I (Kimberly) did not care for beef, pre-longhorn. I was raised on grocery store meat, which was chewy, fatty and no flavor. During our first year of beef production, we learned very quickly the connection between humanely raised, solely pastured animals and, well, everything else. The quality of the meat improved over time as we developed and honed our skills in providing better nutrition and invested in better genetics. Today's 4 Corners Ranch beef is definitely NOT the same as in 2014!
That being said, we have learned some simple tricks to preparation over the years. Keeping in mind less is more, our tips here are collected from our own experiences, the input from reputable chefs and the experimentation of our incredibly loyal clients::
- PLEASE DO NOT MICROWAVE THE BEEF! A lot of time, effort and energy (aka blood, sweat and tears) went into the production of the final high quality beef product you are enjoying. There are no shortcuts in quality! To thaw, immerse in cold water for a few hours or thaw in a fridge overnight. We often eat right out of the freezer too so we understand when planning isn't always an option. Brown the frozen ground on low, start your roasts on the lowest temp with lots of water (preferably overnight), "quick thaw" by setting roast/steaks/brisket in covered roasting pan, with at least a cup of water per pound, in an over no higher than 175 until meat is soft before setting the cooking temp. Briskets are absolutely phenomenal if you leave that sucker on that low heat for 10 - 12 hours.
- Roasts are best done low & slow. We tend to start with frozen, so we'll do a "quick thaw" as described above then turn the heat to 225-275, add water/broth/wine/braising liquid for additional 6 - 8 hours. If you have an Instapot, you can surely enjoy the roasts much sooner!
- Short ribs should be par-boiled at least an hour before slow cooked. We slow cook those suckers about 10 hours for best results. Lots of fluid, they are optimal for soups! Shanks are best done slow boiled for a few hours, remove bones and continue low boil another hour with your added veggies.
- Steaks: This is where it can get tricky. Our steaks are BEST ENJOYED RARE TO MEDIUM RARE. We highly recommend cast iron pan to cook. For grilling, set your fire to a medium temp. This beef is dense and will not shrink like other beef, so you don't have to kill it! Marinating is optional; we prefer to enjoy the natural flavor. In cast iron, heat the pan to medium heat with thin layer of butter/lard/oil and sear each side (bone in a little longer) at least 3-4 minutes and remove. For well done, sear as described, remove from heat and cover to allow the beef to finish to desired done. If you're working with frozen steaks (as we typically do!) turn the heat down when searing as to not overcook the outside and follow as above.
- Stew beef should be treated like the roasts. Kabob beef is cut from leaner roasts and can be enjoyed seared as steaks. Patties will cook up quickly, medium heat to cook or grill for less time. Bratwurst should be done about 20 minutes at 350 degrees, or can be grilled (start with fully thawed product) at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. Our newer brats are much fatter and will expand when done.
- Offal, there are a ton of different recipes online for liver, tongue, tail, kidney and heart. This is a little more tailored as most folks who enjoy the offal are probably using time-tested family recipes!
Thank you for choosing Better Beef by Divine Design ~Kimberly