804-339-2231 - 3501 Tabscott Rd, Columbia, VA 23038 greg@chicoryhillfarm.com

How is Grass-Fed Beef Different than Store-Bought Beef?

Most of us grew up on cheap corn-fed beef with a mild flavor and high fat content. Many folks don’t realize that there’s a huge difference between grassfed and grain-fed beef. When we first started growing our own beef 12+ years ago, we didn’t really know what the difference was. To be honest, it didn’t really matter to us. It was more important for us to know where our food was coming from and how it was raised. 

We started out with a tiny herd of five grassfed Tarentaise Cattle…2 cows, 2 heifers and a steer. We had the steer processed within a few months and we quickly learned 2 things: 

1. Grassfed Beef tastes awesome! The flavor is unbelievable…very different from the beef we’d been buying at the store. 

2. Grassfed Beef has to be cooked differently than store-bought beef. After botching a couple of steak dinners and chewing and chewing and chewing our way through them, we learned how to cook them properly. Ever since we nailed down the proper cooking techniques, we now rarely order steak at a restaurant…they can never top the steak we make at home.

Since grassfed beef is very lean, it cooks faster than grain-fed beef. The muscle in grassfed beef is more dense and requires slow cooking to breakdown the tendons, especially in the tougher cuts like the roasts. We recently started providing our beef customers with some tips on cooking our beef. 

  1. When cooking roasts or steaks, we recommend that you sear the meat on both sides for a couple of minutes and then cook them as low as possible….the longer the better for the roasts. You really want those tendons to break down so that your roast meat can be cut with a fork and melt in your mouth.
  1. Grassfed steaks are easy to overcook. If you like you steaks medium, we recommend taking them out when they are medium-rare and let them rest on the counter for a few minutes. Make sure you don’t stack them on top of each other while resting. They are continuing to cook during this time and stacking them will make them cook a little faster/longer. 
  1. If you’re new to grassfed and you’re not quite used to the flavor, you can start out by cooking heavily seasoned dishes with ground beef (like chili and spaghetti). 
  1. Some folks like to mix ground pork with their ground beef to make burgers with a higher fat content. You can also mix veggies like onions and peppers into your burgers to tone down the real beef flavor.

Everyone is different…Some people love the taste of grassfed beef right away and others have to get used to it. Just know that this is the way beef is supposed to taste when it’s Raised Right. Your body will appreciate the real food you’re giving it!

Want to learn more about our farm?

I am always happy to answer questions. Feel free to reach out any time!

Your Farmer,

Greg Paul