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ATale Of 3 Grades

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    ATale Of 3 Grades

    As many of you here are aware, one of the many pies I have my finger in is raising cattle. All natural hormone and antibiotic free, grad fed, grad finished pasture raised beef. Both 100% Angus, and Texas Longhorns. Many of you also know that I much prefer corn fed/finished beef. What can I say, I just don't prefer the grass fed, but it sells for twice the price, and cost less (since it is a very small operation, and we have plenty of land, the acreage is not an issue) to maintain. I plan to compare 3 different grades across 3 different cuts. Yes I know since not all the same cut it is not scientific, but I was gonna cook these up for dinner tomorrow night, I thought hey, what the heck. Write something about it. Below you will see the steaks. Top left is a story bought corn fed USDA Prime Angus NY strip. To the right is a story bought, corn fed Certified Angus Beef (choice grade 1 or 2) sirloin, the two at the bottom are both grass fed/finished Angus from our family ranch. Notice the differences in marbeling. The river which is usually the most marbled steak on the steer, is actually the leanest due to the grass fed diet. This is why we, and most of our peers do not pay for grading, almost all of it would fall in the select category. I can explain the darker color of the sirloin. All 3 were vacsealed and frozen for 3 months. The sirloin is still frozen (it was on the bottom of the meatlicker and had not thawed yet unlike the others that were farther up). Any who, the all got a dose of Montreal steak and put on a wire rack to dry brine and dry out a bit before tomorrow's date with the Gasser. See you then.
    Attached Files

    #2
    Looking forward to your results.

    Comment


      #3
      Personally I like the grass fed flavor, but it takes a different touch to cook. Much like bison, it's also very lean. Are you giving them different treatment on the gasser?

      Comment


      • texastweeter
        texastweeter commented
        Editing a comment
        no. All will be reverse seared to rare/medium rare.

      #4
      I've had grassfed/finished ribeyes that aren't that lean. Could it have something to do with their age and how much they move around in the pasture (muscles get more work)?

      Comment


      • texastweeter
        texastweeter commented
        Editing a comment
        each cow is different, so yes. Genetics also come in to play, as just because they are all 100% Angus, each steer is a living breathing organism. I'm fat, my wife is not, lol. (well, she IS PHAT!)

      • texastweeter
        texastweeter commented
        Editing a comment
        oh and before slaughter we hem them up in smaller pens (rotated of course so they don't overgraze) to lower their caloric expenditure and create a caloric excess to sort of fatten them out. That is what grass finishing is. Noticed that most of the fat tends to be in bands and not marblization.
        Last edited by texastweeter; January 30, 2020, 02:23 PM.

      #5
      I'm ready for the results... Click image for larger version

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      Comment


        #6
        Interesting that there is no prime grassfed beef around. Hadn't thought about that. I've been working my way through several cuts of grassfed beef raised on a friend's farm. Fortunately it doesn't have that gamey or herby taste that I've experienced at restaurants, but there is no marbling in any of the cuts. I sous vide the heck out of them before searing or smoking them. They turn out great but that's possibly because sous vide saves the day, especially for roasts.

        I'm enjoying this topic. Thanks for starting it, texastweeter .

        Kathryn
        Last edited by fzxdoc; January 30, 2020, 07:33 AM.

        Comment


        • parkerj2
          parkerj2 commented
          Editing a comment
          From my limited research in this topic, grassfed beef absolutely MUST be dry-aged before butchering and cooking.

          I've read some italian/spanish cookbooks that casually mention "hanging" a side of beef for a week or 2 before cooking, and I think that's what they mean. In some European countries there are no CAFOs and most of the beef is grassfed (I think - don't quote me on that). But they also eat less beef.

