Grass-fed and finished
Grass-fed beef require a slightly different cooking approach. We've put together some information about what makes our beef special as well as a few tips to guide you as you cook with it.
Low and Slow
Grass-fed beef can have a lower amount of insulating fat and a high heat sear will cause the meat to lose the moisture and fat very quickly. We recommend lowering the heat on the stove or grill to better control the doneness.
When is it done?
Use a meat thermometer instead of a timer! Grass fed beef will cook quicker than conventional beef and every cut is a different size on a standard recipe. When cooking steaks, remove them from the grill, oven or pan before they reach your desired temperature and allow the meat to rest 3-5 minutes after cooking and before cutting. This allows the fibers of the meat to relax and reabsorb any juices released in cooking.
Align the right cooking method with the cut
Research recipes for each cut (or ask us for our recommendation!). Some cuts of beef should only be cooked with moisture and braised and some are perfect for the skillet or grill.
What do you mean by grass-fed and finished?
We use the term grass-fed and finished to highlight that our cows graze on grass and forage for their entire lives. They are never fed grain, nor are they treated with hormones or preventative antibiotics.
Why should you consider grass-fed beef?
We believe this way of finishing beef brings a high-quality product that is both full of flavor and nutrient-dense to your table. Raising animals this way also provides a higher level of animal welfare and environmental protection. The standard for Windy Hill is to produce well-marbled grass-fed beef from healthy animals who have grazed on nutrient-rich forage and seasonal cover crops. Another benefit of this process that we value is that it produces healthy soil, which is the goal of our regenerative grazing practices.
There is a growing consensus among chefs that high-quality grass-fed beef not only rivals but is in fact better-tasting than grain-fed beef. It has a “beefier” and more complex taste. Dan Barber, the renowned chef and co-owner of Blue Hill at Stone Barns shares these perspectives on grass-fed beef below:
“With conventional beef, what you’re tasting is fat: nutty and greasy. There’s an oily
quality that coats your mouth. One thing that’s missing is real beefiness. The flavor
comes from the fat, rather than the animal itself. Grass-fed beef has a taste that’s clean
and rich, and undeniably beefy.”
“Grain-fed beef is stripped of any sense of place. Of course, there’s still variation — based on the breed, the aging process — but for the most part, a grain-fed steak tastes the same whether it’s raised in New York or New Mexico. Grass-fed beef tastes different based on the pasture the cattle were eating — which means it varies by farm and even time of year.”