Peidmontese Beef Cooking Tips
Piedmontese grass-fed beef offers a unique and amazing eating experience because it is both lean and tender, a rare combination. These characteristics make it cook up differently than your average supermarket beef which is much higher in fat. Grass-fed Piedmontese beef will cook 30 to 50 percent faster with less heat. It can easily be overdone and become dry. If cooked properly it is incredibly delicious AND healthy! It's tender, it's tasty, it's juicy, it's incredible!
Here's a few tips:
- Thaw your meat completely before cooking. Do not flash-thaw in the microwave if you want the best result. If you plan ahead, just put the package of frozen meat in the refrigerator for a day and it will slowly thaw. It can stay in the refrigerator for up to a week before you cook it. If you need to thaw fast, put the package in a water bath of lukewarm water. This thaws the meat quickly but without "hot spots" of a microwave. It is best if the meat comes to room temperature before cooking, so even if you thaw it in the fridge, take it out an hour or two before you are ready to cook it and let it warm up.
- Sear steaks and roasts with high heat to seal in the juices. We like to brown them nicely on both sides on fairly high heat. This can easily be accomplished either on a grill with high heat or in a pan with some oil and high heat. It doesn't take long and then they're ready for cooking. We prefer California Rice Oil for pan frying as it has a very high smoke and flash point and thus safely allows hot temps for searing. It is also a very healthy oil which goes well with our meat.
- Do not overcook! Use a lower temp and shorter cooking times for the cooking process than your typical times and heat for beef. We recommend using a medium heat and watching it closely to remove the heat about 5 degrees before your desired doneness. It will finish cooking after you remove it from the heat.
- Grass-fed Piedmontese beef is awesome when cooked to medium doneness. Because of it's lower fat content, pushing it toward well done also tends to make it more dry. You want to keep the juices in the meat. Check it frequently as you approach your desired doneness.
- If you cook with a thermometer - here's the approximate temps for any finish level: 125* - Very Rare; 130* - Medium Rare ; 135* - Medium; 140* - Medium-Well; 145* - Well Done.
- Remove the meat from the heat about 5 degrees before your desired temp. Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving it. This both allows the juices to circulate back into the meat and finishes the cooking.
- For cooking roasts, after searing they are best cooked with moist heat, either oven roasted or slow-cooked in a crock-pot. For a 3-4 lb roast, we put a can of mushroom soup, a can of water and then our onions and any desired seasonings.
- For slow roasting in a slow cooker (our favorite method) we find we can skip searing the roasts and still get awesome results. This produces well-done but very tender beef roast. We like to put the roast in the crock-pot the evening before (18 to 24 hours) before we want to eat it. We put the mushroom soup, water, onions and seasonings in and turn it on low overnight. The whole house begins to smell awesome by early morning! In the morning we then cut the roast apart a bit so it is more completely bathed in the sauce. We add carrots and potatoes on top of the meat and if the meal is for lunch, we'll turn it on high for the remaining time (mostly because of the need to cook the potatoes and carrots). If the meal will be for dinner in the eveing, it can remain on low all day. When you're ready to eat, simply remove from the slow cooker and serve. We really love chuck roasts done this way - our family just never gets tired of them, and our guests love them, they are simply delectable!
These are a few tips that we've learned. Please experiment and get creative on your own and we're certain you will find many ways to enjoy this healthy beef! The single biggest tip to remember is not to overcook it and dry it out. You will experience amazingly tender, flavorful beef with every bite.