Crowd Cow Blog

Meathead Goldywn on setting yourself up for brisket success
September 19th by Caroline S.
This is Part One of a brisket adventure I'm embarking upon. Though fall officially starts on the 22nd, Seattle decided it was time to get a move on with 50°F temperatures and rain. These chillier times call for thick sweaters and warming, delicious, slow-cooked things. I've had brisket on the mind for months now, because while this writer has prepared many cuts in her day, brisket isn't one of them. I want to master the process, and the weather's telling me the time has nearly arrived. I've set aside an upcoming Saturday for the occasion.... Read post
The Founder of Beecher's Cheese thinks beef is the next craft food
September 13th by Caroline S.
Beer. Coffee. Chocolate. Cheese. These keystones of the craft food revolution have given us some of the most easily-recognized emblems of craft, from armies of microbreweries to rainforest-certified cacao truffles to a widespread ability to distinguish Arabica from Robusta. Now Seattle's king of craft food, Kurt Beecher Dammeier, thinks beef is the next food in line for a craft transformation. (One of the photos I snapped of Mishima Reserve beef, at the "steak-off" Dammeier and I held. A story for another time.) “There's no doubt in my mind... Read post
Introducing Wagyu-Angus cross: Like Prime steaks, elevated
September 12th by Caroline S.
We’re venturing deeper into the world of Wagyu, offering more levels and special varieties of this uniquely marbled type of beef. To date, we’ve offered A5 Wagyu direct from Japan, raised in the traditional style; fullblood Wagyu raised in America and finished on grain; purebred Wagyu raised 100% on San Juan Islands pasture, eating an exclusively grass diet; and today, for the first time ever, we’re offering Wagyu-Angus cross raised by one of the original American Wagyu pioneers, Dr. Jerry Reeves, lifelong cattle rancher and animal scientist... Read post
Dahlia Lounge's head chef dishes up 2 favorite summer steak recipes
September 4th by Caroline S.
Seattle's star chef Brock Johnson is the executive chef at Dahlia Lounge, the seasons-centric Pacific Northwest restaurant icon. He recently revealed to us his two favorite summer steak dinners, which both take full advantage of what summer in the PNW has to offer. Image credit to Dahlia Lounge 1. He calls the first one “The birthday steak” because every year when he celebrates his birthday in mid-August, Chef Brock Johnson marks the occasion with the same exact meal, right down to the napkins. “It's a ribeye cooked in a pan — always in a... Read post
We asked customers and ranchers how they like their burgers
August 30th by Caroline S.
This should give you something to ponder over Labor Day Weekend. Dare we even say it might help inform your burger endeavors? First, we asked some of our partner ranchers to paint us a picture of their perfect burger meal, complete with preferred cheese and optimal side dish. Becky Harlow Weed, Harlow Cattle Company, Spanaway, WA Becky Harlow Weed, the one-woman-show owner-operator of Harlow Cattle Company in Spanaway, Washington, likes her burger cooked to medium-rare, with sharp cheddar cheese on top; and on the side, a lightly dressed,... Read post
Cluck cluck... Chickens are coming!
August 28th by Caroline S.
Since we launched Crowd Cow just over 2 years ago, we’ve been committed to connecting our members with ranchers producing some of the best beef in the world, and making it as convenient as possible to support them. But we’ve always known there’s a huge opportunity to go beyond beef, applying those same values of transparency and convenience to other meats, too. That’s why, on Wednesday, August 30, we’re excited we'll be offering pasture-raised chicken from Paul Grieve and his aptly-named Southern California farm: Pasturebird. Pasturebird is... Read post
9/6/17: A5 Wagyu returns for a holiday presale
August 21st by Caroline S.
*Update: If you make a purchase between 8/20 and 5:00pm PDT on 9/5, you'll get early access to A5 Wagyu on 9/6. Thanks to our awesome customers, July’s A5 Wagyu event was a wild success -- most of the beef sold out within 5 hours of the event’s launch. Since then, we’ve had tons of people asking us when we’d be doing our next A5 Wagyu event. The answer was, until recently: Not sure. It’s complicated. Basically, we didn’t know if we could offer another A5 Wagyu event this year, because the annual import quota imposed by the U.S. hit right... Read post
Understand our beef at a glance
August 14th by Caroline S.
