Your guide to lean, grass-fed beef

Here's the skinny on where to buy it and how to cook it right

Grass-fed beef
Photo: Iain Bagwell

Beef that's conscientiously raised, good for you, and incredibly tasty ― now that's something to sink your teeth into.

A "new" alternative to grain-fed beef, grass-fed beef is increasingly available in supermarkets and from sources online.

Grass-fed operations are easier on the environment than grain feedlots are, and easier on the animals too (grass is, after all, a cow's natural diet). Grass-feeding also gives the meat a truer beef flavor that's not masked by the marbling of fat typical in grain-fed beef. Plus grass-fed beef is lower in saturated fats and higher in omega-3s and other essential nutrients.


Because it's so lean, though, it cooks in a flash (marbling slows heat conduction). So before you grill that grass-fed rib-eye, check out these 3 keys to success:

1. Lower the heat Grass-fed beef cooks fast. Instead of searing burgers and steaks, put them over a medium flame.

2. Add moisture  With a larger cut (like a roast) that needs a longer cooking time, marinate or braise the meat to keep it from drying out.

3. Don't overcook  Rare to medium rare grass-fed beef is tender, but medium to well-done is tough and chewy.

The Recipes:

Grass-fed burgers with chipotle barbecue sauce  You'll have plenty of the spicy, tangy sauce left over. Have it with grilled chicken or ribs.

Grilled grass-fed rib-eyes with herb lemon butter  Nothing shows off the natural, clean flavor of grass-fed beef like a thick, juicy steak.

Herb lemon butter  Compound butter (butter blended with flavorings) is a great and simple way to add taste and texture to a dish.

For variety, try these two other delicious butters: Caper, tomato, and olive and Cabernet gorgonzola.

Vietnamese-style steak salad  Lemongrass nicely complements the clean flavor of grass-fed steak.



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