Grass-fed beef is leaner than its grain-fed counterpart. The cows are grazed on grass, after all, and because of that they have a healthier muscle texture. The biggest issue for home cooks is overcooking the cut. On average, grass-fed beef needs about 30% less time to cook than grain-fed beef, so go ahead and check for doneness a little earlier than usual. Grass-fed beef is great for its heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and a hearty amount of antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin E.
Here are some tips on how to navigate:
1) Coat it with olive oil. The beef is low in fat and so olive will prevent drying and sticking and will add quite a bit a flavor. Truffle oil also works marvelously.
2) Cook the beef at a low temperature in a sauce. The sauce adds extra moisture.
3) The ideal temperature will depend on your cut, but we recommend aiming for somewhere around 140 F. Tent it loosely with foil to let it rest. The temperature will rise another 5 to 10 degrees. This will also allow the juices to redistribute.
4) Stick with medium-rare or medium steaks. The beef can get tough when overcooked.
5) If you want to roast it, sear the beef first to lock in the juices and then place in a pre-heated oven. Reduce the roasting temperature by 50 F.
6) Marinate leaner cuts, like New York strips and sirloin steak.
7) Tenderize! Doing so helps break down tough connective tissue. We recommend the Jaccard meat tenderizer.
8) Slow cooking with moist heat methods is the ideal way to cook many grass-fed cuts. Braising the beef and slow cooking it in stocks or wine will make it more flavorful.
9) Frozen beef should be allowed to thaw slowly in the refrigerator. Never use the microwave to thaw or cook beef — it will change its texture.
10) Don’t use a fork. Always use tongs or a spatula to handle the beef. Piercing it will cause it to lose juices.