We want to help you explore the wide variety of flavors, cuts, grasses, grains, and regions that make beef and ranching in the 21st century so gloriously diverse. That requires understanding our beef and farm offerings at a glance! What do the cows eat? What breed are they? Where’s the ranch? To that end, we’ve made a few changes to our event pages. Underneath each farm name, you’ll now see: The feed type The breed of cattle And the location of the farm And next to each farm name, we’ve added icons that tell you at a glance whether the... Read post
5 tips to grill the perfect summer burger
August 11th by Caroline S.
Grill on a flat surface A cast-iron pan will catch all those meaty, umami juices instead of dripping them away into the sand (tear). You can put the pan directly on the grill, just make sure to use an oven mitt! Keep the patty nice and loose You want your burger patty to be packed so loosely it’s almost falling apart. If you pack it like a hockey-puck, it’ll taste like a hockey-puck. Salt generously I’ll say this: It’s really hard to over-salt a burger. Toast the bun, always Too often flying under the radar, the bun can make or break your... Read post
The Crowd Cow guide to grilling on the beach
August 2nd by Caroline S.
Last Wednesday, the Crowd Cow team closed the office early and drove out to Golden Gardens State Park, a beautiful stretch of beach on Seattle’s Puget Sound. We’d invited our friends and families to come taste-test beef from our partner ranches, try some new burger recipes, and star in an impromptu photoshoot. It had all the makings of the perfect Pacific Northwest barbecue: white sand, plenty of sun (no small miracle in Seattle), and the Olympic Mountains rising up clear and jagged beyond the water. And the afternoon really did turn out... Read post
What is dry-aged beef?
July 23rd by Caroline S.
Long before dry-aged steaks became a hot-ticket item on steakhouse menus, people had been dry aging beef for centuries, often hanging joints of the stuff in cheesecloth or a burlap sack to keep it edible longer. Photo from Business Insider But by the 1800s, if not earlier, it was clear that preservation wasn’t the only thing dry-aging was good for. Some people began to notice that, not unlike what happens to cheese when you let it sit in a cave developing colorful, fuzzy molds, time seemed to do something strange and magical to the taste... Read post
Wagyu Haikus! Winner & Runners-Up
July 18th by Caroline S.
Congrats to Scott Evans! He's the winner of our A5 Wagyu Messermeister haiku contest, and he'll be receiving a Japanese chef’s knife from Messermeister. Scott's haiku really spoke to us. When we wrote all our favorites down on a whiteboard and tallied up the votes, his was the clear victor. Scott Evans' winning haiku Moving stuff, Scott. And check out the runner-up haikus, too. They were just too great not to share. Runner-up, submitted by Jeff Rohrer Runner-up, submitted by Alice Carmona Runner-up, submitted by James Parise Who knew... Read post
Myths & Facts: Japanese and American Wagyu
July 11th by Joe H.
We've been writing extensively about A5 Wagyu to give you some background on the Japanese beef and its well-earned reputation for rich marbling. One thing that’s become increasingly evident in the course of our research and travels to Japan is the fact that there’s a scary amount of myths out there about A5 Wagyu from Japan. So we thought we’d do some mythbusting. Myth: Wagyu is banned in the U.S. Fact: It's true that Wagyu DNA and live animals are permanently banned for export from Japan, but the meat is not. Sometimes there’s confusion... Read post
Our Journey to the Inside of The Japanese Beef World
July 6th by Joe H.
Crowd Cow broke into the innermost chambers of the Japanese beef world to become America's first-ever direct sourcer-seller of A5 Wagyu from Japan. Here's the story of how we did it. There are not a lot of people out there who have tried Japanese A5 Wagyu. But if someone you know has tried it, you've probably heard about it, in the form of happy ranting and raving. And as you can probably tell from the photo below, this is not the steak most Americans are used to. Between its through-the-roof marbling levels, and the way it's trimmed into... Read post
A5 Wagyu at a Department Store in Japan
July 8th by Joe H.
We visited a department store in Tokyo to see what we could learn about Japan's luxury beef brands and its legendary A5 Wagyu. They had Kuroge Washu A5 Wagyu for sale for $195 to $240 per pound. Here is a screenshot of Wagyu for sale on Amazon Japan for $215 per pound. Enjoy the video! Read post
Japan's 100% Traceability
July 6th by Joe H.
