Meat Pie (and San Francisco Grass Fed Beef Map)

by Fresh Planet Flavor
Meat Pie (grass fed beef and lamb, wrapped in bacon) | Fresh Planet Flavor
Grass-fed beef: what is it? why does it matter? ...and a grass-fed beef (pie) recipe to try.Click To Tweet

San Francisco is a mash-up of hipsters and hippies, where Silicon Valley elite share the sidewalks with the rampant homeless, artists hone their craft, tourists jostle, activists chant, and tireless outdoor adventurers explore the nearby ocean, mountains, and forests. If you’re relocating to this magical city (or planning a visit!) you will want to know the lay of the land food-wise as soon as possible, and so I took the time to map where San Francisco grass-fed beef can be sourced.

Leave me a comment below if you know somewhere to eat/buy San Francisco grass-fed beef that I should add to the list. Please and thank you! 🙌 

But in addition (prior?) to where to buy it, what’s the grass-fed beef bigger picture? What is it, and why does it matter? The answer to the first question what is it is not so simple as one might think (a fact unscrupulous suppliers exploit at the expense of consumers). On a stroll through your market or grocery store, you might notice that if the beef’s label says “grass-fed”, it’s probably more expensive than your standard package of meat. But the designation may mean absolutely nothing.

Beware that the term isn’t tightly regulated by the United States government, and therefore cryptic and possibly deceitful. The USDA does not have an official definition of the term “grass-fed”… which means the phrase is open to interpretation.

If you want to ensure that you’re not falling victim to a feel-good marketing ploy:

  • The absolute best tactic is to find a rancher locally who can supply you with meat, and ask directly about his/her operation. Take a tour of their ranch if necessary (or for enjoyment).
  • For United States meat, the American Grassfed Association (AGA) has published standards with which they certify their meat. If you can source AGA product, you’ll at least know the definition to which it adheres.
  • Buy your meat online. For United States readers, the ranch I primarily recommend is Stemple Creek, because of their participation in regenerative agriculture and their achievement of fatty grass-fed beef… this is quite an accomplishment, and their product is totally unlike the tough, tasteless meat that sometimes gives grass-fed a bad name.
Marin County's Stemple Creek grass-fed cows enjoying California sunshine. (Credit: Local Butcher Shop)

Marin County’s Stemple Creek grass-fed cows enjoying California sunshine. (Credit: Local Butcher Shop)

Ensure that you're not falling victim to 'grass-fed' beef as just a feel-good marketing ploy.Click To Tweet

Why does it matter is also important to understand, and there are many factors at play. Properly-managed grassland for pasture means hundreds of plant and animals species sustaining a closed-loop and functional ecosystem. Improperly managed beef production means environmental destruction and unchecked pollution. Herbivores have a role to play in the ecosystem at such places as Stemple Creek, mentioned above, where the question of how effectively pasture can capture carbon is being explored (piloted by the Marin Carbon Project). A worthy inter-species experiment! 

Another factor at play are the grass-fed beef health benefits for humans. Nutritionally, grass-fed beef comes out ahead when compared to grain-fed beef, according to a summary in the Nutrition Journal reviewing three decades of research.

  • Beef from grass-fed animals has higher levels of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, and grass-fed beef also offers more vitamins A and E as well as antioxidants.
  • The study found that meat from animals raised entirely on grass also had about twice the levels of conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, which may have cancer fighting properties and lower the risk of diabetes.

Research spanning three decades suggests that grass-based diets can significantly improve the fatty acid (FA) composition and antioxidant content of beef, albeit with variable impacts on overall palatability.

While the levels of omega-3 in grass-fed beef may not compare to the levels of omega-3 in fish—for example—if you eat red meat regularly, then the benefit adds up over months and years.

Lastly, everyone loves the idea of cattle grazing freely in fields beneath sunshine and open sky. Compare the sight of green hillsides to the pictures of muddy, barren feedlots. It’s no surprise that from an animal welfare perspective, grazing cattle are commonly considered happier than feedlot cattle. Also, since animals grow faster on grain, there’s financial incentive for ranchers to over-feed in order to bring the animal to market faster, yet feeding grain to a ruminant, whose digestive system is fine-tuned for grass, results in the pH in the animal’s system becoming too acidic… leading to all kinds of health problems. 

