Fowl Life host Chad Belding affords first-class pink meat cooking suggestions

If you are looking for the highest quality protein source to build more strength and lean muscle mass, Chad Belding is the right person to talk to. As the star of The Fowl Life with Chad Belding on the Outdoor Channel and host of The Fowl Life Podcast, Belding is an avid hunter and an almost equally avid weightlifter. He is also the author of a brand new book of fish and game recipes, The Provider Cookbook. With an appreciation for game and optimizing his health, he insists on knowing where his food is coming from. That means every time he picks a ribeye, filet mignon, or a New York strip for dinner, consider the source.

With an appreciation for game and optimizing his health, he insists on knowing where his food is coming from. This means that every time he chooses a steak, he takes the source into account. A ribeye, filet mignon or New York strip for dinner.

"The most important thing about your steaks is that you want to know where they came from," says Belding, a former Division I baseball player at UNLV. "Is it on a farm or is it somewhere I don't know where all these steroids and things I don't want in my body are being injected?"

If you've never put so much thought into which piece of meat you throw on your grill, maybe it is time to be more selective. In the following interview, Belding explains where to go and what to look out for when buying steak.

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<p><strong>What is the first thing to consider when choosing a steak?</strong></p>
<p>Chad Belding: When we talk about local [farm-raised] and wild game, what I want to know is: where does my food come from? Is it coming from an ethically correct feedlot and slaughter program where we can learn the story of what exactly is being fed to these cattle, how they are being cared for, and what their feeding plan is? Then you can get an idea of ​​where your domestic steaks come from.</p>
<p><strong>Of course, when hunting game you don't have to worry about the feedlot and so on. You know where it comes from.</strong></p>
<p>Absolutely. If you kill a moose somewhere in the mountains of Nevada or Idaho or Utah or Colorado or Arizona, that moose has lived its best life. It lives wild, it eats wild berries and wild forms of food that keep its life substantial and keep it healthy all its life. Today we as hunters are the greatest conservationists in the world because we believe in herd management and we believe in harvesting these animals ethically, respecting the resource and having compassion for them. This moose is dying a quick death and we can subsidize all that protein from its fillets and back straps, its steaks to its roasts to its ribs. We eat every part. We eat the tongue. We eat the pine. They call it. We use the bone marrow for stews and sauces.</p>
<p><strong>So if I'm not a hunter but want to buy a good quality local steak for dinner tonight, could you point me in the right direction? What Type of Store or Butcher Shop should I be looking for?</strong></p>
<p>I think going to a trusted butcher near you is a good idea. A place to speak to the owner and get an idea of ​​which ranch and farms the meat is from. I would like to know where they lived and if they were grass-fed for the first three quarters of their lives. And then, once they reached a certain weight, 900 pounds, were they switched to a different feed in order to refine them to the desired weight that they wanted to reach before slaughter? Personally, I don't buy my meat at Walmart or a shop I don't know where they only pump steak after steak because they have so many customers. I really don't think it's the best bang for your buck when you can find the nicest steak.</p>
<p><strong>For those who don't have a good butcher shop nearby, are there any big box stores you would recommend?</strong></p>
<p>Costco has a good story behind many of their beefs in my opinion. At Costco, it is very easy to find out who is delivering their beef. For example, if it's a business that Harris Ranch of California uses, you can find out what Harris Ranch feeds their cattle.</p>
<p><strong>Where do you buy your steak if you don't hunt it yourself?</strong></p>
<p>I prefer to buy steaks through an online service. Ours is American Almond Beef, and Snake River Farms is another good one. Many of their pieces are Wagyu, a Japanese breed of cattle. Wagyu beef is very popular, but very expensive. You can read the stories of how these ranches look after their livestock on their websites.</p>
<p><strong>So you could order a few steaks online and freeze the ones you won't be eating right away?</strong></p>
<p>Yes you can freeze them. If you're dealing with online retailers like American Almond Beef or Snake River Farms, the meat comes in a bespoke freezer box with dry ice and ice packs when you receive it. It is an isolated system that is completely vacuum sealed. You can buy around 10 steaks at a time. They cook one that evening, thaw it, and cook it. The rest goes straight to your freezer and is vacuumed as it comes. You'll pay a bit more for it, but it's premium and you'll have a story about where this beef comes from.</p>
<p>And if you go to Costco and buy a pack of 10 ribeyes or whatever, I suggest getting a good vacuum sealer to shrink and keep the air out of them. This will prevent frostbite once it gets into the freezer, so the steak will live much longer frozen where you can take it out and cook it again in a month.</p>
<p><strong>You mentioned Ribeyes. Which steaks do you like best?</strong></p>
<p>I love ribeye. They have a higher fat content but a higher flavor. As long as you are conditioning yourself not to eat a lot of fat, I recommend it. I love the pieces of meat that are right on the bone. My absolute favorite steak, however, is a really lean filet mignon. The one we sell at American Almond Beef is honestly the best I've ever had. It's like butter in your mouth, very tender. It's a cut that comes off the back strap or fillet if you will. It is a very underutilized muscle in the body. It rests on the cow's spinal cord and does not get a lot of exercise, whether they are walking, running, lying down or standing up. That piece of meat that runs down both sides of the spinal cord is where you get your filet mignon and these are my favorite pieces. This also applies to game.</p>
<p><strong>Almost every steak is leaner than the ribeye, right?</strong></p>
<p>Yes. New York stripes and sirloins will both be slimmer. But ribeyes are great especially when you start working with bones. You also have the option of using what is known as a tomahawk, in which this ribeye is detached from the rib cage and the rib bone remains attached. It's kind of a Fred Flintstone-like steak with a big handlebar on it, but it has a lot of flavor because all the fat is attached and the best meat is right on that bone. As I mentioned with the Filet Mignon, the meat that is closest to the bone is the stuff that is never used, so it's tender and really flavorful because when you cook it, the first thing it contains is the juice of that bone marrow. If you go the bone tomahawk ribeye route you will be spending a little more money, but it's great taste, great protein, and it's just a great experience because it looks cool and it cooks through really well.</p>
<p>Buy Chad Belding's new cookbook at</p>

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