Preheat oven to 425F. Cut potatoes into wedges, toss in oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 35-40 minutes, flipping wedges over halfway. Butterfly open the skirt steak in half and using a mallet or rolling pin flatten them some more. Lather with oil and season with salt, garlic, and pepper. Add cheese, jalapenos and bacon to one side leaving a ½ inch wide edge and fold closed. Use mallet to flatten the edges to seal. Set in fridge for 30 minutes.
Heat the grill to 400F and barbecue your skirt steak for 7-8 minutes on each side, until 130F internal temperature. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes. While you wait, melt the butter in a small pan, add garlic, parmesan and parsley and cook for 5 minutes.
Slice steak against grain, drizzle butter oven potato wedges and enjoy with a crisp green salad.
4 dried New Mexico chilis (if you can’t find any omit)
4 cups chicken broth
1 roasted tomato ( heat cast iron skillet over high heat, add tomato and cook turning often until charred)
4 packages beef stewing cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp ground allspice
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp corn starch
To make sauce, remove stems and seeds from chilis. Place chilis in microwave oven and microwave for 2 intervals of 15 seconds. Heat 2 cups of chicken broth until hot, submerge chiles and cook for 2 minutes. Place chiles, tomato and broth with chilis in blender and process until smooth.
For the stew, season beef with salt and pepper, in Dutch oven heat oil over medium high heat and add beef in a single layer, searing all sides until golden brown. Remove and repeat with the remaining cubes. When done searing, remove cubes and set aside. Add onions to pot and sauté for 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute, then add spices and stir for 1 minute. Return beef and juices back to Dutch oven, add sauce and broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours until beef is tender. Make a slurry of corn starch and a bit of water, stir slurry in stew to thicken sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy with some rice, tortillas and pico de gallo.
-8 small carrots whole or 4 big ones, cut in ½ inch slices
-3 star anise
-2 cinnamon sticks
-2 tbsp honey
-3 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
-1/2 cup panko
-1/4 cup chicken stock
-fingerlings or small potatoes
-2 tbsp butter unsalted cubed
-salt and pepper
Pulse all of the crust ingredients in a food processor until nice and green, taste and add salt if required.
For rack of lamb, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season all sides of rack with salt and pepper. Heat a cast iron pan over medium high. Add oil and let pan begin to smoke. Add rack to pan bone side up and sear all sides for 60 seconds (until browned). Add thyme, butter and garlic to pan and baste for a minute. Transfer to oven and roast for 5-15 minutes until lamb is rare (125F internal)
Remove from oven and pan. Using a pastry brush, spread mustard on meat, wait two minutes and brush once more with mustard. Pour basil crust in a plate and dip the lamb rack into the crust mix, turning to coat.
For carrots and potatoes
Boil water with salt (enough salt you taste it). Cook carrots for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to an ice bath to stop cooking process. Drain. Heat olive oil in a pan on medium heat and add cinnamon and star anise, honey and a pinch of salt. Once honey is bubbling, add carrots and toss to coat. Cook for 3 minutes, turning frequently. Add butter and stir. Let butter begin to froth and deglaze pan with chicken stock. Cook for 3 minutes until liquid has evaporated and carrots are cooked.
For potatoes, boil in salty water, drain and slice in half. Heat oil in pan and place potatoes cut side down, season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes until they brown, flip them and add butter. Reduce heat to med-low and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
Maybe you tried grass-fed beef, and it was not great. It was not very tender, and tasted bland with a note of fish? Well, that sounds like the beef we produced 10 years ago. We just did not know any better.
By now, lots of people know that beef must be finished to taste good.
But unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about what finished means.
In essence, a beef is finished when it is ready to be slaughtered and eaten. Since tenderness and taste vastly improve with intramuscular fat deposits, to finish a beef simply means to get it fat enough.
It has long been established that beef tastes best when it has more intramuscular fat.
Liveweight, adjusted for frame score (expected finished height) and gender, can predict such ‘finish’ with great accuracy.
For the consumer, a general rule based on carcass weigh is more useful. Since almost all beeves finish at carcass weighs between 700-900 lbs, simply look for farmers that sell carcasses in that weight range. Males from larger breeds or lineages will finish at the upper end of this spectrum, females from smaller breeds at the lower end.
Age is not a good indicator as grass-fed beef will finish at a later age (but the same weight) than grain-finished because grass has a lower caloric density than grain.
In the US, where most cows are Angus, the USDA uses marbling to grade quality. However, marbling depends mostly on breed. Continental breeds like limousine or Charolais hardly marble at all, but finish by depositing microscopic fat instead.
