"Meat" the Competition: Here are some key facts about the contenders. For more details, see the information below the chart.
|Key Facts||Nutritional Facts per 4 oz. serving||Wine Pairing||Beer Pairing|
|Wagyu Beef||finest quality of beef, high in oleic acid, beneficial to human health||330 cal., 28g fat, 18g protein||Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel||Amber Ale, India Pale Ale|
|Grain Fed Beef||higher fat content, richer flavor||240 cal., 17g fat, 21g protein||Merlot, Shiraz, Zinfandel||Lager, Irish Red Ale|
|Grass Fed Beef||contains more omega-3 fatty acids than grain fed,||170 cal., 8g fat, 24g protein||Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel||India Pale Ale, Porter, Stout|
|Bison||humanely slaughtered, North American heritage, organic, grass fed||130 cal., 3g fat, 26 g protein||Sangiovese, Malbec||Belgian-Style Flanders|
|Goat||environmentally friendly animal, healthy alternative to beef, virtually no fat||125 cal., 1g fat, 23g protein||Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay||Lager, Blonde Ale, Hefeweizen|
|Wild Boar||sweet with notes of nuttiness, leaner than farm raised hogs, the ultimate humanely raised natural meat||200 cal., 8.8g fat, 28.8g protein||Chianti, Shiraz||Dark ales|
|Lamb||high in protein, fat contains healthy CLA, rich in vitamin B12||316 cal., 24g fat, 28g protein||Zinfandel, Pinot Noir||Hefeweizen, Amber Ale|
|Alpaca||lean and sweet, nutritionally superior to other red meats, trendy new protein||160 cal., 6g fat, 25g protein||Rich White/Light Red||Hefeweizen, Blonde Ale|
|Elk||extremely lean, high in B vitamins, all-natural red meat||175 cal., 9g fat, 22g protein||Shiraz, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir||Lager, Ale, Stout|
|Duck||umami rich flavor, tender texture||180 cal., 13g fat, 18g protein||Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chianti||Hefeweizen, IPA, Irish Red Ale|
This breed of Japanese cattle is renowned for its rich flavor and marbling. In Japanese, the word Wagyu literally means “Japanese Cow.” Our suppliers at Lone Mountain Wagyu are proud to exclusively raise 100% Fullblood Wagyu cattle that have never been crossbred. Each cow is individually DNA-Certified to ensure direct lineage to its Japanese heritage.
By not handling the burger too much you allow the full flavor of the juices to baste the meat and enhance its flavor. Enjoy with a glass of Cabernet.
Grain vs. Grass Fed Beef
All beef cattle start their lives on mother’s milk and are then weaned to graze on pasture grasses until they reach about 400-500 lbs. When calves reach these weights they are sold off to feeders where they either remain grass fed, or are sent to feedlots. In each case, the calves will remain in the pasture or feedlot until they reach desired harvest weights.
Each feeding method has benefits and detriments that vary markedly, not only in diet, but in cost, taste, consistency and time. Is one system better than the other? The answer is truly subjective – personal preference, palates, and beliefs play heavily on consumer preference.
Grain fed cattle are started on grass and then sent to feedlots to be finished on formulated feed rations designed to make the animals grow as much and as fast as possible. In most cases, the formulated feed contains as much as 75% corn grain. Grain fed cattle normally reach harvest weight between 18-24 months of age.
Grain fed beef is "juicier" and more tender than grass fed. It has a higher fat content; higher fat levels deliver more flavor. Grain fed also grades out higher in quality scoring and is desired by most American palates; furthermore, it is coveted by restaurants offering USDA Prime and Choice beef.
Grass fed cattle start on grass and remain on grass until they reach harvest weight – usually between 30-36 months of age. Grass fed cattle must reside where grass is easily available; inclement weather may force cattle to be moved to pastures where grass exists. During the winter months when grass is dormant, grass fed cattle must be supplemented with feed, usually hay and grass silage, to maintain nutrition and sustain their grass fed status.
Grass fed beef is also very lean. The low fat content in grass fed beef requires greater attention to cooking to prevent an unpleasant eating experience. The tenderness of grass fed steaks can also be inconsistent. Thus, grass fed is better when cooked slower than its grain fed counterpart. When properly aged and cooked, grass fed beef is delicious. Some even say it tastes the way beef “used to taste”.
