Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Want To Win An Artisan Steak Tasting?

If you're reading this post you are probably a fan of Greg Rempe of the BBQ Central Show (LATalk Radio) and heard me on his radio show talking about how to find artisan quality beef. Well hopefully you were listening carefully as we have a little contest here and the winner is going to be one very happy steak lover.

We're giving away one of my Discover Beef Experience Artisan Steak Tasting packs! An artisan steak tasting is like a wine tasting but with steaks. You'll receive four 10 to 12 oz steaks, one each from four different artisan beef producers, each specializing in a different breed, growing region, diet, and aging technique. I'll also send you one of my Artisan Beef Institute steak tasting guides and a how-to for hosting a steak tasting at your home. Finally, you'll receive a personal consultation from me to make your tasting a huge success.

Now I have to admit that I'd be really grateful if you read a bit of my blog or visit my online marketplace, The Oliver Ranch Company, and sign up for my newsletter (don't worry, I don't sell or let people borrow or pay for your email address).

But, to win the Artisan Steak Tasting pack, all you have to do is leave a comment below listing one of the 8 criteria I use to help identify artisan quality beef.

When you comment, make sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win. Sorry, because the border police make tend to make life difficult when shipping internationally, this offer is good for shipments to the Continental US, only. The contest closes at 11:59pm EST on Sunday, March 15, 2009. I will use some whiz bang software to select a winner at random.

If you post a link on Twitter or your blog referring people back to this contest you'll automatically be entered a second time. Make sure to come back and leave a new comment with a link back to your post.

If you didn't hear the show, go back and listen to the podcast, it's great! If you're clever, you'll also find the answers on one or both of my sites.

Finally, if you want to read about a tasting, pay a visit to SteamyKitchen and read her hilarious blow-by-blow of a tasting last fall here.

Good luck, and thanks for the visit!


Chez US said...

The Ranch, Breed, what it was feed, region from and aging technique!

Great listening to you on the BBQ show! We hope your fancy number generator picks us! ;) Would love to blog about it!

Anonymous said...

Great show! I would really love to win those artisan steaks. The criteria you said that I like best is low stress. I didn't know that stress could make steak taste different, but it just makes sense doesn't it? (yuk.) Steve. (steve_foodfriend @Yahoo dotcom)

Anonymous said...

Oh, that's easy. I want to know the name of the farm, to know I can trust the people who raised it. ps Thanks for getting the word out there! Chrissy [at] volcano [dot] com.

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

The breed, lack of hormones and steroids and diet! I want beef!!!!

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

The breed, lack of hormones and steroids and diet! I want beef!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Carrie! One of the eight criteria that you use to select artisan beef is that growth hormones and other drugs to prevent illness are not used to raise the cattle.

I'm heading to Twitter right now to post a link to the contest!

dennisccobb at gmail dotcom

Anonymous said...

Farm Location

Anonymous said...

Farm Location Also Location of Slaughter House

Carrie Oliver said...

Thank you @ChezUS, Judy (@nofearentertaining), Steve, Chrissy, and truly anonymous. You are good - dead on, all these are important. Seems lots of you aren't on gmail thus need to post anonymously. Please do leave your email or send me one at carrie [at] oliverranch [dot] com so I can find you if you win the artisan steak tasting pack.

Let's keep asking these questions!

carondg said...

Carrie, you're doing terrific work. I'm still hoping we can have you out in San Diego to do a beef tasting and give people some inspiration to demand grass-fed artisan beef! One local market chain I hope gets some enlightenment is Henry's, which is otherwise so focused on selling organic produce and health care products.

Carrie Oliver said...

Dennis - I saw your post on Twitter, too. Thank you for listening to Greg's show and for your comments! The use of added growth hormones - I understand it from one perspective, it takes a long time to get cattle to market weight and cash is tied up on the way. I think a lot of us would struggle with cash flow if we were paid just once or twice a year. Hopefully by connecting meat lovers more directly with growers we can make it economically viable to raise beef without these stimulants. AND get better food while we're at it. Okay, off the soapbox :-)

glamah16 said...

Like wine, terrior is important because that can determine so many things in taste and texture.
I would so love to win this. And the man of the house to. Will tweet this.

Gold Bar BQ said...

I have listen and learned from both of your guest appearances on the BBQ Central show. Have also posted the Podcast on my site and would be proud to post both a link to Discover Beef blog (what a nice blog) & Oliver Ranch Just a few of the eight thing I have learned. Know the ranch, Must be vegetarian cow, No chewing gum, No yuck in the feed just good healthy cows, Be gentle, Aged in peace for 7 days or more.

BBQ Central said...

Thanks for another great appearance, Carrie! And thanks to everyone who tuned in!!

