Betty said with her doubtful voice, “How can you eat meat you bought at the farmers market? Is it even safe?” I don’t know Betty well. We just dance at the same dance studio and exchange not-so-deep conversations. We were talking about my favorite farmers market and told her that I don’t shop at giant chain supermarkets anymore because I could find almost everything I need at the farmers market.
There are at least three wonderful butchers at University Farmers Market. Once I bought a huge beef lamp at Sea Breeze Farm, I asked George, owner of this farm, how I should store the meat and he said “keep in a fridge uncovered and it will last about a month.” He also advised me “when you start seeing mold on surface, all you have to do is to wipe the mold with vinegar. You can also enjoy raw.” He was so right. I enjoyed his beef in every way for about 3-1/2 weeks.
Yesterday morning, I bought some beef from Skagit River Ranch for the first time. I asked this super friendly lady Eiko what’s the best way to cook this. She said, “you just marinade for about a couple of hours then cook 7 minutes one side and 5 on the other. I like medium.” I also asked if I can cook with less time because I like medium rare. She said, “honey, you can eat that sucker raw.” Now you understand why I love this farmers market.
Eiko also gave me her “Simple Everything Marinade” recipe. You mix olive oil, soy sauce, honey or brown sugar, garlic and lemon juice. I marinated for about 4 hours. I think that was the best steak I have ever cooked at home. Beautiful pink/red inside and came out so tender. I simmered left-over marinade for a minute and used for dressing over a braised broccoli salad.
It is way “safer” than any meat you can find at Safeway. These farmers are not only confident what they provide for customers but also offer with pride. You can actually taste it. Their care, passion and love for what they do.
Betty, I hope you try the meat at a local farmers market one day. I promise you, you will enjoy it so much because, “you can eat that sucker raw.”