Making the healthier decision of switching to grass-fed beef? Did you know that grass-fed beef is an entirely different animal opposed to the bargain-priced, grain-fed alternative that the majority of us grew up with?
The mistake is often made by thinking that grass-fed beef is cooked the same way as the feedlot "cow-nterpart". Therefore we have compiled a few handy tips for you.
The biggest differentiation between the two lies in the muscle formation of the animal. While feedlot animals get very little (if any) exercise resulting in limp muscles, grass-fed animals have true muscle integrity due to the active an healthy life that the animal has lived being free to graze on vast plains of open veld.
Taking the above into consideration does not mean that grass-fed beef is less tender! In fact, if treated with some gentle loving care, grass-fed beef will be wonderfully tender and full of true "beefy" flavour! Now let's get to the point of this post.
Handy cooking tips for grass-fed beef:
#1 - Cooking Time
Grass-fed beef cooks 30% faster than grain-fed beef. Tough grass-fed steaks are a result of over-exposure to heat. Sear the steaks on a high heat to get a beautifully caramelised colour then finish cooking at a much lower temperature to maintain the moisture levels.
#2 - Thawing
Never thaw grass-fed beef in a microwave. Either defrost the meat overnight in a refrigerator or for a faster method, place the vacuum sealed bag in cold water until completely defrosted.
#3 - Add Healthy Fat
Grass-fed beef contains a lower fat percentage than grain-fed beef. Add healthy fats in the form of butter, tallow, lard or healthy oils to keep the meat from potentially drying out.
#4 - Temperature Prior to Cooking
Always bring your grass-fed beef to room temperature before cooking, this prevents the muscle fibers from contracting too quickly and to avoid overcooking the outside of the meat.
#5 - Preheat
Make sure that your oven, braai or pan is preheated to the correct temperature to prevent bland, overcooked meat.
#6 - Browning
By browning your grass-fed mince, stewing meat etc. a beautiful nutty flavour will be released which is a distinctive characteristic of true grass-fed beef.
#7 - Resting
It is important to let your grass-fed steak rest after removing it from the heat. This will ensure optimal moisture levels as the juices redistribute throughout the muscle fibers.
Now that you have read this post, get cracking and create the most delicious dishes full of grass-fed goodness!