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7 Things You Need To Know Before Cooking Pasture Raised Beef

December 3, 2018

It’s pop quiz time!  

Let’s see if you can identify these 2 scenarios correctly….

 Scenario #1

This cow will likely have ulcers, diarrhea, bloating/gas, liver disease, and a weak immune system.  

If she spends more than 6 months in a feedlot it’s possible that she’ll die from liver failure.

The high levels of acid in her stomach will erode her stomach lining creating an opportunity for bacteria to enter her bloodstream and collect in her liver.  Because of this risk of infection she’ll need daily antibiotics.

She’ll fatten quickly and have lots of marbling in her meat.

You’ll find nasty E coli thriving in her gut which creates a risk for human consumption.

Living conditions are crowded and there won’t be a clean place for her to lay down.


Scenario #2

This cow will not have ulcers, diarrhea, bloating/gas, liver disease, or a weakened immune system.  

The pH of her gut will be neutral so you’ll have a hard time finding E Coli.

Antibiotics are not necessary.  

She’ll spend her days enjoying fresh air & sunshine. She’ll have plenty of pasture to lay down to chew her cud.  

She’ll get to live longer because she’ll fatten at a more natural rate for her body.

Alright…which cow is raised in a feedlot and which cow is grass-fed/pasture raised?

As you can see comparing a feedlot cow to a pasture raised cow is like comparing apples to oranges.

Just like you don’t eat an apple the same way you eat an orange... you don’t cook pasture raised beef the same as feedlot beef.


7 Things You Must Know Before Cooking Pasture Raised Beef

1.Cool it: Grass-fed beef cooks quicker than its grain-fed beef, so be sure to lower the heat on the stove or grill (or about 50 F in the oven, if you're roasting).  Otherwise, it can go from perfectly cooked to overdone in a matter of seconds

    2 .Low and slow: By cooking your meat at a lower temperature for a longer period of time your meat comes out fork tender every time.  

    For roasts, cook at 225-250 degrees or in a crock pot 6-8 hrs.

    For steaks, sear your meat on a medium temperature, but then quickly move to low heat to slowly finish the cooking process.  

     3. Preheat: Be sure your pan or grill is preheated before cooking.  Putting the meat on a hot surface sears the outside and locks all the juices inside.

     4. No poking: Each time you poke a steak with a fork to check if it's done or to flip it you puncture the meat and all of those juices you worked so hard to lock inside will leak out.

     5. Think 70%:  Because of the lower fat content, grass-fed beef takes about 30% less cooking time compared to grain-fed beef.  Your beef can get tough and chewy if it’s overcooked. The most tender and flavorful steaks will be rare to medium-rare.  

     6. Just say no to your microwave: Never, never, never thaw your meat in the microwave. I always thaw steaks on the counter.  With a roast I find it easiest to throw it in the oven frozen at 250 degrees for 6-8 hours with about an inch of water in the pan.  Top with a few sliced onions and some salt and pepper and you have an incredibly easy and delicious meal.

     7. Salt & Sit: Do not skip this step.  Generously apply sea salt to your meat about 1 hour before you cook it.  Salt is a natural flavor enhancer and tenderizer. Allowing it to rest before you cook it helps break down proteins and fibers in the meat.  For steak   ¼-½ tsp /side is what I aim for.

    I hope you found this information helpful and I hope you have a freezer full of pasture raised beef! If you haven't had a chance to fill your freezer this year, 
    we do have a few 1/8s and 1/4s available right now, but once they are gone we probably won't have any available until late winter/early spring. 

    Heather Kading

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