Em-i-lis the butcher?

É vero stasera. It is true tonight. Perhaps you remember my past high-praise of Piedmontese beef, a cattle varietal which hails from Italy (Piedmont if you hadn't already guessed) and has "1 or 2 copies of the inactive myostatin gene. This attribute provides a higher lean-to-fat ratio as well as a less marbled with less connective tissue cut of red meat than from cattle having the "active" version of the gene." (Wikipedia) Piedmont beef is lower fat, higher in protein and higher in Omega-3s than its non-Piedmont kin, and I happen to also love the taste and texture.

I order mine from Heritage Foods USA which is a group based in Brooklyn who's committed to heritage breeds, meat raised and slaughtered humanely and products which are traditional, sustainable and so forth. I saw "who's" rather than "that's" because they are a sincere bunch who truly seems to care about the farmers and animals with whom they work and they provide great customer service. Also, I can't find Piedmontese beef anywhere else.

Anyway, they've been out of the pre-cut Piedmontese filets, so I inquired about ordering a tenderloin which I could cut down myself. I wanted it fresh so that I didn't have to thaw and then refreeze the filets. HFU was awesome about this, and today I received one large Piedmontese cut, a grass-fed/regular beef tenderloin from White Oak Pastures (in VA) and some stateside Serrano about which I'm quite excited.

Now, I don't think I realized just what a 3-4 pound filet of beef really looked like in terms of size, much less a 7+ pounder. So when I opened the cold-shipment box at 7:45pm tonight, when it landed on my doorstep, I was a bit taken aback.

Having once been a vegetarian (for more than a decade I might add), I thought to myself, "there are two cow legs in a box in my kitchen which I must now deal with." Having also just enjoyed two glasses of wine (go Grgich Chard), I found myself a butcher knife, set up my vacuum-saver and jumped right in. I even drained out all the blood so that after cutting the filets and placing them in my vacuum bags, I could pour some back in to freeze with the meat. Growth in the kitch, folks, growth in the kitch.

Re: the cow leg comparison, this is the larger filet on a regular-sized stair in my home. Do you see what I mean??

Anyway, I got to work and found myself quite enjoying the whole process. Aiming for 7-8 ounces per filet, I hit the target every single time, as corroborated by my trusty Escali scale. T and I will enjoy these bazillion filets all winter long, probably with a number of bottles of excellent red wine that he has been buying from Lot18 at a quick clip because "we need to support my company." Of course!

Do you see the cup of drained blood? I swear to you I never thought I would handle butchery with such zeal and aplomb. T is out of town so for dinner, and this is totally off-topic, I had an all-veggie meal of leftover roasted squash and the weirdest good dip ever which I made from avocado, toasted coriander and mustard seeds, salt, pom molasses and chevre. I spread it on bread and topped it with pom seeds. Can you tell I'm on a pomegranate kick? The current Food52 contest is focused on poms so I've been experimenting like a lunatic. This was like a pomegranate guacamole. Fun.