Grass- Fed vs Grain-Fed : What’s The Difference?
There’s a lot of hype, mis-information and misconception and out there concerning grain-fed and grass-fed beef. If you’ve read Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, you might get the impression that grain is the devil and eating grain-finished beef makes you a bad person. But the truth is far more nuanced. The grain-finished beef he describes (and [...]
The Myth of Pre-World War II Beef (Bob Comis)
Bob Comis operates Stony Brook Farm in Schoharie New York where he and his wife pasture raise heritage breed pigs, lamb, goat and poultry. In his posts, Bob shares his thoughts on farming, regional food systems, and his vision for the future. [Note: Below is an e-mail that I sent to someone who is increasingly [...]
Basic Cooking Instructions and Methods
Roasts for use with : Lamb Cuts : leg of lamb (bone-in or boneless), shoulder roasts, bone-in loin roast Beef Cuts : top round roast, bottom round roast, standing rib roast, chuck roll roast Pork Cuts : loin roast, fresh ham, pork shoulder roast Poultry Cuts : whole or half chicken (or other bird) Steaks and [...]
Internal Temperatures for ‘Doneness’
Beef and Lamb Rare — 120° to 125°F — Center is bright red, pinkish toward the exterior portion. Medium — 140° to 145°F — Center is light pink, outer portion is brown. Well-Done — 160°F and above — Uniformly brown throughout. Poultry Chicken & Duck — 165°F — Cook until juices run clear. Turkey — [...]
What Does “NATURAL” Mean?
Natural is a tough term to reliably and consistently define these days. The term is not regulated by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in a way that is meaningful to consumers. “All Natural” on a label simply means “Minimally Processed.” This says nothing about the use of hormones, animal based feeds or antibiotics. “Naturally [...]
How Big Is Big Beef?
So how big is Big Beef and our industrial agriculture system, you might ask? Just thought I’d share some interesting (read: scary) numbers on where your beef did not come from. Nicholas Lampert http://machineanimalcollages.com According to the USDA’s data for APRIL 2008: Beef production: 2.25 billion pounds. Cattle slaughtered: 2.96 million animals Pork production: 2.02 [...]
Dry Aging – Why Does Old Meat Taste Better?
Dry aging is the process where an entire animal carcass or primal cut (whole rib or loin), without any type of covering on it, is placed in a refrigerated room at a specific temperature, humidity, and air velocity for 7-21 days. During this process a crust forms on the outside of them eat, similar in [...]
When it’s time to slice, it’s best to cut the beef across the grain and at an angle of about 45 degrees (rather than straight down, perpendicular to the cutting surface). By doing this, you will cut through as many muscle fibers as possible with each slice. In general, this will be across the short [...]
Letting your beef rest after cooking is as important as the cooking itself. This goes for all meats and all cuts. Once you pull the meat out of the pan or oven or off of the grill, put it on a cutting board and let it chill for about 8-10 minutes, longer for larger pieces [...]
Cooking Grass-Fed Beef and Other Lean Meats
You just bought a beautiful piece of locally raised, grass-fed beef, and I know you don’t want to disappoint both me and the farmer by making a mediocre meal with something so carefully raised and butchered. So here are some tips to make sure you get plenty of OOOH’s and AAAH’s at your next BBQ. [...]