Now that you have an introduction to what grass-fed beef is, why it matters and where to buy it, let’s DO A RECIPE. 😍 😍 😍 I’ve created a recipe for Meat Cake before, so why not Meat Pie? Although really this is just meatloaf, done up fancy. 

Meat Pie (grass fed beef and lamb, wrapped in bacon) | Fresh Planet Flavor

When I teased the Meat Pie on Instagram yesterday, I showed the photo I took of it just before putting it in the oven. Shows the latticework really nicely, doesn’t it?


As it bakes, the Meat Pie will render its fat and shrink away from the pie plate/pan sides. I chose to pour off the fat, transfer it to a serving plate, arrange fresh baby greens around its perimeter and garnish it with fresh herbs.  

Meat Pie (grass fed beef and lamb, wrapped in bacon) | Fresh Planet Flavor

Meat Pie (grass fed beef and lamb, wrapped in bacon) | Fresh Planet Flavor

Meat Pie
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Fresh Planet Flavor
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground lamb
  • 1 cup almond flour or almond meal
  • 1/4 cup diced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used hemp milk)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • A pack of bacon slices, baby salad greens, fresh herbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 °F. In a large bowl, combine the first thirteen ingredients. Mix together with your hands until thoroughly combined.
  2. Grease a pie plat or pan, then load the meat mix into it. Smooth the top, then decorate with bacon in a bacon weave ([url href=”” target=”_blank”]this is a good basic tutorial[/url] but do not cut the bacon in half, simply trim any long bits hanging over the sides of the pie plate/pan and tuck them under the beef mix).
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for approx 50 minutes, or until the bacon is browned and the meat underneath is firm. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes, then drain off the fat. Transfer the meat pie to a serving plate, arrange baby salad greens around it, and top with fresh herbs and freshly-ground black pepper.
I used a combo of beef and lamb, but if you don’t have lamb or don’t particularly favor its strong taste, opt for all beef.

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candy February 3, 2017 - 5:13 pm

Great looking photo and sounds like a great dish. Our neighbors raise their own grass fed beef and we get our meat from them. We actually trade back for forth for stuff. We love visiting San Francisco.

Fresh Planet Flavor February 3, 2017 - 9:39 pm

You get your meat from your neighbors? Lucky you!

Laina Turner February 3, 2017 - 8:17 pm

I am now seriously hungry! Looks like a really great dish.

Fresh Planet Flavor February 3, 2017 - 9:39 pm

Thanks! Bacon bacon baconnnnnn. 😉

Rae February 4, 2017 - 11:05 pm

I was nearly drooling over that bacon. Last spring we bought a steer that failed to make weight for the fair from a family friend, and while it wasn’t completely grass fed, the meat that we’ve tried thus far has been so incredibly flavorful and tender I’m not sure how I’ll ever go back to commercial meat. I also think that because we know the animal was treated humanely makes a huge difference.

Fresh Planet Flavor February 5, 2017 - 6:48 pm

For sure… Love this story of sourcing your meat among friends!

haleybop February 6, 2017 - 3:42 pm

holy bananas that looks good… pinning this!

Francesca February 6, 2017 - 4:40 pm

That looks delicious! I’ll definitely be trying out this recipe, anything with bacon I love!

Kat February 6, 2017 - 4:59 pm

Uh no fair. We don’t have much grassfed beef options in Miami except for Costco if they have it. We definitely can’t get anything organic or grassfed at restaurants here.

I’ve been a sucker for meat pies since a layover in England. I’m totally going to make this. Looks so good!

Fresh Planet Flavor February 6, 2017 - 6:56 pm

Yes, San Francisco has a pretty good human/sustainable/healthy meat culture that is supported by the surrounding areas. You should definitely write letters to your grocery stores and markets that there’s a desire for customers to have access to grass-fed beef.

Renee February 6, 2017 - 7:18 pm

Yesssss! My husband would LOVE this! I can’t wait to try it! Thank you for the inspiration and for being an advocate for quality, sustainable meat!

