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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



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


What Is a Prime Rib? This Is a (Grassfed) Prime Rib

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

A magnificent grassfed prime rib with a great fat cap and marbling.

A magnificent grassfed prime rib with a great fat cap and marbling.

As food becomes increasingly industrialized, we are losing more and more of our ancestral food traditions. One of my goals is to try to preserve some of those traditions. And one of the traditions I most want to preserve is the traditional prime rib roast. This tradition is thousands of years old, is absolutely delicious, and may have special nutritional factors. Yet, the tradition of the magnificent prime rib roast, once well known and popular throughout Europe and the U.S., is in danger of being forgotten.

In fact, there are many people who do not even know what a prime rib is. What is a prime rib? Look at the photo above—that is a prime rib.


The King of Roasts

A close look at this beautiful cut of meat shows what was once known as the king of roasts. This is a prime specimen, purchased from U.S. Wellness Meats, and they deserve great credit for this masterpiece.

The roast rests on the natural bones, which impart great flavor, add nutrients to the meat, and act as a natural rack. It is crowned with its own unique fat, which will provide wonderful flavor to the meat while making it tender and basting the meat as it cooks. The meat itself is divided into two sections, the large portion in the center, and a smaller portion on the front and top of the meat. These two cuts have different tastes and textures, which provide a wonderful contrast. Though grassfed, the roast is wonderfully marbled with little flecks of fat, which provide great grassfed nutrition, make the meat tender, and baste the meat internally as it cooks.

I also love the flavor of vegetables roasted in the pan with the prime rib. Vegetables flavored by the melted fat and juices are unbelievably delicious with a flavor like no others.

Prime rib has a unique taste that is brought out by roasting. It is hard to describe, but it is so delicious, and there is nothing else on earth comparable to it. I suspect, though I cannot prove it, that this taste shows the presence of a particular nutrient that I have found nowhere else. I do not know what this nutrient is, but I do know how I feel after eating grassfed prime rib. I feel rejuvenated and wonderful. And so satisfied. I can smell the presence of this taste about halfway through the roasting, and it makes me so hungry!


The Prime Rib Tradition

The chine portion of an animal, which is where the prime rib comes from, has a long history and storied reputation. In ancient times, it was reserved for heroes and royalty. Irish legend records duels to the death for the right to claim this meat. The hero Achilles barbecued meat from the chine for the kings of the Greeks at the beach of Troy, as described in the Iliad. During the height of the British Empire, the prime rib as Sunday dinner became common, with leftovers forming the basis of meals throughout the week. Prime rib was once very popular in the U.S., as well. It should be noted that the prime rib eaten during this period was always from grassfed cattle, as factory meat did not exist until the twentieth century.

It should also be noted that the chine portion, whether from cattle, lambs, pigs, goats, or bison, was always one of the most prized cuts of meat. It was always expensive, and always associated with strength and nutrition.

The sight and smell of this magnificent cut of meat, roasted to perfection, with an aroma that creates hunger as soon as it is smelled, has brought great pleasure and wonderful nutrition to countless human beings.

Yet the tradition of this king of roasts is in real danger of being lost.


How the Food Industry Is Killing the King of Roasts

The modern food industry has done a lot to kill the prime rib tradition. The factory meat it raises just does not cut it, not in taste or nutrition, and lacks the unique flavor that makes prime rib so special. Even worse, the meat industry decided to do away with skilled butchers and to come up with easy to cut and package pieces of meat. The chine portion of most cattle, even grassfed cattle, is cut into thin boneless, fatless steaks. None of these steaks can possibly come close to developing the incredible flavor and nutrition of a real prime rib roast, which requires the bones and fat, and at least a moderate cooking period to develop the unique flavor.

The anti-animal-fat phobia has resulted in most people wanting to buy meat with all the fat trimmed off, which will ruin any prime rib.

In fact, meat with bones and fat is increasingly frowned upon by government regulators and the anti-fat fanatics, who would like to see it done away with.

Cutting this portion of meat into thin steaks instead of cutting it into roasts has led to a huge price increase, which makes this meat difficult to afford. Most grassfed producers just cut the chine portion of their cattle into thin, boneless, fatless, steaks, which may taste good, but lack the real prime rib flavor. Fortunately, there are some exceptions.

