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Grass-fed Beef Flavor - Page 4

post #91 of 99

This is quite a read.....

 

I bought 1/4 of a GF cow a few years ago......basically very good but I appreciate the opinions here.

 

The local farmers markets are my sources.

 

http://www.rockingchairranchcattle.com

 

My main problem is the toughness...

 

I buy from local ranchers w/ in a 200 mile radius.

 

Another problem is that they are required to freeze it all.

 

Not sure if this is good or bad.

 

It is all aged for 14 to 21 days...

 

A big problem is the ranchers are not foodies so they are typically clueless about the cooking part.

 

I have not experienced "nasty" but I get it.

post #92 of 99

Most likely the nastiness come from improper or bad slaughtering, and has little to nothing to do with the animal itself. If an animal is stressed or agitated pre and during slaughter, it uses the stored sugar in it's muscles that then gets replaced with lactic acid. That is most likely the culprit. 

 

A lot of this depends where you source your meat from and how it is treated during slaughter. I personally quite like grass fed beef (and corn fed beef too lol), and I recognize that it has a more beefy flavor and is usually a bit tougher, but I would never describe the taste as "nasty" or in any way off putting. 

post #93 of 99

I raise 100% grass fed Ruby Red Devon beef. Just wanted to put in my two cents on how to NOT get a wonderful experience out of grass-fed.

1. cook it too hot or two fast - it's OK to sear it but then put it on a cooler burner - don't turn down the burner it's on - the heat stays too long - have another burner to put it on. Think venison.

2. get too young a beef - it takes just about 3 years to properly finish a beef on 100% grass. My meat is as well marbled as any feed-lot beef but it takes the extra year to get a beautiful marbeling on grass only. This adds to the expense of raising the beef, thus be prepared to pay for that.

3. make sure the beef was finished on GRASS - not hay (which qualifies as grass) - especially in the winter - have your beef finished while they are still on pasture. Hay tastes NASTY.

4. Make sure the animals are handled and killed humanely. If they are stressed, their adrenaline is in their system and the meat is dark, tough and doesn't taste good.

5. Sounds counter-intuitive, but be careful of organic beef. The USDA has approved incinerated bio-waste as Certified Organic fertilizer. It is CHEAP and certified - thus a LOT of farms use it. It's cheap as that's one of the only ways for the government to get rid of it. The farms I know that use it have to shut their windows when it rains - as it still smells like poop. If it smells like poop I am sure it effects the flavor. EEWWW is all I can say.

6. Make sure the beef has had access to the right minerals - if they don't get free choice minerals their muscles are deficient in anything their grass is deficient in and this effects the physical properties of the muscles - and thus the tenderness and flavor.

7. KNOW YOUR FARMER and don't be cheap. Same rule for any produce or meat you are buying - you don't know what you are getting if you don't know the farmer. It takes another year to raise a perfectly finished grass-fed beef and if you want that experience you should be willing to pay for that. You pay extra for hand made furniture and a good grass-fed beef is really crafted, not thrown out in a yard then killed.

 

I have beautifully marbled, melt in your mouth, great taste from first bite to last, beef. But it's a lot of hard work and requires daily pasture movement and care of the animals and lots of time and patience. You get what you invest in - in money and in time investigating what you are indeed buying. I'll place my beefs against any conventionally grown beef any day - and I'll win - but that's not what you get by just buying any old generic grass-fed beef for the most part. Investigate ALL your food - you would be amazed at the crap that's offered us.....

Joanie, walkergrassfed.com

post #94 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by walkergrassfed View Post
 

7. KNOW YOUR FARMER and don't be cheap. 

 

Here we go. That's what it is about. I know the farmers and the butcher to the point of having the occasional beer with them. They are good people and love their food themselves. Never had a bad experience there. And it still works for them - you still can make a living by selling low volume - high quality stuff. Same with some of the local pig farmers. Heirloom pigs with belly fat you would not believe, partially pastured in orchards so they can gorge on the fallen apples and plums. That fat, that fat.....

post #95 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by walkergrassfed View Post
 

I raise 100% grass fed Ruby Red Devon beef. Just wanted to put in my two cents on how to NOT get a wonderful experience out of grass-fed.

