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Tender Grassfed Barbecue: Traditional, Primal and Paleo by Stanley A. Fishman
By Stanley A. Fishman
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By Stanley A. Fishman

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DISCLOSURE AND DISCLAIMER

I am an attorney and an author, not a doctor. This website is intended to provide information about grassfed meat, what it is, its benefits, and how to cook it. I will also describe my own experiences from time to time. The information on this website is being provided for educational purposes. Any statements about the possible health benefits provided by any foods or diet have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

I do receive some compensation each time a copy of my book is purchased. I receive a very small amount of compensation each time somebody purchases a book from Amazon through the links on this site, as I am a member of the Amazon affiliate program.

—Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

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Thanksgiving Tip #4: Roasting the Turkey

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

14Thanksgiving-tip-Four-500Many people are intimidated about roasting the turkey—I find it very easy. No need to turn the turkey over, or cover it with foil, or deep fry it in gallons of boiling fat, or cook it in a plastic bag, or any of the other modern methods that have been invented.

This roasting method is intended only for a turkey that weighs no more than twelve pounds when purchased.

In my opinion, I think the most delicious turkey is one that is:

  • Completely natural, with no added ingredients such as added liquid
  • Brined and stuffed
  • Roasted in the oven, no turning required
  • Basted a few times

My previous three tips have covered Selecting the Turkey, Brining the Turkey, and Stuffing the Turkey.

Now we come to the easiest part, the roasting.

I take the turkey out of the refrigerator. I adjust the oven rack to the second lowest position, and then preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

I make the stuffing, and put it in the bird.

I place the turkey in a lightly greased,sturdy roasting pan, breast side up, directly on the pan. No rack is used.

I cover the turkey with melted, salted butter, of good quality. This will take at least a quarter cup, but do not be afraid to use more if needed.

I then place the turkey in the preheated oven.

I baste the turkey every half hour with the drippings in the pan. After an hour and a half, I baste it once with fresh orange juice.

I roast the turkey until a meat thermometer, inserted in the thickest part of the breast, reads at least 165 degrees (which is the minimum safe temperature recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture). Because modern birds have such big breasts, the dark meat will be ready before the white meat, contrary to what most cooking authorities say. Depending on the size of your turkey, your oven, and the temperature of the bird when you put it in the oven, it can be ready anywhere from an hour and a half to two and a half hours. It is important to use the thermometer, and not guess.

Finally, I only let the turkey rest for the amount of time it takes me to get all the stuffing out of the bird and into a serving dish, about ten minutes. Most authorities recommend that you let it rest much longer than that, but that often results in cold or lukewarm turkey. If you have brined the turkey, it will be juicy even if some of the juice comes out.

This is the way I make the Thanksgiving turkey every year, and it is always delicious.

Disclaimer: Information found on the Tender Grassfed Meat site, including this article, is meant for educational and informational purposes only. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or anything else have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. None of the content on the Tender Grassfed Meat site should be relied upon for any purpose, and nothing here is a substitute for a medical diagnosis or medical treatment.

For More Thanksgiving Tips:

Thanksgiving Tip #1: Selecting the Turkey

Thanksgiving Tip #2: Brining the Turkey

Thanksgiving Tip #3: Stuffing the Turkey

And finally: Turkey Broth from Leftovers — Paleo, Primal, and Delicious

 

 

Thanksgiving Tip #3: Stuffing the Turkey

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

13Thanksgiving-tip-Three-500Stuffing a roasted bird is one of the oldest ways of cooking it, and is traditional in many lands. The stuffing can provide wonderful flavors to the roasting bird, while providing a delicious side dish. Until recently, all stuffings were cooked inside the bird. But things have changed.

Now, because of health concerns, cooking the stuffing inside the bird has fallen into disfavor.

Any food can be dangerous if it is not properly processed, stored, or prepared. I do see a concern with having the interior of the stuffing in a huge turkey not being thoroughly cooked, but I do not use huge turkeys. And I do see a concern with letting the stuffing sit inside the bird at room temperature for an extended period of time, but my turkey goes into the oven right after it is stuffed.

