Most of the beef at US supermarkets is less than two years old, but I finally found some vodka vieja or old cow in order to be able to try it. And it came from Chama Valley Meat Company, but more on them in just a little bit. As animals age, their flavor deepens and develops. And if you've ever had veal, which is young cow, you'll know that it's super tender, but it doesn't have a lot of beef flavor and flavor is really what I'm looking for. So if it's an animal ages, it gets more flavor. Why is it so hard to find at the supermarket? And for starters, farmers are out there trying to make a living and make money. And so they look really closely at the inputs and amount of care required to get an animal up to marketable size. And as an animal grows at a point, that growth rate will start to slow or even level off and completely stop.
But that animal still requires food and care in order to be able to keep it healthy. And all of that makes it more expensive to raise. So if you wanna maximize profits, you tend to slaughter the animal a little earlier. So as a result, the American palate has become more accustomed to tender and mildly flavored beef. But grass fed is making a pretty significant resurgence and is a premium option worth trying. But most of the grass fed beef that I've tried is a lot like elk where it's mildly gamey, but it makes amazing ground beef and steaks. It just happens to be really hard to come by. Whereas grass fed beef you can find at most local butchers or a supermarket. But here's the really big reason why we don't see a lot of old beef at the supermarket, and that is bovine spongiform and cephalopathy bovine spon, deform and encephalophy, and celo
Mad cow disease. They put a lot of protections in place in order to be able to keep us and the rest of the food chain safe. And one of those is that cows that have gone over 30 months old have to have their spine, the brain, as well as the adjoining bones removed before they can leave the slaughterhouse. So that means no T-bones, and there's a result of that. And some of the other things you end up with, having most retired dairy cows or older cows ending up as cheap ground beef and making old cows good requires a lot of tender care throughout their lifetime. And that's one of the reasons why I am grateful for Cama Valley Meat Company. They've got a ranch out in New Mexico where they have grass fed, grass finished beef, so they don't send 'em to the feed lots and they take really good care of 'em.
And that ends up resulting in really good meat. And Lisa, one of the owners, reached out to me directly and I think she read my mind. I've been wanting to test Old Cow or Vaca Viejo for a long time, and that was the first thing that she offered as a test to be able to try it out. And if you're interested in trying grass-fed beef or Vaca Viejo, I've linked to their online store down to the description below so you can check them out. Just know that I won't get anything If you do, and one of the reasons why they're able to sell Vaca Vieja or Old cow is because they have a craft butcher who takes the care to make sure that it's done right. And the tenderloin that I received was trimmed absolutely perfectly. I didn't have to do anything. It was ready to go.
I had some family over for grandpa's birthday and I cooked up one of the tenderloins that they sent me, and everybody was blown away by the depth of flavor that that meat had. All he did was sear it out on the barbecue, slice it up, and it was great. But I wanted to do a side-by-side comparison from a tenderloin that I got from a young cow at the local grocery store versus the Tenderloin roast that Chaman Valley meat sent me. So I took the roast and I cut off a medallion. So that way I'm comparing apples to apples, the same cut of beef in order to be able to cook it. I'm gonna do it my favorite way, and that is I'm gonna sear it directly over charcoal and then put it on the indirect side for a while until it reaches medium rare temperatures. I'm treating this just like I would any other wild game where you either need to barely cook it or cook it low and slow until it completely falls apart. Since this is a steak, we wanna have it go to medium rare. So both these steaks came to medium rare and we're ready to dig in now that they've rested.
Yeah, so it's really tender. It's exactly what I would expect from a store-bought tenderloin, cooked perfection on the grill. But let's go see what Vaca vie hot tastes like. See if you can notice any differences. So what'd you think about the Vaca Vieja?
That had a lot of flavor, like a lot more flavor than this one?
Yeah, I mean, the differences were huge and absolutely night and day. This is grass fed where this is just regular commodity beef, but this gives you a whole bunch more flavor. Okay, so I guess the flavor was so good. I was at a loss for adjectives. Here's what I meant. Imagine the best burger, steak or brisket that you've ever had, and what you end up tasting is that amazing beef flavor. The Vaca Vieja had that two or three times as much. It was super concentrated, just like you get with dry age, but without the funk. So let's get back to the tenderness. And I expected that this was gonna be, or the Vaca Viejo would be just a little bit more tough because of that extra age, the time on the hoof. But I didn't notice that. What'd you think?
I think this one was softer than that one.
Yeah. Surprise. Vaca Viejo was softer as well. So this one's mine and you can have the rest of that one. Hey,