A beef will continue to grow (and marble) long after it is finished, but once past the optimal weight, it will grow overly fat and no longer build much muscle, so yield grade percentage will suffer. While nowadays, the trend is towards slightly fattier beef with extra marbling, over-finishing beef is costly, time-consuming and may not be very sustainable.
Likewise, one can eat smaller beeves. A beef carcass at 500-650 lbs is semi-finished and will not taste great*. We used to call them baby beeves. When we started farming, we were convinced that grass-fed beef was intrinsically less fat, and that omega-3 fatty acids would inevitably lead to a gamey taste with a note of fish. In fact, these are quality defects of unfinished beef.
On the other hand, well-finished grass-fed beef does not taste, feel, look or smell different from well-finished grain-fed beef. However, the fat, vitamin and nutrient composition may be different and the implications of raising beef this way may differ.
Now that we know that finished beef has a specific meaning, we can define grass-finished as: beeves (1) with carcass weight between 700-900 lbs and (2) that ate (only) grass all their lives’.
Beware that many producers conveniently omit the first part of the definition since finishing on grass is notoriously difficult. Grass has a low caloric density (it is a very bulky form of energy) and beeves require tremendous amounts of energy for maintenance. A lot of energy is lost when making hay for the winter and cows burn even more energy just to keep warm on a cold day.
Slow or erratic growth can be problematic from an organisational, economical and sustainability perspective as well as for beef quality. Beeves that are growing too slow or lost body condition before slaughter can be less tender, lose marbling and exhibit yellow fat.
So, there is a lot of inferior grass-fed beef out there. Lots of good-natured and well-intentioned folks are taking conventional calves and move them around like crazy on huge swaths of godforsaken and abused pastures with acidic soils, that hardly grow any grass, only to fanatically upsell them as grass-fed (but unfinished) beef in the fall.
It is easy to get excited by the promises of regenerative agriculture, and it may be comforting to subscribe to its principles and dogmatically follow popular techniques or practitioners in the unwavering conviction that one is turning the ship around while producing a great product and making a profit.
Yet, producing great beef, and providing consumers with accurate information that transcends marketing, while living off the farm is quite another thing.
In this article, we argued how carcass weight is a good indicator for beef quality for consumers. Moreover, we can also measure or predict the impact on climate change, the environment, animal welfare, workload, and farm finances, consumer health and so on.
We do not have enough space to go into details here, but it is safe to say that the biggest economic, environmental, and social costs of raising beef are incurred by keeping the mother cow. Since it takes 105 cows (assume 5% calving and other problems) to produce about 80 000 lbs of finished beef, or about 140 cows to produce 80 000 lbs of baby beeves at 600 lbs, there is little doubt that finishing beeves is more sustainable overall. It obviously takes more energy to keep 35 more cows around for a year than to put 200 lbs of weight on 100 beeves, especially if it is done judiciously.
Selling or buying baby beef (even if it is erroneously called finished beef) is simply not sustainable.
*However some females from very small breeds like Scottish Highland or Galloway may be finished at these low weights.
Preheat oven to 275F, season cheeks with salt and pepper and flour them. Sear in a Dutch oven until golden on all sides. Set aside. Add onions and garlic to Dutch oven and sauté until soft, deglaze with wine and add stock and cheeks and bring to a boil. Cover and place in oven for 3.5 hours until tender. Remove cheeks, break apart into small pieces and set aside. Keep leftover liquid (500ml). Cook diced carrots and celeriac in boiling salted water until tender, drain and set aside. Boil cut potatoes in salted water until cooked. Drain and air dry in colander before mashing. Heat cream and butter until reduced by a third and fold into potato mash. Season with salt and pepper. To assemble, place meat and veggies and gravy in bottom of ovenproof dish (9×9) and place mash over mixture to cover. Broil until golden brown and enjoy!
– 2 lb pork shoulder in pieces or 2 lb pork belly in cubes
– 1.5 cups coconut milk
– 1 shallot sliced thinly
– 2 garlic cloves minced
– 1.5 tbsp fish sauce
– ¼ tsp white pepper
-sliced red chilli
Place sugar and water in a large pot over medium heat. Stir until sugar is melted and bubbling then add all the rest of the ingredients except for the chilli and cilantro. Stir and adjust heat to simmer energetically. Simmer for 90 minutes uncovered. Stir a few times while cooking. When liquid has reduced and pork is tender, fat will separate- stir and pork will brown and caramelise in fat. Once liquid is stuck on pork pieces, it is ready! Serve with rice and garnish with red chili slices and cilantro.