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Much of the grass fed beef you will buy will be VERY lean. Almost too lean sometimes (think venison). When meat isn't marbled correctly the fat does not get into the muscle and it can make the meat taste less tender and less delicious. A lot of the flavor is from that glorious fat.
The fat in grass fed beef is different is the healthy kind, full of Omega 3s in a healthy ratio to Omega 6s. This fat isn't the sludge that clogs your arteries, but rather it's similar to olive oil, which also means it's easier to lose from the meat if it's cooked wrong.
Our beef are FINISHED. Beef adds fat AROUND the muscles to a certain point, and this is usually the point at which most ranchers are harvesting their beef. Flavanoids are not incorporated into the meat and fat until close to 3 years of age. We raise ours the extra time (this can take up to a full year extra) that it takes for the animal to start adding that beautiful fat INSIDE the muscle. Our meat is marbled and tender, juicy and flavorful. The difference is the TIME it takes to raise the animal.
We believe Ruby Red Devons are the most flavorful of any beef cattle. They are meant to be grass fed and turn grass into muscle and fat beautifully. The mom's milk is full of beautiful cream (that's where the term Devonshire cream comes from) that's full of butterfat and helps the calf put on weight and muscle fast, setting the growth tone for the animal's life. We can tell a good Devon meat blindfolded – bet you could after a bit, too.
The cardinal rules in cooking grass fed beef
- Don't cook it too hot. It's OK to quickly sear the outside - but then turn the heat down - or better yet, move it to a cooler burner so it doesn't stay on the hot burner. Cook it slower to keep that glorious fat (and flavor) in the muscle.
- Cook it less than you normally would. Normally like your steak medium? Cook it medium rare. You'll be surprised how little you have to cook grass fed meat – especially of good quality – compared to regular beef. The reason? The FAT. It's less solid and doesn't take as long to heat up. Cook it too long and you'll lose the fat.
- Never use a fork to turn your meat. Use tongs, otherwise you'll lose all the juices from the punctures. For the same reason, (and if you're really serious) it's best to use a meat thermometer versus cutting into the steak when checking done-ness. Keep the juices IN the meat!
Try some of our favorite grass-fed beef recipes and check back often for new recipes!