two basics for cooking grass fed beef
1. Don’t Overcook
2. Keep the Meat Juices in the Meat
How to do it:
Grass-fed meat has less fat then grain-fed supermarket meat. It should be cooked more like venison - another grass-fed or wild, lean meat.
There are a couple of important changes in cooking methods:
First, grass-fed meat cooks in less time then fattier meat and needs to be cooked at a lower temperature for a shorter period of time.
Second, because it is a lean meat and the fat is what keeps it juicy, you want to make sure to keep the natural juices.
How To Grill, Broil or Pan-Fry a Grass-fed Steak:
- Sear it first: Lightly oil the meat, put it on a very hot grill or frying pan and sear each side until it is browned in the surface. This creates a ‘crust’ that keeps the juices in.
- Then turn down the heat. Move to a cooler area on the grill, lower the broiler rack or turn down the burner.
- Cooke without cutting. This is how you keep the juices in. Instead of using a fork to turn, press down or cut it open, insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and rely on it to tell you when it’s done.
- Watch the thermometer closely. Even at a lower heat, grass-fed meat cookies faster then grain-fed. The most common culprit for dry, tough grass-fed meat is overcooking. Rare is 120 degrees and medium is 135 degrees. If you want to cook it more then medium, baste and marinate to keep it juicy.
- Wrap in foil for 5 - 10 minutes after its done, before cutting, to let the juices in the center redistribute to the edges. Slicing against the grain and in thinner slices, will make any meat more tender.
Moist Cooking Grass-fed Meat:
One easy way to make a great meal from almost any less-tender cut of meat is to put it in a crock pot, Dutch oven or other heavy lidded pan with some kind of liquid - a sauce or broth - and let it cook at a very low temperature until it’s fall-off-the-bone tender. A large chuck roast might take 8 or more hours; a smaller cut much less time.
You can cook it in a barbecue sauce then shred it with a fork and have beef barbecue. You can add carrots, potatoes, onions, or other vegetables for a Yankee pot roast one-dish meal. Remember to always cook at a lower temperature to keep all those natural juices!
If you want to grill or roast a less tender steak, like a round, skirt, flank or chuck steak, it’s a good idea to tenderize it or you’ll get a pretty chewy steak. Here are a few ways to do this:
Pounding a piece of meat (wrapped in plastic to avoid splattering) with a meat mallet or a similar last surface at least 1 ½ inches wide, will help break up the connective tissue that makes meat tough. Be gentle to keep from squashing it into a pancake.
Herb and spice marinades are often used to add flavor to an already tender cut of meat. But a marinade will also tenderize steaks if it includes an acid like lemon juice, wine or vinegar; oil to lock in the flavor; and natural enzymes from foods like garlic, fresh pineapple or papaya juice. Some of these enzymes are sold died as meat tenderizers; be sure the ingredients are 100% natural enzymes with zero other ingredients and zero MSG or chemicals.
A marinade can be as simple as a high quality organic oil, vinegar and some garlic. Put the thawed meat in a zip lock bag with the air pushed out, mix it until the meat is covered. Refrigerate it for an hour or two if you want to add flavor; to tenderize the meat with a marinade, let it sit for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Mix it around in the bag occasionally throughout the marination period to be sure the whole steak stays covered.
This is a handheld tool that many people love. It’s thin, tiny knives go an inch down into the meat, piercing connective tissue to tenderize. Searing will seal the tiny cuts to keep the juices in, however, be careful about how you use it as too much piercing can turn a tender steak into the consistency of a hamburger. Jacquard tenderizers work especially well with roasts and thicker pieces of meat that are harder to tenderize well with mallets and marinades.
If you want to use a marinade to flavor a roast, using a Jaccard tenderizer first allows the flavor to penetrate much further into the roast. It also will shorten the cooking time for slow-cooking, since the moisture will penetrate more quickly.