Will your July 4th menu include grass-fed organic beef?
If so, these tips may help ensure the fabulous steak you expect. Farm-to-table and organic eating is popular, but it doesn’t always come with instructions!
Here to change that is Chef Francis Hogan, the culinary talent behind Bluestem Brasserie, the celebrated San Francisco restaurant named after the indigenous North American grass favored by cattle ranchers.
His restaurant has been named one of San Francisco’s “Best New Places to Eat” by Thrillist and ranked among the 15 Best Burgers in San Francisco by Refinery 29. Chef Hogan specializes in sustainably produced grass-fed beef from California, with an emphasis on whole-animal cooking.
Chef Hogan’s tips include:
- When ordering grass-fed steak, whether at a restaurant or at your family grill, describe how you want it to look. The best way to get a steak the way you want is to describe what you expect instead of requesting a standard temperature (ie. medium-rare, medium). So, ask that it be mostly pink with a small amount of red in the center, for example. This way, there’s less chance of error.
- Remember this formula: Less Fat = Cooks Faster. Grass-fed beef has less fat, so it cooks much faster. Since it’s more prone to overcooking and drying out, it shouldn’t be eaten beyond the rare/medium-rare range.
- Preserving the moisture in the meat is important, so keep in mind these three tips:
– Searing meat on a hot surface such as a grill or hot pan helps lock in juices.
– When cooking grass-fed beef, turn down the temperature. Slow cooking also keeps the juices in.
– Introduce a fat like a garlic-herb butter or olive oil to baste the meat.
- Let the meat cool before cutting. Like all meat, grass-fed beef continues to rise in temperature after cooking from the residual heat. Always allow the meat to rest before cutting into it.
- When you get your steak, recognize that it may be at the right temperature even if the color is different than what you are used to with non-grass-fed meat. Grass-fed beef retains more redness than grain-fed, which means a grass-fed “medium” will look redder than the grain-fed version, even when both have been cooked to 140 degrees.
So, if you can make it to Bluestem Brasserie, by all means go! But if not, try these tips when cooking your own. You may become the best chef on the block!