Most cattle are fed grain or grass in feedlots, where the food is 88% dry. Santa Carota cattle are finished with carrots, containing 88% moisture, which infuses their muscle tissue with vitamins like B12 and beta-carotene, which absorbs in the body as Vitamin A. Pair this with the animals’ ability to roam free on open ground, and you get a beef that is not only healthier, but more moist and delicious than its competitors.
History of the Pettit Ranch
Santa Carota beef, meaning “holy carrot” in Italian, is raised on the Pettit family farm just east of Bakersfield California, at the foot of Breckenridge mountain. The family knows its meat, and has been raising cattle for an astonishing three generations, culminating in 30 years of experience in the meat industry. They began feeding their cattle carrots back in 1989, but it wasn’t until April of 2017 that they experimented with completely finishing their cattle on carrots. After trying just one bite of the product, they knew they had to get to work. Within 18 months, they had developed a new logo, featuring a carrot with steer horns and a halo, and demand for their superior beef began to grow across the West.
Typical American farms, even those who mostly grass feed their cattle, finish their cows with grain and added hormones to get them to a desired weight before butchering. The Pettit ranch instead finishes their cows on carrots. Carrots contain sugar, like corn, but the amount of sugar is less per volume, and the carrots naturally inflate the muscle tissue with moisture, eliminating the need for added hormones. Because beta carotene absorbs into the body as Vitamin A, this beef has added benefits of being a heart and lung healthy option that keeps the immune system healthy. By cutting corn from their diets, consumers with gluten intolerances can rest assured that their beef will always be gluten free. As an added bonus, anyone who enjoys this beef may experience easier digestion as compared to traditionally raised beef.
What’s more, the farm is committed to implementing the most sustainable practices to ensure healthy land, cows, and people. The farmers ensure that the cattle will never run out of fresh carrots by recycling carrots from nearby farms, like Bolthouse and Grimmway farms, which produce more than a million pounds of carrots per day. This keeps that million pounds of carrots out of landfills- each day. The cows are also allowed to roam free and graze, as they would in their natural habitat.
When the cows are ready for harvest, they’re taken to a Temple Grandin facility in Buena Park, California called One World Beef. The philosophy of the facility is based on 30 years of study which concludes that meat can be consumed ethically, as long as the animals are treated with as much dignity as possible, giving them a good life before their inevitable end. Clearly the Pettit farmers hold themselves to the highest standards to ensure a quality, healthy, and environmentally friendly product.
How to cook Santa Carota beef
Because their beef is so juicy and low in saturated fat, it will cook around 20-30% faster than other beef. The cuts in this program work well with a variety of cooking techniques, including grilling, pan-searing, reverse sear, and sous-vide. For a ribeye or strip, grilling on medium high heat works great, searing for a couple minutes each side. The reverse sear is the preferred method for the filet, cooking the cut first in a 225 degree oven until the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Then sear the filet in a pan for a couple minutes each side, including those thick edges.
For a rare steak, the meat should always be cooked to a minimum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If you prefer your steak to be cooked longer, then you'll want to follow this simple internal temperature guide:
- Medium-Rare Meat: should be cooked to 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit
- Medium: 140-150 degrees Fahrenheit
- Medium-Well: 155-165 degrees Fahrenheit
- Well-Done: 170+ degrees Fahrenheit