Tender Grassfed Meat

Jump to content.

Search

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

Tender Grassfed Barbecue: Traditional, Primal and Paleo by Stanley A. Fishman
By Stanley A. Fishman
Link to Tender Grassfed Meat at Amazon
By Stanley A. Fishman

Archives

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

Follow

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.

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.

 

Why Traditional Food?

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

Traditional pot roast with grassfed meat. Delicious!

Traditional pot roast with grassfed meat. Delicious!

We live in an age of technology. In many ways, technology has made life easier and better. So why not use all the technological advances in food and cooking?

The answer lies in the fact that not all technology is beneficial. The human body is far more complex than any tech we can develop, and while much is known about how it works, many of the workings of our bodies are unknown. Knowing part of the answer is often deceptive. Something that seems beneficial or harmless, based on the little we know about nutrition, could be something else entirely, due to the part we do not know. And, when it comes to nutrition and how it effects our bodies, there is so much we just do not know.

So how can we possibly decide what is good to eat, and what is not?

Scientific studies are one avenue, but the knowledge is incomplete, and most of the research is financed or controlled by business interests that have a direct financial interest in the outcome.

But there is another way of gathering knowledge, the way our ancestors used. Experience. The experience of countless human beings, gathered over thousands of years, passed down from father to son, from mother to daughter, from teacher to student, from friend to friend. Nothing was as important to our ancestors as much as food, on which their very survival depended. So they carefully preserved what they learned about food. What to eat, what not to eat, which spice to use, which foods to eat in combination, and how to cook them. Vital knowledge.

Much of this vital knowledge is fading away. Most people do not even know how to cook, let alone cook traditionally. And so many people have abandoned traditional eating based on the marketing of the food industry, which often claims that traditional foods are bad and factory foods are better.

My own reintroduction to traditional eating came as a result of a serious illness. When science and the medical profession failed me, I realized I needed to look elsewhere if I was going to get better. I tried many different things, but the practice that brought my health back was traditional eating and traditional cooking. For our ancestors ate for health, as well as fuel, and many of their traditions reflect that knowledge.

Finally, traditional foods just taste much better. Every meal can literally be a time of joy. And I never feel stuffed or uncomfortable after eating quality traditional food, cooked properly. I feel happy and satiated.

 

A Delicious Traditional Meal

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

A delicious traditional grass fed prime rib roast.

A delicious traditional grassfed prime rib roast.

A meal can be one of the most satisfying experiences. A special meal, made of the finest foods available and affordable, made from traditional dishes, was a special treat in most cultures. One of the most treasured experiences in human history was to share a great meal of wonderful real food with family and friends.

Recently, my family shared the joy of such a meal, which I had the pleasure of cooking.

The centerpiece was a prime rib roast, a favorite traditional dish in both Britain and America, which has almost been forgotten.

Grassfed, well-marbled, with a beautiful cap of glorious yellow-white fat, this roast was a throwback to a time when good meat was honored and prized.

I marinated this gorgeous roast with traditional ingredients, including olive oil and traditional English mustard, with just a touch of garlic and several favorite herbs. I let the roast come to room temperature as it marinated, as this greatly enhances tenderness and taste.

Roast potatoes provided a very traditional side dish. They were peeled, sliced, and parboiled, then placed around the roast so they could be flavored with the wonderful melting fat from the roast. The oven was preheated, and the roast set to cook in a roasting pan, with its own bones being the only rack required.

Organic carrots were peeled and sliced, and set to simmer in heavily buttered water, with plenty of organic garlic.

A beautiful bunch of organic Swiss chard, with beautiful deep green leaves, was destemmed, the leaves torn into small pieces, and set to await the final frying, a quick cook with garlic and extra virgin olive oil.

Some fresh crimini mushrooms were sliced, to be fried quickly in butter and olive oil when the time was right.

The meat proceeded to roast, giving off a wonderful smell that made me more and more hungry as time went on. At the halfway point, it was basted with the drippings, the potatoes were turned, and the roasting resumed.

At the end, the mushrooms were quickly fried to a beautiful brown color in plenty of butter and olive oil, smelling wonderful.

The Swiss chard was fried quickly with garlic and olive oil, shrinking into a small mass of deep green goodness.

