Grass Fed Beef
How to Prepare Grass-Fed Beef
Grass-fed beef is leaner than conventionally raised beef and needs to be cooked gently at a lower temperature and at a slower rate. Try to avoid over-cooking it. Familiarize yourself with the following points.
Thaw the meat in the refrigerator which allows the ice crystals to melt slowly and the juices to equalize. You can leave the meat out for a few minutes to just take the chill out from the refrigerator. Most meats are improved by this procedure and grass-fed beef especially benefits by this technique. The cooking time will be reduced, as it will take less time to reach the goal internal temperature while cooking. This gentler cooking method will help your meat stay juicy and delicious. Do not defrost in the microwave. The microwave breaks down the cellular structure in the meat and makes it very chewy.
Lower Cooking Temperature and Reduce Cooking Time
Grass-fed beef is leaner than conventional grain beef products so you need to cook it at a slightly lower temperature for 30-50% less time. Otherwise, you cook off the marbling (fat) that’s there and nutrients will be lost. (The longer your grass-fed beef is exposed to high heat, the more Omega-3’s and CLA you lose.) Spices should be added while the meat is on the fire, or immediately before and while the surface of the meat is moist. We recommend three basic seasonings: salt, pepper and granulated or fresh garlic. Salt should never be added before cooking as it dries out the meat; however, adding it while cooking enhances the outside texture a great deal.
Use a Meat Thermometer
Because grass-fed beef is leaner, a meat thermometer will ensure you consistently cook your meat just the way you like it. The desired internal temperatures for grass-fed beef steaks are:
• Rare – 120°F
• Medium Rare – 125°F
• Medium – 130°F
• Medium Well – 135°F
• Well – 140°F
IMPORTANT NOTE: To achieve the desired temperature, remove the meat from the heat when it’s about 10°F shy of what’s on the above list. The residual heat will finish cooking the meat over the next ten minutes as you let it rest.
Be patient as the meat cooks: Avoid the temptation to pierce the steaks or roasts with forks or pat burgers down with spatulas. This lets all the delicious fat escape, giving you a less juicy end result. Cook ground beef slowly at a lower heat.
Let steaks and roasts rest: When you’re done cooking your steak or roast, cover it loosely and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing into it. This allows time for any of the juices to get reabsorbed back into the meat. If you don’t do this final step, you’ll slice into your meat only to have all the juices trickle out onto your cutting board or serving plate. It’s a shame to lose this tasty aspect of the steak or roast.
** A good reference: Grass-fed Gourmet Cookbook
** Check out EATWILD.COM for more information about pasture raised meats.