Grass fed beef is leaner and higher in protein than grain fed beef and averages 1.5 times more protein than typical USDA Choice grain fed beef. Research indicates that eating lean beef can help lower total, LDL and VLDL cholesterol, and triglycerides while increasing beneficial HDL cholesterol. It can also help lower blood pressure, aid in weight loss, and improve insulin sensitivity and glycemic control.
Environmental Issues: One of the main differences between grain and grass fed beef is how they are raised. Grain fed cows are raised in feed lots, wherein they are given large amounts of antibiotics throughout their lives to prevent infection. To humans, this may have the effect of increasing our already growing resistance to antibiotic drugs. The detrimental effect of feedlots on pollution is also cause for concern, as their downstream effluence continues to wreak havoc on the environment. Grass fed beef, on the other hand, does not have the aforementioned issues posed its grain fed brethren. Our grass fed cows are all raised naturally without antibiotics, and are "never ever" given hormones or steroids. These cows have never known the stresses of the feedlot, nor have they contributed to their hazardous downstream effluence.
Whatever your preference, there are economic, environmental, dietary and culinary benefits to both grain fed and grass fed beef.
Bison offers a healthy and nutritious red meat product that meets the demands of a growing number of health-conscious consumers. Searching for alternatives to traditional red meats without sacrificing an excellent eating experience, bison has become a crowd favorite. Its flavor is similar to prime beef, however, after the first bite it will become apparent that bison is noticeably sweeter and more tender than its Bovine relative. One pound of ground bison boasts an impressive 34 grams of protein, and when grilled as a burger, is 90% lean and only 10% fat.
The mission of our supplier, Wild Idea Buffalo Company, is to preserve the Great Plains ecosystem by returning buffalo back to their native homeland. In 1997, Wild Idea was founded to pursue this mission and offer an alternative to the industrialized food system. The idea was simple: supply delicious, healthy, 100% grass-fed meat to consumers interested in sustainability. The incredible flavor of this meat is the result of the animals’ lives being lived more naturally and without unnecessary human interference. Its clean, rich, slightly sweet taste has subtle notes of grass, sage, and they swear – sunshine.
Their humane prairie harvests ( the bison are not sent to a slaughterhouse, but rather are harvested in the field) ensure that the buffalo are not exposed to any undue stress that would spoil the flavor of this natural meat. Wild Idea buffalo are given respect, dignity, and care throughout their lives. The buffalo tastes better because they are raised better. This is unique among most other buffalo producers.
The molecular structure of goat meat is different than that of beef or chicken, making it easier to digest. Goat is the world's most consumed meat, eaten by three quarters of the world's population. The trend is rising in the United States, as we are catching on to what the rest of the world already knew about.
Goat is surprisingly healthy compared to the usual meats we consume - even chicken! Indeed, a 3 ounce serving of goat is just 120 calories, but contains 25 grams of protein and only 3.5 grams of fat. Being naturally lean, it is much lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, and has a higher HDL count (the good cholesterol) and a naturally low LDL count (the bad kind of cholesterol). Just remember that goat meat is best slow cooked over low heat due to its lean nature. We recommend pairing goat with a cold glass of Pinot Grigio or a dry Reisling.
Wild Boar has been dubbed as "the ultimate humanely raised all natural meat." No antibiotics, no growth hormones, and no gestation crates. Why? Well, Wild Boar are feral hogs, and in order to be sold to American consumers, they must be taken alive and humanely handled for harvest purposes. Hunters also have the option of live capture for transport to slaughterhouses to be processed and sold to grocers, butcher shops and restaurants as exotic meat. So, when sold commercially, wild hogs must be taken alive.
The most common names for boar are Wild Boar, Wild Hog, Old World Swine, and Razorback. In Europe and Asia, boar is farmed for their meat and treasured for their taste. Called, “Sanglier” in French, and “Cinghiale” in Italian, boar can be commonly found in butcher shops and offered as a staple in restaurants. Ground Wild Boar is popular in Italian Bolognese, and it's even thought of as an aphrodisiac in China.
Hogs, wild or otherwise, are not native to the United States. They were first brought to the new world by Christopher Columbus who introduced them to the Caribbean. Hernando De Soto brought them to Florida in the 1500’s, and they made their way across the Southern United States. Half a millennia later, the boar population is in the millions in the U.S., and Wild Feral Hogs are wreaking havoc across the Southern states. Traveling alone or in packs, they devour whole fields of rice, wheat and/or vegetables. This makes it is a free range animal: no gestation crates, no antibiotics, no growth hormones.
