Tips for Cooking Inexpensive Cuts of Pastured Meat

| 12/13/2011 11:58:30 AM

By now, we hope you’ve heard about the many benefits of choosing pastured meats over industrially raised meats. For more on that, check out the following resources: Eat Wild, The Amazing Benefits of Grass-Fed Meat, What You Need to Know About the Beef You Eat and Yet More Proof That Grass-Fed Meat is Better.

But if you’re already sold on this great idea, you may have discovered that pastured meat products often cost more than their inferior commercial counterparts, which are unfortunately raised in ways that keep cost—and quality—low. The good news is that you can make incredibly delicious meals from the less expensive cuts of meat available from pastured producers. Here are a few tips from Good Meat: The Complete Guide to Sustainable Meat by Deborah Krasner. 

Tips For Cooking Inexpensive Cuts of Pastured Meat 

* Grass-fed meats can often be a little bit drier than corn-fattened meat, so you always want to take care not to draw out any natural moisture. To that end, it’s usually best to add salt in the form of a rub or in the pan as the meat cooks, rather than in marinades. Using salt in marinades can draw out moisture.

* Always let roasted meat rest for at least 15 minutes before carving—this is particularly important with grass-fed beef, as it contains less fat to hold in moisture than industrial meat does.

* Use a meat thermometer to judge doneness, and stop cooking meat when it registers 10 or so degrees less than the ideal temperature. This allows for the continued internal cooking that occurs when the meat is first removed from the heat source and is rested.

* Ground beef from grass-fed cows must be cooked carefully—either quickly seared on the outside to stay rare within or cooked very slowly to a more advanced state of doneness.