I thought that I would be overjoyed when grassfed meat finally made it to mainstream supermarkets. It has happened, yet I feel no joy. Because most of the grassfed beef is in the form of “Hockey Puck” steaks, completely without the wonderful grassfed fat that is so good for us.
The falsity of the claim that animal fat is bad for us has finally been recognized in the mainstream media, as shown by recent articles in Time Magazine and the New York Times. The falsity of this modern claim, which goes against all food traditions, was superbly documented in the book “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet,” by Nina Teicholz.
Yet most of our nation blindly continues along in the false belief that animal fat is bad for us.
This mistake has resulted in the emergence of the “Hockey Puck” steak, something which was never seen by our ancestors. These steaks are made from some of the leanest and toughest cuts of meat, and trimmed of every scrap of fat. This combination just about guarantees a tough, fatless, relatively tasteless piece of beef.
This is a tragedy, and contrary to the wisdom of our ancestors. Our ancestors knew that meat should always be eaten with fat, as it comes in nature, and that is how they ate it. If the meat they had was from a relatively lean cut, they would cook it with fat from other parts of the animal.
Grassfed meat is at its very best, in terms of nutrition, taste, tenderness, and satisfaction, when it contains some marbling of fat in the meat, and is cooked with a fat cap of its own glorious fat. Most of the nutritional benefits of grassfed meat are in the fat, as is most of the flavor. Our ancestors knew that the fattier cuts were best, and prized them.
I have cooked all kinds of grassfed beef, as detailed in my cookbooks Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue. I have had great success in producing tender, satisfying, utterly delicious grassfed beef, bison, and lamb, in literally hundreds of ways.
Yet I cannot even bring myself to buy a “Hockey Puck” steak, let alone try to cook it.
It is time for markets that carry grassfed beef to carry traditional cuts, with some marbling, and a nice fat cap, just like butchers used to do, before the huge fat mistake ruined the way meat is cut and butchered. I call upon suppliers, meat producers, and markets to bring back the traditional cuts, which are so much better and healthier than the “Hockey Puck.”