Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Choose 100% Grass-Fed Beef

As I have stressed before here, cattle fed an all grass and foraged diet for their entire life yields beef that has substantial health benefits. Even Dr Martha Grogen M.D. of the Mayo Clinic attests that grass fed beef, like the 100% Grass Fed Skirt Steak with Sunchokes and Green Garbanzos above, offers increased health benefits like:

  • Less total fat
  • More heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids 
  • More conjugated linoleic acid, a type of fat that's thought to reduce heart disease and cancer risks
  • More antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin E 

In fact, the fat of grass fed beef is where the high levels of omega-3s are and that is why leading nutritionists recommend making it a regular part of your diet.

So why isn't everyone eating 100% grass-fed beef? Well, it's much more expensive, about 2-4 times the price of corn and grain fed beef. It's so much faster to plump up a cow with hormones and feed that has high sugar levels. A very disturbing fact is that the cheapest feed has fillers in it like bone meal, gross, rendering it very susceptible to disease which is combatted with lots of antibiotics that is ultimately transferred to the final product on your plate. 

The bottom line: you get what you pay for.

Cows foraging for their own food on pasture are much more lean so their beef lacks the marbling that characterizes cows raised on high sugar diets. It also lacks the cholesterol.

As a result of being more lean, cooking times for searing grass-fed beef must be shorter to avoid toughness so it is most delicious to serve rare as with this cap steak above that was simply coated in olive oil, salt and pepper and placed in a very hot, dry pan to give a beautiful crust on all sides. Due to cooking it so fast, it's tenderness remained intact.

Photos: Tara Maxey

We used a different method for this grass-fed rump roast. We kept all the healthy trimmings from the cow we got from 5 Bar Beef and sous vide it, low and slow, for 36 hours with the roast, then it was flash cooked in the oven at 500 F to get that utterly divine caramelization on the outside. 

Grass-fed beef gets a bad rap because it doesn't have the same flavor and richness as beef raised on a high sugar diet, but that's just because it's being cooked without taking into account how lean it is. The beef our kitchen prepared above tasted like butter, all of it. I'm not alone in loving it because it's been selling out on our Food Truck. 

Stop listening to me and come by Everson Royce tonight (and every Tuesday from 5-8) where we will be serving Beef Brisket so you can taste for yourself 100% grass-fed beef and nourish your body with omega-3s! I think you are going to be converted.

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