomes about the marketing!

        1. Erin

          It’s “the experience”.

  3. Doug Ellis

    Can you post your brisket recipe? My butcher is Florence.

  4. Stuart Willson

    i made this/your recipe once 4-5 years ago. easy (and delicious) enough that even a christian can do it!

    1. Gotham Gal