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Cooking Tips for Mountain Pastured Beef
from West Wind Farm

Grass-finished beef has distinct cooking properties compared to grainfed beef. Based on our customers' experience, confirmed by Chef Atsuko Koseki, grassfed beef takes about a quarter to a third less time to cook than grainfed meat, and it generally cooks best at lower temperatures 1.”

While some of our customers say they don't cook our beef any differently than supermarket beef — especially ground meat and steaks — other customers find it helpful to think of cooking this beef gently because the meat is more delicate. We pass on the following tips:

  • Allow sufficient thawing time to fully thaw beef in the refrigerator.
  • Cook steaks to medium rare. (The meat looks redder but taste more well done at 140° medium-rare temperature than grainfed meat 2.)
  • For quick stir-fry, cut meat cross-grain and very thin. (Cutting meat before it is completely thawed facilitates thinner slicing.)
  • Marinate meats that are to be quick-cooked (e.g., stir-fry) with wine, other acidic liquids or lemon zest prior to cooking. (Marinading or tenderizing steaks isn't necessary; some prefer to taste the meat as-is.)
  • Cook stews or roasts with wine, tomato sauce, or other acidic liquids.
  • Simmer stews at low temperature on stovetop or in oven. Test for tenderness after only 1 - 2 hours.
  • Sauced (shredded) barbecue meat or pot roasts may be cooked longer (4-6 hours or more) but at very low temperature (200°F in the oven).
  • Use high temperatures only for brief searing (e.g., steaks, burgers, seared in pan or on grill), then complete cooking at low temperature.
  • Remove meat from heat prior to being fully cooked and let “rest” to complete last bit of cooking and allow meat to reabsorb moisture.
  • Coat leanest cuts with a very light layer of (olive) oil before cooking — or put a light coating of oil in the cooking pan.
  • Avoid piercing or pressing meats when cooking, to avoid loss of meat juices.

1. This is due in part to the fat: not only is there less fat, but also the healthy fat of grassfed beef melts at lower temperature . Meat tends to look redder when it is done, and red appearance may increase after 5-10 minutes of “resting." Kim Severson. Grass roots revolution. Will the new beef put corn-raised cattle out to pasture? San Francisco Chronicle Food Section, June 19, 2002. Accessed June 20 online at http: // sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/06/19/FD154638.DTL.

2. Severson, as in footnote 1 above.

For more information, contact Martha Holdridge:
Tel: 301-229-2813 or toll-free 866-205-5004, pin 2749,
or Email: martha@westwindfarm.biz

West Wind Farm, Grassy Meadows, WV, 24843

For more information about our healthful, humanely raised grass-finished beef,
ask for our brochure or visit our homepage on the Web:


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