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Meat

quality meat & butchers

At Bristol Farms, we’re serious about meat, and so that means we’re extraordinarily picky about what we offer. We know our rancher partners personally, and we’re directly involved in every aspect of getting the very highest quality meat to you, premium meats you just won’t find anywhere else. Plus, all of our meat is humanely raised and antibiotic- and hormone-free.

Our artisan butchers are masters at their craft and love to help. They’ll give you advice on the best cut, butcher it however you’d like, and even marinate it for you.

Come in and taste the Bristol Farms difference.

the best beef

When you pick a meal where beef is the star, of course you want the best-tasting, healthiest meat there is. That’s why we’re here. We hand-select all of our beef and everything we offer is humanely raised and antibiotic- and hormone-free.

We also have a beef for every taste: from natural to organic, corn-fed to grass-feed Wagyu to dry-aged.

gourmet corn-fed beef
The superior taste, texture, and consistency of our natural corn-fed beef is not only a result of the cattle’s finely controlled heritage, but because of the all-natural diet developed by a team of respected nutritionists. The result is USDA Choice or higher natural beef that is evenly marbled, exceptionally tender and, most importantly, utterly delicious.

grass-fed Wagyu beef
Wagyu are the Japanese cattle breed famous for its nutty-flavored, fat-marbled beef, and Bristol Farms is proud to be America’s only commercial-scale producer of rare Wagyu beef. The intensely marble meat is rich, buttery, and loaded with bold flavor that will elevate any meal: burgers on the grill, your trademark lasagna, tacos. And of course, it’s completely natural, with no added hormones and full of heart-healthy omega-3 and -6 fatty acids.

dry-aged beef
Dry-aging beef is a time-honored technique that that’s used to create cuts of beef with outstanding flavor and texture, beef that’s coveted by chefs and serious cooks. As the beef ages, the flavor becomes richer and more intense and the natural enzymes in the meat break down the muscle tissue to give it a tenderness that just cannot be replicated otherwise. Most stores don’t take the time and care to offer dry-aged beef, but we do. Here’s how: we place our natural beef in a refrigerated locker for 21 days at a temperature of 32 to 34 degrees F., 75-80 percent relative humidity, and an air velocity of 0.5 – 2.5 meters per second. Sounds a bit picky, right? But these three particular conditions are crucial to the proper aging of beef and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

veal & lamb

bristol quality veal
Bristol Farms is proud to offer you the finest veal available today. Veal is a young beef steer. Veal cuts are generally more tender than their beef counterparts and have a milder flavor. We carry exclusively European style milk-fed veal. Many people are opposed to milk-fed veal because in most programs, the calves are confined to small stalls before being harvested. Our calves are allowed to move freely in groups of three or four without the confines of tiny individual stalls.

The differences in how the calves are raised create major differences in the texture and flavor of the veal. Grass fed or weaned veal is darker, meatier, and more like beef. Milk-fed (white veal) is paler in color, much more tender, and milder in flavor. To provide differentiation and extreme quality for our customers, we prefer to offer the milk-fed variety.

our lamb
We, at Bristol Farms, believe we offer the most extensive variety of items to choose from in the marketplace. Our Lambs will NEVER receive any type of growth promoting hormones from the day they are born. They are also fed a strictly vegetarian diet. Like beef, lamb has a rich red color, but the meat is generally stronger tasting (a slight game flavor).

Most lamb sold in the supermarket has been processed when 6 to 12 months old. Animals processed past the first year are labeled mutton (no longer considered lamb). Our lamb is on the younger side of the age spectrum, usually under 60 pounds whole animal weight. This is because younger lamb has a milder flavor that most people prefer. Remember, the only indication of processed age at the supermarket is size. A whole leg of lamb weighing nine pounds is likely to have come from an older animal than a whole leg weighing just six pounds. Our lamb is raised in the United States of America.

bristol farms air chilled chicken

Bristol Farms Air-Chilled Chicken is produced by Pitman Farms in Sanger, California. The company’s sustainable farming practices distinguish these chickens from those raised conventionally in this country. Their program has the following attributes:

