Foodie, Healthy Eating, HOME N GARDEN, Recipies

Grass-Fed Beef a Cooking Quandary

My friend Jean and I go out shopping and lunching once a week, and this last week we went to a restaurant in Ohio called  The Rail

We always get the same thing- low carb option called the naked burger.  It consists of a grilled burger with two add-ons- we get mushrooms and provolone cheese.  It is served on a bed of lettuce, red onion, and tomatoes and accompanied by french fries or you can order sweet potato fries with an upcharge.

The meat is delicious and juicy…I can taste the butter.


I have a habit of going to restaurants and then trying to figure out the ingredients used so I can duplicate a food I like at home.  I have The Olive Gardens, bean soup down pat to where I like it.  You can go onto websites that copy restaurant food s and try their recipes and add or subtract as to your likes and dislikes.

I looked up cooking with grass-fed beef.  Most meat counter guys tell you that you need that high marbling of corn-fed beef to get taste and tenderness.  But I am trying to eat healthier, as you know, so I have been attempting to use organic food and grass-fed food. It seems more natural to me.  Especially after watching Moore’s film on food and cows fed corn.  Oh wow! I almost became vegan!

When I looked up grass-fed beef and tenderness, I was surprised to learn there is an issue due to the extra leanness of this meat.  I saw a lot on steaks, roast, all cuts of meat but for this experiment, I wanted to just look at ground beef.

Grassfed beef cooks quicker than its grain-fed cousin, so lower the heat on the stove or grill (or about 50 F in the oven, if you’re roasting) to better control the doneness. Otherwise, it can go from perfectly cooked to overdone in a matter of seconds.

The main issue here concerns cooking methods-.  The consensus was you had to cook at lower heats and for s shorter time -period.


This American Grass Fed Beef link has a big how-to for steaks, including tenderization and or marinating but it says this about hamburger

When preparing hamburgers on the grill, use caramelized onions, olives or roasted peppers to add low-fat moisture to the meat while cooking. We add zero fat to our burgers (they are 85% to 90% lean) . . . So some moisture is needed to compensate for the lack of fat. Make sure you do not overcook your burgers . . . 30% less cooking time is required.

I also read a recipe which called for adding moisture to the meat by adding minced onions and also another which recommended adding fat like eggs, butter, cream, or sour cream. Chopped onions, shredded vegetables like carrots or zucchini, sundried tomatoes, olives, mustards or grated cheese all work wonders.


The Rail advertises that they get their meat from a local Cleveland Ohio family meat processor called Blue ribbon Meats.  I did find a website for them.  They had a page devoted to their family history. The rail also says that Blue Ribbon meats make a special press for preparing the patties which lessen handling of the meat in the restaurant.  Over mixing or stirring of grass-fed ground meat, can help make it tough.  Overworking the meat is a no-no.


So I learned the following for cooking grass-fed ground meat burgers:

  • Add fat
  • Add moisture- egg, minced or shredded veggies .i onions
  • do not over handle or mix
  • cook on a preheated hot pan or riddle
  • just sear and then lower heat
  • cook at lower heats
  • cook for shorte times
  • do not overcook- no well-done burgers

So anyway I tried to make this hamburger.  I bought the meat from my local market.  I usually use Piedmontese beef. But that is shipped to me.

I took a microplane tool and shredded an onion into the meat.  I added pepper but no salt per instruction- only salt at the end, to retain moisture during cooking.  I added a big dollop of butter – no egg or cream.  I gently took clumps on meat and gently formed a patty.  Placed a thumb indentation in the burger to prevent curling and put it in a hot oiled pan. First I put a thin layer of butter salt and pepper on the burger. I used a mix of avocado and olive oils in the pan- just a thin coating.  I tuned after about 1 -2minutes and then after another 2 minutes to get a sear, I like a crisp char on the beef.  Then I turned the heat down.  I only cooked it for three-four minutes on each side and then let it rest.  The meat thermometer read just about 160 F when I removed it.   It did go to 161F while resting- aftercooking occurrs.

Then I put the burgers on a bed of lettuce, added fresh tomatoes from the garden and a small bit of red onion.  It was really pretty good.  I forgot to put the provolone cheese on it which would have made it better.  But it was juicy and not tough.  I had cooked grass-fed hamburgers before on the outdoor grill and they were very tough.  I had definitely overcooked and had the grill too hot for them.


Let me know if you cook grass-fed hamburgers…would love to know how you cook them


Thanks for reading this x

Take good care

Talk soon


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