the weight of the steak


When I was researching what piggy options a city girl had, I discovered Feather and Bone, in Rozelle. A supplier of sustainably raised meat. I started getting their weekly emails filled with interesting meaty information and what’s on offer at the moment. From there, I went to one of their open days and got to see for myself at how it was all done, coming home with a weighty little number that had cook me up just right, written all over it.

I’ve written before about knowing where your meat is from and asking whether you would be prepared to do the killing yourself. Reading back on that post I realised that even in the last not quite 6 months our meat buying habits have changed since then. I’m fine with that, I like evolving. I now very rarely buy any meat from a super market or butcher. Instead, the meat intake has dropped even less, and the majority of it is now coming from farmers markets. If those markets are few and far between because I can’t get there or the meat isn’t available, then so is the meat eating. Why? Because I really want to know where it’s from. I want to know more of how it was raised before slaughter, who reared it and if possible, what their farming philosophies are like. I simply can’t get this if I’m buying from the supermarket.

Meat has been the topic of choice in this fair country of ours for the last few weeks. Ever since the ABC’s Four Corners program was shown about the live cattle export business to Indonesia, people have had things to say. A lot of things to say. The footage was graphic, confronting and got people into action to get things changed.

It might have changed Indonesia’s meat eating habits for a bit as the supply from Australia has almost stopped, but would it be enough for people to question their own meat eating habits here within Australia? Could that daily/weekly slab of meat become less? Could it become just a special occasion meal?

Back to the weighty number in my possession, and I had a little treat in store for Mr Chocolate. Special occasion, yes it was. After visiting the warehouse of Feather and Bone, I came home with a steak. Not just any steak but a Chianina steak, aged for 6 weeks, rib eye cut, weighing 673g and costing $45. There was, a small intake of breath, (you can’t fight history right) at the cost of it, but overall I was more than happy to hand over the cash for the hefty piece of meat. I knew where the beef was coming from, I knew how long and where it was aged and butchered, (Feather and Bone.) I also knew that this steak was going home to my loved one as part of a twice a year meal of steak, (the last one being at Aria.) It was also going to be enjoyed by him, (I hoped.)

Now on getting that steak home, I started to sweat a little. Not from the weight of the thing, but the pressure to cook it the right way. (To clarify, I don’t eat steak, which means I don’t cook steak.) This however, was a treat. It had to be cooked just right. I had quizzed Grant, (at Feather and Bone) when I purchased it and then also made a frantic phone call to my friend who proudly has Meat on her bookshelf. Plan put into action and I’m off.

Plates at the ready, the steak was brought back to room temperature, salted, seared, into the oven, and then rested for the same amount of time it had cooked for. The pressure was high, the weight of the steak was sitting firmly on my shoulders, and geez, it was a hefty one.

No cooked pictures, as that was the last thing I needed was to try and get a ‘good’ picture in the fading light and building anticipation of Mr Chocolate about to cut into his rib eye.

But how did it taste?

Let’s just say… if Mr Chocolate was about to leave the earth tomorrow and he could choose any meal to end it, this steak cooked by me (*nervous giggle*) is now top of the list.

I think that just might be a success.

Isola (producer)

Chianina Beef

6 week aged

Rib eye

673g

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22 thoughts on “the weight of the steak

  1. That’s a very interesting post. I also don’t eat a lot of meat and that is also because I just don’t know where it comes from a lot of the time. King island beef from well treated cows is also very expensive. There is always the Otway free range pork option and then Lilydale free range chicken but then whilst they supposedly treat their chickens well, they have been under criticism by several groups for their ill treatment of human workers…it’s not an easy business trying to purchase ethically is it! Sounds like you’re onto a good thing though…

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  2. Four Corners have certainly stirred up something of a hornets nest with that program – and I’m pleased about that. There is a great deal more interest now in ethically produced meat.

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  3. I like your philosophy around purchasing. It has come to the forefront of late and I hope more people start to think about the process too 🙂 We’ve become more aware of fruit and vegetables, and organic food in general, so it seems like meat purchasing should be starting to catch up too. I”m sure it tastes better as well!

