Tips for Cooking Grass Finished Beef
Grass-finished beef is very lean and may taste dry, if you don't follow these tips. Thaw steaks and roasts very slowly over 2 days in the fridge. Burgers should be cooked from frozen or thawed rapidly. Grass-finished beef is ideal at rare to medium-rare temperatures. If you prefer meat well done, cook at a low temperature in a sauce to add moisture. A slow cooker is ideal. Because grass-finished beef is low in fat, coat it with extra virgin olive oil or another light oil for easy browning. The oil will also prevent the meat from drying out and sticking to the cooking surface. Very lean cuts like New York strips and sirloin steaks can benefit from a marinade. Choose a recipe that doesn’t mask the flavor of the beef but will enhance the moisture content. For safe handling, always marinate in the refrigerator. Tenderizing breaks down tough connective tissue, so use a mechanical tenderizer like the Jaccard. It’s a small, hand-held device with little “needles” that pierce the meat and allow the marinade or rub to penetrate the surface. You can find Jaccard tenderizers at Amazon.com. Another way to tenderize is to coat a thawed steak with your favorite rub; put it into a plastic zipper bag; place on a solid surface; and, using a meat mallet, rolling pin, or other hard object; pound a few times. This will not only tenderize the meat, but will also incorporate the rub, adding flavor. Don’t go overboard and flatten the beef unless the recipe calls for it. Always pre-heat the oven, pan, or grill before cooking grass-finished beef. Grass-finished beef cooks about 30 percent faster than grain fed beef. Use a thermometer to test for doneness and watch the temperature carefully. You can go from perfectly cooked to overdone in less than a minute. The meat will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat, so when it reaches a temperature ten degrees LOWER than the desired temperature, it’s done. Let the beef sit covered in a warm place for eight to 10 minutes after removing from heat to let the juices redistribute. Pan searing on the stove is an easy way to cook a grass-finished steak. After you’ve seared the steak over high heat, turn the heat to low and add butter and garlic to the pan to finish cooking. When grilling, quickly sear the meat over high heat on each side and then reduce the heat to medium or low to finish. Baste to add moisture. We prefer to cook burgers in iron skillet, with a dab of butter or olive oil. Use caramelized onions or roasted peppers to add low-fat moisture to the meat. About 4 minutes each side over medium heat, leave it pink. If you like, you could place burger patties on parchment paper in the oven and cover with a slice of bacon. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.