Japanese consumers enjoy a level of traceability that's almost unrivaled across the world. Any piece of beef in a Japanese retail store can be traced backward through the course of its product chain all the way back to the producer, and then even beyond -- to the individual animal on the farm. The way it works is this: You walk into any given store in Japan. You pick up a package of beef, spot the clearly-marked tracking number. You enter it into this website or its corresponding app, and the following information will auto-populate about... Read post
Japanese A5 Wagyu Recipes
July 6th by Joe H.
We collected a bunch of fun Wagyu recipes from around the good ol' internet to give you some inspiration. Take a look, and happy cooking! Wagyu Steak with Wasabi and Tosa Joyu (soy dipping sauce), by Famous Cuisines Channel Dave Beaulieu's Wagyu steak recipe for New York steaks Top Chef Dad's Wagyu striploin recipe for Striploin steaks Black-Pepper Crusted Wagyu New York steaks with Black Truffle Vinaigrette, from Epicurious Sous Vide Wagyu Beef Tenderloin and Green Beans, by SousVide Supreme Wagyu Striploin with Potato Terrine, by Chef... Read post
Spotlight on Kagoshima
July 6th by Joe H.
Kagoshima, Japan (鹿児島) is located in the far south of Japan in Kyushu (九州). It's a beautiful area with a storied agricultural heritage; and it's collectively responsible for around 20% of Japan's Kuroge Washu cattle, the Wagyu breed that produces Japanese A5 Wagyu. Kagoshima's year-round temperate climate and ecology are well-suited to raising healthy cattle with low stress levels, a necessary component of achieving A5 quality. This region might take the cake for producing happy cows. And it pays off in taste: Japanese beef connoisseurs... Read post
Cutting Beef Like the Japanese
July 6th by Joe H.
Japanese Wagyu is legendary in the beef world. Its unique genetics help it to produce the most insanely decadent, marbled beef on the planet. Beef this rich and marbled shouldn't be eaten like an American Angus steak (read: salted, grilled on open flame, and devoured multiple pounds at a time by a single person). I've been that person. I am that person. So believe me: Wagyu really does deserve a different treatment. For one, the literal melt-in-your-mouth tenderness means you're going to want to savor every bite. Add to that the intense... Read post
Japanese Cattle Breeds
July 5th by Joe H.
Japan produces some of the most outrageously marbled, incredibly decadent beef on the planet. And because of that, there are a lot of people outside of Japan who use the words "Wagyu" or "Kobe" or "American Kobe" to capitalize on that reputation in an attempt to charge higher prices. We're going to break it down for you in this post. In Japan, the word “Wagyu” (和牛) means “Japanese Cow.” There are four breeds under the Wagyu umbrella: Kuroge Washu (黒毛和種): Japanese Black Kassyoku Washu (褐色和種): Japanese Brown Nihon Tankakushu (日本短角種 ):... Read post
How does beef achieve "A5" status?
July 5th by Joe H.
"Out-of-this-world-good." That, plus a whole lot of incoherent salivating, is how we would describe the exquisitely marbled beef for which Japan is legendary. When it's at its absolute best, they call it "A5." The quality of the beef is almost ludicrous--across the whole planet, there is nothing better. But... what does A5 mean exactly? Let's break it down. The rating system is alphanumerical, which means it consists of a letter and a number. Ya still with me? Here's where it gets real interesting. The letter represents yield quality,... Read post
Get to Know Dragonfly Farms
June 21st by Laura T.
Set your clocks to Monday, June 26 at 8AM EST to reserve your shares from our newest farm: Dragonfly Farms. Owned and operated by Bruce and Katherine Johnson, Dragonfly Farms raises Angus-Belted Galloway cows on a rich diet of native grasses and clovers in the rural pasturelands of Beaverdam, VA. Come tour Dragonfly Farms and take a look at all the hard work the Johnson's put into raising their 100% grass-fed beef. Read post
Get To Know Novy Ranch
June 19th by Laura T.
Set your clocks to Wednesday, June 21 at 8AM PST to reserve your shares from our newest farm: Novy Ranch. Located in Northern California’s Shasta Valley, Novy Ranch is owned and operated by the Novy family. First started by Dr. Lowell Novy, a small animal veterinarian, Novy Ranch’s pasture-raised beef reflects Dr. Novy’s lifelong interest in conservation and ranching. Come tour Novy Ranch and take a look at all the hard work the Novy family puts into raising their 100% grass-fed beef. Read post
Get To Know Hat Creek Ranch
June 12th by Laura T.
