Regular readers of this site know that we try to source ingredients from as close to home as possible, but when that isn’t possible, we try to find the best non-local source for what we need. Often, that means we order by mail from producers who may not be nearby, but who are raising or producing their product in a sustainable way. So when a representative from La Cense Beef contacted me, I was intrigued. I had heard about the company and knew that they were raising their beef on grass, but that was about it. So I did a little digging – I wanted to make sure that before I agreed to sample and promote their product here, that they were the real deal, and not some company trying to cash in on the “trendiness” of grass-fed.
I saw that friends and fellow food bloggers had sampled and written about La Cense, and one of those posts led me to this video clip. The footage took my breath away, and pretty much convinced me to give their beef a try. Arrangements were made, my shipment arrived late last week and we had our first taste last night.
We decided to start with the petite sirloins. We had received two, and at just under 5 oz. each, we could each have a steak to ourselves. We thawed them and Mike salted them Monday morning, leaving them uncovered in the fridge until we were ready to cook them Tuesday evening. When we can’t cook meat over a hardwood fire, our preferred method is to sear them in cast iron. Because of our hard-wired and very touchy smoke detector, this often requires opening up all of the doors and windows in the kitchen, but the results are worth it.
As others have done when sampling their La Cense beef, I decided to keep the preparation simple so that the flavor of the meat could really shine – the steaks were seasoned with nothing but salt, and seared in a bit of oil, about 3 minutes per side. We ground a little pepper over them before setting them aside to rest. I kept the sides simple, too – roasted potatoes tossed with Herbes de Provence and a little grated parm, and sautéed kale with lemon vinaigrette.
The steaks were very good – lean but still juicy, with that unmistakable grass-fed flavor. We usually go for richer cuts like ribeye when we have steak, and Mike mentioned at one point that he was missing the fat a little, but that didn’t stop him from polishing off his entire sirloin and a few bites of mine. I do think that since this is such a lean steak, it would benefit from a little added fat in the form of a compound butter or rich pan sauce – for our tastes, anyway. But that’s something to keep in mind for next time.
(Stay tuned for details on how you can win a package of grass-fed beef from La Cense… )