Quality grass-finished beef is a vehicle for flavors and a flavor on its own. Grass-finished beef tastes different than corn-fed beef. It is much more dimensional. If you’ve never tasted grass-finished beef before, try seasoning with just sea salt and black pepper to experience the complexity of flavors. Then, get as fancy and creative as you wish – but really, with beef this good, all you need are the basics to create a magnificent dish.

Grass-finished beef is leaner than grain-finished beef. DON’T overcook it!!!! This is the cardinal rule when it comes to grass-finished beef.

You should always let meat rest for about ten minutes before you cut into it so that you don’t lose all the juices. The beef will continue cooking while it rests, so be sure to take it off the heat just slightly before it is done.

If you’re accustomed to scrapping the fat when you eat a steak, I urge you to sample the fat of your Star Brand Beef steaks. Since it’s grass-finished fat, it’s actually good for you – packed with omega 3s – and the flavor is sublime.

STEAK
Grilling time for 1″ steaks on a grill, on the stove, or under the broiler in a cast iron pan: Rare: 5 min on first side, 3 min on second side.  Medium: 6 min on first side, 4 min on second.  These times should be used as a ball-park guide only.  If you like your steaks ‘‘blue,’’ this is the ultimate beef for that. I will often sear the outside of a steak and keep it on the heat just long enough for the inside to warm through but not ‘‘cook.’’ Delicious!

To determine how a steak is cooked without using a thermometer or cutting it open:
1) Hold your hand in front of you, open but relaxed, palm down. Now press on the meaty bit between your thumb and fingers – this is what a rare piece of meat feels like. Close your hand as though you were holding a bouquet of flowers and press on that spot again – this is medium. And finally, make a tight fist and press that same spot – this is well done.
2) While you’re cooking a steak on the grill, on the stove, or under the broiler, press on your hand and then press on the steak and you’ll soon be able to tell how cooked the meat is just by touch. Don’t worry if it takes you a few tries to perfect this technique. In the meantime, always err to less done – you can put the meat back on the fire if you need to cook it longer, but you can’t uncook a steak!  This technique only works for cuts two inches thick or less. You’ll need a meat thermometer to check roasts.

Temperature guide when using a meat thermometer:
Rare = 135ºF
Medium Rare = 145ºF
Medium = 160ºF

CARPACCIO
Star Brand Beef is excellent beef for carpaccio and tartare. This simple carpaccio is a wonderful appetizer, rich and decadent. Allow tenderloin or sirloin to thaw just enough to cut into paper-thin slices. Use a big, heavy knife for this. The beef will fully thaw very quickly after it is sliced. (It is much easier to slice paper-thin if the meat is partially frozen.) Arrange spinach leaves on a plate and place one raw tenderloin slice on each spinach leaf. Start with about ten spinach leaves/slices per person; this is much more filling than it sounds. Drizzle a balsamic reduction over the meat and spinach. Serve.

Balsamic Reduction: Pour one cup of quality balsamic vinegar into a saucepan. Heat on medium to medium high, stirring often, until it cooks down to half the original volume and is thick and syrupy.

SIRLOIN STEAK
I’m on a sliced sirloin steak streak this summer – it’s a wonderful meal when it’s blazing hot outside.

Lightly dust one side of a sirloin steak with garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, sea salt, ground pepper. Heat a cast iron pan on medium heat with a pat of butter, till the butter just begins to bubble. Place the steak seasoned side down in the pan. Cook for 5 minutes. Lightly dust the top of the steak as you did the bottom. Flip and cook for another 3 to 6 minutes, depending on preference of doneness.

Transfer the steak to a cutting board and slice thinly against the grain. Enjoy warm, or store in the fridge to enjoy cold. Great on sandwiches or in salads.

FLANK STEAK
1 lb flank steak
Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons (packed) brown sugar, light or dark
1 teaspoons paprika (or smoked paprika for that smoky flavor)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the thawed flank steak on large rimmed cookie sheet or casserole dish. In a small dish, mix 1 teaspoon salt with the brown sugar, paprika, cayenne and freshly ground black pepper. Rub this mixture all over the flank steak, then cover and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours. Remove flank steak from fridge 1 hour before you’re ready to cook it.

Heat a large cast-iron frying pan on medium-high and coat the bottom with butter. If your steak is too large for the frying pan, just cut the raw steak in half and cook one at a time. When butter and pan are thoroughly heated, place steak in in the pan and do not touch it again for 5 minutes. Then flip it, and cook for another 3 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from pan, and let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing thin (about 1/4 inch) and against the grain.

