4/11/16

0 5 Rules for Cooking With Grass Fed Beef



May contain affiliate links.  Please refer to my disclosure policy

I had the opportunity to try cooking some beef from the Jones Creek Beef company, a local company that has their product in Walmart and other stores nationwide

What does "grass fed" mean? Jones Creek Beef raises their cattle from birth to harvest, in its natural environment, a grassy pasture, left alone to graze to its hearts content. Cows are meant to eat grass and most beef marketed to the consumer is fed on grain. 

Grass fed beef from Jones Creek is:
  • lower in total fat, so it requires a different approach to cooking
  • lower in saturated fats
  • higher in vitamin E
  • higher in B vitamins
  • higher in minerals, calcium, magnesium and potassium
  • higher in total omega-3 healthy fatty acids
  • NO growth hormones or steroids 
I was so excited to try their chuck roast, and used my tried and true method of cooking it. Much to my dismay, it cooked faster than I expected, leaving me with a very well done roast. This is NOT the fault of the meat ~ I made the mistake of not being educated about cooking grass fed beef. If you follow these 5 rules, you will have a tender and tasty cut of meat.



Rule # 1 - Preparation is Key
Never, ever thaw out your grass fed beef in the microwave. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator, which may take up to 3 days, depending on the size of the package.

Bring your meat come to room temperature by letting it sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes. This prevents the meat from being "shocked" when browned/seared over high heat.

Use a marinade (2 T. olive oil rubbed on the meat; sit for 2 hours at room temp or overnight in the fridge) to keep the meat from drying out. Grass fed beef is naturally lean. You can also use a needle meat tenderizer to allow heat, marinade, and allow your meat to cook more uniformly. Using these methods will also reduce the cooking time.

Rule # 2 - Cooking Temperature is Important
Preheat your oven, pan or grill before cooking. When grilling, sear each side QUICKLY over med-high heat to seal in juices then reduce to a MEDIUM or LOW heat for finish. When roasting, sear each side of the beef in a light oil, then bake in a covered oven safe dish. Low and slow is the way to go. A general rule of thumb is to reduce the temperature by at least 50 degrees. For roasts, bake at 225 degrees or in a crock pot on low. Time is dependent on the weight of the cut.

Rule # 3 - Adjust your cooking time
Grass feed beef is high in protein, low in fat, will cook in 30% less time and will continue to cook when removed from the heat source. Resting meat will typically rise up to 10°F-15°F in temperature in 8-10 minutes. Resting also allows the juices in the meat to redistribute, allowing for a juicy, tender piece of meat. 


Rule # 4 - Don't Lose Precious Moisture
Never use a fork to turn your beef or juices/moisture will be lost. Use tongs instead.

Rule # 5 - Check Internal Temperature 
Use a thermometer for consistent results. Grass fed beef can go from perfectly cooked to overcooked in less than a minute. Grass fed beef is very lean and the internal temps for doneness are lower than the USDA recommendations. Remember to remove the meat from the heat source 10°F-15°F before your desired final temp. 
  • Rare 120°F
  • Medium Rare 125°F
  • Medium 130°F
  • Medium Well 135°F
  • Well 140°F
Now that I understand more about grass fed beef, I am excited to try their steaks, ground beef and roasts!  Stay tuned for some yummy recipes!

Want to see Jones Creek Beef in your area? Simply down load this pdf, fill it out and give it to your meat manager:





4/5/16

0 5 Minute Homestyle Mac N Cheese?


May contain affiliate links.  Please refer to my disclosure policy

Hot, cheesy goodness with a buttered bread crumb topping. 

It is one of the few comfort foods that can immediately transport any grown adult into their childhood with the very first bite...

Having owned a pressure cooker for several years, it has only been in the last couple of years that I have expanded my repertoire of recipes using my Cuisinart electric pressure cooker

I have made veggies, meats, soups, and even *gasp* eggs & DESSERT using a pressure cooker, and recipes for macaroni and cheese have been on my mind.

Really?  Can you cook pasta in a pressure cooker? 

The answer is YES. I have used Country Pasta, a thick, homestyle egg noodle that is superb in my Creamy Chicken Noodle soup.  These noodles typically take 18-20 minutes to cook, but using a pressure cooker, they only take 6 minutes!

Cooking pasta on the stove top only takes about 10-12 minutes of cooking time, so how does the pressure cooker stand up?

My son made a Mac N Cheese recipe from scratch and told me it took 45 minutes, from start to finish. Let's see if this recipe can cut our time, yet still retain its cheesy flavor.

When I make a recipe for the first time, I halve it if possible. When you use your pressure cooker, you need to have at least 1 cup of liquid in it, or it won't come up to pressure. The Cuisinart electric pressure cooker will automatically turn off if you have too much liquid or not enough in it.


Dry macaroni and water go straight into the pot. Add salt and dry mustard powder for seasonings.

Cover, lock, and align the pressure gauge with the dots. Set pressure to HIGH and the timer for 5 minutes. 

It took 4 minutes to bring to pressure. 

NOTE: I have noticed that my PC's timer is not starting the countdown as soon as the RED float rises up to the top, indicating that full pressure is reached.  You will need to watch the red float and set your own timer. 

At the 5 minute mark, QUICK release the gauge and let all the steam release, about 1 minute. 

Wow. The noodles absorbed all the liquid and they were perfect. Al dente.


Add evaporated milk and set your PC to BROWNING mode. Evaporated milk has about 60% off the water removed, resulting in a creamy style milk. Stir and watch till the milk begins to thicken, about 2-3 minutes. DO NOT WALK AWAY! The milk can quickly bubble up and evaporate, leaving your perfectly cooked macaroni toasting on the PC floor....

Add your shredded cheese, handful by handful, till melty. This is the beauty of this recipe. You can add whatever cheeses you like: white cheddar, sharp cheddar, Colby, jack, pepper jack....

I used a combo of Cheddar/Jack. If you want your MacNCheese to be super creamy, use an American style cheese.



Growing up, our Mac N Cheese had bread crumbs on top. Transfer your Mac N Cheese to an oven safe dish and liberally sprinkle bread crumbs on top. Kitchen Tip: I save the crusts from bread and freeze them. When I need bread crumbs, I break up a couple of crusts into a food processor and pulse till I see fine crumbs. Want an extra crispy topping? Use Panko bread crumbs, tossed with melted butter.

Put under an oven broiler for 2-3 minutes. Again, DO NOT WALK AWAY.... bread browns quickly, depending how far away it is from the broiler.


From start to finish, I had homestyle Mac N Cheese in less than 15 minutes. Sweet, huh?

No boil-over on the stove, no soggy noodles, and only one pan to clean up. 
Well, two...if you include the bowl I ate it in. 
This tastes SO much better than the blue box!

Creamy. 
Cheesy. 
Toasty breadcrumbs.

I'm a kid again.

PRESSURE COOK MAC N CHEESE


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover