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How do I cook Natural Forage Beef?

Be careful not to overcook and be careful not to undercook!  Lean natural forage beef cooks faster than meat that is marbled with fat but is chewy if too rare.

Basically, you use natural forage-fed beef as any other beef.  However, there are some important differences to keep in mind. 

Our beef is very lean, low-calorie, and healthy.  The biggest mistake most people make is overcooking and the second biggest mistake is not cooking long enough (rare). 

Domestic beef has been fattened though force feeding of corn on a feedlot. The animals gain weight very fast and the fat is marbled into the meat. Fat makes the meat tender and also makes it take longer to cook and makes it stay moist. 

Lean meat cooks faster and dries out quickly. If you use the same cooking time as regular beef it may be overdone and dry.  We find that steaks cook in less than the normal time.  Try for medium temperatures; if you are used to well-done cook a little rarer than you are used to.  If you like rare steaks -- cook a little longer than normal.   On the other hand the lean beef takes some cooking as very rare steaks can also be chewy.  We find that there is a sweet spot around medium rare to medium that mkes them about as tender as what you are used to. 

The meat has more flavor so you may want to use less sauce and spices. Expect the meat to have more texture and taste than you are used to. However, if you don’t overcook or undercook and cut small bites with a steak knife you can enjoy as any steak. You will be eating a very low calorie healthful meal free from fat, steroids, antibiotics, and a host of other chemicals found in commercial meat.

New update 1/6/2009

I have been experimenting with cooking lean grass fed and natural forage beef for some time and have arrived at the following tips to help you enjoy the product.

1.  Hamburger.  Hamburger is always a great way to enjoy the product.  It allows you to enjoy the flavor without worrying about tenderness.  Cook as with any burger.

2.  Steaks.  I enjoy very rare steaks but not when they are natural forage or grass fed!  Lean meats need to be cooked a little to make them tender -- but not too much or they get tough again.  There is a sweet spot right around medium rare to medium.  Rarer than this and the meat is tough.  Longer cooking times to medium-well and well-done also give a tougher steak.  I cook to an internal temperature of around 150 and then remove from the grill -- the temperature will continue to rise to around 155 -- perfect!

3.  Steaks.  With corn fed beef I used to eat very thick filets -- often 2 inches thick or more.  Not with grass fed.  The best are steaks around 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.  This makes it easier to control the cooking time and the thin steaks are actually more tender than thicker ones.

4.  Roasts.  Cook roasts in a crock pot on low overnight.  You can also slow cook them on a Weber grill with indirect heat.  The secret is to use low temperature and long cooking times.

5.  Spices for steaks.  Thaw steaks before cooking.  An hour or so before you cook sprinkle with a mixture of kosher salt, powdered instant espresso, and cocoa powder.  Try it -- you will amaze your friends with the great taste -- no one will be able to guess the spices and you can keep it as your own secret recipe.

Pineywods Meatloaf
Brimming with flavor!

Hudson River Landing Farm * 795 Cape Rd * Carnesville * GA * 30521

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