    This may be my last comment for a little while, so have a great time on your holiday when you make it off (ash pending…fingers crossed!) 🙂

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  4. Magnificent looking steak! I think you’re absolutely right, and we all need to be making more informed decisions about what we eat. Of course, every person needs to find their own line in the sand, but I reckon we should try and do that with as much information in hand as we can.

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    • Yep, you are right. People do need to find their own line and be prepared too for that line to change, whether it’s forwards or backwards given their circumstances.
      …and I thought the steak looked like a good one too 🙂

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  5. A 673g steak for one person in a single sitting. No wonder it is top of the ‘final meal on the earth’ list! 😉

    I haven’t heard of this place, but I should pay them a visit. Good meat is expensive, but that is for a reason.

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  6. This is a timely post for me. We have been eating less meat and I reckon if you eat less, you want it to be really good and can afford to spend well on ethical farming practices. Thanks for linking to this butcher. I am off to get on their email list x

    PS I don’t eat steak either (no red meat actually) but I reckon the Geege would think all his Christmases had come at once with that slab of steak!

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  7. We eat less meat around here too, which offsets the higher cost of farmer’s market meat. I learned the other day that farmer’s market grass fed beef has way more omega 3s and 6s in it, than the grain (corn) fed beef that is the standard. Plus a T-bone steak from corn fed beef has 9 grams of fat, compared to a free range grass fed equivalent, at 1.3 grams. Free range, grass fed is the way to go! Where I live bison is available, so I have been opting for that instead of beef.

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  8. I can understand the weight of your steak, but it sounds like you bore it successfully!

    I eat very little meat for economic and provenance reasons, and think that in the future meat will become more expensive and this way of eating will become more normal again – as it used to be when families would have a roast on a Sunday and then make the remains last the next few days too.

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  9. I think that is an Italian breed of animal. I certainly see them there. I haven’t bought meat from a supermarket (or any other type of fresh food) for years. We don’t eat as much meat as we used to. If I had to kill it myself I would most definitely be a vegetarian. The 4 Corners programme has certainly made people sit up and take notice. Let’s hope there are lasting good results.

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  10. Wow, totally wasn’t expecting that fantastic meaty picture when I opened your post. I love that you came home with a steak, and not just any steak mind you… A man sized steak. Oh how I’d love that piece of meat right now. (Im not being dirty if that sounds at all dirty).
    And good on you buddy, your a steak cooking extrodinare, and how lucky is Mr Chocolate, super sweet too. proud of ya sista. Im off to the kitchen to pop a giant piece of meat on the shopping list. You’ve inspired me.

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  11. growing up on a farm i got to experience first hand how the lamb got from the paddock to the plate, from a young age. i think if all meat eaters spent some time in a slaughter house, many would rethink their choices.

    these days we mostly limit red meat to weekends. primarily for health reasons.

    interesting topic.

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  12. What a rewarding post for a beef cattle farmer who cares about her animals to read. We really have been encouraging everyone we know to buy things you know the origin of…. even know the farmer. In our area we would like to get a few people who are buying meat from us after we have it done at our local butcher. They get to see how well our animals are cared for and what we feed them.
    For people in the city , there may just be a producer an hour or so away who when approached would really be happy to do a bulk order for them….or simply find a really great butcher like you have . It works out for the farmer too , we like to know where the things we produce are going. The fact that people who care about humane and sustainable farming are out there is a good thing for farmers too.
    Most small scale farmers would prefer to work in a system like this, it is just a matter of people finding us and interacting with us.
    Kim
    http://thelittleblackcowblogspot.com (and don’t worry we didn’t eat the little black cow in the photo, it will be with us forever as she is a much loved pet)

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  13. It is simply wonderful to read your experience with our beef, makes us smile.
    Say hello to Mr Chocholate and tell him in Tuscany (where Chianina is the local breed of cattle) the steak would have been referred to as a “bistecca alla fiorentina” and served with white Canellini beans and a glass of Chianti.
    Here’s a link to how it is traditionally served.

    Best Wishes
    Sam and Daniela
    http://www.chianina.com.au

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    • Sam and Daniela thank you so much for taking the time to comment and post that link. I just showed Mr Chocolate and he declared he was hungry. Your website looks wonderful and it just reinforces to my why I do want to make these careful purchasing choices when buying meat. Thank you.

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