Sustainable + Simple = Just Plain Delicious, as It Should Be

While living in Northern California, I got to know about Chaffin Family Orchards through friends and different farmers markets that I would frequent. And, as social media continues to grow, I started following them on Twitter, and they started to follow me.

Just check out their website about the farm - it's a five generation-run family farm that is doing everything delicious, organic, and sustainable.

It wasn't until last week that Chris Kerston, who is the sales manager for Chaffin Orchards, emailed me (and of course many others) to say that they would be doing a Southern California delivery of different cuts of their grass-fed beef, grass-fed goat, organic extra virgin olive oil, chicken parts, beef and goat bones, organic pasture fed hen get the picture. Of course I jumped on the opportunity to get some product from a farm I truly believe in!

I decided to stick with the grass-fed beef (though the next time I will definitely try some of the goat). Deciding on the amounts was difficult, because I know they don't make deliveries to So Cal very often, more like once or twice a year. But, I kept it moderate: filets, short ribs, cross cut shanks, sirloin tips, and ground beef with a sampling of their olive oil.

And, was I a happy camper picking up the meat on Friday:

And that Friday night, I was so excited because I had already planned on cooking the filets with a fellow foodie, who I think was just as excited to taste the meat as I was!

We chose to cook the filets, and because BBQing was the best and easiest way, we simply marinated them in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Honestly, when you have meat this good to cook, there is no need to over-season. (See the first pic up above...)

We heated up the grill and on went the steaks...

A quick flip after about 8 minutes...

And then to plate...

I decided a marinated tomato salad would be perfect with the steak. So I threw together:
  • Campari tomatoes, quartered and seeded
  • garlic, minced
  • shallot, finely chopped
  • fresh basil, chiffonade
  • fresh arugula
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
And this is the beauty of the meal we ended up with:

Oh, and last minute, we decided to grill some onions, which only added a great nuance to the dinner:

The meat was super moist with that amazing flavor you get from grass fed beef. It's like you knew the cow was happy, grazing on the land, eating what it was SUPPOSED to be eating and enjoying its life on the range. Honestly, all readers of my blog have to get your hands on some of their beef at some point. And the tomato salad added the best balance of acidity for the fat/protein of the steak.

There is something to be said for truly enjoying a meal, but there is nothing better than knowing where your food comes from. In this case, I owe it all to Chaffin Orchards for raising amazing cattle and I thank Chris for making the trip down to So Cal so that I can continuously enjoy their amazing product.

But, the best part, at the end of the meal, I once again realized that cooking "simply" and sustainably is more fulfilling than anything. When you have amazing proteins, amazing produce, and amazing wine (yes, Justin Isoceles to pair....), life is pretty good. And that is enough to make my stomach happy...and me smile.


  1. Thanks Lesley, beautiful blog post! So glad you enjoyed the meat. We put a lot of effort in to producing the finest quality meat and orchard crops possible. Here is a fairly recent episode of Peak Moment which featured the farms ability to use minimal inputs to produce high quality organic food. It's basically a tour of the farm if folks would like to check it out and learn a little more about us and what we do.

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