ROASTS
Make a paste with:
a few garlic cloves, minced
minced rosemary
1 tsp. salt & ½ tsp. pepper
a pinch of chili flakes
1-2 tsp olive oil to create a paste

Combine all ingredients: use a food processor, a mortar & pestle, or just chop them by hand to make a paste. Rub the paste all over the roast. Cook in a roasting pan, glass casserole dish, or high-sided cast iron pan at 450ºF for 30 minutes to sear the exterior. Then reduce the heat to 300ºF and cook for 35 min/pound (so a two pound roast would take around an hour and 10 minutes). Test the roast temperature after an hour. For a medium rare roast, take it out of the oven when the roast reads 130-135ºF and let it sit for ten minutes before you slice it. The roast will keep cooking during the resting time.

Another *very* easy roast may be made by simply placing a roast in a large stockpot with a well-fitting lid. Add about 1.5 inches of water. Toss in a quartered onion, a few carrots, a few cloves of garlic, and a bay leaf. Cover, and place on the stove on medium heat until it reaches a simmer. Then reduce the heat to the lowest setting and leave it for several hours. Check the water level periodically – if the water level drops below 1 inch, just add a little more hot water to bring it up. After 4 or 5 hours, the meat will be unbelievably tender and pull apart with a fork. Discard the bay leaf and garlic, and the onion and carrots if they are mushy. They did their work to flavor the meat and broth. Season the beef with salt and pepper, and top with the broth that has been created during the cooking process.

BRISKET
Brisket requires long slow cooking to tenderize the meat. It is SO worth it; brisket is an amazingly flavorful piece of meat. This recipe takes two days, but not much actual labor.
1 beef brisket
½ tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper
vegetable oil, olive oil, or butter to brown the meat in
3 large onions, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 Tbsp brown sugar
3 minced garlic cloves
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp flour (use any gluten-free flour as a substitute – sorghum and potato work especially well)
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup red wine
3 bay leaves
3 sprigs of thyme
2 tsp cider vinegar
Heavy duty tinfoil

Heat the oven to 300ºF. Line a 9×13 baking dish with two 24-inch long sheets of heavy duty foil (you’re going to wrap the brisket into a sealed packet). Season both sides of the brisket with salt and pepper – just rub it on. Heat 1 tsp oil or butter in a large, heavy skillet until oil is hot. Place brisket fat side up in skillet and cook until well browned (about 7 minutes). Flip, and cook on the other side until browned (another 7 minutes). Transfer brisket to a plate or platter.

Now add a little oil or butter to the pan so you have about a tablespoon of fat in the pan. Add the onions, sugar and salt (1/4 tsp or so) and cook on med-high, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft and golden. Add the garlic, stirring until fragrant, then stir in the tomato paste, cooking about 2 more minutes. Add paprika and cayenne, and stir in the flour until everything is well combined. Add broth, wine, bay leaves and thyme, and scrape up all the bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until thickened. Pour sauce and onions into the foil-lined baking dish. Nestle the brisket, fat side up, into the onions and seal the foil – you’ll need to open it later, so don’t crimp it too hard. Place in the oven and cook 3.5 to 4 hours. It will be done when you can stick a fork through the meat with NO resistance. When you open the foil, do so carefully as it will be steamy inside. Transfer the brisket to a large bowl and strain the sauce over the meat. Discard the bay and thyme and put the onions in a small bowl. Cover both bowls loosely and refrigerate overnight.

About 45 minutes before serving, heat the oven to 350ºF. Transfer the cold brisket to a cutting board. Remove any fat from the surface of the sauce and heat the sauce in a small saucepan. While the sauce heats, slice the brisket against the grain into 1/4 inch slices. Place in a baking dish. Stir the onions and the cider vinegar into the sauce (and more salt and pepper if desired) and pour over the brisket. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake until heated through, 25-30 minutes. Serve.

SHORT RIBS
Short ribs are a great dish to make in a slow-cooker. Cook them for 4 to 6 hours on low heat, until the meat falls off the bone. If you don’t have a slow-cooker, just use an oven-proof pot or casserole dish with a tight lid in the oven at 200ºF.

1) Place the short ribs in the pot with:
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 crushed garlic clove
2 tsp ground ginger
a pinch of cayenne or chili flakes
Serve with rice and stir-fried vegetables.

2) Place the short ribs in the pot with:
1 can of Guinness
2 crushed garlic cloves
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
Serve with mashed potatoes.

STEAK SAUCE
This recipe is THE BEST. Great on burgers, ribs, flank steak, fried potatoes, or just eaten off the spoon.

