Foodie Journal

Thinking Differently About Food Sourcing

Have you ever been to a meat cutting party? The culinary crew with the Newport Restaurant Group gathered recently to do just that with an entire grass-fed, crossbred Red Devon steer, provided by Greg …

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Have you ever been to a meat cutting party? The culinary crew with the Newport Restaurant Group gathered recently to do just that with an entire grass-fed, crossbred Red Devon steer, provided by Greg Lynch and Patrick Beck, partners at New England Grass Fed LLC.

The steer arrived frozen, and it took more than 24 hours for it to defrost in the walk-in cooler at Castle Hill Inn in Newport. Eight chefs participated in the meat-cutting experience, dividing up the meat for restaurants in the Newport group: Trio in Narragansett, Boat House in Tiverton, Waterman Grille and Hemenway’s in Providence, 22 Bowen’s, The Mooring and Castle Hill Inn, all in Newport.

According to Beck, the chefs were excited to see the dense, dark red meat and the internal marbling. He pointed out that the buttery yellow fat was full of B vitamins and soluble Omega-3 fats. “The Devons retain the old qualities that make them hardy, a good all-rounder for the small traditional farmer,” Beck says. “Because they don’t grow so big, they were overlooked for many years but have recently emerged as the class of the field among those who know truly outstanding grass-fed beef.”

Steaks, roasts and short ribs piled up during the meat-cutting party. The meat was trimmed, and those trimmings were used to make kielbasa, salami and bresaola. Some of the meat was ground for burgers. All in all, the chefs got nearly an 80 percent yield, pretty remarkable when 60 to 63 percent is normally considered a good yield from a butcher.