Let me see a raise of hands from those of you who watched Food, Inc. and decided to NEVER EVER EVER IN A MILLION YEARS eat any meat that came from Iowa, Kentucky, North Carolina or basically anywhere but here. Two hands are going up for this girl. I was traumatized by the images of dark, dirty, densely populated chicken coops, bovines walking around in their own fecal matter…. I’ll stop. I want this blog to make your mouth water, not leave a bitter taste.
I joined some of my Portland food blogger friends, new and old, and the gals from Little Green Pickle last week for a kitchen tour, butchery lesson, and family style meal at Urban Farmer in The Nine’s Hotel (did you know it’s Portland only 5-star restaurant?). Executive Chef Matt Christianson is the MAN when it comes to sourcing and butchering local beef. Grab a glass of bubbles or pinot and enjoy a little photo tour…
Not a bad way to be greeted: 2009 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs. And lots of it.
The lovely Lindsay of Rosemarried enjoying some bubbles. If you can see past her beauty, notice all the canned goods in the background. Urban Farmer cans and pickles all of their seasonal goodies to enjoy throughout the year.
UF Shrimp Salad with Avocado and Hama Hama Oyster to enjoy with our bubbly and hold us over until we get to to dinner portion of the evening.
Matt gave us a tour of some of the restaurants walk-in fridges. This one had literally a whole 100% Wagyu cow in there! See that big old rib rack? We ate that for dinner in the form of a New York steak and Rib Eye.
Did you know that just like cheese and wine, steaks are even better when they're aged?
Any guesses on what he's slicing there? Yup, cow tongue. Charcuteried cow tongue. Matt doesn't waste a thing! If you can get past the appearance of it, you'd be surprised at how a slice of that tongue melted in my mouth.
How many butchers does it take to disassemble a whole wagyu cow? The whole thing weighs upwards of 900lbs!
That big block of white--fat from the cow rendered down into soap and candle wax that they use at Urban Farmer! Smells like bergamot. Mmmmmmmmmm good.
Time to eat! Dungeness Crab Cake wrapped in a tarragon scallop mousse with Pear, Butternut Squash and Mustard Aioli. So perfect with the 2011 Soter North Valley Chardonnay.
In the front: French Curry Cauliflower with Apple and Tarragon. In the back: New York Steak from Dry-Aged Laney Classic Beef and Ribeye Steak from La de Route Farm's 100% Pure-Blood Wagyu Beef. All that meat from the previous photos--butchered and cooked to perfection!
Matt giving us a run-down of the veggies. Stinging Nettles (hence the gloves) and Miner's Lettuce are the first things to pop up in spring. Did you know that this year was not good for Oregon Truffles? It was a great year for chanterelles though!
After we had stuffed ourselves to the max, of course we headed up to Departure to have a night cap. Tasho Macho: amazeballs. Thai chili vodka, thai basil, fresh citrus, and ginger beer. Thankyouverymuch! We had some seriously good laughs up there.
And the finale: elevator party! Clockwise from top: Lindsay of Rosemarried, Michelle of Hummingbird High, yours truly, Kusuma (Kumi) from Ruchikala, Fabiola from Not Just Baked, Carrie from Little Green Pickle, Brooke from Little Green Pickle, and Karen from CitySearch. Not pictured: Jenni from A Well Crafted Party.
I’m sure you’re all wondering what the entire menu for the evening included. Well, eat your heart out readers:
- UF Shrimp Salad with Avocado and Hama Hama Oyster
- Dungeness Crab Cake with Pear, Butternut Squash and Mustard Aioli
- Roasted West Coast Duck with Beets, Wild Rice and Amaranth
- An Amuse-Bouche of Celery Sorbet with Truffle Honey, House Coppa, and Tangerine
- New York Steak from Dry-Aged Laney Classic Beef
- Ribeye Steak from La de Route Farms’s 100% Pure-Blood Wagyu Beef (what we butchered!)
- Brussels Sprouts with Molasses Pecan Butter and Quince
- French Curry Cauliflower with Apple and Tarragon
- Twice-Baked Fingerling Potato Tarts
- White Cheddar Grits with Stinging Nettle Butter
- A Dessert of Spiced Chocolate Panna Cotta and Mascarpone Ice Cream
I have to say, as much fun as this dinner was, I missed the Taylor Swift sing-along with Carrie’s wife Jannie. She was sorely missed.
I’m inspired by these woman. What an honor it is to be in the midst of some of the best bloggers in Portland. And now I get to call them friends as well. Y’all should read what these ladies are putting on their blogs–AMAZING!
Thanks again to Little Green Pickle and Urban Farmer for such a fun night! Cheers.