I use a brined turkey, with the salt in the brine offering some protection, and my turkey is never over twelve pounds. I use quality ingredients, put the turkey in the oven right after stuffing it, and my stuffing is always cooked through and hot all the way through, cooked right in the bird. Since no one who has eaten my stuffing has ever been ill or even uncomfortable from it, I am confident in eating it, though I cannot guarantee anything.

If you wish to follow the experts’ advice, and cook the stuffing outside of the bird, I cannot give you any tips, because I have never done it.

Do not rely on anything I have said regarding food safety, as I am no expert, and I am only describing how I personally cook stuffings. The decision is yours.

Many Options for Stuffing

There are many options available for making a stuffing. You can use almost any kind of bread, including nut breads, gluten-free breads, or any kind of bread crumbs. Or use cooked rice, even crumbled nuts. You can flavor the stuffing with many kinds of vegetables, sautéed in butter or something else, moistened with eggs, fruit juice or cream, seasoned with any of a vast array of herbs and spices. Some people add innards, or sausage, or chestnuts, or walnuts, or other nuts, and the variety of what you can do is so great that it can be very confusing. You can also use a quality stuffing mix, hopefully organic, with no soybean oil or canola oil added, and add various thing to it as well.

This is what I do. I start with plenty of butter, which I melt in a big frying pan. I then add a large amount of chopped onion, chopped celery, and sometimes peeled and chopped apples, and sauté them in the butter slowly until they are soft and lightly colored.

Then I put the stuffing base, whether it is bread cubes, or crumbs, or an organic stuffing mix, into a big bowl, and add the sautéed vegetables and the butter they were sautéed in. I stir it, and then add enough lightly beaten eggs, including the yolks, to moisten the stuffing, and mix everything well. I will then add any extra ingredients, such as chopped herbs, chopped nuts, maybe some orange or apple juice to make sure the stuffing is moist enough, and whatever else I want to put in it.

The stuffing then goes into the previously brined and drained turkey, both the cavity and the hollow area in front of the breasts, which is covered by a big flap of skin. Most recipes will tell you not to pack the stuffing too tightly, and to leave room for expansion, but I pack it in, and leave the opening to the cavity open, so the stuffing can expand out that way if it does expand.

The bird goes into the preheated oven right after the stuffing is in.

I have not given amounts because so much depends on personal preference, and the size of the bird. I have found it best to make sure that the stuffing is moist before it goes into the bird, but it should not be soaking wet.

A stuffing like this is not only delicious as a side dish, but adds a wonderful flavor to the whole turkey.

 

Disclaimer: Information found on the Tender Grassfed Meat site, including this article, is meant for educational and informational purposes only. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or anything else have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. None of the content on the Tender Grassfed Meat site should be relied upon for any purpose, and nothing here is a substitute for a medical diagnosis or medical treatment.

 

Previous Tip: Brining the Turkey

Next Tip: Roasting the Turkey

Thanksgiving Tip #2: Brining the Turkey

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

12Thanksgiving-tip-Two-500Most of the cooking problems that people run into when roasting a turkey, such as the breast meat getting cooked before the dark meat, the meat drying out, the turkey being tough, having to turn the turkey over, etc. can be avoided by simply brining the turkey.

Brining will help keep the turkey moist and juicy, and add wonderful flavors that will make the turkey absolutely delicious. Brining penetrates the meat with the ingredients of the brine, resulting in the interior meat being flavored as well as the outside. And brining is very easy to do, at least with my method.

My basic brine is to add three tablespoons of unrefined sea salt to three cups filtered water, and stir the mixture with a spoon until the salt dissolves into the water. I then add a cup or two of organic apple juice, and three cloves peeled garlic.

Next, depending on what flavors I want, I will add various fresh or dried herbs, such as sage, thyme, rosemary, parsley, or any combination of them. A few branches will do if you are using fresh herbs, and a few teaspoons will do if you are using dried herbs. You can also add various spices such as black peppercorns, a clove or two, or whatever spice you want to flavor the turkey.