The roast was sliced and served, tender and so flavorful, having the unique taste that only a prime rib roasted with its fat, on the bone, will ever have.

The crusty potatoes, deliciously enriched with the beef fat they roasted in, were a perfect complement to the tender meat.

The carrots, mushrooms, and Swiss chard all added their own joys to the meal, providing a variety of tastes and a powerhouse of nutrition.

We ended the meal happy, satiated, and well-nourished.

That was a special traditional meal.

This post is part of Fat Tuesday blog carnival.

The Best Internet Source for Grassfed Beef

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

Stanley Fishman's Liverloaf from US Wellness Braunschweiger

Delicious meatloaf made with U.S. Wellness Meats grassfed liverwurst.

I am often asked for recommendations as to a good place to buy grassfed meat. At this point, I have one answer, when it comes to the Internet.

Back when I wrote my first book, Tender Grassfed Meat, I decided that I would recommend a number of good sources of grassfed meat. I would not favor any particular operation. That was almost nine years ago, and I have changed my mind.

The very first good grassfed beef I received was from one supplier, and that supplier has been so superior to everyone else that I have decided to give them the recognition they have earned over the last nine years.

That supplier is U.S. Wellness Meats.

The reasons are many, and here are the most important ones.

 

Quality

The meat is grassfed, has enough internal fat to be tender and delicious, and is raised with skill and knowledge. Quality has become a huge problem in grassfed beef nowadays, as the increasing demand has led some farmers who do not know how to finish grassfed beef into the market. These farmers often produce meat that is so lean and poorly finished that it will never be tender or delicious. It takes a great deal of skill to properly raise and finish grassfed beef, and the farmers who raise beef for U.S. Wellness Meats have that skill.

 

Price

While the price of other grassfed meat has skyrocketed during the last few years, the prices at U.S. Wellness Meats have risen much more slowly. Not only are the regular prices lower than almost everyone else, there are sales every two weeks that give you fifteen percent off everything. In addition, shipping is always seven dollars and fifty cents. And additional discounts are available when you buy in bulk.

 

Reliability

I have ordered meat from U.S. Wellness Meats literally hundreds of times over the last nine years. Most orders are perfect, and in the very rare event that something goes wrong, they have always made it right. They are more reliable than anyone else I have used. Every one of the thousands of pieces of meat I have bought from them has been tender and delicious after I cooked it.

 

Tassie Beef

Much of the grassfed beef sold by U.S. Wellness Meats is imported from Tasmania. It is important not to confuse this magnificent meat with other beef imported from Australia. While some of the grassfed beef imported from Australia is of mediocre quality, beef from Tasmania is different. Tasmania has incredibly rich soil and grasslands, and the grassfed meat it produces is superb. In fact, it is just as good as the best American grassfed beef, in my opinion.

 

Service to the Grassfed Community

If you are committed to only eating grassfed beef, you cannot help but notice how much more expensive it has become over the last few years. But U.S. Wellness Meats has deliberately held their prices down, making superb grassfed beef available to many people who could not otherwise afford it. True, this does give them business advantages, such as customer loyalty, and taking customers from the more expensive sources. But it does serve our community by making grassfed beef much more affordable. At this point, they are the best price choice available to me, and I deeply appreciate their commitment to the grassfed movement, taking the long view rather than trying to grab as much short-term profit as possible. In my view, they deserve our support, and I will happily continue to buy their meat.

 

Great People

I usually order by telephone, and I have had the pleasure of much interaction with the people at U.S. Wellness Meats. Without exception, they are well informed, pleasant, helpful, efficient, good to talk to, and they get the job done right. This is the best group of elite workers I have ever worked with, in my entire life. It is always a pleasure to deal with them.

 

Scope of Inventory

While I have focused this article on grassfed beef, U.S. Wellness Meats has a vast array of other fine products, including grassfed lamb, grassfed bison, pastured pork, pastured chickens, pastured ducks, even excellent frozen shrimp and other seafood. They also make excellent grassfed beef sausages with only good ingredients, including the best organ meat sausages I have ever come across. While they produce several fine organ meat sausages, I consider their liverwurst, made from grassfed liver, grassfed kidney, and grassfed heart, to be one of the most nutritious products I have ever purchased. These organ meat sausages make it easy to enjoy the benefits of organ meats. They also make some very fine bacon, with only good ingredients, and many other fine products, including grassfed beef tallow and other healthy fats.