        • texastweeter
          texastweeter commented
          Editing a comment
          grass-fed beef are kind of like single barrel whiskey/whisky each one from different regions have a different flavor, even different flavors among cattle in the same herd. Genetics, diet (type of grass), season they are born in all come in to play. parkerj2 I just outfitted a dry ageing fridge in my garage to experiment with that, along wit comparing umai bags with traditional humidity, temperature and airflow controlled aging side by side.

        #7
        Alright, a steak challenge!! Love to do those, look forward to the result (although I can already guess). Interestingly enough HEB is selling grass finished at various grades so someone is doing it. I tried some of it and didn't like it at all. Comes from local ranchers like yourself. I also notice lately that the meat case section with those cuts is beginning to shrink. I don't think it's selling very well.

        Again looking forward to what you come up with !!

        Comment


        • texastweeter
          texastweeter commented
          Editing a comment
          if they ARE passing as Prime, I suspect they are actually grass fed but corn finished.

        • Troutman
          Troutman commented
          Editing a comment
          I did a post on a supposed Choice grade grass finished brisket a while back. It was absolutely horrible, had a huge run of fat going all the way through both muscles, had maybe 40% meat content that was edible. Worst brisket ever. I'm with you, corn finished is what I was raised on and will die eating.

          https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...ing-the-finale

        • texastweeter
          texastweeter commented
          Editing a comment
          Troutman yeah when fed out they seem to get those thick veins of fat instead of marble.

        #8
        ...(it was on the bottom of the meatlicker...
        Uh... Oh. Typo. Whew...

        Comment


        • texastweeter
          texastweeter commented
          Editing a comment
          or was it...

        #9
        Tasting notes soon. All reverse seared to 125° with Montreal steak seasoning on the Gasser. Photos suck, as I take them, not my wife, and I use my phone instead of her D7 cannon or 7500D Nikon (I think I named them right). photos just aren't my thing, sorry.
        Attached Files

        Comment


        • texastweeter
          texastweeter commented
          Editing a comment
          oh, and grates registered 650° on my IR gun.

        #10
        Corn Fed prime NY strip:
        of the three was the most tender
        was in the middle as far as how "jucy" the mouth feel was
        flavor profile was of just pure beef
        was the thickest of the steaks, but it also seared the best. The fat crisped up well around the edge and the intramuscular fat rendered well.
        Attached Files

        Comment


          #11
          corn fed CAB choice grade 1 or 2 sirloin
          was the least tender of the three
          was the least "jucy" of the three
          tasted "buttery" and had a less intense beef flavor than the strip even though it was the dryer and cheesiest.
          Seared the worst. Not a BAD steak by any means (wife preferred it). Was surprised as usually sirloin is considered to have the beefiest flavor, but that went to the prime strip.
          Attached Files

          Comment


            #12
            grassfed/finished ribeye
            was in the middle as to how tender it was
            was the juiciest which was a surprise as it was the leanest of the three as far as marbelization went
            flavor was described as "earthy" or "mushroomy". Seared reasonably well, and the fat rendered well, but since it was in big clumps and veins, it had the impression of NOT rendering well. Also came to temp significantly faster than the other two.
            Attached Files

            Comment


              #13
              All three were judged by myself, my eldest boy, and my wife. I reserved my judgement until they had vocalized theirs, but surprisingly we were unilateral in our observations and description. I think I want to repeat the test but with either all three the same grade, or all 3 the same cut. Not really scientific, but was fun!

              Comment


                #14
                Great steak off!
                Hope you have plenty of toothpicks on hand for these tests.
                I lean to corn fed cattle. My uncle raised pure bred Charolais beef cattle and finished them on corn.
                We used to buy halves and quarters for the freezer and that beef was outstanding.
                Truth be told now I wouldn't know if what I buy from the market was fed grass, corn fed or fed BBQ chips.
                Half the time don't even believe its Angus they're selling, could be some milked out old Holstein.
                Wonder what the results would be with no seasoning at all, just let the meat speak for itself.

                Comment


                  #15
                  Thanx for the writeup.

                  Comment

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