Once the brine is made, I take out anything that is inside the cavity, such as a bag of innards and the neck. Then I rinse the turkey with cool filtered water. Then I pour the brine into a large stainless steel bowl large enough to hold the turkey. I then carefully lower the turkey, breast side down, slowly into the brine. Then I add enough filtered water to cover the turkey. It is okay if part of the back remains uncovered. The back will be up since the breast side is down.

I do this the day before Thanksgiving, then refrigerate overnight.

The quantities I gave are for a turkey no more than twelve pounds. I do use a lot less salt in my brine than most recipes call for, but this amount works perfectly for me and does the job well.

Using this brine makes cooking so much easier and flavorful that I always brine every turkey I roast.

Previous tip:  Selecting the Turkey

Next tip: Stuffing the Turkey

Thanksgiving Tip #1: Selecting the Turkey

 

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

11Thanksgiving-tip-500The centerpiece of most Thanksgiving dinners is the roast turkey, which is too often disappointing. There is an incredible and confusing variety of turkeys that are available at Thanksgiving. After much experience, I have come up with my own rules for choosing a turkey.

First, the turkey must not be too large, generally, smaller turkeys are:

  • More tender and flavorful
  • Easier to cook
  • Quicker to cook

I prefer turkeys that are no more than 10 to 12 pounds in weight. If you are feeding a crowd, it is better to cook two smaller turkeys than one huge one.

Second, buy a truly natural turkey, without additives.

This means a turkey that does not have anything added to it at all, and just consists of the turkey itself. In other words, turkeys that have liquid solutions added to the bird are to be avoided. It is important to read the label, as you may find that various substances have been added to the turkey.

Third, it is also important to know what turkeys are available in your area, and to purchase from a producer who is known to have quality turkeys. We always buy our turkeys from the same producer every year, and we are never disappointed.

Next tip: Brining the Turkey

What Does “Grassfed” Really Mean?

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

Cattle eating their natural feed: green living grass.

Cattle eating their natural feed: green living grass.

When I began eating grassfed meat, the market was just starting to develop, and almost all the producers were small farmers, or groups of small farmers. These folks knew the art of raising tender grassfed meat, full of nutrition and flavor, on grass alone (with hay in the winter), and how to finish their cattle on rich grass.

Back then, if a farmer was selling meat labeled “grassfed,” you could be almost certain that the animals were raised on grass, and finished on green living grass, the perfect natural food for them.

Ten years later, things have changed. Grassfed meat is much more popular now, and the demand has greatly increased, largely due to the paleo and primal movements. And more and more people are aware of the health and nutritional benefits of grassfed meats, raised on the foods of nature, eating what they were meant to eat.

However, the increased demand has brought other entities into the supply chain, and the very meaning of the word “grassfed” has changed.

 

What Grassfed Means Today

Most people, when they think of grassfed meat, think of meat from animals who have been fed only grass, with hay and silage during seasons where grass is not available, and finished on green living grass.

That is what I think of.

But a number of suppliers and retailors do not necessarily agree. They have adopted the idea that feeding, covers only the time before an animal is fattened for processing, and fattening an animal for processing is called finishing.

I have run into a number of retailors, butchers, and suppliers, who state that all their meat is grassfed. And it is true that nearly all beef cattle in the U.S. are fed grass before they go to the feedlot.

But most of these cattle are finished on grains, soy, and many other things which are not the natural food of cattle. But since this occurs in the finishing period, it is considered to be different.

In other words, these suppliers feel that they are being perfectly honest in saying that their meat is grassfed, even if it is finished the conventional way in a feedlot, with grains, soy, etc.

So it is not enough to just ask if meat is grassfed. The second question must be if it is also grass-finished. Most of the time, the answer I get is, “No, they are finished on feed that includes corn, but it is all vegetarian feed.”

 

What Does Grass-Finished Mean?

Grass-finished used to always mean that the cattle were finished on green living grass, the best possible food for them. Many producers would only harvest their beef at a particular time of year, when their cattle had been grazing for months on the greenest, richest, most nutritious grass of the year. This magnificent feed, created by nature, is what gives grassfed cattle its many nutritional benefits and wonderful taste and tenderness. Fat put on by cattle during this period is very flavorful and incredibly nutritious.

However, companies have entered the market that are not made up of farmers, though they often include the word “farm” or “farms” in their name. These companies do not raise any cattle, but buy cattle from farmers and ranchers. Since they are all about profit, they have developed new technologies to finish grassfed meat. One such technology is the grass pellet. Grass pellets include hay, and other ingredients. According to articles published by the industry, the hay is combined with materials described as “concentrate,” which can include corn, barley, oats, sorghum, and other such grains. “Concentrate” can be as much as 40% of the grass pellet. Vitamins and minerals are often added to the mixture which is industrially processed and turned into a dried pellet.

These pellets are simply not the same as green living grass.

So now a third question is necessary, which is to ask if the cattle have been finished on green living grass in the pasture.

 

My Definition of Grassfed Meat

My definition of grassfed meat is based on the traditional way that humans have raised and finished meat animals for most of our history. The animals must be raised on grass, in pasture, except for the winter when grazing is not possible, when they were traditionally fed hay, which is dried grass. The animals should be finished on green living grass eaten right in the pasture.

This is the old way, the traditional way, and is what I think of when I use the words grassfed meat.

 

Disclaimer: Information found on the Tender Grassfed Meat site, including this article, is meant for educational and informational purposes only. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or anything else have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. None of the content on the Tender Grassfed Meat site should be relied upon for any purpose, and nothing here is a substitute for a medical diagnosis or medical treatment.

Photo credit.

Thai Coffee, No Sugar, Real Cream

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

Thai coffee, creamy and sweet with organic cream.

Thai coffee, creamy and sweet with organic cream.

Some years ago, my wife and I had a favorite Thai Restaurant, and we really enjoyed their Thai coffee, a very cold, sweet, and flavorful drink, very refreshing and tasty. Nothing like it on a hot day.

The restaurant closed, we discovered real food, and we just stopped having Thai coffee. A couple of Thai restaurants opened in our area, and we remembered how much we liked the previous one, so we decided to try them out. We were delighted to see that the first restaurant had Thai coffee. But being committed to real food, we had to ask if it had sugar or any other sweetener. “Lots of sugar,” said the waitress. We had given up eating refined sugar a long time ago, so this coffee was out.

The second restaurant also had Thai coffee on the menu. When we asked about sweeteners, once again we heard that there was lots of sugar.

We wanted Thai coffee! But not the sugar.

So I checked out my library of cookbooks, and found three books on Thai cooking. Two of them had recipes for Thai coffee. Interestingly enough, neither recipe added sugar, but both depended heavily on canned evaporated milk. No way to know where the milk came from, or what the cows were fed or given, or what cooking and canning milk would do to its nutritional qualities.

But we still wanted Thai coffee! So what could we do? Invent our own version, of course. We decided to leave out all sweeteners and substitute cream, real, heavy cream from a good organic dairy for the evaporated milk. The recipe was very simple, and very delicious. It did not taste like our memory of Thai coffee, not exactly, but it was very good, creamy, cold, and just delicious. And very refreshing. The recipe is simplicity itself.

 

Simple Thai Coffee for Two

Chill a pint of strong coffee in the refrigerator.

For each serving, fill a tall glass about seven-eighths full of shaved ice, (or ice crushed in a blender), preferably made from filtered water.

Add enough coffee to the ice until the glass is three-quarters full of coffee.

Add enough fresh, rich, heavy, organic cream to fill up the glass. Mix well with a spoon.

Serve and enjoy.

Food Can Cure

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

Mashing sauerkraut: traditional sauerkraut is a good source of Vitamin C.

Traditional sauerkraut is a good source of Vitamin C.

What do scurvy, rickets, pellagra, and beriberi have in common?

  • They are all deadly illnesses that once ravaged humanity.
  • They have been eradicated in most of the world.
  • They can be easily cured.
  • They are not cured with drugs. They are not cured with surgery. They are not cured with radiation.

