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Food Find: Hedgeapple Farm Grass-Fed Beef


Grass-fed standing rib roast. (Hedgeapple Farm)

Scott Barao was not at all surprised when I called to rave about the flat-iron steak I bought from him last week. "I hear things like 'This is what I remember steak tasting like,' or 'Wow, this has flavor.' You get this rich, beef flavor that overwhelms most people," he said.

So true. I had interviewed Barao, the executive director of the Jorgenson Family Foundation which runs Hedgeapple Farm in Buckeystown, more than a year ago for a story about grass-fed beef. He had invited me to come out and see the store, a reconstructed 18th-century log cabin. I wanted to go. But it took me until now to make the trip.

Now I regret it.

I don’t cook a lot of meat at home, but Hedgeapple is turning me into a full-on carnivore. I picked up a few flat-iron steaks, seasoned them and tossed them in a cast-iron pan. The meat was rich, tender and juicy with this indescribable beefy oomph. And I didn't even splurge for the standing rib roast, which looked mighty good.

Hedgeapple has been producing grass-fed beef since 1997. Like many smaller farms, it sold quarter- and half-steers. (See my article about buying a whole animal here.) But in 2006, Hedgeapple decided to make its products more accessible by opening a small store.

You can buy individual cuts, at prices comparable to Whole Foods Market. (Hedgeapple has harder-to-find cuts such as tri-tip, flat-iron and ranch steaks.) Or buy the 40-pound premium beef box which includes rib-eye and sirlon steaks, roasts and ground beef, among other things, and get a 25 percent discount. All the meat is dry-aged for 14 to 21 days, then processed by a certified humane processor in Pennsylvania.

Buckeystown is just south of Frederick. If you live nearby, lucky you. If not, take a cooler and stock up for summer grilling. Trust me, you don't want to put this off.
-- Jane Black

By Jane Black  |  June 11, 2009; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  Staff Favorites , Sustainable Food  | Tags: Hedgeapple Farm, Jane Black  
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Comments

I used to visit a friend who lived in a 18th century log cabin in Buckystown. I wonder if it's the same one.... Now the same friend owns a farm in Pennsylvania and trucks his organic produce to farmer's markets in the Balto/Wash area. Wow! That rib roast looks good!

Posted by: davemarks | June 11, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

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