Cooking with grass-fed beef
Grass-fed beef is better for our health according a 2009 study done by the USDA and researchers at Clemson University. Compared with grain-fed beef, grass-fed beef was:
- Lower in total fat
- Higher in beta-carotene
- Higher in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
- Higher in the B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
- Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium
- Higher in total omega-3s
- A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (1.65 vs 4.84)
- Higher in CLA (cis-9 trans-11), a potential cancer fighter
- Higher in vaccenic acid (which can be transformed into CLA)
- Lower in the saturated fats linked with heart disease
Because of these differences, grass-fed beef cooks a little bit differently than grain-fed beef.
- Because grass-fed beef tends to be leaner, brush it with extra virgin olive oil to help it brown, prevent it from sticking while cooking.
- Grass-fed beef cooks 30 percent faster than grain-fed beef, and is best served rare or medium rare. If you prefer meat well done, cook low and slow in a sauce (slow-cookers are great) to preserve moisture. When roasting, reduce the oven temperature by 50 degrees.
- DO NOT use a microwave to thaw frozen beef. Instead, thaw it in a refrigerator or place vacuum-sealed packages in cold water for up to 30 minutes.
Steaks & burgers
Steaks and burgers are great with Montreal Seasoning (coarse salt and pepper) and a little basting oil to keep from sticking to the grill. Ideally cook the beef medium rare. Cover and let stand ten minutes to preserve juices.
My Favorite Pot Roast
This is a dish you can make with pasta for soup and to save for day two leftovers.
To a crock pot, add thawed pot or chuck roast, depending on size (sometimes I will brown/braise the meat first if time allows but it’s great either way):
- 1-2 cups chopped onion
- 1-2 cups chopped carrots
- 1-2 cups chopped celery
- 1-2 cans crushed tomato with basil
- 6 cloves diced garlic and two bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook 6-8 hours on low
- One pound ground beef
- 2 farm fresh eggs
- 4 slices of bread
- ¾ cup grated cheese
Beat the eggs, moisten the bread with a little bit of water, and mix all ingredients until meat feels soft. Brown in fry pan and cook in sauce.
- 2 pounds stew beef
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 6 small potatoes quartered
- 6 cut carrots
- 4 onions quartered, salt and pepper to taste
Cook 6-8 hours on low. Add one bag frozen peas during the last hour.
- Sautee 2 cups diced carrots, 2 cups diced onion, 2 cups diced celery and 2 cloves diced garlic
- Brown and add 4 pounds ground beef
- Combine with 2 cans pasta sauce and 2 cans water
- Add 1 cup wine, cool, and slowly add 1 cup milk, simmer ½ hour
- Add red pasta sauce to preferred consistency (optional)
- Add salt, pepper, and thyme to taste.
Best Brisket in Town
Place an 8-10 pound brisket in a roasting pan.
Mix the following and then add to roasting pan:
- 1 onion quartered.
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup blackstrap molasses
- 1 tbsp salt (Himalayan preferred) and 1 tbsp fresh course black pepper
- 1 can Guinness stout beer
- 2 bottles of hickory smoked BBQ sauce
Roast for 8-10 hours at 250º then brown on the grill (beef is done when fork tender). Let stand 10 minutes after grilling to preserve juices.
Slow-Cooker Stout Beef Stew
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 12-ounces of stout beer, such as Guinness Draught
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4-pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 cups chicken broth
In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine the potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, parsley, stout, olive oil, brown sugar and tomato paste. In a separate bowl, mix the flour with the salt and pepper. Dredge the beef pieces in the dry mixture, shaking off any excess.
In a medium skillet, melt the butter and canola oil over medium-high heat. In batches, add the beef pieces and sear until brown, about 2 minutes, transferring the beef to the slow cooker as done. Remove the last batch of beef to the slow cooker, add 1 cup of the chicken broth to the skillet and scrape up all the brown bits that have accumulated on the bottom of the pan. Add the pan juices to the slow cooker, along with the remaining 2 cups of chicken broth. Cover, and cook on high for 6 hours.
Yields 12 servings.
Mike’s Braised Short Ribs
- Short ribs
- Lipton onion soup mix
- 2 packages Wegmans mirepoix
- 1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes in juice
- large aluminum roasting pan
- aluminum foil
- Preheat oven to 300º.
- Place short ribs in roasting pan; sprinkle soup mix over top.
- Spread mirepoix and diced tomatoes with juice over short ribs; sprinkle with pepper.
- Seal pan tightly with foil, double sealing edges if need be with additional foil (so steam doesn’t escape).
- Roast 3-4 hours.