The Perfect Grilled Rib Eye Steak and "Where does your steak come from"?

by Kirsten on September 11, 2011 · 17 comments

in Beef & Bison, Main Dishes

A few weeks ago I read a post in one of my favorite German blogs regarding the quality of American beef. A lot of German chefs and home cooks are all gaga over grass fed, pasture raised American beef. They pay ridiculous prices to have it shipped directly. I agree, some American beef is in general more tender and has a better taste. I am no expert, but that probably depends on the feed and the different breeds. That is not to say that Germany is lacking excellent meat products, not at all.

The discussion on this subject moved from the quality of American beef to finding local sources that could provide the same standard in quality and taste. It came down to finding a butcher that works with local farmers who keep their animals well.

You are probably asking yourself, where is she going with this? Well, I have to share with you that I have actually been thinking of becoming a vegetarian. Could I do it? Yes. Would my family follow? Probably not. Do I like to eat meat? Yes. Daily? No, not at all.

So, I found a very good compromise for me and my family quite a while ago. No more factory farmed meat. We only consume meat from farmers who’s animals are humanly raised, and preferably local. They are never confined during their life and raised in pasture. Eating out, I have become pretty much a vegetarian. The exceptions are restaurants that can prove the source of their meat. These restaurants are hard to find, but they are out there. A great example is “The Kitchen” in Boulder, CO.

I would be very interested in your feedback. Have you ever asked yourself where the meat comes from that you consume? How it is possible to purchase a good steak pretty cheap at any supermarket chain? Why you would have to spend a lot more money for the same cut at your local farmers market? Have you ever thought about how animals produced through factory farming are raised, kept, treated and slaughtered?

The featured rib eye steaks are from animals raised by my friend Deb out on her farm here in Franktown, CO. Her animals are grass fed. They live on pasture with available shelter. They also get the left over feed from the dressage show horses boarded at her horse barn.

I served these juicy rib eye steaks alongside a green salad containing apples and figs with balsamic vinaigrette.

Serves 4.


*  4 rib eye steaks
*  salt and fresh pepper


Remove your steaks from the fridge about 2 hours before dinner. Let them come to room temperature.

Preheat your grill to 500 F- 600 F.

Rinse, dry and season with salt and pepper. Place steaks on the grill and close the lid. Turn steaks with tongs after 4 to 5 minutes. Don’t poke them with a fork!! Grill the steak for another 4 minutes, depending on your preference of doneness. Let the steaks rest for a few minutes before serving.

I have attached great video instructions on how to grill the perfect rib eye steak here.


You can find more info regarding how to find your local suppliers here.


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Dick January 14, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I do not have issue with vegans, but this whole myth about beef being raised free range vs kept up and confined is very confusing. First, I used to raise beef cows (and steers and bulls) and I can say that I do not know of any profitable herd that does not start out free range. First the calf is on the cow, (drinking milk) and then eats grass, then (at 700 lbs) is probably sold to a finishing lot where they are kept in pens for a short time and fed high protein and fat diets (lots of corn and grain) to marbleize the meat. The last stage is what makes the meat the most tender and flavorful. If you really get just “grass fed” you stand a good chance of getting onion flavor, and the flavor of the grass of the day. This is not always desirable and further is not fatty enough to be real good to eat.

Just my .02 !

Kirsten January 14, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Hi Dick, Vegans? Vegans don’t eat meat nor any products produced by animals (milk, cheese, eggs,…). I personally prefer to purchase my beef at Don’s (the local rancher I know) because he treats his animals very well, they live on pasture their entry life (never confined, like at a finishing lot) and they aren’t forced to eat any feed (corn and grain) that is really bad for them. It goes along with not purchasing any eggs that are from hens that are cage kept (animal cruelty!! Mine are from a neighbor that keeps her own chickens) or eating pork products from poor pigs that had to endure their short life span raised in gestation crates (and supporting farmers that want to make money on them and try to sell it to the public like it is the best for the animal,SICKENING!! I have experienced that at a conference and I had to leave the room).
Dick, confined versus free range? Please put some thought into how the animals are raised and kept for our consumption!