BEEF BROTH
Homemade beef broth is delicious and so healthy. Thaw a package of oxtail or soup bones. Arrange the bones in a casserole dish or oven-safe frying pan. Roast the bones at 350ºF for 30 to 45 minutes, turning them part way through. You want to brown all surfaces of the oxtail or meaty bones. Once browned, remove from oven and place in a stock pot. Add a cup or two of hot water to the pan you roasted the bones in, and stir to lift any flavorful bits from the bottom of the pan – you want all of this in the broth. Pour into stock pot. Add one quartered onion, a few carrots, the leafy center of a head of celery (or three stalks), two bay leaves, and three cloves of garlic. Fill your pot with water and place on the stove. Heat on medium to medium high just until it boils, then reduce heat to low. Keep a lid on, but cocked. Simmer for 12 hours – all day if you start the broth in the morning, or overnight if you start it in the evening. You can’t overcook it; if it goes 15 or even 24 hours, no problem. Once simmered, remove from heat and allow it to cool a little. With a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables and bones. The meat from the bones is tender and fully cooked, delicious in tacos. Carefully pour the broth through a strainer if it proves difficult to remove everything with a spoon. Enjoy the broth plain, or use this as a base for stew. If you refrigerate this broth, it will become jelly-like from the gelatin in the bones, and the fat will rise to the surface. When you reheat it, it will liquify once again, and the fat will reincorporate into the broth.

STEW MEAT
Stews are a most satisfying dish on an autumn or winter night. They are a great way to use up vegetables slightly past their prime. Classic stews use carrots, onion, and potatoes in a beef stock. A splash of red wine or dollop of tomato paste can deepen the flavor. Sweet potatoes also go well with lean, grass-finished beef, and create a completely different taste – subtly sweet and complex.

To take stew from “great” to “PHENOMENAL,” dredge the beef in flour and brown it as your first step. Put ¼ to ½ cup flour in a bowl – for gluten free, I use millet and sorghum flours. Stir in salt and pepper and any spices you’d like – a pinch of allspice and nutmeg are favorites of mine. Toss the raw, thawed stew meat in the flour mixture and coat every piece. Heat a bit of butter in the stock pot you’ll be using for the stew. Add the stew meat and sear, browning all sides but not thoroughly cooking the meat (that will happen in the stew). Transfer the stew meat into a bowl – you’ll be adding it back into the stew shortly. There should be a layer of charred bits in the bottom of the pot – you want this! Add a touch of broth, just a cup or two, and, with the pot still on heat, stir to dislodge these flavorful bits and incorporate them into the broth. Once everything has lifted from the bottom of the pot, you can proceed as usual with your stew making – add the meat, chopped vegetables, broth, and herbs into the pot and simmer gently, partially covered, for several hours. Make a lot!  Stew is always better the second day as the flavors merge and deepen.

PETS & ORGAN MEAT
Organ meat is extremely rich. If you are feeding organ meat to pets (they LOVE it), I recommend it be done judiciously – a few meals of organ meat throughout the month as opposed to multiple meals of organ meat in a row. Or you can give them daily treats of organ meat – just one or two pieces a day. If you ordered organ meat for your pets but feel a little “icked out” by the idea of handling it, try the following:
Only partially thaw the organ meat. You want it mostly frozen but able to be cut with a big, heavy knife. Slice ½” to 1” chunks from the perimeter, working toward the center. Cut what you can, then let the center thaw a bit more before continuing. Arrange these bite size pieces on a cookie sheet in a single layer and freeze completely, then transfer to a ziplock bag and store in the freezer. You can then thaw as much or as little as you like for raw meals or treats your pet will love.

  • 2016 DELIVERY ROUTES

    WEST:
  • SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Wednesday, August 3
  • RENO, NV
    Thursday, August 4
  • SACRAMENTO, CA
    Thursday, August 4
  • ALAMEDA, CA
    Saturday, August 6
  • SAN JOSE, CA
    Saturday, August 6
  • PASO ROBLES, CA
    Saturday, August 6
  • SANTA BARBARA, CA
    Saturday, August 6
  • LOS ANGELES, CA
    Sunday, August 7
  • PHOENIX, AZ
    Sunday, August 7
  • EAST:
  • RAPID CITY, SD
    Thursday, August 18
  • MINNEAPOLIS, MN
    Friday, August 19
  • DULUTH, MN
    Friday, August 19
  • MILWAUKEE, WI
    Saturday, August 20
  • CHICAGO, IL
    Saturday, August 20
  • DES MOINES, IA
    Sunday, August 21
  • LINCOLN, NE
    Sunday, August 21
  • DENVER, CO
    Monday, August 22
  • Star Brand Beef is a small ranch, run with love and care. I have a limited supply of beef and always sell out before the ordering window closes each summer.
  • Ordering for 2016 closes in June, or when I sell out - whichever is first. If you would like to order, please act quickly!