Main ingredients come in all shapes and sizes. Knowing more about them always comes in handy.
There is a rumor going around that grass-finished beef is not as tender as it's grain-finished cousin. The truth is that because it's leaner, grass-finished beef can easily dry out or become overcooked. So keeping it moist is key.
Following these 7 tips will make that easy.
- Replace that missing fat in ground beef with something like chopped onions or shredded cheese. For steaks, marinate for 4-6 hours before cooking
- Because grass-finished cooks quicker, lower the cooking temperature. Remember, perfect to overdone and possibly dried out can happen before you know it.
- To get a good, even sear all the way around, without over cooking, make sure to preheat your cooking surface. Whether a grill or a pan (we prefer cast iron), preheating is key. Along the same lines, don't take your beef straight from cold to cook. Let it warm up slowly to room temperature before starting to cook. Many people actually suggest letting it "age" additionally on your counter after it's warmed up for 3-4 hours.
- The lesser fat content can actually cause you meat to stick on the grill or pan. So lightly spray with a bit or cooking oil or spray. But remember, a little goes a long way.
- To keep the moisture in the meat, where you want it, avoid over poking to check or flip. Use tongs or a spatula. Every time you stick a hole in your steak, you let out moisture.
- Not only do you want to lower the temperature, you want to lessen the cook time. Grass-finished beef generally takes about 70% as long to cook as grain-finished.
- Stick with medium rare or medium. We'd suggest removing your steak from the heat at 140 degrees F and covering loosely with foil for 5 minutes. That's called letting it rest. The temp will rise another 5-10 degrees while it rests.
Following those 7 tips are the secret to preparing grass-finished beef. Remember that meat from grass-finished cattle is different from meat from cattle that are grain-finished. It cooks differently, and it will taste different as well.
You are interested in great tasting grass-fed/finished beef for a variety of reasons. You've heard that it's healthier, more sustainable, better for the environment, better for the animals...
We certainly care about those things, too.
However, there are other, perhaps deeper, motivations behind your interest in sourcing your beef from a local farm or ranch. You want to know that not only are you stewarding your spend toward healthier systems in general, but you value the relationship with the sources of your main ingredients.
Those main ingredients range from who teaches your kids, who works on your car, to who influences your life decisions (or the life decisions for your family), to your family's nutritional needs.
It may not be reasonable to try to know where everything on your grocery list comes from or how it is sourced. But for certain things, the main ingredients, like the protein... well, that's a different story. You want to know that your beef comes from animals that were raised ethically and responsibly, sure, but also that the farmer or rancher behind that is a person who holds similar values as you. That they're a part of the community, are honest, relatable, and knowable.
Base Camp Beef Company is here to help.