For these reasons, I recommend U.S. Wellness Meats as the best choice I know for purchasing grassfed meat through the Internet.

Forbidden Breakfast, Delicious and Energizing Steak and Eggs

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

Delicious grass fed steak and pastured eggs.

Delicious grassfed steak and pastured eggs.

After a long night, I woke up to start my daily duties at six am, feeling tired and listless. As usual, my solution was based on food. It occurred to me that the original purpose of breakfast was to provide the nutrition needed to start the day.

But what would give me the energy I needed? I focused on it, and four different foods came into my mind. All these foods are forbidden by conventional food beliefs, as they are all high in animal fat. Yet this was exactly what I wanted, and I trust my body more than profit-based nutrition standards.

The Forbidden Foods

Grassfed Beef

Red meat, maybe the most demonized of all foods. Yet grassfed beef has always given me strength, and our ancestors used meat for this purpose. I had some rare leftover roast beef.

 

Whole Pastured Eggs

We are not supposed to eat egg yolks, but I always do. The yolks contain many nutrients, some of which are hard to get elsewhere, in a very delicious and digestible form. I got hungry just thinking of how good they would go with the meat.

 

Butter

Another forbidden food, real pastured butter is a nutritional powerhouse. The real sacred food of Europe, and I love it. I decided to heat the beef and eggs in butter, and put additional butter on the meat when served.

 

Full-Fat Cheese

We are told to eat low-fat cheese, but our ancestors never did, and neither do I. Cheese is fermented, which adds additional nutrients, and the Gouda cheese I decided to eat is very rich in Vitamin K.

 

The Meal

In no more than five minutes, I quickly fried the meat and eggs in butter, cooking the eggs just until the yolks set. I added more butter at the table, sliced some Gouda cheese, and happily ate this delicious, satisfying meal. I had so much energy that I got right to work, and was very productive. And I wrote this blog.

This forbidden breakfast was just what I needed.

This post is part of Fat Tuesday blog carnival.

The Healing Qualities of Organ Meats

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

This delicious meatloaf contains grassfed beef, heart, kidney, and liver. (Recipe on page 181 Tender Grassfed Meat.)

This delicious meatloaf contains grassfed beef, heart, kidney, and liver. (Recipe on page 181 Tender Grassfed Meat.)

Our ancestors used food to prevent and heal disease, and to maintain their natural functions. They did not have the benefits of scientific studies, but they did have the benefits of experience, knowledge that was passed down from father to son, mother to daughter, master to apprentice.

Organs As Medicine

Cultures as diverse as the ancient Chinese, ancient Greeks, many African tribes, and Native Americans connected the eating of a certain animal, and body part of a certain animal, to heal and benefit various organs and parts of the body and mind. This practice continued into the twentieth century, with some medical doctors using some of these traditions to help their patients.

There is a logic to this practice, as the nutrients the animals needed to maintain and nourish their organs were likely to be found in that particular organ. Scientific research has confirmed that organ meats are very rich in vital nutrients. I do not know of research that has supported the idea that eating the particular organ of an animal would prevent or heal disease in the same organ of the person who ate it. Of course, modern medicine does not use these methods, relying mainly on drugs, surgery, and radiation.

Some examples are as follows:

  • Eating the heart of a strong, healthy animal was believed to help maintain the health and strength of the human heart. The Native Americans placed special value on the heart of a young stag, for this purpose. In the early twentieth century, some doctors in the U.S., used to advise patients with heart problems to eat beef heart as a way to strengthen their own heart.
  • Many peoples believed it was beneficial to eat the brains of an animal, and that this would make them more intelligent and sharpen their minds.
  • The liver was particularly prized, all over the world. Hunters would often eat the raw liver of their kill on the spot, as it was felt to be the most beneficial at that time. The hunters would divide the raw liver among themselves, so all could get the benefits. It has even been documented that the first part of the prey eaten by a predator, such as a lion, is the liver. Eating the liver was believed to make the liver of the eater stronger, and to purify and cleanse the body. Science has confirmed that cleansing and detoxifying the body is the function of the liver. In fact, the custom of eating liver regularly, at least once a week, was common in Europe and the United States up to the middle of the twentieth century.
  • Many peoples believed that eating the eyes of an animal, particularly an animal known to have keen vision, would help their own eyesight.