They are cured with food. Or, in some cases, with substances found in food that can be artificially made.

 

How Food Cures Work

The process for how food cures these illnesses is basically the same. A nutritional deficiency is corrected, and the body uses the needed nutrients to heal itself.

Scurvy is a perfect example of how the process works. It was identified in ancient times, and caused its victims to become lethargic, fatigued, and unable to function. As the disease advanced, teeth fell out, and the victim could actually die.

This illness was most common for sailors undertaking long voyages, where they spent much of the voyage eating only salted meat and biscuits. It could also be common in winter, when there was no fresh food in some areas.

It was discovered in 1932 that the illness was caused by a lack of Vitamin C. Our ancestors could not identify vitamins, but they learned to provide sailors with the juice of citrus fruits like lemons and limes during voyages, which prevented the problem. Many of our ancestors solved the problem of no fresh food in winter by regularly eating fermented vegetables, like sauerkraut, which contain ample Vitamin C.

In fact, the famous explorer Captain Cook, who undertook the longest known voyages in the era of sail, exploring much of the vast Pacific, carried barrels of sauerkraut on all of his ships, which prevented scurvy, and lasted for years, even in the tropics.

There are many such diseases, where a nutritional deficiency is the cause, and correcting the deficiency through food is the cure.

Since the information we have about nutrition and illness is incomplete, I wonder how many current diseases could be successfully treated by this age old method of correcting nutritional deficiencies.

Yet I have heard many reports of individuals who have healed themselves of all kinds of illnesses, including many that have been called incurable, by the use of food.

I think humanity would be much better off, if qualified scientists were to actually research whether many of the diseases that modern medicine cannot cure are in fact caused by a nutritional deficiency, and how that deficiency could be corrected.

The healthy peoples studied by Dr. Weston A. Price, who were so healthy that they had no disease of any kind, kept themselves healthy by following the traditional diet of their ancestors. They had no medical care, or drugs, or surgery. Yet they were healthy, much healthier than the American people. We have much to learn from this, and I hope that science will put far more resources into researching this matter.

Disclaimer: Information found on the Tender Grassfed Meat site, including this article, is meant for educational and informational purposes only. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or anything else have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. None of the content on the Tender Grassfed Meat site should be relied upon for any purpose, and nothing here is a substitute for a medical diagnosis or medical treatment.

This post is part of Fat Tuesday blog carnival.

 

When It Comes to Nutrition, We Are All Individuals

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

This delicious potato dish will be enjoyed by most, but not by people who are allergic to nightshades.

This delicious potato dish will be enjoyed by most, but not by people who are allergic to nightshades.

When it comes to nutritional advice, we are treated as if we are all the same person, with the exact same nutritional needs. Doctors and nutritionists give the same recommendations for what everyone should eat at a certain age.

Individual nutritional needs of the person are ignored, and never considered. The standard is the same for everyone of a certain age group.

Yet the truth of the matter is that each of us is a unique individual, of different sizes, body composition, body chemistry, genes, and many other factors that make each of us unique.

The “one size fits all” approach taken by the medical profession and conventional nutritionists does not really fit anyone.

 

The Wisdom of Hippocrates

Hippocrates of Kos, the most famous doctor of ancient times, lived well over two thousand years ago. Yet his approach to treating his patients was totally different from the one-size-fits-all approach, and makes a lot more sense.

Hippocrates treated each of his patients as a unique individual, getting to know them. His treatment of choice was diet, which mainly consisted of finding out what foods the patient needed, and providing them. He paid careful attention to how the individual patient responded to the foods he prescribed, and if the desired results were not obtained, he tried something else, either other foods, or rest, or a particular exercise, or any combination of the above. Drugs and surgery were used only as a last resort. Hippocrates was famous for healing most of his patients, and even stopped a plague that was devastating Athens.

The same principle applies to nutrition and natural remedies. What works for one person may not work for another, or may even harm them. In fact, since our nutritional needs often change, what worked at one time may not help another time. The very same food or herbal remedy that heals one person may be useless for another person. This is because our nutritional needs, while very similar to those of other people, are never identical, and often change.

