Beef

Beneficial Farms raises grass-fed and grass-finished beef cattle.  Most of the beef is from Ayrshire steers. This is an old fashioned breed that offers good “dual purpose ” functionality: the mother cows are good for milking and the steers make good beef. They have decent body shape but are not too “beefy”.

Beneficial Farms offers a Family Pack of 8 to 10 packages of different cuts including steaks, roasts and ground beef for $60 on Marketplace.  Contact Dena at shares@beneficialfarm.com for questions.

What is the benefit of Grass-Fed and Grass-Finished?

Health: The cows that are grass-fed and grass-finished are up to one third leaner than grain-fed cows.  Most cuts of the beef are as lean as commercial skinless chicken breasts and bison, according to www.eatwild.com.  Because this beef is leaner, it is lower in calories and includes more Omega-3s.

Environment: Grass-fed cows use less fossil fuel than the grain-fed cows that require processed corn and soy.  They also work with the environment, helping to slow global warming.  There is more information on the website below.

This website is owned by a grain-fed researcher and I highly recommend reading it to become more familiar with the type of beef available at the farm.

How do I prepare grass-fed and grass-finished beef?

Grass-fed beef has a more intense and varied flavor than other beef and simple cooking techniques will allow that flavor to come out, especially in the steaks.  The beef will taste like more like meat instead of fat.  Since the beef is also leaner, lower cooking temperatures than the same cuts of grain-fed are recommended to avoid burning the meat.

Recipes:

Receiving a Family Pack of beef from Marketplace provides a lot of variation in the cuts, maybe more than you have purchased when picking them individually out at the Farmer’s Market or the store.  The cooking processes are also slightly different due the leanness of the meat.  It may take 30% less time to cook this beef than grain-fed cuts, so be careful not to overcook.  Also, do not pierce the meat with a fork or it will lose juices and not be as tender.  There are several more tips in the sites below.

Here are some great tips to read before you start cooking

http://www.americangrassfedbeef.com/tips-for-cooking-grass-fed.asp

The same website also has an article on cast iron cooking with your steak

http://www.americangrassfedbeef.com/cast-iron.asp

Here is another website that has lots of information on grass-fed beef and includes recipes

http://www.americangrassfed.org

The Sustainable Table website has an article discussing benefits and cooking of grass-fed beef

http://www.sustainabletable.org/features/articles/grassfedbeef/

Below are some roast recipes.  My family makes the most fantastic burgers with the Mesa Top ground beef and I have posted it below.

If you have recipes using the Beneficial Farms beef, please email them to blog@beneficialfarm.com and we can post them.

Amy Hetager, CSA Blogger

Roasts

In the past, I was a little reluctant to cook roasts because I did not know how to cook them and it seemed to take a long time.  Since I moved to Santa Fe, I have loved Sundays where I can put on a roast and make my house smell of lovely beef.  They really are not much more complicated than preparing dinner or starting the grill on the front end of the process.  The longer time in the oven does not require your constant attention so there is time for a great book while the roast cooks.

Here are a few recipes that are specific to grass-fed beef

Braised Beef (use almost any roast) with Paprika and Root Vegetables (including Rutabaga!)

http://localfoods.about.com/od/maindishes/r/paprikabeefbrai.htm

Beef Brisket 3 Ways

This site gives several recipes and other tips about beef

http://www.csuchico.edu/agr/grsfdbef/recipes/brisket.html

Arm Roast

When I first received this roast, I placed it in the back of the freezer to think about on another day.  I had no idea what this was or how to cook it.  I finally decided to find out my mysterious world of arm roast…and it was not so mysterious.  Arm Roast is another term for pot roast, one of the most popular Sunday dinners of my mother’s generation.  There are tons of recipes online.  If you use a wet cooking method (in sauce or broth) you don’t have to worry about it drying out.  This recipe calls for searing, so be careful in that process.

http://southernfood.about.com/od/potroastrecipes/r/r90520c.htm

Ground Beef Recipes

Feta Burgers from Members Tony and Amy

The lean grass-fed beef requires some moisture and that is why the feta cheese is perfect.  It also adds salt without covering the taste of the meat.  Be careful not to burn the burgers, this ground beef is very lean and can not be cooked as long as conventional beef.

1 pound ground beef  (makes 4 large burgers)

Handful of small crumbles of feta (the large crumbles burn)

3 cloves of crushed garlic

3 fresh, small red onions (such as the ones in the recent shares)

1 farm fresh egg

approx 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs (1 slice of bread in the food processor)

Kosher salt, pepper, dried oregano, pinch of chile

4 English Muffins, toasted

Good steak sauce

DIRECTIONS:

Slice the red onions thinly and saute with olive oil, salt, pepper and dried oregano until they begin to carmelize.  If you don’t have this type of onion, you can use about a 1/3 cup of red onion.  Let onions cool.

Add ingredients, except bread crumbs, to a large bowl and mix with your hands.  Remember that the cheese provides the salty flavor so don’t add too much kosher salt.  Try not to crush the beef in this process.  The bread crumbs should be added last and to the amount needed to make solid burgers.  If you only have dried breadcrumbs, add fewer.  Each burger should include all ingredients and the feta should be covered with meat.  This will avoid the cheese burning.  It may ooze in the cooking process, but that makes them delicious.

Grill on medium high heat to produce a nice crust on the burger and then turn down the heat and watch the meat.  It is easy to over-cook and have a dry burger.

Eat on the toasted English muffins with a small amount of steak sauce.  This would pair well with a glass of Chianti and a fabulous salad of CSA lettuce, shredded carrots, cucumbers, kalamata olives, sunflower seeds and oil and vinegar.  Enjoy.

Grass-Fed Meatballs with Olives
I posted the link to this helpful website on the Special Order menu and it lists cooking tips and other information on grass-fed beef.  This is a recipe that you can make in the oven.
Click here for the recipe

Grass-Fed Chili
This is from the http://www.americangrassfed.com website that includes several more recipes.  A chili would be a great way to use lean meat because it will be in sauce to retain a moist environment.

Chuck Wagon Chile ~ Paicines Ranch

CA ~ AGA Member

3 lbs     Grassfed Beef, Chuck Roast, remove connective tissue and thin white skin, cut into bite size pieces

2          globes garlic – minced

1          medium onion – diced

1          medium red bell pepper – diced

6 tbs     New Mexico Chili Power

5 tbs     flour

1 tsp     freshly ground cumin seeds (toasted)

1 tbs     Dried Mexican Oregano

2– 3     cans Beef Broth (19.5 oz cans)

1 can    Pinto Beans

1 can    Kidney Beans

Brown beef in oil, add onion, red bell pepper and cook two minutes

Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add chili power, flour, oregano and cumin, cook until meat is well coated. Slowly add two cans of broth, stir well. Add pinto and kidney beans, cook partially covered for approx 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

You may use all or part of the last can of beef broth depending on how thick you want the chili.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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One response to “Beef

  1. Pingback: Grass-Fed Ground Beef Recipes « Beneficial Farms CSA

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