Food and Drink

Turkey Talk

Money…food…sex. Just a few highlights in a typical day in the life of our [other] state bird.

Big puffy chest, dim little brain, impressive plumage, and a seductive gobble that its Significant Other cannot resist.As the holidays approach, it seems only appropriate to celebrate the season by paying tribute to that vision of poultry pulchritude, the Narragansett turkey.Rhode Islanders, meet your bird.“It was named after Narragansett Bay, where it was first developed,” says Marjorie Bender of the…

A Side of Fresh Air

22 scenic spots for outdoor dining and drinking.

We can’t explain it. For some reason, food just tastes better when you eat it outside (especially if it’s seventy-five degrees and not too humid). In Rhode Island, the al fresco dining season is super short, but the options—from a tucked-away two-top in a city courtyard to a perch that scopes the sea—are surprisingly varied. So go ahead, book a…

Beef: It’s What’s for Dinner

When it comes to cooking steak at home, you’ve got three options: grill, broil or saute. (Roasting works best for larger cuts such as whole tenderloin.) To prep, let the meat rest at room temperature for about thirty minutes so that it will cook evenly. Trim fat to an eighth-inch to seal in juices and allow optimal flavor. Brush with…

Think Global, Eat Local

Rhode Island may be best-known for seafood, but fresh beef is just as close to you as the ocean.

Raising cattle is a family affair for Ann-Marie Bouthillette and her husband, Kevin. They—along with daughter, Samantha, and sons, Brandon and Troy—tend to more than fifty cattle at Blackbird Farm. Most of the bulls are Angus, chosen for optimal breeding and taste, though they’ve added a few Hereford as well. “We create as little stress for the animals as possible,”…

Beef Does a Body Good?

Unable to polish off a sixteen-pound steak, Homer Simpson yells, “What’s happening to me? There’s still food, and I don’t want to eat it! I’ve become everything I’ve ever hated!” Ah, the American diet. So how much beef is too much beef? Check it out. We’ve adjusted the government’s three-ounce serving size. (Sissies.) 9-ounce filet mignon540 calories, 26 grams fat,…

Grass vs. Grain

There are a number of arguments for both grass- and corn-fed cattle. Proponents of grazing cattle usually cite health issues: grass-fed has less fat but more omega-3 fatty acids, which help in the fight against heart disease and cancers. They also have higher levels of vitamins E, A and beta carotene. On the flip side, because there is less fat,…

Q&A Ask the Expert

A sit-down with meat man Ed Ryan, resident butcher, owner and great-grandson of Michael J. Ryan, founder of Ryan’s Market in Wickford.

What are the trends in retail steak today? Boneless pieces are big. These days, people are opting for ribeye and strip steaks. Anything from the short loin is perennially popular. Tenderloin—which happens to be my least favorite piece of meat—is huge. Thirty years ago, people wouldn’t pay that much for a cut with such little flavor, but lean meat and…

Prime Pairings

Liz Steely of Campus Fine Wines in Providence offers tips for choosing the right wine for your beef.

Complement your cut: Apart from a sauce, the fat content and flavor of the meat act as guidelines for choosing wine. The bold tannins of a cabernet do well with a nicely charred filet, while the deep spice of a Barolo will stand up to the heartier strip steak. Fattier cuts like hanger can take a malbec because the wine’s…

A Cow by Any Other Name

Tired of pretending you know what to call your steak? Or what that name means? There are four main breeds of quality cattle in the United States: Angus, Hereford, Shorthorn and, most recently, Wagyu. Certified Angus is America’s best-known beef: hearty enough to withstand inclement weather but also high enough in fat to yield a flavorful steak. Hereford and Shorthorn…