Caterina B September 21, 2011 at 7:53 pm

I totally agree, Kristen. We raise a pig every year and my husband hunts elk. The elk is delicious and really tastes better than good quality beef. We served elk to my mom for years and totally fooled her. I am so grateful that I live where we can get elk. We also have chickens for eggs and meat. We do not like to buy meat from supermarket and often say to each other. Who wants to eat dirty beef? As someone else said here I recommend the movie "Food, Inc." It's a real eye opener.

Carlos September 15, 2011 at 3:23 am

I do think about your question. I believe that any person involved in the preparation of meals, do have concerns about where and how food products are produced.

I can't remember the last time I had a t-bone steak. I eat a lot of chicken and from time to time a hamburger. As a man, I have to think about my reputation. We are tough, we eat road killed if we have to, so it is hard to be a vegetarian.
🙂 I am just saying.

Nuts about food September 14, 2011 at 10:50 am

These are all things I have been thinking about a lot lately. We do not eat meat daily and I try my best to buy the best meat available, chicken included. Although people still buy a lot from local producers in the country, it is not a widespread movement in cities here yet. I think your approach is the right one, the approach we all have to move towards in the future. Spend more for better quality meat and eat a little less of it. Meat cannot be good when it is being mass produced to feed millions on a daily basis.

From Beyond My Kitchen Window September 13, 2011 at 11:29 am

The ribeye is my favorite cut of meat. I would love to buy only grass fed beef, but I would have to rob a bank to afford it. I wish it wasn't so expensive. We did however raise our own pigs a few years back (humanely) and the quality of the meat was outstanding.

Donna Currie September 13, 2011 at 2:48 am

Ribeye is my favorite cut of steak! (And nice to see you today)

Boulder Locavore September 13, 2011 at 12:34 am

We've spoken about this at length and I'm totally on the same page with you. I've become more and more conservative about my meat sources in particular and the movie Food Inc sealed the deal in our household. We only buy meat from farmers we know or ranches we know. We don't eat much beef as it is but are very careful about it. I'm finding myself scaling back from a number of other types of meat too. I'm definitely an omnivore but the meat thing is tricky! Great post!

Susan September 12, 2011 at 6:15 pm

I love that you ask your readers to think about where their food comes from. I'm a vegetarian, but choose organic and I'm a big label reader. XOXO

Karen Harris September 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Very thoughtful post Kirsten. I think this will give all who read it pause to think about what we are eating and where it comes from. I have often wondered if I could become a vegetarian and I'm afraid I'm just now moving over to veggie burgers on occasion, but it's a start. Beautiful steaks.

JelliDonut September 12, 2011 at 4:07 pm

I think you bring up an important issue. We are lucky here in Colorado to have good sources for humanly raised meat. I just wish it were available to those with more limited incomes. I think that is the issue for a lot of people. We have decided to eat less meat so that we can buy from these sources without busting the budget.

elisabeth@foodandthrift September 12, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Wow Kirsten-so happy to hear from you! The last time I commented to you was when I was wishing you a nice vacation…and that was quite a while ago, haven't heard from you since…and you changed your blog name and the template since.
Love the yummy and perfectly grilled steak, haven't had a for a while, but looking forward to having it grilled:DDD

Andrea September 12, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Yes, I've made that same decision several years ago. Like you, when dining out, I pick the veggie option. However here in Columbus we have a huge local foods movement and most of the independent restaurants here only carry local meats. So nice! And it's clearly labeled!

We don't eat meat every day but when we do, it's purchased either direct from the farmers or from a source who only sells locally humanely raised animals.

The only time this creates a problem is when dining at someone else's house. I feel awkward asking them where they purchased their meat so I avoid eating it. If I have to, I'll put a bit on my plate but not touch it. 😉

Cooking Creation September 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm

That steak looks perfect to me! I tried going vegetarian once but it lasted less than a week!

Anonymous September 12, 2011 at 10:22 am

Good question! I do not buy meat that often and whenever I buy it, I try to get it from local butchers so that they can trace it!! a big kiss

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) September 12, 2011 at 7:50 am

Interesting post! I've often wondered about going vegetarian, but this seems like a good idea about eating meat that's been farmed properly !

Andrea @ September 11, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Love the new look and name. Very clean and your beautiful photos jump out. Congrats!

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