It’s no secret I am a huge fan of grass fed beef; healthy omega 3 rich meat raised on organic grass without hormones and antibiotics administered. Truth is, much as this sounds like a healthy option, I have tried many different sources of grass fed beef so often been disappointed; tough, bland steaks and stewing beef that takes hours to cook to tender.
What’s the beef with that? True grass fed beef means the animals where raised on organic pastures, and chomping on all that healthy grass, while roaming around they don’t really get much chance to fatten up.
Feedlot raised beef fed a smorgasbord of corn, soy and even left over candy will typically weigh about 400 Lbs more than a grass fed animal at time of slaughter, which accounts for the marbling in the meat and flavor. Many grass fed farms ‘grain finish’ the beef, allowing the animal to fatten up to produce a better tasting steak, not true ‘grass fed’ in my book.
The Real Deal: Truly Grass Fed Beef
While attending the Fresh Expo in Charlotte last fall, I met the team from Grayson Natural Farms, and tasted some of their delicious beef. The marketing manager Don Duncan shipped me a couple of their steaks and short ribs to try out; now a ‘slow cooked’ cut of meat will eventually tender up but true test is the steak.
Two good looking New York strip steaks where seasoned up and grilled to medium rare, and the result was delicious! Tender, melt in the mouth steak with robust flavor, for true grass fed beef, not supplemented at all by grain, this was quite amazing!
Don also shared with me the lab results of tests run on the beef, now typically conventional feedlot beef will have an Omega 6:3 ration of higher than 20:1, which makes it a pro inflammatory food, while grass fed beef is usually around 0.16:1,
The ratio on the result for Grayson Farms was an impressive 0.12:0.19, meaning this is a true healing food.
Of course I was intrigued to know the secret of how beef van be truly grass fed and yet so tender. Grayson Farms beef is raised in the mountains of Virginia on four different types of mineral rich grass. Strict sustainable farming practices and protocols are in place to ensure the animal is never given antibiotics or hormones and raised in a natural environment, and only fed silage during the winter made from Grayson Farms grasses.
Grayson Natural Farms is available in the Charlotte area at various outlets and to order online http://graysonnatural.com/.
Most recently it is also available at custom butcher shop at The Peachstand in Fort Mill, SC http://www.springsfarm.com/peachstand_custombutchershop.asp
This past weekend I joined Don at the Peachstand to demonstrate this delicious beef, preparing the short ribs in a fragrant sauce of coffee, orange juice, red wine and a spice blend from my favorite spice shop Savory Spice in the South End of Charlotte.
(Check out the events page, I’ll be there doing a demonstration on February 20th!)
The particular blend I used ‘Barnet Bay Butcher Rub’ is an interesting blend of garlic, black pepper, Saigon cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, I added a little cumin and you could use your own blend too.
The result was tender beef with deep flavor, perfect comfort food for the cold weather months, the recipe follows below.
In Health and Wellness,
Braised Beef Short Ribs
Coffee, red wine, orange juice with spices; odd sounding flavors complement to create depth of flavors to compliment the rich, grass fed beef.
- 3-4 pounds Beef Short Ribs
- 1 cup Carrots, peeled and diced (2-3)
- 2 cups Yellow Onions, diced ( 1 medium)
- 2 cups Celeriac Root, peeled and diced (1 small)
- 1 cup Celery, stringed and diced (2 -3 ribs)
- 6 cloves mashed Garlic
- 1 tablespoon finely grated Ginger
- 1 cup fresh Orange Juice
- 1 cup strong Coffee
- 1 cup Red Wine
- 4 cups Brown Beef Stock
- 1 cup crushed Tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon Barnet Bay Butchers Rub seasoning (Savory Spice Shop)
- 1 teaspoon ground Cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- 4-6 tablespoons Ghee (clarified butter) or Coconut Oil for cooking
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- Pat the beef dry with paper towels (wet beef will not brown well)
- Heat a large dutch oven or casserole over medium high heat, add 2-3 tablespoons Ghee to the casserole and sauté the beef until nicely browned on all sides.
- Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add a little more ghee and slow caramelize the onions.
- Add the rest of the vegetables, garlic and ginger and cook bout 10 more minutes until softened.
- Add the seasonings, orange juice, wine, tomatoes and stock to the pan, bring to a simmer.
- Place the over back in the dutch oven, cover and place in the oven. Regulate heat so that liquid simmers very slowly for 3 to 4 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
- Taste for seasoning.