A couple of weeks back, the folks at Cape Grim Beef contacted me and asked if I would like to receive a sample of their product to muck around with in the kitchen. A taste of some of the best quality beef in Australia? Yes please!
Have you heard of Cape Grim? It’s a magical area on the Northwestern point of Tasmania which has been scientifically determined to have the purest air in the world. And pure, clean air means pure, clean grass. And since this grass is what the cows are eating, it has a direct affect on the taste and quality of the meat. It’s a little more complicated than that, and there are lots more impressive stats and facts on what makes this beef so tremendous, which you can read about here. But basically, the cows are hormone, antibiotic and GMO free and 100% grass fed.
Though they are better known for their steaks, CGB sent me about 4kg of their beef short ribs. Don’t let the “short” part fool you, 4kg of this calibre of meat equates to about 6 ribs. That’s six enormous Flinstone-eqsue ribs.
I may be a gun at eating BBQ, but I am a total noob when it comes to cookin it. So I hijacked a friend’s smoker for the prep then I annoyed Texas BBQ legend John Mueller to see if I could glean some cooking tips. “Don’t mess around with anything except salt and pepper for your rub”, he said. When pushed for info about cooking times and temps, he responded simply with: “Cook it hot. Listen to your instincts. You’ll know when it’s ready”. It was a total ”sensei” moment.
Unwrapping the beef, you could see just by looking at it that this was quality meat, with a fabulous colour and generous, even marble of fat throughout.
Australian cows aren’t usually grown past yearlings, which results in paler and smaller ribs than what is traditionally used in Texas BBQ.
I seasoned up the meat with a salt/pepper rub, and then placed it in the smoker. I worked on the theory that I’d go at a high temp, and a lower cooking time, using the bone in the meat to act as a heat conductor.
In total, I cooked the ribs for a period of 3 hours, until the meat had reached the internal temp that I was aiming for. The smell was incredible, and visually they looked exactly like the beef ribs I remember from Texas. Visually, they looked perfect:
When we cut into them, we realised we probably could have left them on for another two or three hours, because not all of the fat had rendered down into the meat – but we were being super picky and hard on ourselves.
Ultimately, it was the closest taste memory to Texas I’ve had so far in Australia. Despite not being perfectly cooked, the flavour of the meat was absolutely incredible. You don’t need to be a connoisseur or a “foodie’ to be able to appreciate the difference – it’s immediately evident. The ribs were packed with a richer, deeper taste and remarkable umami which was perfectly balanced thanks to the consistent marbling.
The Cape Grim beef ribs sell for $25 a kilo and you can find your local stockist in Australia here. Here’s the really cool part – you can also get Cape Grim product in the US through these guys! Finally, a post relevant to ALL sides of the Pacific! At the moment, it’s wholesale only but if you ask nicely they may hook you up. If you get the chance to try Cape Grim product, I definitely recommend it. Life’s too short to eat crappy beef!
*disclaimer: As stated above, Cape Grim Beef offered me the ribs for free, which I accepted. Whether I chose to blog about them and what I did with them was at my discretion.
Posted on May 8, 2012