For example, some people are allergic to members of the nightshade family of plants, such as potatoes, and other people thrive on them.

 

So How Do We Know What to Eat?

Nature has given us the senses we need to determine this. Our senses of taste, smell, sight, and our intuition can tell us what is good for us to eat at a particular time. The healthy peoples studied by Dr. Weston A. Price understood this principle, and had developed a traditional cuisine over the centuries that kept them so healthy that they had no disease, and no need for medical care. Being of a similar heritage and ancestry, the foods that their ancestors ate helped them thrive. Yet even among these so-called primitives, individuals would vary their diet depending on the needs of the moment. They might stop eating a particular food that did not appeal to them at the time, or seek out a particular food that they craved. These patterns were noticed and remembered by these peoples, who would make special foods available to individuals at a certain time, such as recovering from a physical injury, or being pregnant, or wanting to conceive, or many other circumstances.

This is much harder to do in modern society, where food has been industrialized and changed by chemical processing and the use of flavor enhancers. Our senses often cannot tell what industrial foods are good or bad for us, or how much to eat, or how to get particular nutrients.

The solution I have found for myself, is simple.

Just eat real food, as said by Sean Croxton. Our bodies know how to sense and deal with the foods of nature.

Pay attention to how a food smells, tastes, and to your cravings for a particular real food. I find that following my senses and cravings is the best way I have found to know what to eat, and how much.

This only works with real food. The better a particular real food tastes, the better I feel it is for me to eat it at that particular time. And if a food does not appeal to me, or tastes bad, I stop eating it. Often a food that tasted wonderful at the beginning of a meal will not taste as good after I have eaten some of it. This is my body telling me that I have had enough. Our bodies know what we need and how to get it from real food.

Disclaimer: Information found on the Tender Grassfed Meat site, including this article, is meant for educational and informational purposes only. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or anything else have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. None of the content on the Tender Grassfed Meat site should be relied upon for any purpose, and nothing here is a substitute for a medical diagnosis or medical treatment.

 

Saving a Heritage Ham

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

Notice the smoke ring around the edges of the heritage ham, now that I marinated it and smoked it with pork fat.

Notice the smoke ring around the edges of the heritage ham, after I marinated it and smoked it with pork fat.

The marketing was effective, I must admit. It even convinced me. A large boneless ham, raised on a small farm, from a heritage breed, cured in a traditional manner, smoked over hickory wood. And at a bargain price! The ham was fully cooked, which meant I could reheat it slowly in a low oven. Easy.

When the ham arrived, and was thawed, I started to take off the reddish brown wrap. As I started to remove it, I realized that the wrap was clear. The ham itself was covered with a dried coating, reddish brown in color, which had the consistency of sawdust glued together. Netting lines were deeply sunk all over the ham, from the netting that was used when it was hung to smoke.

I began to realize that the coating around the ham was the ham itself, what the outside of the roast had turned into, with not a single shred of fat in evidence. In mounting horror, I came to realize that all fat had been trimmed off the ham before smoking. With no fat to keep it moist, the ham had dried out in the smoking process, and lost most of its moisture. I stuck a fork in the ham, it met a lot of resistance. The meat was tough.

I sliced off a small outside piece of the ham and tasted it. The outside meat tasted terrible, with a horrid texture of sawdust. The interior meat was dry, so dry. Hardly any smoke flavor. Chewy, not tender at all. Not good. But there was a hint of a good pork flavor in there.

My family was expecting a nice meal. I decided to save the ham.

A plan was needed. I decided to cover the ham in organic apple juice, and marinate it for a few hours. This should add moisture and flavor. Then, I would add fat and heat it slowly in front of a smoky barbecue fire, at very low heat. This would add the smoke flavor it should have had. And I would restore the fat to the meat, by putting some sliced pork fat from another roast over the top of the ham.

I did not know if this would work, but I was going to give it my best.

