Grind 2: The Sequel

Cooking is easy. Mother Nature + the skill of a responsible farmer = the only recipe you should ever fuss over.

Rather than filling your shelves with epic recipe books, how about breed charts that describe the gastronomic wonders of every livestock variety? “One 32-ounce flank steak” as the prime mover in a recipe is not enough information for the enlightened carnivore. Where does that beef come from— farm and breed, please! And was it from a happy cow that led a decent cow life, grazing and doing happy cow things? Or was it a prisoner of American industry?

Cattle are a lot more nuanced than you might think. Dig this: Piedmontese and Belgian Blues are the only two breeds of cow that have the “double-muscle” gene, which makes them extraordinarily tender. And these cows are loaded with myostatin, a protein that inhibits muscle differentiation and growth. As a result, you get a supremely tender and delicious cut of beef. Contrast that with the Angus—which has more tooth and is especially good for dry-aging. The Simmental, a Swiss cow originally bred to stand up to thin air in the Alps, requires a serious knife and some sharp incisors when it comes time to eating. But its grain packs a lot of distinct flavor. The Akaushi is tangy with hints of blue cheese and olive oil. It has a rich aged flavor with a long aftertaste.

Being intimate with the supply chain is where it’s at, which is why Heritage Foods USA is an ingredient-based philosophy. Be a friend and fan of the beast. Food is very personal, and knowledge is power. And when it comes right down to it, it’s the meat, not the motion.

About Patrick Martins

Patrick Martins was born in New York City's Mount Sinai Hospital on February 10th, 1972 and has lived in the city ever since. Patrick received a Masters' Degree in Performance Studies at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Patrick is a founder of Slow Food USA, Heritage Foods USA, Heritage Radio Network and the New York City Trivia Game.