Pear tartare and marinated pear brochettes

Some lesser known cuts of meat deserve more attention…

The pear, a very lean muscle from the beef thigh that gets its name from its pear shape, is great for cutting into brochette cubes and marinating, slicing into thin steaks and cooking in butter in a cast iron pan, or… to make tartare.

In fact, the pear is the ideal cut for tartar: lean, not much to trim off, and very flavorful!

A pear weighs about 3lbs, so you can take what you need for your tartare, cube the rest and marinate (no more than 4 hours if using vinegars or alcohol). Here is a great marinade for pear brochettes:

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2.5 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Freshly ground pepper

This way, you get two meals out of one cut!

There are many different variations of tartare, but here’s two of our favorites… Both start the same way- Dice the pear by hand with a sharp knife to get the texture you desire.

The first variation is asian fusion tartare: for 1.5 lbs of pear, you will need

  • 1 french shallot
  • half a bunch of cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 3 teaspoons light soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sambal oelek

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds. Chop the shallot and cilantro finely, zest half the lime and squeeze to get a tablespoonful of juice. Mix lime, soy sauce, maple syrup, sesame oil and sambal oelek together. Add meat, shallot, cilantro and lime zest. Plate and sprinkle sesame seeds. Enjoy with a spicy mango salad!

The second variation is more of a classic Belgian tartare. For 1.5 lbs of pear, use

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon capers, chopped
  • 1-2 french shallots, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon gherkins (Maille)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • Worcestershire sauce to taste
  • 1 farm fresh egg yolk
  • 3-4 tablespoons homemade mayonnaise.

Mix all together, season with lots of salt and freshly ground pepper and enjoy with slices of baguette you drizzled with olive oil and toasted in the oven.

Why grass-fed and finished beef?

Grass-fed beef is said to have a better composition of omega-3/omega-9, CLAs. It is said to be better for the environment, better for animal welfare and even to sequester enough carbon to mitigate its impact on climate change. On the other hand, grass-fed beef takes much longer to finish, thus ‘wasting’ precious resources and emitting more greenhouse gasses per pound of meat produced.

Since grass is their staple, we do all we can to make the grass grow better: think of timely stand renewal, managed intensive paddock rotations and environmentally sound manure management.

After a pregnancy of 9 months, all our cows calve when the deer fawn in the spring. In the fall our beeves are weaned. They weigh anywhere from 600-800 lbs.

The cows return to the field and eat hay, while the calves spend the winter in a three-sided barn, protected from the elements, eating grass silage (fermented grass) and recycled vegetable cuttings. We try to keep them growing at 2.5 lbs/day, about half the rate of growth of conventional feedlot cattle.

Come spring, these beeves now weigh about 1200 lbs. We need another season of pasturing (with added vegetables) for the beeves to be ‘finished’ and yield an 800 lbs carcass. Those that stay for part of the winter will reach around 900 lbs carcasse weight and they will get better as we go. As the grow, the growth rate goes down, but microscopic fat, marbling and fat cap increases. Finishing beeves is the most important part in terms of eating quality. Read more about this here.

Our grass-fed-and-finished beef takes about 18-24 months to finish, compared to 12 months industry standard for conventional feedlot beef with hormones. No wonder that it is a little more expensive.

Since the environment and climate are among the most important reasons for choosing grass-fed beef, it is within our mandate to improve the efficiency of our grass-fed program. The addition of vegetable cuttings and our quest for top-notch genetics are integral parts of our commitment to sustainable agriculture: improved efficiency means less waste and less GGEs.