There are many other examples, but the general idea was that eating a particular organ of a healthy animal would help the same organ in the human who ate it. Every traditional society who did this was careful to only eat healthy organs, from healthy animals. If the organ appeared diseased, or even discolored, no one would eat it.

My Experience

I make it a point to regularly eat liver, kidney, and heart from grassfed cows. I should mention that all of these organs seem to be functioning perfectly, and give me no discomfort or trouble. You can do this without much work, if you get the magnificent liverwurst from US Wellness Meats, which contains high-quality liver, heart, and kidney from grassfed cattle, in the form of a sausage that is very easy to eat.

This post is part of Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday blog carnivals.

 

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.

 

No Hockey Pucks, Just Good, Fatty, Grassfed Beef

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

Irish Whiskey Steak, page 69, Tender Grassfed Meat: Traditional Ways to Cook Healthy Meat

Here is a picture of a grassfed steak with good fat.

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.”

Related Post

Finding Grassfed Fat, and How to Add Good Fat to Lean Meat

This post is part of Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday blog carnivals.

 

The Way of Broth

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

Beef bone broth made from nutrient-rich grass fed beef

Beef bone broth made from nutrient-rich grass fed beef.

Once a week, I awake early in the morning. I will need the extra time. I am going to perform a task that will nourish my body with an almost magical concoction full of natural minerals, gelatin, marrow, and other nutrients, using what may be one of the oldest cooking methods. I have been doing this for over ten years, and my technique has evolved over time, becoming simpler and easier. Today I make bone broth.

 

The Tradition

Bone broth is one of the oldest human foods, and one of the simplest. Basically, bones and meat scraps are placed in a large pot with plenty of water, and simmered slowly until the bones and meat have released their priceless nutrients into the broth. Vegetables are usually added, as is salt. As the water comes to a boil, the scum that rises to the top is skimmed off and discarded. The broth is served hot, and slowly sipped, or used as the base for all kinds of traditional soups.

 

Why I Make It

Traditional bone broth, simmered slowly for at least twelve hours, is much richer in minerals, gelatin, and other nutrients than any broth you can buy at a market. It is now possible to purchase traditionally made broth, usually by Internet order, but this broth is so expensive that it makes much more sense to make my own.

 

The Ingredients

I have found that all kinds of meat, poultry, and bones will make great broth. At this point, I usually use leftovers, often with some raw scraps and bones left over from trimming various cuts of meat, and find that the broth is every bit as good as when I used only fresh ingredients.

I use only the bones and meat of grassfed/pastured animals or poultry. Our ancestors did not use feedlot animals, or meat containing artificial growth hormones, antibiotics, steroids, and other chemicals, and neither do I.

I use only organic or the equivalent vegetables. I do not want pesticide residue to be released into my broth.

I use only filtered water. My filter uses the reverse osmosis process, which is the only way I know to get rid of the fluoride. Fluoride, chlorine, and aluminum are usually added to tap water, along with other chemicals. I do not want them in my broth. Our ancestors did not have these chemicals in their broth.

Using reverse osmosis water is controversial, because the conventional belief is that you could suffer a mineral deficiency, because minerals are also removed by the filtering process. Since the mineral content of water differs greatly from location to location, I do not find this to be a good enough reason to have human-made chemicals in my broth. What I do know is that a great deal of minerals are released into the broth during the long simmering process, far more than any tap water would contain. I also add a fair amount of unrefined sea salt. This salt comes with all the natural minerals that are stripped out of factory salt, and these minerals also become part of the broth.

My bones and teeth are very strong, dense, and hard, so I know I have no mineral deficiency. On the contrary, I credit my daily mug of broth with helping to maintain my strong bones and teeth.

Many people add vinegar to bone broth, the idea being that the acid will cause more of the minerals to dissolve. I used to use vinegar for this purpose, but I have not used it for years. I like the taste much better without the vinegar.