1. cook it too hot or two fast - it's OK to sear it but then put it on a cooler burner - don't turn down the burner it's on - the heat stays too long - have another burner to put it on. Think venison.

2. get too young a beef - it takes just about 3 years to properly finish a beef on 100% grass. My meat is as well marbled as any feed-lot beef but it takes the extra year to get a beautiful marbeling on grass only. This adds to the expense of raising the beef, thus be prepared to pay for that.

3. make sure the beef was finished on GRASS - not hay (which qualifies as grass) - especially in the winter - have your beef finished while they are still on pasture. Hay tastes NASTY.

4. Make sure the animals are handled and killed humanely. If they are stressed, their adrenaline is in their system and the meat is dark, tough and doesn't taste good.

5. Sounds counter-intuitive, but be careful of organic beef. The USDA has approved incinerated bio-waste as Certified Organic fertilizer. It is CHEAP and certified - thus a LOT of farms use it. It's cheap as that's one of the only ways for the government to get rid of it. The farms I know that use it have to shut their windows when it rains - as it still smells like poop. If it smells like poop I am sure it effects the flavor. EEWWW is all I can say.

6. Make sure the beef has had access to the right minerals - if they don't get free choice minerals their muscles are deficient in anything their grass is deficient in and this effects the physical properties of the muscles - and thus the tenderness and flavor.

7. KNOW YOUR FARMER and don't be cheap. Same rule for any produce or meat you are buying - you don't know what you are getting if you don't know the farmer. It takes another year to raise a perfectly finished grass-fed beef and if you want that experience you should be willing to pay for that. You pay extra for hand made furniture and a good grass-fed beef is really crafted, not thrown out in a yard then killed.

 

I have beautifully marbled, melt in your mouth, great taste from first bite to last, beef. But it's a lot of hard work and requires daily pasture movement and care of the animals and lots of time and patience. You get what you invest in - in money and in time investigating what you are indeed buying. I'll place my beefs against any conventionally grown beef any day - and I'll win - but that's not what you get by just buying any old generic grass-fed beef for the most part. Investigate ALL your food - you would be amazed at the crap that's offered us.....

Joanie, walkergrassfed.com

Wow...

I am going to take this to my GF rancher today.

post #96 of 99
Our second attempt at producing grassfed beef has turned out much better than our first.


Our first experience was many years ago. We had a young weaned heifer processed during the winter. She was fed poor quality hay and was not given any mineral supplements. So, we pretty much did everything wrong. That heifer had a gamey, rank smell, and an off putting taste that ButcherMan and many others have mentioned.


After gaining some experience raising pastured corn fed beef, we decided to try raising grassfed beef again. We got our recent grassfed beef back from the market over the weekend and we took four more calves to the market.


We are processing these calves at a young age, so they are very tender. They’re 8 months old, weighing 700 pounds, and they are still nursing. We provide them free choice mineral supplement, put them on our best improved pastures with lush green grass, and we weigh them each month to make sure that they are eating well and growing well. We’ve only processed calves that are gaining over 2.5 pounds per day.


We had this beef dry aged for 9 days, but plan to age the next 4 carcasses for 16 days. The beef has the aroma of fresh beef. The color is a bright red color with a hint of purple, not the darker burgundy that I expected from grassfed beef. The flavor is good, it’s a light beefy taste, not the intense beefy flavor of our pastured corn fed beef.


I am convinced that the bad taste and smell of the grassfed beef that ButcherMan and others have described is caused by a lack of adequate calories and protein needed for growth of the calf. Growing calves need a high level of protein and energy which they get from their mother’s milk. Mature animals don’t need the same high level of protein and energy (because they are no longer growing) and can thrive on lush green grass. The way to avoid getting bad tasting grassfed beef is to make sure that the beef comes from mature cattle on lush pasture, or from young nursing calves with high milking mommas on lush pasture.
Edited by AngusCattleman - 7/28/14 at 1:29pm
post #97 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneMachine View Post
 

 

Here we go. That's what it is about. I know the farmers and the butcher to the point of having the occasional beer with them. They are good people and love their food themselves. Never had a bad experience there. And it still works for them - you still can make a living by selling low volume - high quality stuff. 