I recuse myself from winning!!


Peter M said...

Carrie, you must send some up my way! The cattle must be humanely treated, grass fed and they are best cooked from a Canadian dude, up in Toronto.

Send them over to truenorth67 AT gmail DOT com. ;)

Andy said...

The feed supplied without all the nasty stuff. Lack of stressing the animal and slaugthering techniques.

Andy said...

Feed without the hormones and other nasty stuff. Not stressing the animal. And the slaughtering techinques used.

Andy said...

Non hormone feed. less stress on the animal and the butchering techiques used

Anonymous said...

Sounds Delish! Posted to twitter too http://twitter.com/drumrigj/

jason.drumright at gmail dotcom

Curt McAdams said...

No growth hormones, and low stress.

There's my 'entry'! I am ready to win! :)

Anonymous said...

Breed, region, aging technique.

I'd love to win!

email to nealsville(at)yahoo(dot)com

Carrie Oliver said...

Peter, if you win, I'll find a way to bring some over the border and then I'll host a tasting for you. It's legal, just tricky b/c can't control temp. in plane. Trying to find some artisan ranches here, too, for #meatcamp this Spring in Toronto. (#meatcamp is name christened by the local tech community for my Provenance of Beef artisan steak tasting series.)

Tony M said...

Aging technique and low stress. Happy cows make good steaks I guess! It was nice hearing you on the show. The wife, kids and I would *love* to sample some of your steaks!

Carrie Oliver said...

Greg, thank you for inviting me on the show! You do a great job, I always learn something new, and it's fun.

Andy, come back, come back and leave your email address, it doesn't show in your profile.

Caron, you're great to stop by and thanks - I know you know a lot about meat so call me flattered. San Diego is definitely on the list, I need to go back and revisit locations. Does Henry's at least carry artisan quality grain-finished beef?

Curt & Bob, I'm excited that BBQ pros like you stopped by to leave a comment. You'll make a BBQ Meister out of me, yet. Need a smoker, first. A good birthday gift now that I think of it.

Glamah, happy to help make your man happy. Good luck and congratulations again on your great TV appearance in celebration of Black History Month.

Neal, nice to meet you! We didn't really get into it during the show but aging is really critical, it makes such a difference in texture and also flavor.

Jason, I saw your post on Twitter, thanks very much. An artisan steak tasting is indeed delicious. Fun and enlightening, too.

Bo Carlson said...

1- Specific ranch or producer group (source-verified).

2- Single breed or cross-breed.

3- No added growth hormones (steroids, yuck!).

4- No preventative antibiotics (if they can't keep healthy without 'em...)

5- All vegetable diet, no funky stuff in there like stale chewing gum.

6- Treated gently on farm, in truck, at yard (if relevant), & at slaughterhouse.

7- Dry-aged or wet-aged for at least 7 days

8- Bonus points: certified organic, humane, grass-only diet, holistic.

urban bohemian said...

An all vegetable diet and no growth hormones.

What a great offering, I'll definitely mention this on twitter as well!

brian [at] urbanbohemian [dot] com

Carrie Oliver said...

Bo - EXACTLY. That is indeed my list. Trying to make the official Artisan Beef Institute "cheat sheet" downloadable but will refer people to your comment in the meantime ;-)

Brian - Thanks for the post on Twitter! Bet your friends in would line up to join you for a tasting.

Mark said...

My favorite criteria is the "All vegetable diet, no funky stuff". What a great looking selection of beef - thanks for being a guest on the show!


Link to your site on my blog at http://texascookin.blogspot.com/

Dave Toso said...

The Artisan Steaks would be a big hit here in Boulder CO. The whole-food concept, organic and so on. It is the wave of the future.

cesalmon said...

No added growth hormones!

Lover of great Beef!

spice-guy said...

Yes knowing the breed is important, 8-) and having an all veggie diet is really important, as well as the ranch that it comes from. All 8 are important if you ask me. :-) I'm must have some.

Aaron M. said...

My personal favorite criteria is the low stress one as it was one that I had never considered before, but makes total sense when you get into it. Thanks for the blog and the contest!
Aaron (willardthegreat@hotmail.com)

Aaron Managhan said...

I personally enjoyed the low-stress criteria as it was one I had never heard about before. I found it really interesting to dig into. Thanks for the blog and the contest!
Aaron (willardthegreat@hotmail.com

Mrs. Airboss said...

Eating organic is so important to your health that I don't know why everyone isn't on board. Although cost is a factor these days and we are all looking for ways to economize, nutrition is no place to cut corners. You are doing all of us a great service Carrie, thanks.

monicaeva said...

breeding, region, butcher, aging.
pick me pick me!