Set your clocks to Monday, June 19 at 8AM PST to reserve your shares from our newest farm: Hat Creek Ranch. A 4th-generation ranch, Hat Creek is owned and operated by Henry and Pam Giacomini. Part of the Lassen National Forest, Hat Creek's cows enjoy a blend of desert grasses and forest greens that fatten them up beautifully. Come tour Hat Creek and take a look at all the hard work Henry and Pam put into raising their 100% grass-fed beef. Read post
Get To Know Bedient Farms
June 12th by Laura T.
Set your clocks to Monday, June 19, 8AM EST to reserve your shares from our newest farm: Bedient Farms. Featuring over 650 acres of rich pastureland in the Finger Lakes region of New York, Bedient Farms is owned and operated by Angela Bedient, a true one-woman show. Come tour Bedient Farms and take a look at all the hard work Angela puts into raising her delicious pasture-raised, grain finished beef. Read post
How to Smoke Meat Like a Pro with Jeff Phillips
May 16th by Sophie M.
Are you interested in making fall-off-the-bone tender ribs at home? Or do you already have a home smoking setup, and want to step up your game? We wanted to learn from one of the pros, so we sat down with Jeff Phillips, creator and editor of Smoking-Meat.com, to get the inside scoop. CC: Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into smoking meats. JP: Born and raised in North Carolina, I started grilling just out of high school and sort of taught myself through a lot of experimentation. We didn’t have the internet back then so it... Read post
Grain-Finished Beef Done Right
May 13th by Joe H.
Our goal at Crowd Cow is to help people find fantastic beef from the very best farms, raising happy cows and producing healthy meat. Within that we think there’s room for a great deal of variety. We work with farms with 100% grass-fed beef, ranches raising genetically pure Wagyu beef, and now we are also introducing farms with cattle raised on the pasture but finished with grain. Ultimately, flavor is a personal preference, and can span a wide spectrum. Everyone has their own sweet spot, and many love the flavor of grain-finished beef.... Read post
Learning About Grilling From Big Green Craig
April 19th by Laura T.
Ever wonder what it takes to grill anything at home? We thought who better to learn from than a grilling champion? We sat down with Craig Tabor, better known as Big Green Craig, two-time winner of the national Eggtoberfest grilling competition and self-described griller of anything to find out. CC: Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into grilling. BGC: I got into grilling out of necessity. My wife, who is a great cook by the way, decided one day that she lost her passion for cooking and was tired of spending the time to... Read post
Understanding Sous Vide Cooking with The Sous Vide Guy
April 13th by Laura T.
Does sous vide cooking seem like it's all the rage in the food industry these days? You've likely seen it on TV or in food magazines and blogs, but weren't quite sure how to do it yourself. We sat down with Derek Gaughan, founder of the site Sous Vide Guy, to learn what sous vide cooking is all about, and how you can get started at home. CC: Sous vide cooking is increasingly featured in cooking magazines and blogs. Why is it generating such a buzz? DG: Sous vide has been around for quite some time in very high-end restaurants. Top chefs... Read post
James Beard Award Winner Jim Foss on Easter Rib Steaks
April 7th by Laura T.
Is ham going to be the centerpiece of your Easter dinner? Again? If you’re looking to shake things up and wow your dinner guests, think about a standing rib roast or beautifully marbled rib steaks. Jim Foss knows a little something about preparing delicious beef -- regardless of the holiday. Foss is co-founder and president of Pitmaster Hospitality, a company that includes a popular barbecue restaurant in Leesburg, Va., called Smokehouse Live. The James Beard Award winner is a Philadelphia native who has lived in the Washington, D.C. area... Read post
How To Prepare a Delicious Passover Brisket
April 4th by Joe M.
Brisket is a Passover tradition. For many, a Passover meal is incomplete without this large, revered cut of beef. Others, like Stephanie Pierson, who wrote "The Brisket Book" take it even further by stating, “Some foods will improve your meal, your mood, your day, your buttered noodles. Brisket will improve your life.” While brisket can be grilled or smoked, braising is the preferred method of preparation in early April. There are countless recipes and variations for how to perfect the ideal brisket. We’ve collected a few to help you prepare... Read post
Your Guide to Frozen Beef
March 31st by Laura T.
