We're in a golden age of high-end food delivery services. Amid ever-increasing options—meal kits like Blue Apron, grocery delivery services like FreshDirect, and takeout providers like Seamless and countless others—it's easier than ever to get great food delivered right to your doorstep. Now you can add high-quality meat to the list with ButcherBox, a new monthly subscription service for grass-fed beef. Thanks to an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign–the company had a goal of $25,000 and raised over $210,000–they’re about to start shipping. We were able to get our hands on an early box and were impressed.
A monthly box is $129 and includes enough beef for 15 to 20 meals. Buyers don’t know in advance which cuts they’ll get; there's a CSA-style element of surprise, although everything should be familiar. Typical options include short ribs, ground beef and sirloin steaks. Early subscribers will also be able to create a mixed box with pork and chicken, an option that will roll out to new customers soon.
Experts estimate that less than 5 percent of the beef on the market is grass fed (in large part because it’s more expensive, since it requires more land) and it can be hard to find; ButcherBox’s goal is to make amazing grass-fed meat more accessible. They also want to make it healthier, so they’ve partnered with farms in the Midwest to source antibiotic- and hormone-free beef. A number of recent studies argue that grass-fed, organic beef is the healthier way to go, including an interesting Consumer Reports' cover story, "How Safe Is Your Beef?"
Here are five of our favorite recipes to help you with that first box:
• Transform steak with a bold relish made with spicy charred scallions and just-grated ginger.
• This brothy short rib stew is succulent and soothing. Sisters Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley invigorate it with fish sauce, Asian spices and lemon juice.
• Chef Wesley Genovart makes this over-the-top burger with two thin stacked patties, thick-cut bacon, kimchi and a spicy homemade sauce.
• Tyler Florence says you can top this main-course steak salad with any vegetables you have on hand. Crisp ones are best with the seared beef tenderloin and blue cheese vinaigrette.
• The secret to these luscious meatballs is using ground beef that has a fairly high fat content and mixing it with fresh ricotta, milk-soaked bread, and aromatic seasonings like fennel and lemon zest.