Whether you're the experienced cook in your home, or you're just beginning to learn how to cook meat, there's no doubt that grass-fed beef is a whole 'nother animal from your typical grocery store proteins. Because of the animal's life spent grazing on green pastures, there tends to be less fat - which in turn means the meat will often be more tough, or simply cook differently than what you may be used to.
We want you to be able to eat and live healthier - like choosing the best, most responsibly sourced animal protein to feed yourself or your family. But cooking grass-fed meats can be different, so we've compiled a cheat sheet of how-to's for various cuts and ways to get them from the pasture to your plate.
Quick cooking with high heat (grilling, broiling, stovetop searing and finishing in a hot oven) is ideal for..
Tip: All of these cuts are great candidates for either a marinade or a dry rub, but all are full-flavored and will be delicious with just salt and pepper.
Medium-time cooking with medium-high heat (stovetop cooking, grilling) is ideal for:
Sirloin and London Broil Steaks
Flank, Hangar and Skirt steaks
These cuts can be cooked a bit slower than individual steaks and on the cooler side of the grill, or in a stew. Because the pieces are small, these cuts cook fairly quickly, about 30 minutes is sufficient. Marinades are great for these cuts, as they can increase tenderness. Marinate for anywhere from 1 to 24 hours.
Tip: To get larger, more tender pieces of meat, slice Flat Iron, Flank and Hangar Steaks with a bias cut (against the grain and on an angle).
Long cooking with low heat (slow cookers, pressure cookers, braising) is ideal for:
Chuck Roasts and Brisket
These are tough cuts that become meltingly tender when cooked for a long time, such as in a braise. Braising involves first browning the meat to create a caramelized crust, then cooking along with aromatics, such as carrots, celery and onion, your favorite herbs and either tomato product or wine, in either a slow cooker or a pressure cooker. The acid in liquids such as tomatoes or wine helps to tenderize the tough protein fibers.
Filet Mignon, the most tender cut, is extremely lean so it will taste best cooked rare and with some added fat. You can cook a filet as a roast all in one piece and then slice it to serve. To do this brush meat with oil and season with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 500°F. Then roast for 22 minutes for rare and 25 minutes for medium. Remove from oven and cover with foil. Allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing.
Another way to prepare filet is to cut it into individual steaks or medallions before cooking. Just keep in mind that this cut has very little fat, so you want to cook it quickly and at high heat.
Petite Tender: A petite tender is a cut from the shoulder, and can be prepared in the same way as the filet mignon.
Rump Roast: This is a cut that is typically made into a classic roast beef; you should roast it slowly at low heat to let the meat become tender and juicy. Rump roasts can be braised, but can also be roasted. Make sure to season the outside of the meat first. Either sear it on the stovetop, or start the meat in a very hot oven, then roast in a 275°F oven for 15 minutes per pound for rare meat, and 20 minutes per pound for medium-well meat.
No matter how you're preparing your FTF Butcher Shop meat always let your meat rest, loosely covered for 10 to 20 minutes before cutting it. This will allow the juices which have been pushed to the exterior of the meat to redistribute through the fibers and give you a juicy product.
Ideal cooking temperatures:
Well done: 150-155°F
When cooking meat, the temperature will continue to rise as much as 10 to 20 degrees after you remove it from the oven or grill, so if you like your meat rare we recommend cooking to 110 to 115 degrees and then, while the meat rests, it will easily reach 120 to 125 degrees. The USDA recommends you cook all ground beef to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.