I got Stanley Fishman’s Tender Grassfed Meat: Traditional Ways to Cook Healthy Meat for Jesse for Christmas last year because he wanted to work on his steak skills. We’ve been very impressed with this book. I wanted to write about it here because I think it would make an excellent gift for anyone who’s new to cooking with grass-fed meat. Or, of course, you could purchase it for yourself – I know my cookbook shelf could still use plenty of real food additions.
Tender Grassfed Meat does an excellent job of explaining how grass-fed meat is different from conventional meat and why it requires different cooking techniques. The recipes are very detailed, spelling out exactly every step that you need to follow. As people who are still relatively new to cooking grass-fed beef, Jesse and I really appreciate the recipes’ thoroughness.
The book has recipes for beef, bison and lamb. Since I mostly bought this book to help Jesse with steaks, we have only tried the beef steak recipes. Prior to trying the recipes in this book, our steaks had always turned out tough and unappetizing. I was pretty sure that our failures were mainly due to the fact that we just didn’t have any experience cooking steak, much less grass-fed steak. Indeed, we’ve had great success following the recipes in this book. Every time we have precisely followed a recipe’s directions we have ended up with a steak that is tender and flavorful.
The steak recipes are not hard or time-consuming. Most of them require you to either marinate a steak overnight or partially pre-cook it at least a few hours before you plan to serve it. Many recipes also specify that you leave the steak out of the refrigerator for at least an hour before cooking it so it can come to room temperature. We’ve had trouble remembering this step in the past but it really does make a difference in tenderness without adding any additional hands-on time.
I also like that the ingredients for most recipes are things that you’re likely to already have on hand, like onions, garlic, herbs, olive oil or butter. I tend to get intimidated by recipes that require me to purchase items that I don’t normally buy, both because I may not be sure how to buy such an item and because I don’t know what I’ll do with what’s leftover if the recipe only calls for a little bit. Maybe that’s just me being weird, but I really like it when I can try out a new recipe without having to venture into unknown ingredients.
I’m so glad that I decided to buy this book. We’ll definitely be using it more as we slowly eat up the steaks in our freezer from the quarter cow we purchased in the summer. Although yesterday I discovered that we’re nearly out of ground beef, so I’ll have to buy some more of that soon. Apparently we eat ground beef a lot faster than we do steaks or roasts.
This post is part of Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade.
What are you favorite real food cookbooks?
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