It is early here. Six Thirty AM actually, nice and cool , about 56 degree I think. Should degree have an s, degrees? I am not sure and it doesn’t seem important enough right now to take the time to look it up. What I do find important though is the preparation and use of our farm raised meats. They are different you know? Or if you have tried it, either your own or purchased from someone else you do. Not better than, not worse than, just different.
Relax. I am not going to get all technical on you and tell you how much lower in fat and higher in this and or that grass fed is simply because I really don’t know all the details. I will tell you however that the taste is different because of the different diet of the animal and that because of the lower fat content. It may help your enjoyment of the meat to prepare it a little differently than what you are accustomed to doing. As mentioned before when I was coming up we raised our own meats and vegetables. We lived on dad’s job and mom’s job was seasonal and away from home so it wound up that dad did a lot of the cooking. I am pretty sure dad thought we only had a couple of frying pans, for frying of course with plenty of lard, and maybe two pots for either boiling vegetables or making rice. Don’t waste any time feeling sorry for us. WE ATE GOOD! But anyway back to the present.
I will speak mostly of beef because that is what we had for dinner so it is most recent on my mind but that is also where I see the predominance of difference in the meats. Less fat means dryer when cooked. Dry is often interpreted as tough which is not necessarily the case. What we have to do is adjust our cooking practices, either the process or the time and how well done we cook it. Well done in most cases also means dry. But there are some cuts of meat that also are more prone to having less fat of natural juices in them s simply because they are used more by the animal. All cuts of the Round for example. Top Bottom or eye does not matter. Less fat and natural juices the more quickly it will lose what it does have in the cooking process and the less flavorful or tender it will be. Cuts from the chuck or shoulder will cook well this way as well.
THE RECIPE: Yeh I know FINALLY! http://www.cookscountry.com/recipes/8217-baked-steak-with-onions-and-mushrooms
My intentions were to copy and paste the recipe with full credit to where it came from but they are one of the sites that want you to sign up for access and emails that you don’t want before access is given so I gave you the address. The recipe follows but you will have to put up with more of my typing.
6 1” thick steaks; they said blade, I assume from the chuck, me, I used bottom round
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbs water doesn’t seem like enough to me. Next time I will do 1/4 cup
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs tomato paste
2 onions halved and sliced thin
8 ounces cremini mushrooms trimmed and sliced thin I used what was available at grocery store
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 tbs fresh chopped parsley
300 degree preheated oven
There is a lot more detail available in the original but here is my condensed version.
Salt and pepper on the steaks to taste. Coat both sides of the steaks with the cornstarch before heating half the oil in a 12” fry pan. Place steaks. 3 at a time in the pan and brown both sides. About 3 minutes each side. Put in remaining oil and repeat the browning with the remaining steaks. POUR OFF remaining oil add water, scrape bottom of pan to loosen whatever is stuck there (don’t want to miss any of the good stuff) then add ALL remaining ingredients (except parsley) and put the steaks on top.
Cover and put in the 300 degree preheated oven for 2 hours
After 2 hours remove lid and return to oven to brown but no more than about 30 minutes
Cover and allow to sit for a few minutes, or rest as it is called, uncover sprinkle with parsley and serve with whatever you have prepared to go with it.
Next time I will use a little more moisture. Cuts from the round are drier. Also I may well go to stove top. Less energy used as well.
Low and slow and maybe add a little moisture is a good place to start. Me? I like water-less cookware. For several reasons. If used as designed to be used the moisture in the pot or pan will form a seal around the lid thereby holding in the liquids there and actually works like a pressure cooker without the use of all that energy to boil the excess liquid out. Also once started the heat source turned way down a seal will form and I can walk off from it and let it do it’s thing while I am off doing something else that needs doing.
Now Pauline may well tell you that I know only two setting on a burner. Wide open or off. There may well be a lot of truth to that. If I have to stand here over it then let’s go ahead and get it done. There are other things that need attention as well. Another reason why I like water-less cookware. It takes some getting used to but in my opinion worth the effort.
NOW!!! Do not go out and buy a whole set of new pots and pans just because I said this. See Find one or two pieces to try. A lot of people seem to have trouble turning the heat down to allow these pots and pans to work as they are designed to.
The recipe above comes from someone else. I do have one of my own and it actually thought up by me. Now no doubt it has been done before but I never saw it. SO IT IS MINE. Look for it in a soon to come post. Just as soon as I make it so I can get some pics of it happening that is !
Try this. It will make some of your cuts more enjoyable whether they are farm raised or store bought
Bob here; enjoy it and let me know what your opinion is:
PS I have a recipe of my own that I use for the same reasons on any and all meats. I will post it as soon as I cook it so I can add photos.
WATCH FOR IT