Grass-fed beef is a multi-billion-dollar industry that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, and it’s not hard to see why! This delicious meat packs a nutritious punch with extra vitamins, antioxidants, and even an eco-friendly kick. Plus, there are loads of awesome tastes and textures to explore. Lucky for you, finding grass-fed beef in Virginia has never been simpler.
Now, when it comes to cooking grass-fed beef, you need to pay special attention to your method – it’s much different than cooking regular beef, and one wrong move could lead to a disappointing meal. That’s why we’ve listed five easy ways to cook grass-fed beef so that you can maximize the deliciousness it has to offer.
1. Thaw Appropriately
You should never microwave frozen grass-fed beef, even in “defrost” mode. That is because microwaves remove moisture, even at low wattages. Retaining this moisture is essential for keeping the meat flavorful and tender, which is especially important for grass-fed beef.
The best way to defrost is in the refrigerator overnight. For a quicker option, do so on the countertop, but only for short intervals on the day you plan to cook it.
2. Go Easy on the Seasoning
One of the main reasons people like grass-fed beef is its unique texture and flavor. Seasoning and marinades can easily mask these distinct tastes.
For this reason, be very conservative when adding anything that can take away from the flavor. A little bit of salt and pepper may be plenty to complement it. Rosemary in the pan can add an aromatic, woodsy flavor as well.
3. Add Fat
Since grass-fed cattle are free-ranging, they are leaner than corn-fed ones that spend much time in feedlots. They move around more to get their food, and this translates to the beef that they produce. For this reason, you might consider adding some fat when preparing grass-fed beef. Cooking or finishing in olive oil or butter will allow you to get a solid crust on the meat and add some flavor. These are also neutral enough not to detract from the meat’s flavor.
4. Cook to Medium Rare
Regular, corn-fed beef has more fat, which means you can get away with overcooking it and still retain some flavor. This is not the case with grass-fed beef. Overcooking can make it quite dry and leathery.
You don’t have to cook your grass-fed steak rare and bloody to avoid this. Shoot for medium rare to medium, depending on your preferences. This will produce a juicy, rich steak with all the flavor benefits of grass-fed beef.
Reverse searing is a great way to achieve this precision. This involves smoking the meat at a lower temperature until you get to about 110 – 120 degrees internal temp. Then, finish it on higher heat––either on the grill or in a pan.
5. Allow It to Rest
Resting a steak lets it finish cooking. It also gives the juices a chance to redistribute evening throughout the meat. This is the main reason you should rest grass-fed beef for eight to ten minutes after cooking.
Covering it with aluminum will keep it warm. Also, resist poking and prodding the beef unnecessarily before serving. This limits opportunities for the juices to escape.
Learn More About Grass-Fed Beef and Local Produce
Now that you know some strategies for cooking grass-fed beef, you can have the confidence that you are getting the most flavor out of these superior products. Eating grass-fed meat is a great way to explore unique tastes and support local, sustainable agriculture.
At VA Foodie, our mission is to highlight the best food throughout Virginia and the people who produce it. Take a look at some of our other posts, as well as recipes and recommendations, or reach out to us with any questions or suggestions.