  • Pitman Farms never administers antibiotics to any of their chickens. In contrast, conventional growers routinely administer antibiotics to their birds.
  • Chickens taste like what they eat and at Pitman Farms the vegetarian diet consists of corn and soybean meal. Conventional feed contains animal fat and animal by-products.
  • The chickens grow from day one to maturity in a stress free environment – spacious custom ranch houses that have natural ventilation and sunlight. The birds are free to roam throughout these barns where a thick layer of rice hulls or wood shavings covers the earthen floor.
  • The chickens receive humane treatment at all times during their lives.
  • The ranchers use sustainable farming methods.
  • Pitman Farms chickens’ are air-chilled.

what is air-chilled?
It is the process by which poultry is cooled after processing. This process is commonplace in Europe.

benefits of air-chilled process

  • No water added
  • Reduced Cross Contamination
  • Locks in Natural Flavor and Juices
  • Reduction of Chlorine absorption
  • 100% Natural
  • Superb Flavor/Texture
  • Clean Process
  • California Raised

pasture raised chickens

Mary’s Free-Range California Bronze Air-Chilled Chickens are raised with the highest standards. They are grown on a pasture field in the sunny Central Valley of California. These chickens have places to perch, they are given areas to dust bathe, and they are treated with great respect and compassion.

Mary’s Free-Range California Bronze Air-Chilled Chickens are a slower growing breed, taking more time to grow before being sent to market. These chickens live a lifestyle and in an environment that is closest to their natural state. Chickens raised this way taste like chicken used to taste right off the farm. This robust flavor is coveted by chefs worldwide.

Mary’s Free-Range California Bronze Air-Chilled Chickens are processed and cooled individually using cold air, rather than the more commonly used method of placing the chickens in a communal bath of water. This air-chilled method prevents the absorption of water, greatly reducing any potential of bacterial cross contamination.

All of Mary’s chickens grow naturally with plenty of room to roam in a caring environment on ranches in sunny California. Mary’s Chickens are fed a high quality vegetable protein diet with no animal by-products or additives, and they are never de-beaked. Every effort is made to treat these chickens as humanely as possible throughout the production process.

what is a "heritage" turkey?

Today, a growing number of people are skipping the traditional supermarket version of the Thanksgiving turkeys that are richer in flavor. Breeds such as the Narragansett and the Bourbon Red were once common Thanksgiving fare in America. With the advent of large scale farming, these breeds lost favor to the more dominant bird in today’s supermarkets: The broad breasted white. Today, interest in these so-called Heritage breeds is reborn thanks to a movement among conservationists who understand that endangered species can be saved if a commercial market is created for them.

The Heritage turkey breeds—the image of the “perfect” Norman Rockwell painting notwithstanding—are a part of American culinary history. Yet the birds that our forefathers knew and cherished virtually became extinct. The population of the Narragansett, the oldest turkey variety in the United States, and once the foundation of the New England turkey industry, was recently reduced to fewer than 100 live birds nationwide. Mary’s turkey ranch is one of few ranches that have brought back some of these heritage breeds by raising and marketing unique Heritage turkeys. The Heritage turkeys take us back to the days when we anticipated the Thanksgiving meal with pleasure. It seems too good to be true: Eating something this unique and delicious is a strategy for preserving biodiversity. Bristol Farms is proud to offer Heritage Turkeys for our customers’ thanksgiving and holiday celebrations.

pork

Bristol Farms’ Natural Pork is 100% pure, all-natural fresh pork that never contains any growth hormones, artificial preservatives, or coloring agents.

All of our program’s genetically superior hogs are farmed to strict environmental and husbandry procedures. Likewise, the hogs eat only specially designed diets under environmentally friendly and stress-reducing conditions. This results in the most flavorful fresh pork that is of the highest quality.

snake river farms kurobuta pork

Snake River Farms is one of the only brands offering 100% purebred Berkshire Pork, ensuring a consistently exquisite eating experience. Often referred to as Kurobuta, Berkshire pork has been celebrated in Japan and around the world for many reasons but especially for its marbling and flavor, which are its most distinctive characteristics.

Its origins date back almost 300 years, when legend has the Berkshire hog being discovered by Oliver Cromwell’s army in winter quarters at Reading, the county seat in the shire of Berks in England. Fancied for its tremendous eating quality, the Berkshire breed was refined in the early 1800’s and has remained pure ever since. Pure Berkshire pedigrees form the base of the Snake River Farms brand and they have created a strong international demand for the superior taste, texture, and marbling of Kurobuta pork.