 

The Cooking

This is so simple. You place a large amount of bones, sinew, meat scraps, etc. in a large stockpot (which is not aluminum). You bring it to a simmer, skim the scum off the top, add the vegetables of your choice, cover, and let simmer for at least twelve hours. Why twelve hours? An old French cookbook explained that scientists had tested the mineral content of broth, and found that twelve hours of simmering was needed to release a significant amount of minerals and nutrients from the bones into the broth. I usually simmer my broth for a bit more than 12 hours, but there are people who simmer it much longer. Their broth is probably more nutrient-dense, but I am happy with mine. After the broth is ready, it is strained and placed in containers. There are several ways to store and preserve it.

 

The Benefits

We each drink a big mug of hot broth every day, sipping it slowly, usually just before dinner. It is so refreshing and renewing, and helps prepare our bodies for digestion. The high gelatin content soothes the stomach, and aids digestion. We are also taking what I consider the best mineral supplement on earth, as natural as it could possibly be, in the way of our ancestors. The proof of these benefits is in our strong, dense teeth and bones, and the complete absence of any problems with our joints and bones. Many people have used such broths to fight off sickness and help the body recover from illness. In fact, there are too many benefits to list them all. These benefits may be why I get a happy feeling as I make broth.

And it makes the absolute best gravies and sauces.

Any way you look at it, traditional homemade broth is the best!

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, Real Food Wednesday and Fight Back Friday blog carnivals.

Kind Treatment Results in Better Meat

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

Happy cows grazing.

Happy cows grazing.

Nearly all people have a strong, instinctive desire to eat meat. Despite all the attempts to demonize all meat during the last fifty years, world meat consumption is steadily rising.

After reviewing the unbiased scientific evidence, and studying the food traditions of most of the world, and knowing what my body needs to eat, I am convinced that the grassfed meat of our ancestors is a vital and necessary food.

Many people are disturbed by the fact that we cannot have meat without killing animals. Yet, the traditional way of raising meat animals gives them a happy life, and a quick, merciful death.

This is done not necessarily to be kind, but because meat raised in the traditional manner will not be good unless the animals are happy, well fed, and content in their lives, and killed so quickly that they have no time to suffer. This is one time where kindness is actually good business.

 

The Problem

We need meat to thrive and be healthy. We instinctively want to eat it. Yet we cannot get real meat without killing an animal. And modern agriculture treats many meat animals with cruelty, feeding them unnatural foods, drugging them, confining them in unnatural conditions, such as CAFOs and feedlots.

Many people, including me, are revolted by cruelty to animals, which is despicable. Yet, I need meat to thrive and be healthy.

 

The Grassfed Solution

I was looking at a beautiful grassfed roast. A beautiful color, with nice marbling. It made me hungry just to look at it. The butcher came over and said, “Happy cow.” He told me that the happiest cows gave the best meat.

The butcher had grown up on a cattle ranch in Mexico, and knew cattle. The cattle on his ranch only ate pasture, and the ranchers did everything they could to give their cattle a calm, peaceful life, plenty of water, lots of company from the herd, and the best possible pasture. A cow would not put on weight if it was stressed or unhappy, so it was necessary to give them a good life to get a good yield of meat. When it came time to kill a steer for meat, it was done by surprise, quickly, so quickly that the animal had no time to even get scared, let alone suffer.

The ranchers knew that if a cow, or any meat animal, gets scared or stressed, chemicals are released which ruin the taste and composition of the meat. Every grassfed rancher I have talked to also knows this, and all of them try to give their herds peaceful, happy lives, and to avoid stressing the animals.

CAFOs and feedlots are another story, and a disgusting one. The emphasis there is to raise the animals to slaughter weight as quickly and cheaply as possible, using drugs, hormones, chemicals, antibiotics, and processed feed. These methods enable even a miserable cow to put on weight, and kindness is obviously not a priority, or even a concern. Even these factory cows are killed quickly, to prevent the stress hormones from ruining the meat.

A review of the unbiased evidence, and my own personal experience, has convinced me that the grassfed meat of our ancestors is much better, in taste and nutrition, than factory meat.

So, to me, the solution is simple. Stop using hormones, antibiotics, chemicals, and feedlots to fatten meat animals. Make all meat from grazing animals grassfed, raised on the pasture in the traditional way. Our food will be much better. Ranchers will treat the animals well because it will increase their profits. And the lives of these animals will be much better.

This post is part of Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday blog carnival.

 

Next Page »