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What Do Steaks from a 15-Year-Old Cow Taste Like? — Prime Time


– Usually, we show you the kitchen. – That’s right. But today– – We’re on the (beep) farm! We are here at Kinderhook
Farm with farmer Lee Ranney. – And friend. – To talk grass-fed beef. We are going to try
three different steaks. – The ones that we
normally get in the shop are from 28 month old
animals and we’re gonna compare that to an 8 year old animal and a 15 year old animal. Never had it, really want to try it. Really, really, really hungry. (rock music) – These are probably 20 to 26 months old. Before 1940, the average
age of the harvested animal was four to five years. Now it’s 12 to 15 months. Grain and feed lots have
just totally changed the system. For us with grass because
they grow so much slower, it takes between 22 and 36 months. – If the animals are generally
be about 26 to 30 months, how do you end up with a bunch of animals a lot, lot older than that? – Each year, we have
about 100 to 120 calves. Those mothers, if they’re
healthy and productive, will stay with us between
eight and 12 years. Because of the aftershocks
of the mad cow epidemic, no animal over 30 months
can leave the slaughterhouse with the spine intact
because that’s the place they’re most worried
about to mad cow disease. Even though there hasn’t been any. – It’s a challenge to get a whole beef that is missing its entire spine because it’s something
that they need to do on the kill floor because
basically a finesse cut with a chainsaw. – Processors don’t like it. – So the perceived value of it goes down once it’s over 30 months. – Yeah. – In an industrial system, what happens to the older animals? – They get put in the
food chain for hamburger and cheap cuts and prepared meats. All the stuff that’s disguised. But some of them, they’re prime beef. They’re very good eating. – You know as well as anybody
that over the last 10 years, everybody’s obsessed
with dry-aging and all– – Get requests for that all the time. – Yeah, do you see a really
big difference in the flavor from older animals? – [Lee] Oh, yeah. They’ve had that much longer
to have this incredibly diverse diet. They’ve walked around, used their muscles. Different seasons, I
mean it all affects that. – We’re talking about all this complexity of muscles and flavors. Kinda want to check it out. – Let’s do it. (rock music) – [Brent] We don’t have
the bone on the 15, but they did do a very
nice job of taking it off on the eighth. It still looks like a great steak. – [Ben] Lee, which one
are you putting money on? Liking the most? – Just a gut feel, I think that one. – [Ben] The eight year. Brent, what are you thinking? – I’m super excited about the 15. – I think I’m going 15. I’m kinda curious, I don’t know. Older animals, I think are best at rare. What do you think? – I think so, yeah. But I think everything’s better rare. – I’m a mid-rare because
I think that it gives it a little bit more time to render the fat. – [Lee] Let’s live on the edge. – [Ben] Yeah. The yellow fat on that really old steak is just something else. – Want to wait the longest
five minutes of your life? Let these rest? (click) – If you’ve never had a
grass-fed steak before, one of the first things
you definitely notice is the meat and the fat are much less sweet. I guess before that would
even be you’re gonna see like a little bit less fat on the cap. – I don’t think it’s as greasy, the fat. Tastes good, but it doesn’t grease you up. – I’m gonna get us started on 28 months. This is beef that we get
every week at the shop. – This is kind of our control. We know this steak, we’ve had it before. – [Brent] We know it’s great. – And here. – It’s clean, tender. – It’s really good. – It’s excellent quality. This is our baseline. We’re pretty freaking lucky. Also, a huge difference
that you can even see between these three steaks is the pigment that the fat does pick up. The yellower the fat is,
you can tell the older the animal is. – Carotene, yeah. – Man, that yellow fat packs a punch. – Really, really does. It’s something a lot of
our customers always say is like, “Oh, you can taste the grass.” You can taste the minerality
of whatever is going through the soil is
getting into the animal, like it’s really there. I’m getting excited, now
we get into the stuff that we don’t ever really get to try. – [Brent] Let alone back to back. Side to side. – This is my guy. – That’s an ambitious piece. – He’s an ambitious guy. – Okay, I’m going with Ben’s. – Oh my God, there is so much more. It’s like a depth of flavor. – Nice chew, too. – Nice and tender. – [Ben] I know it’s obvious but beefy. There’s just more beef flavor. – [Brent] That is so freaking good. – It was my pick, remember. – That’s the kind of steak I feel like when you go to a steakhouse, when you get the 120 day dry-aged steak,
you’re looking for that but that’s not dry-aged at all. That’s just. – This is just what beef should be. Yeah. – God, that is phenomenal. – Let’s do it, Ben. – [Ben] I am so excited for this. I’ve never had anything this old before. It feels the same cutting,
like this does not feel tough at all. – Wow. – It’s pretty intense. – Yeah. – [Lee] And pretty damn tender. – Great texture. The fat is fantastic. When you hear people
describe big, red wine, that’s exactly what we’re tasting here. There’s a slight sweetness,
but it’s mostly earth. – Like pow.
– Yeah. – That is something very, very special. When you talk about dry-aging steaks, you can like a 30 day, or a
60 or 90 day dry-aged steak but this is completely different. – But it might not be for everybody. – You think? – Yeah. – [Ben] Really? – Yeah. Some people don’t like the bold flavor. – Kinderhook Farm: no wimps. – The center is fantastic. Can’t get it wrong. This is so unlike any other
steak that you can buy. – This thing is taking up like camp. It’s been mayor of Ben’s Tongueville. – Man. – These animals are processed the same way as our younger animals. The same way as all beef
is, inspected by the USDA. These are cut and eaten anyway. It’s just they’re not
sold to the right channels and sold to the right people. It’s out there, it’s
just if we can figure out how to educate people to ask for it. – These two are super special and I feel like they belong in a menu like in the middle, in their own box with a higher price tag
just because it’s special. It has a story, the flavor and the texture really stand up to it. I can’t remember the last
time I had anything like this. It really pays off, it’s actually better. – No one’s taking advantage of it. Someone really should because
this is really exceptional. – Thanks for taking the time. – Yep. – This is– – My pleasure. – The best way to spend an afternoon. – It is the best.

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