Tips for Cooking Grass-Fed Beef

On a whim, while purchasing other items for my new lifestyle at Whole Foods, I decided to pick up a grass-fed steak. (I’ll be consistently buying grass-fed beef soon enough, but need to empty out my freezer of the existing meat first!)

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I’d read that grass-fed steak is very different than “conventional” steak, but I didn’t know how it would be different. Since grass-fed beef is not fed grains to fatten them up and increase marbling, tasters usually find it less fatty and therefore less tender. This does not necessarily have to be the case, but since I was not prepared for this purchase and I had not done research ahead of time, I had not prepared to cook this meat. (I know, me not doing research first is unheard of! Hopefully, this unpreparedness will cut down on my future impulse purchases….) Unfortunately, I tried to cook it as I would a normal steak. Despite my lack of preparation, it was still delicious, and I could taste a new, wonderful, distinct flavor I can only describe as “natural.” However, next time I will incorporate the following tips I gathered from post-cooking research:

  1. Marinade your beef first in an acidic liquid to break down the tissue. If you do not have time for a marinade, then sprinkle your seasonings on the beef and pound it between two sheets of plastic wrap.
  2. As grass-fed steak cooks more quickly than conventional steak, cook it at a slightly lower temperature that you would a normal one.
  3. Do not turn your beef with a fork. In doing so, you pierce it and release valuable juices. (I’m guilty of this, every time…) Flip using tongs.
  4. Grass-fed beef takes less time to cook, so remove it from heat before you would a “conventional” steak. In fact, remove it from heat about 10 degrees before it reaches the desired temperature. Tent with foil, and let rest for 8-10 minutes. The residual heat will cause it to cook to the desired doneness.

Next time I try this, I would also take the opportunity to make and top my steak with one of the flavored butters I’ve been aching to make! I’m thinking bleu cheese butter?!?

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