If you buy a whole steer, or a half or a quarter, you can usually arrange to have the rib portion cut into roasts, with the bones and fat left on. A few producers carry prime rib roasts at holiday times. I have a great local market that cuts grassfed beef to order. And as shown above, U.S. Wellness Meats sells excellent grassfed prime rib roasts.

Make no mistake, grassfed prime rib is expensive. But you can still get a great grassfed prime rib roast for less than a restaurant dinner, and it will feed a lot of people. We do not have it often, but we will have it for special occasions, and enjoy the great pleasure and health benefits it brings.

Both Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue have several recipes for the king of roasts, which can be very easy to cook.

I submit that the tradition of the grassfed prime rib roast is well worth preserving.

This post is part of Monday Mania, Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, Freaky Friday, and Fight Back Friday blog carnivals.



A Mighty Grassfed Champion’s Steak

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

A grassfed steak fit for champions barbecued by Stanley A. Fishman.

A steak fit for champions barbecued by me.

As food becomes more and more industrialized, we are losing our food traditions. Take one of the most cherished cuts of beef in human history, meat cut from the chine portion. This meat was so valued in ancient times that it was reserved for the most important members of society, the champion warriors.

The Iliad, perhaps the oldest European literary work, tells of how mighty Achilles, the greatest champion of them all, barbecued meat from the chine for the kings and heroes of Ancient Greece, on the beach of Troy. Old Irish stories, passed down orally for hundreds or even thousands of years before being written down, tell of fights to the death between heroes for the right to claim the chine, known as the Champion’s Portion.

The chine portion was believed to give strength and courage, and build up the muscles a champion would need to swing his sword during a long battle, or to rebuild his body after it was bruised and wounded.

In more modern times, this honored cut was known as prime rib by the English, entrecote by the French, and Bife de Ancho by Latin Americans. Whatever it was called, it was an expensive, honored cut, favored and enjoyed by those who could afford it, or as a special, holiday treat by those of more modest means.

In our time, most people do not even know what it is. The chine portion of beef is usually cut completely from the bone and trimmed of all fat in a meat processing plant, then sold in a vacuum pack to supermarkets, where unskilled employees cut it into thin, boneless, fatless portions that no hero would ever have recognized. Most of this meat is a product of the feedlot, which gives it a taste that no hero would want.

The tradition is fading away, but I celebrate it from time to time, as a very special treat.

Grassfed beef champion's steak cut by skilled butcher Brian Chavaria.

This magnificent steak was cut by skilled butcher Brian Chavaria.

If you have never seen a true steak cut from the chine, behold the raw meat in this photo. This is a classic steak from the chine, with all its components. It contains both the long rib bone and the short, flat chine bone at the top. Note the thick rim of glorious fat, the beautiful red color of the grassfed meat. See how thick it is. The chine bone gives a particular, incredible flavor to the meat, and the rib bone contributes another. The thickness of the steak allows it to cook long enough to fully develop its incredible natural flavor, especially when cooked in front of a real fire. The fat bastes the meat as it cooks, adding yet more flavor and tenderness. When the meat is done, the nourishing grassfed fat is crisp and delicious on its own, especially when served hot. Meat like this needs little in the way of spices, merely a cook who knows how to cook grassfed meat.

This magnificent steak was cooked in front of a fire, hot at first, then cooler, in the old way. The cooked chine steak is shown in the photo at the top of the page. Achilles and the Irish heroes would have recognized it by sight, and by the glorious meaty smell. I cannot show an aroma in a photo, but I can tell you that my mouth watered when the smell of the perfectly barbecued meat hit my nostrils, and I became very hungry indeed. The flavor of the fire provided the perfect enhancement to the tender red meat, and every bite was like tasting poetry. The unique flavor of this cut, available nowhere else, came through as well, and added to the enjoyment. A steak of this size will feed several people. This grassfed steak, dense with the nutrients of the bone and the fat cooking into the meat, is very satisfying and filling. The feeling of sheer satiation and contentment I felt after the meal was a joy to experience. And I did feel stronger and refreshed.

I understood why this cut was so prized for thousands of years.

For a steak like this, you need grassfed meat, from a healthy cow finished on rich green grass. But it is also important to have it cut properly, and only a butcher who knows the old art of his craft will know how to do this. This mighty, magnificent steak was cut by Brian Chavaria, a skilled butcher who knows his craft and appreciates the magic of great meat.

The chine steak is a tradition well worth preserving.

This post is part of Monday Mania, Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, and Fight Back Friday blog carnival.