The unflappable Betty Fussell graced us with her presence yesterday at Beard on Books for a rousing discussion of her book Raising Steaks
and all things beef. After discussing the history of the beef industry, from small-scale butcher shops to industrialized slaughterhouses to the grass-fed future, Betty moved on to how Americans eat and think about beef.
What has been the effect of industrializing the beef industry? A dulled and “timid” American palate, Betty claims. She believes we need to be re-tasting all kinds of beef from Wagyu to grass-fed, declaring that it’s time to “train ourselves to not just eat rib-eyes.”
Where should we be doing this training? These days, restaurants and chefs have the best access to the choicest cuts and kinds of meat, because they can demand it. And they also can produce the best tasting meat because they have the heat sources to cook it properly. Betty implores us to order our steaks and other red meats “Rare! Rare!