Unlike domestic pork, wild boar is a bit sweeter with notes of nuttiness and a clean taste that’s neither gamey nor greasy. They are leaner than pork with one-third less fat, calories and cholesterol; furthermore, they are higher in protein than pork, beef, lamb and chicken. Their diet is responsible for their unique flavor: acorns, hickory nuts, pecans, grass, roots, apples, and just about any farmed crop they can invade. Adding Wild Boar to your menu gives you something unique to offer your guests with the benefits of all natural, free range and humanely handled marketing. You can help the environment, offer a healthy protein and provide a delicious feature with Wild Boar.
Lamb is the meat of a young sheep less than a year old. It has high levels of protein that make it an excellent component of a healthy diet. Lamb is also rich in vitamin B12, selenium, zinc, niacin, phosphorus, and iron. Lamb fat, known as tallow, contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is a naturally occurring fatty acid found in meat and dairy products, and it helps people lose fat, maintain weight loss, and retain lean muscle mass.
The reputation of Colorado lamb is well deserved. Eighty percent of lamb consumed today is a foreign product - primarily because of its lower price. Because Australians and New Zealanders breed for wool, the quality of their meat is secondary to Colorado lambs, who are bred for their meat, resulting in superior flavor and texture. Cuts are also much larger than imports.
The alpaca came to America in 1984 and was bred for its fiber. Alpaca fiber prices have been in decline since their peak in 2006, and this is one reason behind its emerging presence in the meat and leather markets. While demand for alpaca meat has been constant in South America (where it originates) for millennia, in recent years, demand has been growing in Australia and the United States.
Alpaca meat is the byproduct of culling the herd – but it’s a tasty byproduct. Each mature alpaca harvested equates to about 60 pounds of meat – roughly the same amount of meat you can get from a deer. Lean, tender and almost sweet, alpaca meat is nutritionally superior to many of its red meat counterparts. Lower in calories, fat, and cholesterol, this high-protein, exotic meat is beginning to appeal to those seeking out alternatives to domesticated meat like beef or pork, and even wild meat, like venison. Ground alpaca is versatile enough to be substituted in place of ground turkey or beef in most recipes. This trendy, new (and exclusive) gourmet delicacy is a low fat alternative to supermarket staples, and one that provides a quality protein perfect for summer grilling. It's a perfect candidate for high-heat cooking that is best served medium to medium-rare, and with a glass of Argentinian Malbec.
Elk was once the popular exotic meat at high end restaurants. It is becoming more popular with home cooks as the price decreases. Although termed venison, elk meat is known for tastiness, and when properly processed has none of the gamey taste associated with some wild shot meats. Elk sold commercially are always farm raised. As farmed elk meat animals, elk are usually given an abundant grass and alfalfa diet with an occasional grain supplement. The extra supplement can be corn, oats or barley and perhaps even potatoes. They are never given any steroids, growth promoting chemicals, or general antibiotics. Elk meat is delicious and all natural.
Nutritionally, elk are superior to most other meat producing animals. Some have even dubbed this lean, nutritious animal as "the Cadillac of red meats." Elk burgers are renowned for being low fat and rich in flavor, as they are typically 92-94% lean. Indeed, a 3 ounce serving of elk contains 164 calories, 22.6 grams of protein, and just 7.4 grams of fat. Its mineral content is similar to ground beef, but it's a great alternative for those seeking a burger with significantly less fat and cholesterol. Since it is very low in fat, it will dry out quickly upon extended cooking, so the rarer you can take it the better. A glass of Shiraz or Pinot Noir will bring out its best flavors.
Our duck meat comes from the Moulard, which is the result of a cross between the Muscovy duck and the Pekin hen. It has the robust texture of red meat with the lean, nutritional benefits of chicken, making it a great option for burgers. The tender texture and umami rich flavors of the ground duck breast shine through when you take your most creative sauces and techniques and embrace them enthusiastically. The product is a truly elegant lead element of the best meals you prepare.
Duck fat has similar health benefits to olive oil and other unsaturated fats. Even though our duck meat, sourced from Hudson Valley Foie Gras, is comparable in fat and calories to a skinless chicken or turkey breast, it has a rich, bold flavor. Through our natural breeding and feeding programs, our ducks have less fat and more lean meat than ever before.
Due to it being a fatty meat, duck tends to need a wine with some sharpness and acidity to cut through and contrast with its rich flesh. We suggest pairing your duck with Pinot Noir, Merlot, or Chianti.