Starting with last summer's farmers market, our family has taken to foraging for food on Saturdays. Some months we forage more than others. For example, when on bed rest, it is all we can do to remain fed, let alone go on foraging excursions. Since my cortisone shots and osteopathic manipulation therapy this week, I have been feeling well and itching to get out of the house. So, being Saturday, we went foraging!
For months, I have heard about Black Earth Meats, but I was initially skeptical to try them. While their prices for grassfed and organic meats are great, they did not reply to several emails I sent inquiring about their buyer's programs. And, being contrary by nature, I wrote them off. Unfortunately, I have found our local farm source drying up, and prices at a nearby store are not nearly as nice as I'd like.
So. Off to Black Earth. If nothing else, it is a pretty drive through the countryside to get there, and Nathan and I have always liked to take the scenic route. We bundled the kids into the car with the promise of a nice drive and a "meat snack" once we reached our destination.
The store had a surprising variety of meat cuts, and it was fairly reasonable if you were buying meat by the cut. With four of us to feed (and a fifth causing me to consume everything in sight!), we need to buy a bit more meat, though, so we inquired about the buyer's programs. AGAIN.
For a hindquarter of beef, their prices are excellent! For grassfed beef, including wrapping , we only paid $2.79/lb, and we are getting a wide variety of roasts, steaks, organ, stew, and ground meat. The staff were very patient with us, and walked us through the entire cutting process, guiding us as to typical portion sizes, cuts, and variety. Definitely an excellent experience!
While we were there, we picked up some "meat snacks" for the kids, including beef sticks, which were some of the tastiest we've tried in a while, and dried beef. The dried beef was absolutely divine, and we're headed back in a few weeks to pick up some more!
Last, but definitely not least, we picked up some pineapple brats for our dinner tonight, and boy, were they something. They were a different flavor to those we get from Ruef's Meat Market in New Glarus, but the casings were soft enough for babies to eat. Another win.
Chalk today's excursion up in the win column! :-D