Here in the states it is hard enough to get to know the ranchers/farmers but the "butchers" and processors(?) its a game changer here...almost impossible for the average working person...to get to know them.

post #98 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngusCattleman View Post

Our second attempt at producing grassfed beef has turned out much better than our first.


Our first experience was many years ago. We had a young weaned heifer processed during the winter. She was fed poor quality hay and was not given any mineral supplements. So, we pretty much did everything wrong. That heifer had a gamey, rank smell, and an off putting taste that ButcherMan and many others have mentioned.


After gaining some experience raising pastured corn fed beef, we decided to try raising grassfed beef again. We got our recent grassfed beef back from the market over the weekend and we took four more calves to the market.


We are processing these calves at a young age, so they are very tender. They’re 8 months old, weighing 700 pounds, and they are still nursing. We provide them free choice mineral supplement, put them on our best improved pastures with lush green grass, and we weigh them each month to make sure that they are eating well and growing well. We’ve only processed calves that are gaining over 2.5 pounds per day.


We had this beef dry aged for 9 days, but plan to age the next 4 carcasses for 16 days. The beef has the aroma of fresh beef. The color is a bright red color with a hint of purple, not the darker burgundy that I expected from grassfed beef. The flavor is good, it’s a light beefy taste, not the intense beefy flavor of our pastured corn fed beef.


I am convinced that the bad taste and smell of the grassfed beef that ButcherMan and others have described is caused by a lack of adequate calories and protein needed for growth of the calf. Growing calves need a high level of protein and energy which they get from their mother’s milk. Mature animals don’t need the same high level of protein and energy (because they are no longer growing) and can thrive on lush green grass. The way to avoid getting bad tasting grassfed beef is to make sure that the beef comes from mature cattle on lush pasture, or from young nursing calves with high milking mommas on lush pasture.

but walkergrassfed says this-

 

bad taste is a result of- "get too young a beef - it takes just about 3 years to properly finish a beef on 100% grass. My meat is as well marbled as any feed-lot beef but it takes the extra year to get a beautiful marbeling on grass only. This adds to the expense of raising the beef, thus be prepared to pay for that."

 

This very confusing.

post #99 of 99
There are a couple grassfed beef producers near me who are raising young grassfed beef and are doing a good job of it. Young beef may also be called vitello, vitellone, or rose veal. Young grassfed beef will have good flavor and will be more tender than beef from mature cattle, but will not have the marbling of a mature animal, or the robust flavor of a mature animal.

The young beef calf should still be nursing and should be growing at a high rate of gain, because if it is not getting enough protein or energy for growth, it will become stressed and its beef will have an off flavor and a gamey odor. But eventually, as the calf grows older and begins to reach its mature weight, it no longer needs a high protein and high energy diet. That is when it begins to put on fat and marbling, and why more mature grassfed beef has high marbling and a more intense beefy flavor.

But compared to a grain fed animal, it takes more time to get a grassfed calf to their mature weight, as much as 3 years, they just don’t grow very quickly on grass alone. As a calf grows older, their muscle fibers grow stronger and tougher. That’s why some grassfed beef may be tougher. So with grassfed beef, there may be a trade-off between choosing young beef that is tender, or mature beef with robust flavor and marbling.

But you should avoid grassfed beef from calves that have been weaned, but are smaller than mature sized cattle, they may be more likely to have an off flavor. I think that is why Joan Walker says that one way to NOT get a wonderful experience out of grassfed beef is if you get too young a beef. You should know your beef producer and know what they are doing to produce better beef.
Edited by AngusCattleman - 7/28/14 at 5:22pm
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