There is considerable evidence that pasture raised meats contain overall lower bacteria counts [see here for example], and therefore we feel confident it is not tainted with bacteria or chemicals like ammonia. However, the USDA still recommends cooking ground beef to 160°F, given that ground beef has a larger surface area for bacteria to populate (unlike a steak, where any bacteria on the surface is normally disposed of in the cooking process). If you like your burgers medium or medium rare like we do, aim for a temperature of 125-130°F*.
STEAKS AND ROASTS
The best steak has a great, caramelized sear on the outside that locks juices inside the meat, with a tender. smooth, and moist inside. Over-exposing grass-fed steak to high heat causes the muscle fibers to contract tightly and become very chewy and dry. The simple recipe that follows is based on what many professional chefs recommend, and can help you produce a four star restaurant quality steak or roast in your own kitchen.
PRO TIP: For the best possible medium rare steak, try cooking your steak completely frozen. Yes, it sounds crazy, but the result is a perfectly crisp crust with a pink interior without any grey dryness at all. Generously use olive oil or bacon fat to grease a cast iron pan and heat on HIGH until smoking. Place a generous pinch of course sea salt directly on the pan, and then place un-thawed steaks in pan. Rub the steaks around to sear the salt into the crust of the meat, for approximately 2 minutes per side (until lightly charred), flipping once. Place in the oven at 225 degrees for approximately 15-20 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees.*
FOOL PROOF GRASS-FED STEAKS & ROASTS (INDOORS)
Adapted from Barton Seaver's, Where There's Smoke
There are many variations of this basic premise - sear and then finish in the oven - but if you master this, the sauces, spices and sides are easy!
Fully thaw your steak or roast (in its original packaging), overnight in the refrigerator. DO NOT put it in the microwave.
Dry meat completely before covering it with olive oil and the simple rub (use your discretion on how much, the quantity at left should cover several steaks). Let the meat rest for another 15+ minutes to allow it to come to room temperature (cooking steak cold will cause the edges to curl up and dry out the meat).
Preheat oven to 200°F for a steak, or 250°F for a roast.
Using a cast iron pan, heat the pan on HIGH until it is slightly smoking from the heat. Add a dollop of butter, bacon fat, or olive oil and immediately place the steak or roast on. Sear each side for about 2-3 minutes.
Place the entire skillet in the oven, until a thermometer inserted about 1 inch into the meat reads between 120-130°F* about 10-15 minutes for a steak, and 2+ hours for a roast, depending on the size.
Allow the meat to rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting. This ensures all the juices will not run out of the meat when sliced. When you do slice the meat, make sure you cut across the grain.
OUTDOORS, use the same method: sear the steak on the hot side of the grill, then move away from the direct heat and cook until you've reached the desired internal temperature.
*Note that this is lower than the USDA recommended temp for corn-fed beef (145°F), so please do so at your own risk, but we believe this results in the best tasting medium/medium-rare beef possible. If you do like well-done meat, we suggest slow cooking using a crock-pot.
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar (this works as a tenderizer, and also balances the lactic acid and higher mineral content in grass-fed beef)
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
½ teaspoon cinnamon (for tougher cuts) or ground mace (for leaner cuts)