Cooking Tips

  Because of the high protein, low fat content of      grass-finished beef, cooking times and temperature will become very important.  Overcooking is the number one issue with grass-fed beef.  It is meant for rare to medium cooking and needs to be kept moist .  Please consider the following recommendations from wholefoods.com that we have found to be helpful!

  • Never use a microwave to thaw your grass-fed beef. Either thaw your beef in the refrigerator or for quick thawing place your vacuum sealed package in water for a few minutes.


  • Warm it up.  Bring your grass-fed meat to room temperature before cooking . . . do not cook it cold straight from a refrigerator.


  • Sub in flavor. Replace the missing fat in grass-fed beef with something juicy and flavorful. Chopped onions, shredded vegetables like carrots or zucchini, sundried tomatoes, olives, or grated cheese all work wonders when using ground beef. When it comes to steaks, consider marinating them for 4 to 6 hours before cooking to add a boost of flavor and moisture.


  • Take things down a notch. Grass-fed beef cooks quicker than its grain-fed cousin, so lower the heat on the stove or grill (or about 50oF in the oven, if you're roasting) to better control the doneness. Otherwise, it can go from perfectly cooked to overdone in a matter of seconds.


  • Preheat, preheat, preheat. Be sure your cooking surface - whether it's a pan or grill - is preheated well before you start cooking. That way, you'll accomplish a tasty, even sear without overcooking the meat.


  • Sear the meat quickly over a high heat on each side to seal in its natural juices and then reduce the heat to a medium or low to finish the cooking process.

 

  • A little oil goes a long way. Because there isn't much fat in grass-fed beef, be sure to grease your pan or grill with a bit of oil or cooking spray before cooking to ensure that nothing sticks.


  • No poking!  Save your knife and fork for eating, not cooking. For the juiciest results, resist the urge to poke or turn meat with a knife or fork. Each time you do, more of its moisture will end up in the pan, not on your plate.  Always use tongs.


  • Think 70%. On average, grass-fed beef needs about 30% less time to cook than grain-fed beef, so go ahead and check for doneness a little earlier than usual. 


  • Forget well done. Grass-fed beef can get dry and tough when overcooked, so it's best to stick with medium-rare or medium steaks. Remove beef from the heat around 140oF (medium) - a little more or less, depending on your taste. 

                                                    

  • Let it sit.  After removing from heat, cover your beef with foil and let it sit for 8 to 10 minutes.  The juices will redistribute and the temperature will continue to rise another 5-10 degrees.

Tortellini Tomato Soup with Italian Sausage

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 c. diced onion

1 Tbsp minced garlic

1-lb ground Italian sausage

1-28oz can crushed tomatoes

1-32ox box vegetable broth

2 Tbsp fresh chopped basil

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 9-oz package of refrigerated tortellini

2 cup fresh spinach


In dutch oven or large pan, saute onion and garlic in oil.  Add crumbled sausage and cook until no longer pink.  Stir in tomatoes, broth, basil, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low.  Simmer at least 20-30 minutes and up to a couple of hours.  During last 10-15 minutes, add tortellini and spinach and simmer until tender.  Serve with shredded parmesan cheese and additional basil if desired. 


London Broil Marinade  
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp basil
1/8 tsp garlic powder (or 1 clove of garlic)
1/2 chopped onion
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil

Marinate at least 2 hours, turning often
Preheat grill to 450o

Place on grill to sear then turn heat down to 300o
Cook 12 minutes on each side or until thermometer reaches 135o
Cover and let sit for 10-15 minutes


Beef Stock

4 lbs meaty beef bones

2 quarts water

1 medium onion, chopped

1 carrot, sliced

1 stalk celery, sliced

1 bay leaf

salt to taste


Bring beef bones and water to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat, skim foam.  Add onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf and salt.  Cover, simmer 2-3 hours.  Remove bones.  Strain liquid, skim excess fat from top of stock.  Ladle hot stock into hot quart jars and process 25 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.  Or, pour stock into zip lock bags and freeze.


Beef Stew in mashed potato bowls

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 lb stew meat or cubed sirloin steak

4 large carrots, peeled and sliced

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp rosemary

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper to taste

2 cups beef broth

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp flour

1/2 cup frozen peas


In large pot or  Dutch oven, brown meat in olive oil.  Add onions, carrots, garlic and spices. Cook 5 minutes then add beef broth.  Cover and simmer 2-4 hours until meat is tender.  When ready to serve: remove bay leaf.  Stir softened butter and flour until smooth - add into stew with the frozen peas.  Stir and heat until gravy is slightly thickened.  Serve over mashed potatoes, making a "bowl" to hold the gravy!



Beef Stew with Noodles using Osso Bucco

Place 2 shanks (Osso Bucco) into crock pot
Cover with 4 cups of beef broth
Cook 2-3 hours on low

Add:
Large onion, cut into strips
5-6 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-2" pieces
2-3 stalks of celery, cut into 1-2" pieces
1 bunch of parsley, chopped
handful of peppercorns
salt and pepper to taste

If needed, add additional 1-2 cups of broth until all vegetables are covered.
Continue cooking on low 3-4 hours or until veggies are done
Serve over small egg noodles

If you have found a great recipe, send it to us!  We'd love to include it.  These are some of our favorites so far!

virginia sweet grass farm