Snake River Farms American Kurobuta Pork is raised with great care on small family farms in the Midwest. No extender, no sodium, and no water are ever added to their fresh pork products. Taste tests comparing American Kurobuta Pork (Berkshire) to other common pork varieties consistently show that consumers prefer Kurobuta. In fact, the National Pork Producers Council conducted a taste test using 25 quality traits, and Kurobuta Pork ranked #1 in 19 of them, including tenderness and juiciness.

Snake River Farms American Kurobuta Pork is lean, with small, fine streaks of marbling that make each cut sweet, tender, and juicy. Unlike traditional white pork that can have a tendency to be bland and dry, American Kurobuta Pork is much darker in color and rich in flavor. In fact, the Wall Street Journal has dubbed it “The Other Red Meat.”

Comparing the weight of loins before and after cooking, American Kurobuta Pork has significantly less weight loss – up to 50% less – than some other varieties. This is the succulent and juicy difference you can taste with Snake River Farms American Kurobuta Pork.

bristol quality sausage

Bristol Farms’ natural sausages are made daily within our own company. We use only the highest quality, natural ingredients without the use of artificial flavors or preservatives. Our sausage meats include only whole muscle meats such as pork shoulder butts, boneless/skinless chicken, and turkey thigh meat. Because all varieties are not offered every day, feel free to special order any variety listed with a 5 lb minimum order.

Our sausage repertoire includes flavors from around the globe such as:

Chicken Fiesta Sausage: Fresh ground Boneless/Skinless chicken thigh meat combined with spicy Italian seasonings, fresh bell peppers, and onions make this sausage a delightful addition to pasta or right off the grill.

Pork Danish Sausage: A mild European sausage; the one that made Solvang famous.

Chicken/Shrimp Creole Sausage: Made with fresh Boneless/Skinless chicken thigh meat, Canadian bay shrimp, fresh onions, crushed red pepper, and Cajun style spices. This sausage is truly unique; a taste from the Bayou!

Baja Chicken Sausage: Made with fresh Boneless/Skinless chicken thigh meat, shrimp, cilantro, onions, lemon juice, and Mexican spices, this delicious sausage captures the unique; flavors of Baja where fresh seafood and wonderful Mexican seasonings collide.

Turkey Cranberry Sausage: Made with fresh California turkey, cornbread stuffing, sun dried cranberries, and sage seasoning. This sausage is a turkey dinner in a link, with the trimmings!

Swedish Potato Sausage: Cooked potatoes, onions, and a mild allspice seasoning mixture make this European favorite full of flavor. Made with fresh veal, pork, and beef much like the infamous Swedish meatball.

Pork Sicilian Cheese: This is an Italian style sausage with the distinctive flavor of red wine, Romano cheese, and pepper. Perfect for all Italian dishes, sandwiches, and right off the grill.

Pork Argentine Sausage: This South American favorite is what the Argentine ranchers are famous for; made with fresh pork shoulder.

Pork Irish Cabbage: Lean ground pork shoulder, special seasoning, with plenty of cabbage and onion, make this St. Patrick’s Day favorite truly unique.

Creole Turkey Sausage: Put a little heat in your diet with this Louisiana country favorite, made with fresh turkey thigh meat.

Chicken Jezebel Sausage: Fresh Boneless/Skinless chicken thigh meat, sun-dried tomatoes, cilantro, Serrano chilies, and a touch of lemon and spices make this sausage a great combo served with beans or right off the grill. It’ll knock your socks off!

Pork Apple Sausage: Brown sugar, cinnamon, green apples, and sage seasoning make this American favorite truly unique; just like mom’s apple pie.

Pork Fresh Kielbasa: A traditional Polish sausage with plenty of garlic. Perfect for sandwiches or right off the grill.

Fresh Pork Portuguese Linguisa: A spicy sausage made from fresh lean pork shoulder. A Hawaiian favorite! This sausage is delicious in paella or right off the grill.

Fresh Pork Andouille: Lean ground pork and Cajun spices. A spicy French country sausage that is perfect for Jambalaya, red beans and rice, or right off the grill.

Cilantro Chicken Sausage: Fresh Boneless/Skinless chicken thigh meat and Mexican style seasonings make this summer favorite “king of the grill”!

Artichoke Chicken Sausage: This chicken sausage is mildly seasoned with a hint of roasted garlic and flecked with artichoke. Delightful!

Chicken Apple/Cinnamon Link: With a sage seasoning base accented by green apples and cinnamon, this American favorite is truly red, white, and blue!

