Enjoying Grass-Fed Dexter Beef
The following article has been provided by Liz Dickie of Eliden Farm.
Dexters are a primitive breed, from northern Ireland originally, perfectly suited to organic small scale farming. Their robust immune systems mean that they do not need chemical dewormers, antibiotics nor grain to fatten in order to be sent to market at 24+ months.
Living a stress free life on grass, meadow plants and leaves, they produce a tasty, tender carcass. We insure also that they are dispatched in as stress free an environment as possible and will call ahead to ensure that they are not waiting in a fearful environment with many steers ahead of them but dispatched as soon as they are off the truck. We believe that this provides us with the healthiest meat possible, rich in omega 3's and CLA's, (Conjugated linoleic acid). Our beef is hung in the traditional manner for 21 days of curing prior to cutting. Here are some tips to fully enjoying your grass fed beef:
• allow meat to thaw naturally in the refrigerator
• prior to cooking allow it to rest to room temperature
• unless you are braising the cut with moist heat, grass fed beef should be cooked only to medium, at the longest
• during the hanging process, the outer layer of fat will become hard and unappetizing or if the fat has been mistakenly cut off during skinning, the outside of the carcass will become hard, and reddish brown. This should be trimmed off by the butcher at the time of cutting but our experience has been that sometimes, whether through accident or over site, it has been left on. This must be trimmed prior to cooking or it will taint the meat.
• it has been our experience that cooked to medium rare, the cross rib and short rib roasts are tender and tasty! But if you choose you can braise them, or any other part.
Enjoy a couple of recipes!
• thaw a small blade or shoulder cut and bring to room temperature
• brown meat well in Dutch oven or braising pot
• deglaze pot with 1/4 cup hard cider or porter beer
• add 1 cup stock
• 1/2 tsp dried thyme
• 1/4 bay leaf
• pinch grated nutmeg
• 1 onion or shallot quartered
• return meat to pot cover and simmer for 1.5 hours (time depending on size of roast meat should be almost fork tender)
• add 2 carrots peeled and quartered, 2 or 3 potatoes peeled and halved and 1/4 - 1/2 turnip peeled and sliced in 1.5 inch chunks
• simmer a further 1/2 hour until vegetables are tender and meat is fork tender..... enjoy!
• thaw brisket, short ribs or any other braising cut
• in pan mix 1/4 c soy sauce, 1tbs dijon mustard, 1 cup red wine
• place meat in pan, cover and marinate 24 hours, turning at least once in marinade
• allow meat to come to room temperature
• remove from marinade, reserving marinade, pat dry and then brown well on all sides in Dutch oven
• deglaze with 1/4 cup stock, return meat to pan, add marinade, 2 cloves garlic and 1 shallot or onion quartered, simmer until meat is fork tender, turning once .
*Our thanks to Liz Dickie of Eliden Farm for providing us with this article. http://www.elidenfarm.com