On the hoof: Beef from coastal pastures

It’s back to the future on 80,000 acres of Central Coast ranchland around the Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Native grasses are being restored to feed a state-of-the art grass-fed beef operation — and the rib-eyes, New York steaks, burgers and hot dogs are just hitting the market.

The land, a working ranch since the 1800s, was saved from development in a landmark conservation agreement with the state last year, according to Stephen Hearst, who is the ranch manager and great-grandson of newspaper pioneer William Randolph Hearst. The Hearst family now owns The Chronicle.

Berkeley and Marin schoolkids are already eating the burgers and dogs, Hearst says. The beef is available online at www.hearstranch.com.

— Carol Ness

From The San Francisco Chronicle Food Section