…and also more familiar favorites such as:

Pork Hot Italian
Pork Sweet Italian
Pork Bratwurst
Pork English Bangers
Pork Breakfast Links
Pork French Garlic
Turkey Sweet Italian
Turkey Hot Italian
Chicken/Turkey Sausage with Sun-Dried Tomato/Basil

meat attributes

what is “natural”?
Any product may be labeled natural if it is minimally processed and free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Minimal processing includes smoking, roasting, freezing, drying, and fermenting.

Bristol Farms defines natural meat as:

  • Free from antibiotic residue
  • Fed a balanced vegetarian diet, without the addition of animal fat or animal by-products
  • Grown in a comfortable, stress-free environment
  • Handled humanely at all times
  • Grown using environmentally sound, sustainable farming methods
    what is “organic”?
  • Organic meats are derived from naturally raised animals that are fed a diet that consists of
  • 100% certified organic corn and soybeans grown on soil that has been free of pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers for at least three years.

what are “antibiotics”?
An antibiotic is a substance that inhibits or kills a microorganism. Within the poultry industry, for example, there is widespread use of sub-therapeutic levels of antibiotics to increase a chicken’s growth rate and to control the spread of diseases that occur in unsanitary, crowded conditions. A bird that consumes antibiotics almost every day will gain weight on less feed. Of all the antibiotics administered in the United States, 84% are given to farm animals. The pervasive use of antibiotics in farming is contributing to “antibiotic resistance” because bacteria have adapted and developed immunity to drugs previously considered reliable remedies. Bristol Farms takes great pride in offering many meat products that are antibiotic free.

what are “hormones”?
A hormone is a natural or synthetic product that affects cell activity. Unlike cattle, poultry ranchers are prohibited by federal regulations to use hormones of any kind. Ranchers have not used hormones in chicken ranching for over 35 years.

what is “sustainable farming”?
Based on the principle that business must meet the needs of the present without compromising the future, sustainable farming is defined as:

  • Honoring stewardship of the land and the highest standards of animal husbandry
  • Monitoring and evaluating every process, minimizing the use of natural resources; practicing conservation in daily business
  • Providing employees with safe working conditions, competitive wages, health benefits and employment stability
  • Supporting the local community and the preservation of agriculture in operating area

what is “free range”?
USDA standards allow any chicken or turkey with access to the outside – even a small, outdoor concrete pad – to be labeled as free range. Bristol Farms believes that free range chickens should be raised in spacious poultry houses. When the young birds mature and are fully feathered, they are allowed access to clean, fenced areas outside where they can actually roam and forage.

grading meat
All meat and poultry are harvested and processed under inspection of the USDA. Meat packers can choose whether they want their meat graded for quality even though grading has nothing to do with the wholesomeness of beef, lamb, or veal. No matter what its quality grade, all meat sold in the United States has to meet strict sanitary requirements all the way from the processor to the butcher’s case.

Federal quality grading of meat is based on the age of the animal, the degree of intramuscular fat (marbling), and the conformation, or physique, of the animal. The age of the animal has a direct effect on the juiciness and flavor of the meat so younger animals will be more tender with more marbling. So, high quality beef, for example, will have a broad and substantial back, or loin area, which provides meat that, is both flavorful and tender.

Although there are eight grades, in reality most of the meat falls into the top three grades. To be officially graded, the meat should bear the USDA initials and grade. Only about 2 percent of today’s beef is of the highest USDA grade, or prime, which, has the highest level of marbling. About 45 percent of beef is graded choice, while 21 percent are stamped with the select grade.

Meat graded choice comes from young animals with minimal to moderate marbling and good conformation. Select is leaner meat. Select steaks have little marbling and only a few flakes of white, intramuscular fat. Because select meat is so lean, it can be easily dried out when overcooked by dry-heat methods. It has less flavor and juiciness overall than the higher grades.

In addition to USDA grading, some meat and poultry are harvested and processed under religious restrictions. Kosher meat is butchered under the supervision of special Rabbis and is subject to specific Jewish laws. Halal meat is also religiously supervised by butchers who follow strict Islamic practices.

proper handling
Fresh beef, lamb, or veal can be stored for three to four days in the refrigerator; however, ground meats, pork, or poultry should be used within two days. Store wrapped meats in the coldest part of the refrigerator, at 36 degrees to 40 degrees. If you don’t intend to use the meat within a few days of purchase it should be frozen immediately to ensure quality. When well- wrapped, meat will keep frozen for three to six months\’.

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