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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

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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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Curry Anything — A Great Meal from Leftovers

Curry

A delicious, easy curry.

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

I cook many kinds of meat, in many ways. Often there are leftovers, which I would dutifully place in the appropriate containers and put in the refrigerator. I would look at them in the refrigerator, from time to time, and decide there was not enough left to make a meal. Then, after enough time expired, I would throw them out.

At least that used to be my pattern. Now I use them to make delicious meals. As usual, the inspiration came from our ancestors. They would often combine different kinds of meat in the same dish, often with many different vegetables. It occurred to me that this could solve my problem of not having enough left over of a particular meat to make a meal. So I started combining them into stews and curries.

If I have small amounts of leftover beef, chicken, lamb, pork, or other meat, I will combine them. Since the meat has already been cooked, there is no need for marinating or browning, and the stews and curries cook very quickly. The curries are quicker to cook than the stews, so I make them more often.

I use the same recipe to cook leftover meats. It always turns out delicious, is ready in no more than 30 minutes, and is full of great nutrition. Here is the recipe:

Curry Anything

2 to 3 cups of leftover meat (such as beef, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, or any or all of the above), sliced or chopped into small, thin pieces

4 tablespoons organic butter, (or organic ghee, or organic coconut oil)

1 large organic onion, peeled and sliced

3 large cloves organic garlic, peeled and sliced

A piece of organic fresh ginger, about 1 inch long and 1 inch thick, chopped into tiny pieces

3 or more tablespoons of the organic curry powder of your choice, (I use the organic curry powder sold by Mountain Rose Herbs)

2 tablespoons organic flour of your choice, (which can include non-grain flours such as almond flour)

1 1/4 cups homemade broth of your choice

2 tablespoons pure fish sauce, (I use Red Boat Fish Sauce, as I love its taste, traditional way of being made, and it makes me feel good when I eat it)

  1. Heat the fat in a heavy frying pan, preferably cast iron, over medium heat, until the fat bubbles. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the curry powder and the flour, and mix with the vegetables in the pan.
  2. Add the broth and fish sauce, and stir until the mixture thickens, and starts to simmer. Add the meat and mix well. Bring the mixture back to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low, and cover the pan. Simmer covered for 25 minutes. Serve with the organic rice of your choice.

 

Is There a Hidden Nutrient in Barbeque?

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

Barbecued grass fed prime rib cooked in front of a hickory fire.

This magnificent prime rib, cooked in front of a hickory fire tasted even better than it looks.

We are now right in the middle of barbecue season, and I have cooked a lot of Que, and eaten a lot of Que.

And I must say, the more Que I have, the more I look forward to the next barbeque.

So far, I have enjoyed barbecued grassfed beef, including ribeyes, tri-tips, bone in strip loins, boneless strip loins, center cut shoulder roasts, beef back ribs, short ribs, flat iron steaks, sirloin tip roasts, sirloin steaks, the occasional porterhouse or prime rib or tenderloin, and more, and enjoyed them all.

I have also barbecued and enjoyed grassfed bone in lamb legs, boneless lamb legs, lamb shoulder, lamb shoulder chops, lamb ribs, rack of lamb, and some lamb loin chops, and enjoyed all of them as well.

And that does not even count the pork ribs, port roasts, pork chops, chicken in many forms and the rare but truly wonderful grassfed bison, which I have also cooked and enjoyed.

I never use gas, or factory charcoal briquets, or big flaming fires that char the meat. Like most of our ancestors, I use moderate to low fires of lump charcoal and wood, or just wood, and cook in front of the fire, not directly over it. The meat never chars or burns, but picks up the incredible flavor of oak, or hickory, or cherry, a deep smoky flavor that makes the tender meat taste so good that it is like nothing else. No other method of cooking excites me like this one. No other food aroma makes me so hungry just to smell it. And no other food makes me feel so good when I eat it

Does the wood have some kind of unknown nutrient that enters the food through the smoke? No scientific evidence I know of, but sometimes I think it must be true. Why else would it taste so good, be so satisfying, and leave me feeling content and wonderful?

Or maybe the smell and taste of meat cooked with wood smoke speaks to something very old and primordial, a vague yet powerful ancestral memory of countless meals cooked with fire and smoke, the oldest way of cooking. Something below the conscious mind, yet very real.

All I know for sure is that there is something about cooking barbeque that I truly love, including making and controlling the fire, the smell of the wood and roasting meat, even the sounds of the fire. And there is something about barbequed real meat that tastes better to me and satisfies me more than any other food.

Well, enough writing about it. Time to do it again, this time a big thick strip loin cooked in front of an oak fire. I am getting hungry just thinking about it.

The Magic of a Traditional Stew

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

A rich traditional grass-fed stew is good eating, loaded with nutrition.

A rich traditional stew is good eating, loaded with nutrition.

