Grass-fed beef tends to have less fat than grain-fed or corn-fed beef. For this reason, it’s easier to overcook it than grain-fed beef. Most people are turning to grass fed meat, though, because of its health benefits. Beef from cows that have been fed with grass are good, guiltless sources of protein. If you are cooking grass-fed beef for the first time, you can follow these smart tips from Little Cow Mountain Farm. We’re a regenerative agriculture farm in Caldwell, Idaho that raises grass fed Aberdeen Angus cattle.
Here’s a few cooking tips to help you get the perfect dish straight from our farm to your table. Let’s get started with our top 5 tips for cooking grass fed beef:
1 – Thaw naturally
Are you taking grass-fed beef straight from the freezer? Do not defrost by microwaving it. This will make the meat tougher. Microwave-defrosting regular, grain-fed beef is risky enough because this can make the beef tough. The temperature change ruins the tenderization and cooking process of the meat. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. The wait is longer but it is all worth it.
2 – Pre-warm to room temperature
Aside from thawing, grass-fed beef really benefits from room temperature pre-warming because rapid temperature changes make the meat gummy and tough. Gently introducing heat to your grass-fed meat helps to keep its texture buttery after cooking. If you prefer medium-well meat, this also helps to keep your beef from being overcooked once it is on the heat. It’s typically best to take it our of the refrigerator 1-2 hours prior to cooking, so that it has some time to warm up.
3 – Keep essentials in mind
Before cooking grass-fed beef, it’s good to keep essential things in mind. You are cooking the beef to kill the bacteria and also to achieve a certain texture and flavor, which are only possible if the meat has undergone proper heating. This means that you need to keep the meat at a minimum temperature to kill any harmful bacteria and so that the proteins do not break too abruptly. Get it just right, and you are left with meat that cuts like butter.
4 – Slow cooking
Slow cooking in minimum temperatures of 300-315 degrees F can help you make sure that you have killed the bacteria, but also retained most of the protein structure and moisture of the beef. This means you will have meat that’s very tender without getting rid of the necessary hemoglobins necessary to make your meat taste premium. However, as with most beef dishes, it is necessary for you to pan-sear your grass-fed beef first before you slow cook them so it will retain its shape but still be soft and buttery.
5 – Grilling and pan-frying
Consider the cut and the marbling of your grass-fed beef. Cooking grass-fed beef over the grill or frying them in pans needs your full attention because leaner meats always cook faster. You can lessen grass-fed beef cooking times by 10% to 25% compared to regular grain-fed beef to achieve the same texture and get the optimal possible taste.
Check out a few recipes and posts from our blog while you’re here:
- Herb Roasted Chicken
- Pizza sauce – for all those extra tomatoes in your garden
- Love brie? Learn to make cheese at home
- Top reasons to buy farm fresh eggs
Thanks for reading and if you’re in or near the Caldwell/Boise area, feel free to give us a call to find out about our grass fed beef, pastured poultry and other farm-fresh foods.