Why the Emphasis on Grass Fed Beef?

Among the first cattle farmers in the United States, the Gonsoulin family began raising cattle in south central Louisiana in 1770. Gonsoulin Land and Cattle, LLC entered the grass fed industry in 2006 and has been producing quality grass fed beef using no antibiotics or growth hormones ever since. The cattle are worked on horseback, resulting in a low-stress, low-pressure environment.

Committed to the environmental programs recommended by the USDA-NRCS, the Gonsoulin Land and Cattle Ranch prides itself in paying attention to details such as this respectful handling of the cattle as well as conservation of natural resources. It has been awarded the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Conservation Cooperator Award for outstanding accomplishments in the conservation of soil, water and related natural resources from the USDA-NRCS.

So what makes grass fed beef different? True grass fed products are naturally higher in Conjugated Linoleic Acid which is an essential fatty acid with some amazing properties. Studies suggest that it helps prevent obesity, improves bone density, strengthens immunity, suppresses the growth of cancer cells, and is anti-diabetic. Grass fed beef is also much higher in vitamins A and E and cancer-fighting antioxidants.

Research spanning three decades supports the claims that it is lower in overall fat content than grain fed beef. Because of these differences, grass fed beef possesses unique features that should be considered during its preparation.

Grass fed meat starts just as tender as other meat, but it can become tough if cooked the same way as grain fed meat. Grass fed meat is incredibly lean, so to keep it tender, it must be cooked slowly. One of the best aspects of grass fed meat: your burger won’t shrink on the grill!!

Never use a microwave to thaw grass fed beef. Either thaw in the refrigerator or, for quick thawing, place the vacuum sealed package in cold water for a few minutes. Let it sit at room temperature for no more than 30 minutes. Don’t cook it cold straight from the refrigerator.

Never pierce the meat with a fork while cooking. If you do, the juices will run out. Similarly, don’t use a fork to turn the beef; it’s better to always use tongs.

Grass fed beef is ideal at rare to medium-rare temperatures. If you prefer meat well done, cook at a low temperature in a sauce to add moisture. A slow cooker is ideal.

Cook slow and low. The fat acts as an insulator. Since grass-fed beef is a lean meat, it has no insulation. If you sear it, it dries up very quickly. Cook slow and low. If you marinate it overnight, this will help in the cooking as it will not let it dry out as quick.

Pull it off the grill at 10 degrees lower than your target temperature. The meat will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat, so when it reaches a temperature 10 degrees LOWER than the desired temperature, it’s done.

Grass fed beef cooks about 30 percent faster than grain fed beef. Use a thermometer to test for doneness and watch the temperature carefully. You can go from perfectly cooked to overdone in less than a minute.

Allow the meat to rest for 15 minutes after cooking. Lean meat sheds more moisture if you cut it up too soon.

When grilling, quickly sear the meat over high heat on each side and then reduce the heat to medium or low to finish. Baste to add moisture.

When roasting, sear the beef first to lock in the juices and then place in a pre-heated oven. Reduce the roasting temperature by 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Very lean cuts can benefit from a marinade (think New York strips and sirloin steaks). Choose a recipe that doesn’t mask the flavor of the beef but will enhance the moisture content. For safe handling, always marinate in the refrigerator.

To learn more about Shannon and his cattle ranch, please visit http://www.glcranch.com/

Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse  |  Louisiana Grass Fed Beef Picnic

Wednesday, August 30th, Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse is transforming into an indoor picnic! Our chefs will prepare various cuts of grass fed beef from Gonsoulin Cattle Ranch in New Iberia, Louisiana. Additionally, a Louisiana picnic would not be complete without libations from William Grant & Sons, Stella Artois, and more!

Buy tickets here!