Blended Beefs

Here Comes ‘Single-Origin’ Beef

Totally overworked, but some subtle hints of Buffalo grass.
Totally overworked, but some subtle hints of Buffalo grass. Photo: Gregory Gerber / Shutterstock

If you’re fed up with the meat industry’s penchant for ground-beef blends, this weekend has an event for you. Here’s the Beef!, a “burger dinner featuring single-origin beef” being put on in the Berkshires by Red Apple Butchers, is a $95 beef “cupping,” if you will, meant to support local cattle farmers and highlight the unique flavors of their breeds. Dinner consists of six three-ounce burgers served simple on brioche rolls, “pickles and condiments on the side,” plus one sleeper burger made from produce-aisle meat, just to hammer the group’s point home.

The varieties do sound delicious — a nearly extinct heritage breed called Randall, an out-there Jersey breed that normally nobody eats, and Ioka Farm’s corn-fed “mixed-breed beef from cows that eat corn grown right on the farm just for them.” But attendees expecting to eat should also be ready to basically have “grass-fed” exposed as meat’s “dark roast” while discussing micro-lots, the Ioka Farm beef’s striking “grain finish,” and how the Jersey beef’s unusual terroir imparts a “beautiful” grassy flavor, suggesting it’s all just a matter of time before cleaver-wielding butchers are slapping all their ground chuck with delicate tasting notes.

[Official event, Berkshire Eagle]

Here Comes ‘Single-Origin’ Beef