But first, that sawdust-like outer coating had to be trimmed off and discarded. I took a sharp knife and trimmed the whole thing, getting off every scrap of the outside. I placed the ham in a glass bowl, poured the apple juice over it, and set it to marinate.

A couple of hours later, I stated a barbecue fire, using some hickory. I brought the temperature up to about 225 degrees. I placed the ham on a rack in a pan, covered the top with sliced pork fat, and set it to smoke. Several hours later, I boiled down the apple juice used for the marinade, until three-quarters of the liquid was gone, and used it to baste the ham occasionally. I was encouraged when I stuck a fork into the meat—it felt much more tender than before. I continued cooking until the roast had been reheated.

Then I started slicing it in the dining room. The knife glided easily through the tender meat. There was a wonderful wood smoke smell. The ham was moist, tender, and so delicious that it was hard to stop eating it. A disaster had become a wonderful meal. The inherent wonderful flavor of the heritage pork had been unlocked deliciously, once fat and moisture had been restored.

This post is part of Fat Tuesday blog carnival.

 

My Two Top Rules for Buying Grassfed Beef

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

This grassfed beef strip loin steak is well-marbled, as you can see by the small flecks of white fat.

This grassfed beef strip loin steak is well-marbled, as you can see by the small flecks of white fat.

The market for grassfed meat has changed greatly since I wrote my book, Tender Grassfed Meat, in 2009. Back then, just about all the grassfed beef on the market was good, though there was less grassfed beef available.

Now, grassfed meat is much easier to find, even appearing in mainstream supermarket chains. But much of the meat now sold is of questionable quality, and many cuts are sold for the wrong purpose. There is a perception that leaner is better, which I disagree with.

 

So here are the guidelines I follow in buying grassfed meat:

1.      Buy the Fattest Grassfed Meat You Can Find

Grassfed meat is leaner than factory meat. But the fat in grassfed meat is particularly nutritious, containing many vital nutrients such as CLA and the proper ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids.

The fat is also crucial for flavor and tenderness.

There is now some grassfed beef available that is just too lean to be tender or tasty, and I never buy it. Some of the healthy peoples studied by Dr. Weston A. Price used to throw the lean meat to their dogs, while eating the fattier parts themselves.

I examine the meat for small flecks of fat called marbling. If the meat does not have some marbling, I do not buy it. You can see an example of a well-marbled grassfed beef steak in the photo above.

This cannot be done if you purchase online, and you cannot always trust the photos shown on websites. Ultimately, the only way to know if an online seller has meat that has enough fat is to talk with them, talk to people who have ordered their products, and/or buy a sample. Currently, the only grassfed beef I buy online is from U.S. Wellness Meats, whose meat is always properly raised, has enough marbling, and is sold at a good price.

 

2.      Use the Right Cuts for Your Cooking Method

This is vital, because many stores sell small pieces of tough cuts as “steaks.” In my opinion, lean cuts like rump, round, flank, skirt, chuck, and sirloin tip are just not tender enough to be made as steaks, even with my methods. Our ancestors did not use them for these purposes. These tough cuts were almost always cooked by braising and stewing.

For steaks, I use traditional cuts like rib, strip loin, sirloin, and tenderloin. I have also used well-marbled cuts of, hangar steak, flat iron steak, and center cut shoulder as steaks, as they can be very tender with my methods.

For oven roasts, the same rules apply. Tender cuts like tenderloin, ribeye, prime rib, strip loin, and sirloin, along with some less tender cuts like center cut shoulder, and sirloin tip can be successfully roasted.

Chuck, rump, cuts from the round, flank, skirt, brisket, etc. should usually be braised or stewed slowly.

However, some of the thinner cuts like skirt and flank can be sliced thinly against the grain, marinated, and successfully stir-fried or made into fajita type dishes.

But trying to use an inherently tough cut for a steak or dry roast will almost always result in tough meat, even if good tenderizing methods are used.

In summary, my two top rules for buying grassfed beef are to buy the fattest I can find, and buy the right cut for my cooking method.

This post is part of Fat Tuesday blog carnival.

 

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