The show was great and very eye-opening. I will definitely spreading the word! Thanks.


Darren Barr said...

Making sure to check where the animal is sent to slaughter is important. Need to make sure animal wasn't totally stressed out before it was dispatched.

Half of my family worked as butchers at Ralphs markets for years. This site is really informative and I love finding out all these great techniques to improve the quality of meat I select. Thanks!

Darren Barr said...

Here is the link to the RT and my email is Darren(at)DarrenBarr.com http://twitter.com/DarrenBarr/status/1284637534

Deano said...

This is awesome It all comes down to many things like you said but I am going to go with the Breed :)


FranMag said...

I sure hope aging technique is one of the criteria because I would love to win the tasting pack!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I love taste tests. A friend gave me this book, Tasting Club, for Christmas, but it doesn't include a chapter on steak!

As for identifying artisan quality beef: breed, growing region, diet, aging techniques.

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Forgot to include my coordinates in the last comment: whiskfoodblog [at] gmail [dot] com

Foodbat said...

Carrie, keep fighting the good fight! I had a blast at the steak tasting in seattle. Would love to re-create the tasting at home with my husband, who was very sorry he couldnt come and meet everyone!

Kristen said...

BEEF! I want some for dinner!

Region, feed/diet, breed are some of the criteria. Sorry to miss your Seattle tasting.


Thanks Carrie!

EAT! said...

Farm location - seems really important to me.

Oh would I love that beef. My husband would be a happy man too.

David said...

no antibiotics, no growth hormone.

ChefBud said...

This is one of my favorite finds yet on twitter. I was so happy to see one of my sources listed, "James Ranch" in Durango, CO.

I have never thought to compare wine and beef in ways you did. Things like terroir and husbandry and aging. Thank you for all of this useful and interesting information.

I would love to win a tasting and do a tasting on my LIVE COOKING SHOW. Twitter @chefbud and http://chefbud.com. Once again thanks for the info treat!

John said...

Was the beef aged properly? Was it raised in a low-stress conditions? Was it an all vegetable diet? Name of the farm?

Pick me Pick me!

John H

Anonymous said...

Breed is one of the criteria. I love what you are doing. Its so important to know how your food was raised and where is came from. We are so detached from the food we eat.

Erickorte at aol.com

SmokeInDaEye said...

Words I live by myself, "no growth hormones"! Great stuff here as always, Carrie! I need to place an order soon for some wonderful ribeyes. clint[at] smokeindaeye.com

Tylo's Mom said...

Aging is one of the techniques.

I would love to win the tasting. LOVE meat and love the idea of trying to taste the difference. My hubby and I go to steakhouses all the time and are always shocked at how the meat can taste so difference from one to the next, sometimes from one month to the next at the same restaurant! Hope things go well with your company!

Tylo's Mom said...

I also put Oliver Ranch on my blog!


Taste-Liss Cookers said...

Enjoyed listening to you on the BBQ Show. No hormones, steroids, or drugs. Grass feed and low stress.

Katie @ goodLife {eats} said...

No added hormones or steroids.


Megan said...

Diet, lack of stress, and no hormones make for a happy, healthy, better tasting cow. I would love to try the difference!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Diet and aging technique would be the big things for me. And here's hoping the random numbers skew my way, lol!

@HeatherHAL said...

I'd love to win some of your amazing beef. One of the factors I believe you note as important is the region where the cattle are grown, and the breed of cattle. Oh, that's two! I'm also signing up for your newsletter and will pretend I'm eating your product versus the ribeye from my local butcher (which is great but prolly not *artisanal"!

Megan said...

I tweeted!!!

Carolyn G said...

I like that you are concerned about how the beef was slaughtered. That is so important.

Rob Smart said...

Hello Carrie,

I couldn't miss getting in on your contest, and hope it has been successful at raising awareness of artisan beef and your business.

As for the things to look for, here is my entry:

Region and ranch.
No added growth hormones
No preventative antibiotics (even more so now with Kristol's NYTimes piece).
Gentle husbandry.
Proper aging.


Rob Smart
Calais, VT

Elaine - said...

What breed and cross breed?
Where was it grown?
What farm did it come from?

Great idea for people to understand and experience the differences in area beef is raised in concert with how they are fed?

Would make a great article. Will happily Tweet about this great concept.

Elaine - The Gourmet Girl said...

What breed and who is the breeder/farm?
What region is it from?
What aging technique was used?
Also, where was the meat slaughtered?

What a great way to raise awareness about the differences between beef.

Will happily Tweet about this great concept.

Chris Kerston said...

I think knowing who the producer was is one of the most important things to know about the meat you eat. Good ranchers will consistently product quality, humane, healthy, and palatable meats.