Author Archives: mroberts585

5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Grass-Fed Beef

Several years ago, consumers often paid more and ended up with tough and bland cuts. This left some negative connotations for the grass-fed beef industry. It turns out that it is likely that these sub-par cuts came from inexperienced farmers.

This is what you need to know to make sure you get the most flavorful and tender grass-fed beef .

  1. Mature cattlegrass fed cattle
    • Most cattle spend their first months consuming predominantly grass and mother’s milk. After that, grain-fed cattle are fed grain to speed weight gain, allowing them to be slaughtered at 18-20 months. Grass-fed cattle allow their cattle to roam freely, only grazing on grass and are slaughtered between 20-28 months. These extra months are what make the most difference in the flavor.
    • Older cows mean more fat marbling and rich color that adds to the flavor.
  2. The right breed
    • Make sure the producer has chosen cattle that are meant to roam continuously, grazing the fields. Certain cattle are bred to flourish on grass alone. (British versus European breeds).
    • This free movement, continuous greenery, fresh air, and sunlight adds to the rich and earthly flavor of the meat.
  3. Grass-fed only
    • Watch out for the dubious spins some producers put on the labels. Pasture raised, for example, means they start of grass-fed (as they all do) but are grain finished. This is no different than grain-fed beef – other than they may have a little more room to roam.
  4. How it is preparedseared steak
    • Follow the same recipes for mature grass-fed steaks cook as you would conventional well-marbled ones.
    • Whether fresh or previously frozen – bring the meat to room temperature and pat dry before cooking. This way the pan doesn’t cool when the meat makes contact.
    • Keep it simple and allow the natural flavors of the beef to come out. No oil or butter needed; as the steak hits the heat, the fat begins to melt, coating the mean and the pan. Just a slight dusting of sea salt and you are all set.
    • Sear in a hot pan. The hotter the pan, the faster the sear. Be sure sear both sides plus the edges – this ensure the juices stay inside. Good rule of thumb is 1 minute each side and then about 2 minutes searing the edges.
    • Turn off the heat and allow the meat to sit about 2 minutes per side. Depending on the thickness this can vary; check the temperature to determine if it is cooked to your liking (rare, medium, well-done).
    • Put on cutting board and cover with hot pan (preferably cast iron) while the meat rests for another 5-10 minutes so the juices can redistribute.
  5. Reputable farm
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    • Make sure you purchase from a reputable farm or butcher who can provide all the information you need on how the cattle was raised and recommend a cut that is right for you.

 

 

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Local Flavor: Grass-fed beef NY Strip

The best recipe is sometimes the most simple recipe. Like this easy grilled Rocky Hill Farm & Beef New York strip steak recipe.

Enjoy the flavor of the grass-fed beef  with just a little salt, pepper, and sear marks. It couldn’t be more simple – or delicious.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Lightly season both sides with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Rest for 15-30 minutes (if you can wait that long).
  3. Place steaks on hot preheated grill (450°F to 650°F) for approximately 3 minutes per side to make sear marks with the lid open.
  4. Depending on thickness of steaks and desired doneness, you may also rotate the steaks about 90 degrees to form cross-hatch sear marks.
  5. Turn the heat down to medium and move steaks away from the direct heat, either to the warming rack or to the other side of the grill so the steak can finish cooking and close the lid.
  6. Check for doneness using an instant-read thermometer (130°F for rare doneness).
  7. Remove steaks from grill and allow to rest for at least 2 minutes on a warm plate or platter. (The steaks will continue to cook while resting and raise to approximately 140°F for medium rare.)rocky hill grass fed beef steak plated

Local Flavor: Braised grass-fed beef short-ribs

BBQ short ribs are delicious – but braised grass fed short-ribs made with Rocky Hill Farm Beef are obscenely delicious! Short ribs are perfect for the braising pot or dutch oven. They are tough bone-in cuts full of collagen which is melted during a long slow braise making the beef fork-tender.

You will find that the savory aroma that fills your home while they are cooking makes the wait to eat them almost impossible and that is the only difficult part of this recipe. People think it is a lot of work to cook ribs and that isn’t always the case.  These ribs took less than 20 minutes to prep and slow cooked for about 2 hours. I recently discovered The Pioneer Woman and love her simple, flavorful recipes so decided to check out her suggestions for short-ribs. Below is her recipe, with a few minor changes.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3-4 lbs Beef Short Ribs
  • Kosher Salt and Pepper To Taste
  • 1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 6 pieces Pancetta (or bacon), Diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 3 whole Carrots, Diced
  • 2 whole Shallots, Peeled And Finely Minced
  • 2 cups Red Or White Wine
  • 2 cups Beef Or Chicken Broth (enough To Almost Cover Ribs)
  • 2 sprigs Thyme
  • 2 sprigs Rosemary

Start with Rocky Hill Farm Beef short ribs.