Here at Crowd Cow, we flash freeze our beef and ship it directly to you. Freezing beef is an ideal way to preserve quality and taste. How Long Can Beef Stay In The Freezer? According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), “frozen foods remain safe indefinitely” in the freezer. So if you’ve had something in there for years, it’s still safe to eat. But that doesn’t mean it will taste all that great. The USDA offers recommendations on how long to keep meat in the freezer. Note: Beef that is vacuum sealed -- which is how all of... Read post
How To Fry the Perfect Steak
March 29th by Laura T.
A perfect steak can sometimes feel elusive. If it’s not cooked just right, it can be tough, dry and even a bit bland. Don’t despair. Follow these five simple, time-tested steps below and you’ll enjoy a mouthwatering steak in no time. 1. Use The Right Tools To fry a really good steak, you’ll need a really hot surface. We recommend using a heavy-bottomed pan that allows for maximum heat retention and an evenly-heated surface. Cast iron pans are especially great for this. Try to avoid anything with a non-stick coating. While it makes for easy... Read post
Wagyu Cooking Guide
May 11th, 2016 by Bolek S.
Wagyu is quite simply the very best beef. We've put together this cooking guide to help you get the most out of your Wagyu experience. UPDATE: For A5 Wagyu from Japan, we have prepared a very special preparation guide: How to Prepare and Enjoy A5 Wagyu The goal is to experience a quality piece of meat for what it is. A quality meat has the characteristics and profiles by which people struggle to find the right words to describe. We’re here to help you prepare your Wagyu and achieve that "eye-rolling" bite we all strive for. We've selected... Read post
How to thaw frozen meat
May 11th, 2016 by Joe H.
The best way to thaw frozen meat is by leaving it overnight in the fridge. Although it may not be the fastest way (compared to submerging it in cool water + changing the water every 30 minutes), the longevity of this process allows for an even thaw and in turn, keeps the food out of the ‘danger zone’ (40F-140F). On the other hand, we've come to be big fans of not defrosting at all before cooking beef. Except for Wagyu, which has fat that is known to melt at room temperature, it's certainly easier, and many experts say better to cook beef... Read post
Bringing Wagyu to Crowd Cow
November 12th, 2015 by Joe H.
Despite roasting a whole cow in Japan on my 20th birthday, working on a farm in Hokkaido and being a fan of Japanese cuisine, the term "Wagyu" just wasn't something I had spent much time thinking about. It means "Japanese cow" and has become synonymous with high quality beef, that much I knew. But why does it have such a stellar reputation? What are the different kinds of Wagyu? What's the difference between Wagyu in the states vs the Wagyu in Japan? And how can I get some? We wanted to answer these questions and we wanted to bring Wagyu to... Read post
Sansaire and the Art of Sous Vide
July 14th, 2015 by Joe H.
I recently had the great pleasure of cooking up some Gleason steaks from Crowd Cow's first event sous vide style by none other than Scott Heimendinger, an innovator working to bring sous vide to the masses, and co-founder of Sansaire, a leading sous vide device maker. Scott previously worked at Modernist Cuisine's culinary lab (the group led by Microsoft's former CTO that created an epic, 6-volume cook booked named "the most important cookbook of the first ten years of the 21st century" at the Paris Cookbook Fair.) Scott's sous vide... Read post
How to Cook Beef
July 1st, 2015 by Ethan L.
Here is a quick run-down of recipes and tips so you can fully enjoy your beef. Pro Tips Pro tip 1: Whatever the cut, always let meat rest 10 minutes after cooking before cutting it. The juices settle, the meat tenderizes and finishes cooking. Pro tip 2: Don’t thaw your steak before cooking: http://www.foodrepublic.com/2014/08/04/never-thaw-frozen-steaks-test-shows-that-meat-cooks-better-straight-from-freezer/ Pro tip 3: Try sous-vide! All Crowd Cow meat is shipped in sous-vide ready vacuum sealed packages.... Read post
It Begins With Happy Cows
May 14th, 2015 by Joe H.
The other day we had the privilege of spending a few hours on one of the most inspiring ranches in the state of Washington, if not the entire country. The owner, a fifth-generation rancher, showed us the rivers and barns where her grandfather played as a toddler, and explained why the considerable care and love that she puts into tending her cattle is so important to their happiness, and ultimately, to the quality of the meat. There will be much more to say about this in the coming days, but for now, please enjoy some photos from that... Read post