Jackie {theseasidebaker} February 7, 2017 - 3:08 am

Great tips! Not only is grass fed better for you and the environment, but I truly believe it tastes better! This recipe looks perfect!

Fresh Planet Flavor February 8, 2017 - 8:53 pm

You should check out Stemple Creek… theirs tastes better for sure!

Kristen February 7, 2017 - 6:42 am

This looks amazing! Anything with bacon is always delicious but wrapped in bacon is INCREDIBLE!

Tina February 7, 2017 - 4:03 pm

That looks so good! Thanks for making me so hungry! LOL

Fresh Planet Flavor February 8, 2017 - 8:53 pm

Any time. 😉

Liz February 7, 2017 - 4:58 pm

YUM!!! This looks amazing!!!

Emily Recipes to Nourish February 7, 2017 - 5:43 pm

Wow that is so beautiful! Love that bacon weave! Perfect description of SF too, I grew up there part time as a kid.

Fresh Planet Flavor February 8, 2017 - 8:54 pm

Ha, isn’t San Francisco a wild and wonderful town? Been here three years and not bored yet!

Cristina February 7, 2017 - 9:39 pm

Anything wrapped in bacon is a win, but this is just stunning!

Irena from Eat Drink Paleo February 8, 2017 - 5:02 pm

In a dream world, every city would have its own guide to grass-fed beef. Also… this recipe!!! The bacon weave is everything. I can’t wait to try my hand at this.

ChihYu February 8, 2017 - 9:16 pm

I can imagine how good this meat pie tastes when wrapped in bacon ! You are so creative !!

Stacey Crawford February 8, 2017 - 9:32 pm

This looks like the kind of recipe my Hubby would find truly manstastic in it’s meatiness. Keeping this one for his birthday, or your meat cake perhaps. 🙂

Michele Spring February 8, 2017 - 10:53 pm

I need you to move to Colorado so you can tell me all this useful info for this area 🙂 This meat pie though- looks to die for! So delicious. I mean, bacon…

Katja February 9, 2017 - 7:53 pm

Two of my favorite things: meat and pie! Perfect!

Jessica DeMay February 12, 2017 - 3:15 am

These meat pie looks amazing- my husband will totally love it! I love all this info on grass-fed meat. I know it’s better (and tastes better), but I sometimes forget all the reasons why. So thanks!

Kari Peters February 12, 2017 - 4:17 am

What a creative way to make meat pie! Plus that bacon has me needing a slice ASAP!

Becky Winkler (A Calculated Whisk) February 12, 2017 - 3:36 pm

This looks so delicious! Absolutely love the bacon weave. Wish I had as many nearby sources for grass-fed beef as you do in SF! I’ve really been enjoying ButcherBox as a delivery option, though.

Fresh Planet Flavor February 12, 2017 - 7:48 pm

Been thinking of starting up with Butcher Box myself, at least to tell my readers how I like it…

Erin Carter February 12, 2017 - 3:50 pm

Oh that bacon top looks amazing!

Mark Whelan February 12, 2017 - 4:14 pm

Genuinely blown away by how nice this looks! My hometown is famous for high quality pies (so I should be an expert on the subject), and there’s nothing better than a high quality pie!

Hannah Healy February 12, 2017 - 7:49 pm

Time to get my beef on!

Carrie Forrest February 12, 2017 - 7:54 pm

I love me some meat!

Taesha February 12, 2017 - 8:41 pm

I love the addition of the map in this post! Its such great information for people in your area!

Fresh Planet Flavor February 13, 2017 - 12:12 am

Thanks! And for my readers visiting San Francisco… 🙂

Vanessa Woozley February 12, 2017 - 8:56 pm

Beautiful recipe and photos and you are right grass-fed beef is so important–kinder to the cow and to us!

Amy February 13, 2017 - 2:58 am

I love the lattice work!! And I pinned this recipe earlier, can’t wait to try it!

Fresh Planet Flavor February 13, 2017 - 5:42 pm

Thanks! The lattice-work looks amazing but is also so easy!

Georgina Young February 13, 2017 - 3:44 pm

I think you’ve just made every one of my meat eating friend’s dream dinner haha! Fab work! x


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