Cut them down to about 3 bones per section (if they aren’t already) so they will fit in your pot.

Salt and pepper ribs, then dredge in flour. Set aside.
grass fed short ribs 1
In a large dutch oven, cook pancetta (or bacon) over medium heat until complete crispy and all fat is rendered. Remove and set aside. Do not discard grease.

Add olive oil to pan with the pancetta grease, and raise heat to high. Brown ribs on all sides, about 45 seconds per side. Remove ribs and set aside.
grass fed short ribs 2
Turn heat to medium. Add onions, carrots, and shallots to pan and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape bottom of pan to release all the flavorful bits of glory. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes.

Add broth, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add ribs to the liquid; they should be almost completely submerged. Add thyme and rosemary sprigs (whole) to the liquid.

Put on the lid and place into the oven. Cook at 350 for 2 hours, then reduce heat to 325 and cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes. Ribs should be fork-tender and falling off the bone. Remove pan from oven and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes, lid on, before serving. At the last minute, skim fat off the top of the liquid. (Can also refrigerate mixture, then remove solid fat from the top.)

Serve over rice or potatoes.

From the first bite, to the last.

Our grass-fed beef speaks for itself. But we also love to hear back from our clients. Leo, a client and neighbor who has helped on the farm shares his love of Rocky Hill Farm and Beef.

Why did you choose Rocky Hill Farm Beef for your grass fed beef?

I always knew grass fed beef was healthy and delicious, but since working on the farm and seeing the beef operation from all aspects, my opinion of Rocky Hill Farm Beef is even higher. Helping Frank and Mark on the farm has shown me just how caring they are about the animals. The are raised as humanely, healthy, and naturally as possible. These are truly happy steers.

What do you like best about Rocky Hill Farm Beef?

Each order gives you variety of cuts and the high quality of this beef shines through from the first to the last bite.

What is your favorite dish to make from Rocky Hill Farm Beef?

Bacon and mushroom stuffed hamburgers on the grill. Or a simply prepared rib eye – the meat really needs nothing more than salt and pepper to accentuate the free range taste of this grass-fed beef.

4 Step Chili | Hearty & Healthy

Winter is the perfect time for a big bowl of chili. There are countless chili recipes to choose from – beef, chicken, vegetarian, beans, etc. Our favorite combo is black beans and Rocky Hill Farm’s ground beef (of course!).

By cooking with grass fed beef, you are cooking with lean beef and cutting out all that grease while still getting that amazing flavor. This simple recipe is hearty, healthy and can be ready in 30 minutes. chili

  1. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until onions soften, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another 2-3 minutes (don’t let it burn)
  2. Mix in Rocky Hill Farm ground beef and cook just until the pink is gone.
  3. Stir in beans, 1/2 cup reserved bean liquid.
  4. Mix in chili powder, oregano, cumin, and cayenne; stir 2 minutes. Then add tomato sauce. Bring chili to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until flavors blend and chili thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle chili into bowls. Top off with your choice of chopped cilantro, sour cream, grated cheese, and green onions.

Ingredients
1lb Rocky Hill Farm ground beef
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 15- to 16-ounce cans black beans, drained, 1/2 cup liquid reserved
1 16-ounce can tomato sauce

Toppings
Chopped fresh cilantro
Sour cream
Grated MontereyJack cheese
Chopped green onions

Beef & Beer Happy Hour | Pickup day!

Get ready for the Holidays, it’s time for beef and beer happy hour! Plan to pick up your beef and share a drink at Rocky Hill Farm and Beef Friday, November 18th, 5-7:30 pm. 

Beef is currently aging and being prepared to your specification at the butcher and will be picked up from the butchers just hours before the beef and beer happy hour. If you can’t make it, reach out to us and we can make other arrangements!

You will receive your individual hanging weights and invoices in a separate e-mail so you can bring your check with you when we meet at the farm.

Didn’t order beef? That’s ok! Come out for the happy hour and meet the Rocky Hill Farm and Beef team and tour the farm. Want to be alerted for the next order in Spring 2017? Email us and ask to be added to our alert list.

Rocky Hill Farm- 897 Roberts Lane, Earlysville, VA 22963
Frank: 434-531-5094,  Mark: 602-524-2716

Please note GPS often takes you down a farm road that isn’t friendly- better to follow these directions: From Earlysville, bear Left onto Buck Mountain Road, go roughly two miles, Right onto Robert’s Lane (at Chestnut Ridge Subdivision)- farm at the end of Robert’s Lane- drive back to the shop!