Price-Pottenger Journal of Health and Healing
Winter 2009 – 2010, Page 31
Review by Gina Alianiello
American consumers have been accustomed to cooking and eating factory beef since it became the standard after WWII. But grassfed beef is different. It not only has a different taste and texture with more nutrition, but requires different preparation. Stanley Fishman revives, with passion, the age-old tradition of grassfed beef—meat that is produced from animals raised only on grass and pastured plants from start to finish, unlike modern factory – and grain – finished beef. He not only disproves the modern myth that grassfed meat is tough, but proves that, when prepared “right,” and with all the “right” ingredients, even the not-so-tender cuts of beef turn out more flavorful and tender than any alternative. Fishman likens himself to a wine connoisseur with a keen taste for the varying nuances of grassfed beef according to the type of grass the animal has eaten. He reminds the reader that when bison eat their natural diet of grasses, the meat has a “clean, sweet taste,” very different from the indistinguishable beefy taste of most commercial bison fed on grain and soy. From his exhaustive historical research and excavation of thousands of recipes from all over the world, Fishman has lovingly adapted grassfed beef, bison, and lamb for the modern kitchen.
The ingredients and cooking methods throughout are basic, consistent, and uncompromising, yet every page yields surprises from diverse recipes of rich complexity, with insights of how ingredients work together. From basic Beef Broth to Roast Sirloin Tip with Apple Onion Marinade to Blueberry Bison Stew, there are fundamentals for which the author will accept no substitutes. Conventional, or even organic beef that has been grain finished—meaning animals have been fattened on grain in the final months before slaughter, usually requires heavier seasoning. Grassfed beef does not respond to the artificial ingredients routinely used to mask tasteless factory raised beef, but instead requires fewer seasonings to bring out the natural quality of the meat. Fishman always insists on everything organic in cooking—including all vegetables, fruits, spices, and herbs. The standard marinade for meat in most of the recipes is extra virgin organic olive oil—specifically unfiltered—in order to penetrate with tenderizing enzymes and for carrying any other flavors deep into the meat. Some of the recipes rely on a few crushed vegetables as a tenderizing marinade. Unrefined sea salt is another staple ingredient for most recipes, except for bison, which gets tougher when salted. For extra flavor, salt is applied to beef only in the later stages of cooking since the salt will otherwise toughen the grassfed beef, which is denser and less watery than commercial beef.
Fishman also draws liberally on the innate flavor and tenderness that comes from the right kind of animal fats filled with nutrients from grassfed animals. To replace the fat too often trimmed away by meat producers, he uses various fats traditionally eaten by our ancestors: beef suet or tallow, pastured butter, lamb fat, lard, and bacon.
This book is already becoming a favorite resource. Finding true grassfed beef can be challenging, but Fishman provides a list of sources. There is no problem for the epicurean novice finding confidence to try the world-class recipes. They are clearly presented, thanks to the tireless experimentation by the author. The real dilemma is in how to pick a recipe. There are the healing bone broths simmered for hours. There are the many roasts rested on beds of caramelized vegetables or apples, and cooked gradually from higher to lower temperatures to mimic a real fire. There is the sublime combination of mushrooms, onions, and organic sour cream in the Beef Stroganoff. The Meatloaf made with fermented organ sausage is a delectable concoction of the most nutritive parts of the grassfed animal.
Tender Grassfed Meat is simple, practical, creative, engaging, and comprehensive. It explains the differences between factory and grassfed beef and why grassfed meat is best. The book covers the types of cuts, and discusses the minimal but necessary equipment and cookware. It honors every cultural tradition while respectfully adapting to modern methods. From the first section of the book on preparing and cooking grassfed meat the right way, to the over one hundred and fifty pages of detailed recipes, Fishman’s offering is an ode to grassfed beef that makes a difference.
Gina Alianiello is a freelance writer with a strong interest in the grassfed movement.
More Reviews of Tender Grassfed Meat
“Neither fat nor flavorings are spared in this collection of delicious recipes… The chapter on steak alone is worth the price of this book—so many variations… A Thumb’s Up for this one—happy eating.” [Read more…]
Sally Fallon Morell, President, Weston A. Price Foundation, Wise Traditions, November 2009
“Christmas shopping was super easy this year. Everyone on my list is getting the same thing!… Tender Grassfed Meat—Traditional Ways to Cook Healthy Meat by Stanley A. Fishman.” [Read more…]
Kimberly Hartke, Hartke Is Online, Publicist, Weston A. Price Foundation
“Natural real whole food advocates will LOVE this book!” [Read more…]
Jimmy Moore, Livin’ La Vida Low Carb
“I highly recommend this cookbook if you are looking for great healthy recipes for you and your family.” [Read more…]
Sheri Fogarty, Moms for Safe Food