If you’ve bought a side or quarter of beef and are overwhelmed by the amount of ground beef in your freezer, or don’t know what to do with a cross cut roast, check out our tips and recipes for some inspiration.
Grass fed beef cooks differently than grain fed beef. Grass fed beef has less marbled fat through the meat. Our animals are fed a healthy diet of grass and hay and have plenty of room to move around an exercise. Their lifestyle means they are leaner than feed lot beef, where the animals are fed mainly high calorie corn and allowed little space to roam. Feed lot beef has more marbled fat because the animals are fatter and their meat is tenderer, because they use their muscles less than pastured beef. The compromise is in the taste, quality of the meat, health benefits and environmental impact.
Marbling helps keep meat moist at higher temperatures, because the fat breaks down in cooking, basting the meat. Slight alterations to your cooking methods will produce similar results with our grass fed cuts, and avoid a tough piece of meat. The effort is well worth it, grass fed beef has a superior taste, and is better for you!
The general theme when cooking with grass fed beef is to cook it lower and slower and with extra added fat. This might mean braising, finishing steaks on the cool side of the grill, or reducing the oven temperature of your roast by 50F and basting thoroughly with extra fat.
General Grass-Fed Beef Cooking Tips:
- Add more fat to your recipe to compensate for reduced marbling. Olive oil, butter, or bacon fat will all work. Baste with fat throughout cooking for steaks and roasts. This is especially true of the sirloin tip roast which is a very lean roast.
- Grass fed beef benefits from lower cooking temperatures. If you’re dry cooking a roast, reduce the oven temperature by 50F, and cook for the same amount of time as your recipe calls for. Check the roast temperature before you expect it to be done.
- Our roasts will always turn out deliciously if cooked low and slow for a long time in liquids. Try a pot roast in the slow cooker or dutch oven. Or, have a go at shredded beef for tacos, or with BBQ sauce for sandwiches. If you have a steak roast, eye of round roast, or rump roast (all of which are types of round roast) in your order, pot roast or shredded beef will suit it the best as this can be a tough cut if oven roasted.
- Steaks will turn out better if you start them at a low temperature when grilling. Cook slowly until just before desired doneness then sear for a few minutes per side. If you’re going to pan fry your steaks instead, sear briefly in a pan and then finish cooking in a 200F oven until you reach desired doneness. Sirloin steaks will benefit from marinating before cooking. Tenderloin is more commonly known as filet mignon and will make for a special meal if you’re careful not to let it dry out. This cut is very tender and lean.
- Round steaks (or minute steaks) are not suited to grilling. Instead, try tenderizing them with a rolling pin or tenderizing hammer (bash out all of your frustrations), and bread and fry them. Braising in liquid is another way to help this tougher cut to soften up. Or, slice thinly and stir fry.
- Stew meat, braising ribs (also called beef short ribs), marrow bones, and soup bones all need to be cooked in liquid for a long time. Pull out your crock pot or dutch oven for these cuts. Soup bones will obviously work well for making a delicious flavourful beef broth, or try a version of ossobuco or stew with these.