Preparing White Oak Pastures Grassfed Beef

From the day that one of our bulls first meets one of our heifers, it takes almost three years for the beef to get to your plate. At White Oak Pastures we are dedicated to raising our grassfed beef in a manner that is humane for our cattle, environmentally sustainable for our land, and delicious for you, the folks who eat our product. Follow the tips, hints and information below to ensure the tastiest results and your enjoyment. Don’t be in a rush. This meal has been three years in the making.

Before Cooking:

  • Thaw completely. Allow your grassfed beef to thaw gently and completely in the lower portion of the refrigerator. Do not thaw using a microwave.

  • Bring all White Oak Pastures grassfed beef to room temperature prior to cooking or grilling.

  • Always pre-heat your oven, pan or grill before cooking our grassfed beef.

Cooking Information:

  • 30% less cooking time is typical because of our higher protein levels and lower fat content in our grassfed beef compared to conventional grain fed meat. If using an oven, lower the oven temperature by about 50°F when using your recipes.

  • White Oak Pastures grassfed beef is best when not overcooked. Our steaks are best when eaten rare to medium-rare. Prevent overcooking by using an instant-read thermometer. Measure the temperature of the meat from the side. Meat continues to cook even after it has been removed from the heat; therefore, remove the beef 5°F before it reaches the desired temperature. We recommend these finished temperatures for our grass-fed steak: 125° F for Rare; 130° F for Medium Rare; 135° F for Medium. Ground beef should reach 165° F.

  • Keep it tender and juicy. Enhance the flavor of our grass fed beef by lightly coating it with extra virgin olive oil then seasoning with sea salt and pepper before grilling over a hot fire or searing in a pre-heated pan. Because our grassfed meats are naturally delicious and flavorful, there is no need to marinate beforehand. However, be creative and experiment to find your favorite flavor combinations.

  • Cook it “low and slow.” As with all meat, preparing our grassfed beef well-done may cause it to be tough. To ensure the tastiest result, cook over lower heat for longer time in sauces that add moisture to the dish.

  • Let it rest. Resting cooked meat for 8-10 minutes allows the precious juices to be redistributed within the resting meat. The result is tender and delicious grassfed beef. Remove from heat, cover loosely and let rest before cutting.

Cooking Methods:

  • Grilling – The key to perfectly grilled White Oak Pastures grassfed beef starts with a very hot charcoal or gas grill. Sear the meat quickly on both sides to seal in the natural flavor and juices. Reduce heat to medium to finish the meat to desired doneness. Always use tongs to turn your meats, as precious juices will be lost by piercing the meat with a fork. For perfect grilled burgers, start with White Oak Pastures grassfed ground beef. It is naturally 90% lean. Adding caramelized onions, roasted red peppers or olives to the ground beef before grilling infuses the burgers with flavor and low-fat moisture.

  • Roasting – Roasting is a great cooking method for large, tender cuts of White Oak Pastures grassfed beef, such as a rib or sirloin roast. Preheat your heavy-bottomed pan over high heat. Sear White Oak Pastures grassfed beef on all sides to lock in flavor. Use moisture from sauces to add to the tenderness when cooking your roast.

  • Braising – Braising is a long, moist cooking method better suited for tougher cuts of meat. Cooking our grassfed beef with a small amount of water, stock, or sauce in a closed pot breaks down the meat,  resulting in a tender and tasty dish.

Chef Reid on Preparing White Oak Pastures Brisket

Our beef can be a little tougher than your mass produced grain fed beef for two main reasons: lower fat percentage and they get to move around. Brisket in itself is a tougher cut of meat regardless of grass fed versus grain fed. We typically try to slow cook the briskets here on the farm for about a minimum of 6-8 hours, but prefer to let it go for 12 if we have the time. With the length of time that you need to cook brisket, we wouldn't recommend this type of cut for rare cooking. If you are looking for something to cook and get more of that rare-medium rare without the time it takes to braise the brisket to tender, we recommend our Eye of Round, which needs to be cooked for about 3-4 hours at about 275°-300°F. We also recommend adding some liquid to your braising pan (beef stock, wine or beer with some mir-poix) in order to help with the tenderizing.

 

Preparing White Oak Pastures Sausage

For best results, and moist sausages, put the sausages in a frying pan in water that comes up 1/3 of the way up the sausage. Prick sausages with a fork or knife. Bring them to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until all the water has evaporated. Cook them further in the pan and add some oil if necessary, or put them on a grill and brush them with oil if necessary, until they are lightly browned on all sides. Oil may be necessary, because White Oak Pastures sausages are leaner than others.

You can also do all this in the oven. Put the sausages and water in a baking dish, prick the sausages, bake at 350° until brown. Add oil if necessary. Rotate the sausages occasionally. The internal temperature of the sausages should reach 165°.

 

Preparing White Oak Pastures Chicken

When cooking our pastured poultry, we recommend cooking in a manner consistent with classical and rustic cooking techniques, such as slow roasting or braising. Classic Italian, French and many Asian dishes work great with our poultry, because just like the fowl used in those countries, our birds have an active life. Try finding a good recipe for classic coq au vin or any dish cooked in a similar fashion.

For the best results cooking our free-range poultry, marinating your meat overnight (with a slightly acidic marinade, something with some lemon, lime, vinegar, wine, beer, etc.) is suggested to help “loosen” things up a bit and enhance the flavor. If you aren’t able to (or just don’t want to) marinate your bird the day before, we recommend simply searing your bird to help build flavor and seal in more of the natural juices, then finish it in the oven by roasting it somewhere between 325°-350°, preferably covered and with some added moisture in the pan.

Try searing your chicken in a sauté pan and then remove it to a plate. In the same pan, add a little fat (olive oil, bacon grease, butter, etc.) and sauté a mirepoix (onion, celery, carrot) until browned and fragrant. Deglaze your pan with some lemon juice and white wine and add a little chicken stock, then add your chicken back to the pan and finish cooking your chicken in the oven until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°F. You can choose to cover the chicken while it roasts or leave it uncovered and simply spoon some of the pan juices over the chicken as it cooks to help it retain its moisture.

  

Preparing White Oak Pastures Free Range Turkeys

Basic cooking directions: Set oven temperature to 325 and cook 8-10 minutes per pound. To see if cooked completely, check to make sure the internal temperature is 160 F in thickest part of bird (let rest for 15 minutes once out of oven).

For more information, check out our five part video: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

 

Preparing White Oak Pastures Pasture Raised Ducks

Basic cooking directions: Preheat oven to 350, season to taste, and roast 10-12 minutes per pound.