Most traditional stews throughout the world have one thing in common. They were cooked until most of the vegetables were very soft, often disintegrating into the stew. The meat was also cooked right along with the vegetables, until it was very soft, and easy to chew. However, in more modern stews, the vegetables are usually cooked separately, so they remain in distinct pieces, and the vegetables are added to the meat only a few minutes before serving. This is considered to look better, and to preserve more of the nutrients in the vegetables. But our ancestors cooked everything together, and were fine with the vegetables disintegrating into the stew.

I made a couple of traditional stews this winter, and really enjoyed them on the cold, rainy days we have been having. They tasted wonderful, and warmed and renewed me, in a way that no modern stew ever did. I felt better while I ate them, and after I ate them.

 

Why the difference?

After some thought, I realized that the traditional stew, with its long-cooked ingredients melting into each other, is much easier to eat, and to digest. Since it is easier to eat and digest, that means that the nutrients in the stew are more easily absorbed and processed by our bodies. The long, slow cooking breaks down the components of the vegetables and meat, making them softer, often causing some of the vegetables to disintegrate into the gravy, with their precious nutrients. When the stew is eaten, the nutrients are right in the gravy, all broken down into a much more easily absorbed form.

It is true that cooking may reduce the amount of vitamin content in some vegetables, but vegetables are hard to digest and many people have trouble absorbing the nutrients. Cooking them in a traditional stew makes the remaining nutrients very easy to absorb, so you end up getting more nutrition.

This idea is supported by the tradition, in many lands, and throughout Europe, of feeding stews and broths to people who were recovering from sickness or physical injury. These kinds of foods were considered vital for recovery, because our ancestors knew, through knowledge passed down for thousands of years, that stews and broths helped people recover.

I usually add cabbage and onions to my stews, and they almost totally disintegrate into the stew by the time the cooking is over. The flavor they add is beyond wonderful. The other vegetables are very soft, partially disintegrated into the stew, and taste so good, flavored by all the ingredients.

I am sticking to traditional stews, every time.

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.

What We Can Learn from a Traditional Dish that No One Will Make

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

Free Sheep Grazing for Wool in New ZealandI have spent a lot of time reading old descriptions of traditional food. Some of these recipes are so different from how we cook today that they may never be made again. Yet we can learn from them.

One such recipe was a Mongol dish that was described by Medieval Chinese food writers, who called it “Grab Your Own Lamb.”

 

How to Cook Grab Your Own Lamb

The ingredients could not be simpler. A single young lamb, gutted, with the head, wool, hooves, everything, left on.

Some large rocks that would not crack from heat were heated in a hot fire. That is, the rocks were placed in the fire, and kept there until they were literally red hot, glowing with their own heat.

Then the rocks were removed from the fire with tongs, and placed in the cavity of the gutted lamb. The cavity was sewn closed with sturdy twine, and the cooks and guests waited for it to be done.

First, the wool would burn off. I think the smell of burning wool might have been very bad. When all the wool had burned off, from the interior heat, the skin would start to crisp. At some point after this, the lamb would be considered ready.

The meat was so tender that the diners would serve themselves by literally pulling the lamb apart with their hands, and grabbing the pieces they wanted. The Chinese food writers wrote that this lamb was one of the most delicious things you could possibly eat.

 

A Warning

I would never try this myself. Heating rocks until they are red hot could be very dangerous, leading to serious injury or worse, or fires if something goes wrong. Even heating the wrong rock could result in an explosion that would send red hot pieces of rock flying in all directions. The Mongol cooks were experts in using this method. I believe those skills have long been lost.

 

Why Was It So Good?

At the time of the writing, Chinese food was heavily seasoned and spiced, meat was eaten in small quantities, and was often cut into small pieces and stir-fried, lamb was almost never eaten, and the center of most meals was the featured grain, either rice or wheat. The prevailing attitude in China was that only Chinese cooking was worth eating, and all other cuisines were inferior. In other words, “Grab Your Own Lamb” was as un-Chinese a dish as you could possibly find.

So why did the Chinese writers love it so much?

I think it was the bones and the fat, cooked right into the meat.

I am just guessing here, but it is based on my experience in cooking much smaller pieces of meat on the bone, with the fat.

Cooking the lamb whole, with all its bones and fat, meant that substances from the bones and fat would cook right into the meat, helping it become more tender, adding incredible flavor, and greatly increasing the nutritional value of the meat. This provided so much flavor that no spices were needed.

 

What We Can Learn

I recently made a small roast from a very fatty piece of grassfed meat, which I was able to get with all the fat left on. I barbecued it with no seasoning other than the smoke of the fire. Unbelievably tender and delicious, and we felt so good after eating it. I have had even better results when I could get the fat and the bone.

Cooking meat on the bone, with the fat, provides incredible flavor, tenderness, and nutrition.

This post is part of Fat Tuesday blog carnival.

Photo credit epSos .de

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.

 

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