Congratulations on your decision to purchase pasture-raised beef from Vindicator Brand. We hope to serve you and your family for many years to come. In doing so, we wanted to address the differences in pasture-raised beef versus other products you’ve purchased.
First, pasture-raised beef is leaner and that makes it healthier for you:
- It also has the right kind of fat
- It has more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids
- It has higher levels of antioxidants
- It has higher levels of vitamins A and E
Pasture-raised beef, because it is leaner, needs a different approach to preparation.
The most common reason for tough meat is overcooking. It is easy to overcook a very lean cut. Pasture-raised beef is best prepared rare to medium rare. That doesn’t mean you can never have a good tasting, tender cut that is well done. It just needs to be prepared differently.
Hopefully these tips will come in handy:
- Brushing your beef with oil prior to cooking will enhance the flavor of the meat. Your pasture-raise beef is extremely low in fat, making it very easy to overcook, making it tough, dried out and stuck to the pan or grill. Brush the meat with your favorite light oil. There are so many options out there, so I experiment with it having tried grape seed oil, sesame oil, pistachio oil and avocado oil, as well as a few of the infused versions of them. Of course, it’s hard to beat the old standby – olive oil.
- Marinating your beef in the refrigerator prior to cooking. A simple Italian dressing is very effective in tenderizing your cut of meat without drowning out its flavor. There are dozens of options for marinades at any typical grocery store or you can get creative. Cuts such as a strip steak or sirloin are extra lean, so you must be extra attentive to preparation with those cuts.
- Tenderizing your beef can produce a wonderfully tasty steak. Some cuts, such as a chuck steak, have a nice steak flavor, but require more attention. If you do not have time to or do not care for a marinade, tenderizing with a meat mallet is great. Start with a thawed cut of beef, coat with your favorite rub, place the meat on a solid surface, cover with plastic wrap and pound out your meat. Some recipes, such as swiss steak and veal scaloppini and schnitzels, call for pounding your meat flat, but do not do that if you’re serving a regular steak. This serves to break down the connective tissue in the meat and pushes the flavor of your rub into the meat.
- Pan frying your steak is NOT a mortal sin! As a matter of fact, some of the best chefs in the finest restaurants do it. Stove top cooking is great for any type of steak. You have more control over the temperature than on the grill and you can use butter to carry the taste of fresh garlic through the meat just like the steak chefs do.
- Cut the time of cooking your pasture-raised beef. Because it has high protein and low-fat levels, the beef will usually require up to 30% less cooking time and, as you know, it continues to cook when removed from the heat. If using a thermometer, pull your meat 10 degrees earlier than you would. If you time the steaks, cut that time back. For instance, if you would normally have cooked your meat 4 minutes on each side to produce a medium rare steak, cut that back to at least 3 minutes on each side. Be careful not to leave your meat unattended as it can go from perfect to over cooked in less than a minute.
- Let your beef rest after taking it out or off the stove or grill. Let it sit covered and in a warm place for 8 to 10 minutes after removing it from the heat. This will let the juices redistribute.
- Always use tongs on your beef. A fork pierces the meat and you’ll lose juices
- Reduce the temperature when cooking pasture-raised beef. Roasted meats can be cooked at 275 degrees and your slow-cookers and Nesco-type pans should be set on the lowest temperature settings. (NOTE: Your cooking time will still be shorter.)
- Never use a microwave to thaw any meat, much less your pasture-raised beef. For quick thawing place your beef in a vacuum sealed package in water for a few minutes.
- Room temperature is where your pasture-raise meat should be before cooking . . . do not cook it cold straight from a refrigerator.
- Always pre-heat your oven, pan or grill before cooking pasture-raised beef.
- Always sear your beef before cooking to lock in those juices. When grilling, sear the meat quickly over a high heat on each side before reducing the heat to a medium or low. When roasting, sear the beef first then place it in a pre-heated oven. When pan frying, sear each side on high heat, then remove the meat for a minute or two as you reduce the heat to finish cooking your steak.
- Use caramelized onions, olives or roasted peppers to add low fat moisture when cooking hamburgers. Some moisture is needed to compensate for the lack of fat.
Thank you for choosing Vindicator Brand pasture-raised beef and happy cooking (and eating).