It’s not quite as adventurous as offal, but there’s something kind of wrong and taboo about eating your juicy burger in front of other cows. It seems rude. After all, the sandwich you’re enjoying used to be their friend. But in a world where *not* eating local is virtually a felony, it was only a matter of time until the North Fork would have access to neighborhood red meat.

A region with an abundance of produce, seafood, and wine grown in our backyards would eventually need more protein to balance out the food pyramid or food plate or whatever they call it these days. Beef could join Browder’s Birds on the table.

But who had the time, excess land or ambition to raise cattle?

McCall Winery and Ranch owner, Russ McCall, manning the grill.

Luckily for us that person is Russ McCall.

McCall Wines in Cutchogue is well known for their pinot noir and their passion for the preservation of the North Fork. Now that they’ve begun to raise Charolais Cattle under the McCall Ranch label, they’ll be known for their beef.

Keeping in line with the respectful ‘less is more’ philosophy found in their wines, McCall Ranch raises their herd antibiotic, hormone and steroid free. Grass-fed beef has long been sought after as it provides consumers with a humane and delicious alternative to animals fed corn or soy or grain. Great for the cows and our consciences, but even better is
the taste.

Right now, there’s more than one place to sample McCall beef. After being butchered in Farmingdale, steers show up on the menu at local favorite North Fork Table and Inn. The restaurant, a steady supporter of nearby suppliers, present different cuts seemingly as they move around the cow. Porterhouse, Cowboy and T-bone steaks have all been offered on the $75 dollar 3-course menu for a $40 dollar supplement.

For those looking for cheaper or smaller portions, the Lunch Truck at the Table and Inn features day-to-day specials using the meat. The Steak Sandwich and Traditional Chili kick some serious carnivore ass. Better still, the Meatball Sub, covered in fresh pecorino and loaded into onto a Blue Duck Bakery Roll, showcases the rich flavor of the beef while making you regret skipping the treadmill.

Purists can visit the McCall tasting room on Sundays from 12-4 and purchase a ground chuck patty for $7.00. This makes Sundays the best days of my entire life. Hyperbole aside, please believe me when I tell you this is the deal of the century.

Marbled with enough fat to melt into flavor and cooked to your liking (rare), this burger is a steal. Devoured at the picnic tables with a glass of red wine from the nearby winery, this meat competes with Pat LaFrieda or any burger found in Manhattan.

Sure, at some point, I’ll have to slow down, watch my cholesterol and back off the beef, but for now I’m chowing down on every ounce from McCall Ranch I can get my hands on. Sorry sweet eyed lovely watching me from around the corner of the vineyard, but your buddy is delicious.

McCall Ranch
22600 Route 25
Cutchogue, New York 11935