Pasture-raised beef, even when tender and well-marbled, is leaner than grain-fed beef and its fat is less watery. Therefore, no matter how you choose to prepare your beef – grilling, broiling, frying – the most important thing is too cook it at a lower temperature than you would beef purchased at a grocery store. The lower the temperature, and longer the cooking time, the better.
Types of Cuts
The highest quality and most tender cuts of meat come from the rib and loin areas of the animal. This includes the rib steaks & T-Bone. Next comes the sirloin area which includes sirloin steaks and sirloin tip. These cuts are good for grilling, broiling and roasting. They can also be pan-broiled over low heat on the stove.
For best results, marinate before grilling, broiling or pan-frying. Pay extra attention to the type of cut, temperature and time because it is easy to overcook. Tender cuts such as Sirloin, T-Bone, Eye of the Round, as well as meat with greater fat content, are more forgiving, but searing on medium-high heat still risks toughening grass-fed beef. Still, many people willingly sacrifice texture for the smoky flavour imparted by searing to seal in the juices.
Round roasts are generally less tender. They are best marinated before grilling, pan-frying or broiling; or cooked in liquid in stews and as pot roasts.
This includes short ribs, blade steaks or blade and rump roasts. They taste best marinated, braised or roasted slowly in liquid. Braising involves browning meat and then cooking slowly in a small amount of liquid in a covered pan on the stove or in the oven the same as a pot roast.
Cooking different cuts of beef
Type of cut
Rib Steak, T-Bone, Sirloin, Sirloin Tip
Eye of Round, Rump Roast Rump Roast
Blade Roast, Short Ribs,
Fast Fry Steaks
Grilling, broiling, pan broiling, roasting
Marinate before grilling, pan-frying, broiling or braising
Slow cooking or braising
Marinate and stir-fry, slow cooking
Grilling: On medium-high heat, place meat directly on grill or in dry, pre-heated pan. Sear 3-6 minutes per side depending on thickness. Then, reduce heat to medium or low to finish cooking. Baste to moisten throughout the cooking process.
Pan-frying: Sear as with grilling before turning down temperature to medium low. Alternatively, use medium-low temperature throughout. Rub butter or oil on the steak before putting it in a dry, preheated pan. This ensures the pan is nice and hot for good searing, and will help prevent the steak from sticking to the pan. If desired, baste with a couple of pats of butter to get an authentic steakhouse flavour. Cook until the meat no longer sticks to the pan and is ready to turn.
Oven Broiling: This can also make the meat a bit tougher so compensate by placing beef on the 2nd highest rack so that it is farther from the broiler element. Or, place on the highest rack for a minute or two on each side and then finish cooking in the oven at 250F.
Braising: Rub with olive oil, salt, pepper and desired seasonings. Heat large pan on medium, sear each side until it no longer sticks to the pan, Add desired seasonings, 2 tsp of water, cover and turn burner to low. Cook at least 2 hours, depending on size. Use meat thermometer to determine doneness.
Pot Roast: You can grill each side of the roast for a minute or two before slow cooking. Then, in either a slow cooker or a pan, add water 1/4 to 1/2 the height of the roast. Add wine or vinegar, season to taste and cook at low temperature. Some recipes call for oven-cooking 3-4 hours, and others recommend slow-cooking for 8-10 hours. Cooking at 250F ensures even cooking without drying out the meat.
Suggestions for Marinating:
Using wine or vinegar helps tenderize meat. Oil locks in flavour. Garlic, onions and celery impart flavour to any type of cut. A quick and simple way to marinate beef is to use salad dressing or packaged marinades. Or, experiment with your favourite seasonings.