Ah, grassfed beef. Suddenly, it’s THE thing to eat. You’ve heard all about the complex flavor and the bonus of being able to find sustainable and filet mignon on the same plate. The moment has come. You carefully create your marinade or even just a salt and herb rub so you don’t hide the flavor. You’ve grilled a few steaks, you have your timing down. The perfectly seared finished filet hits your plate. You take that much anticipated bite. And …
It is bone dry. Overcooked. Gray.
Well, this whole grassfed beef thing is lousy, you say. I can’t eat that! What happened?
Shannon Hayes, author of The Farmer and the Grill, has your answer. Her latest book provides all the information you need to grill grassfed meats and poultry and avoid such disappointment when you transition to more sustainable meats.
Joel Salatin writes the book’s introduction:
As a quintessential devotee of pastured livestock, I am keenly aware that the most environmentally-progressive meat and poultry in the world will not sell unless the eater has a favorable dining experience. At the end of the day, taste and eating pleasure trump altruism every time. Healing the planet and keeping cancer at bay just don’t compare to the visceral bond connecting nose, palate, and pocketbook.
The book includes helpful tips such as why grassfed meats cook faster; more sustainable grilling; a chart of recommended cooking temperatures for grassfed versus “conventional” meat; and, my favorite tip, “Throw out your bottle of store-bought barbecue sauce.”
Hayes writes from the perspective of a former-novice at the grill. The text gives a lot of basics on even just lighting the fire. This is a welcome change for the “Weber-curious” like myself, whose spouse has staked a claim on the grill and keep these tips secret. The detailed text goes on to cover cooking tips and meat buying know-how for beef, lamb, pork and poultry.
Once she has introduced the information that will literally “save your bacon,” Hayes brings on the flavor. Recipes include everything from The Best Steak to Tamari-Orange Whiskey Kebabs and Maple Mustard Smoked Lamb Riblets.
As far as chucking the bottled sauce, the book offers mouth-watering marinades and sauces that are perfectly paired for each type of meat including a recipe for Share-the-Beer Marinade that includes instructions, “It never hurts to appease the Gods of Barbecue by offering a little beer to the brisket.”
Hayes even takes readers on a culinary exploration of Argentina and Brazil’s grilling traditions from her own firsthand experience with a special section in the book and offers methods to cook on a parilla.
Overall, the text offers a wealth of details that anyone switching to grassfed meats will find just as useful as the recipes themselves. Hayes thoughtfully marks each recipe as “elegant,” “good for company,” “on a budget” or even, “kid-friendly.”
The Farmer and the Grill by Shannon Hayes is available online, $22.95, self-published at grassfedcooking.com. Hayes’ other book, The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook is also available at the site.