Animals that are grass-fed are much leaner, and because of their diet, they have nutrients that are not present in meats that are grain-fed.
PlumRich Beef, owned by Hans Plum and Bart Richey, is one local company that provides locally raised, grass-fed Texas longhorn meat to local retailers and restaurants, plus by arrangement to individual customers. Their enthusiasm for their product is overwhelming. Plum and Richey are both very health-conscious individuals who were simply seeking healthy red meat options for their families.
It started out with us just wanting to buy a couple of cows to share between our families. More wanted to join in, and we purchased three cows, Plum said about the origins of PlumRich Beef.
After that, Plum and Richey continued to find others that were interested in procuring meats from them. The longhorns they sell are grass-fed and grass-finished, meaning they do not feed them on grains to fatten them up, as many ranchers who raise grass-fed beef tend to do.
Everything cows consume affects the flavor of the final product.
It wasnt chance that the co-owners decided to concentrate on Texas longhorn. We found out that Texas longhorn was lower in cholesterol, and had less calories than most other meats, including chicken breast, Plum said. It is leaner and lower in saturated fats.
Chef Ryan Parrott uses PlumRich Beef at both Table One, a private chefs table, and Iguana Mexican Grill, 9 N.W. Ninth. At the recent head to tail dinner at Table One, chefs Parrott and Jonathan Krell served a seven-course beef dinner featuring Texas longhorn.
This was not your average steak dinner. As a matter of fact, not one single steak was served that night. The beef served was among the most tender and flavorful meat I have ever tasted.
Its like that old adage, You are what you eat. The same goes for the cows: Everything they consume affects the flavor of the final product, Parrott said.
And if the dinner didnt serve up the average beef, it also didnt stick to the average cooking process.
You really cant treat this beef like the average steak to get great results, Parrott said. This is leaner meat and requires low heat over a longer period of time. Low and slow.
Texas longhorn is not new to the Oklahoma market. The Meers Store & Restaurant in Meers, just outside of the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, has served what is considered one of the best hamburgers in the state for many years.
The store is owned by the Maranto family, and their burgers and steaks come from Texas longhorns raised on the familys own ranch.
Joe Maranto said he first thought bison would be the answer to his burgers, but he found that Texas longhorn were just as hardy and easier to handle. Plus, the health aspects of longhorn did a lot to help increase their sales, and the Meers Store & Restaurant remains a popular dining destination.
Closer to home, there are several great places to purchase grass-fed beef products in the metro, such as the OSU-OKC Farmers Market.
Epicureans Pantry, 1333 N. Santa Fe in Edmond, carries ground beef and roasts from PlumRich Beef, as well as grass-fed beef from the local NoName Ranch (which can also be found at Irmas Burger Shack) and Cattle Tracks Natural Beef.
Leah Haskins, owner of Epicureans Pantry, said she found that grass-fed beef was a great source of antioxidants, as well as a great source of lean protein. And when prepared right, it is delicious.
No matter what variety you choose, grass-fed beef is truly a healthy red meat option.
Meat on the Menu
Ready to try it for yourself? Heres where to find grass-fed beef in the metro.
OSU-OKC Farmers Market The OSU-OKC Farmers Market is held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday during the winter.