Farmer Jim's Cooking Essentials

Grass Fed Beef must be cooked completely different than grain fed factory farm beef


Farmer Jim isn't a prize winning chef, nor does he claim to be great in the kitchen. He has learned however to appreciate a tender, lean, flavour-filled, nutritional and perfectly cooked cut of grass fed beef.

To get the most out of your grass fed beef he suggests taking extra care when cooking premium beef from his farm. View some tips for cooking the perfect meal with 100% grass fed beef..

+Grass Fed Beef cooking tips

No meat or poultry should ever be thawed in the oven or at room temperature. There is a greater danger of bacterial growth and food spoilage. Meat should be thawed in the fridge with no packaging. To speed thawing place the meat under a cold tap for about 30 seconds this will loosen the packaging and then remove. Place in a pan and place on the bottom shelf of the fridge. This will keep the other food safe. For quick thawing place in plastic bag and immerse the meat in cold water until it is pliable and then remove. 
                                            “ National Center for Home Food Preservation “ 

Bring your grass fed beef to room temperature before cooking. do not cook it cold straight from a refrigerator. Never use a microwave to thaw your grass fed beef. Grass fed beef is extremely low in fat, coat with virgin olive oil, truffle oil or a favorite light oil for flavor enhancement and easy browning. The oil will, also, prevent drying and sticking. 


In low and slow cooking what we are trying to do is warm up the inside of a steak or roast without overcooking the outside. This can only be done with relatively low heat and a longer cooking period. Grass-fed meat tastes best and becomes tender when cooked rare or medium to rare. A correctly cooked steak is juicy and limber. Cooking meat until "no blood runs" will ruin a perfectly good cut of meat.  Meat is 70% water and, yes, the water will have some blood cells in it.  But it is not anything like blood from a major vein.  When the water is gone (no juice) you have made Beef jerky.

When steaks and high quality boneless roasts are cooked beyond rare, they are being dried out excessively.  Once again, this is how you make Beef jerky. Jerky is merely dehydrated meat.  Jerky is tough and, without spices, not very palatable. So I highly recommend against over cooking grass-fed meat.

Rare cannot be determined by the "redness" of the meat.  Rare is determined by the internal temperature of the meat.  A medium-rare steak is cooked to an internal temperature of 140ºF and is barely limber when removed from the grill. Rare is 120ºF or less and quite limber.  Sometimes it takes me 25 minutes of indirect heat to warm a steak up to rare.  This is low and slow cooking at its best.  Over direct heat on even the lowest setting, 10 minutes can be too long.  Always keep in mind that grass-fed steaks should still be very red and juicy inside when cooked properly.  A grass-fed steak cooked until it is "well done" becomes dry and extremely tough.

When I fire up our electrical, gas grill or enclosed Bar B Que, I immediately set the knobs to their lowest settings.  Then I put the steaks on the cold portion of the grill. I call that "cooking."  The grill warms up slowly, but "slowly" depends on the ambient temperature.  I first turn the steak after about 5 minutes.  The "hot" side of the steak will look nearly like it did when it was first put on the grill.  The next turn may be in another 5 minutes.  This time the steak looks like it is starting to "cook."  If the temperature inside the grill is pushing much above 200ºF, I shut down some of the burners or turn down the temperature. You want the grill's temperature to be no higher than 200ºF.  Depending on various factors (steak thickness, winter or summer grilling, the wind, fresh gas tank or nearly empty gas tank) it may take another 7 to 12 minutes or more to finish warming up ("cooking") the steaks when using indirect heat.  Be careful with direct heat because most grills set on low can overcook a steak in 10 minutes or 5 minutes per side.  A limber steak is a tender palatable steak; a stiff steak has been "killed

1. Your biggest culprit for grass fed beef is overcooking. This beef is best for rare to medium rare cooking. If you like well done beef, then cook your grass fed beef at very low temperatures in a sauce to add moisture. 
2. Never use a fork to turn your beef. . . precious juices will be lost. Always use tongs. 
3. Let the beef sit covered and in a warm place for 8 to 10 minutes after removing from heat to let the juices redistribute. . 
4. Grass fed beef has high protein and low fat levels. The beef will usually require 30% less cooking time and will continue to cook when removed from heat. For this reason, remove the beef from your heat source 10 degrees before it reaches the desired temperature. 
5. Always pre-heat your oven, pan or grill before cooking grass fed beef. 

6.Secondly all meats are more tender when sliced properly.   (lay the steak on the cutting board and define which way the grains runs….You should  cut the steak 90 degrees to the grain…and 60 degrees to the cutting board.)

7. I recommend marinating your beef before cooking especially cuts like NY Strip and Sirloin Steak. Choose a recipe that doesn't mask the delicate flavor of grass fed beef but enhances the moisture content. A favorite marinade using lemon, vinegar, wine, beer or bourbon is a great choice. Some people use their favorite Italian salad dressing. If you choose to use bourbon, beer or vinegar, use slightly less than you would use for grain fed beef. Grass fed beef cooks quicker so the liquor or vinegar won't have as much time to cook off. For safe handling, always marinate in the refrigerator and in a plastic bag. 

8. Stove top cooking is great for any type of grass fed steak. You have more control over the temperature than on the grill. You can use butter in the final minutes when the heat is low to carry the taste of fresh garlic through the meat just like steak chefs. 

9.When roasting, sear the beef first to lock in the juices and then place in a pre-heated oven. 

10. 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 would love to hear from you about your new experiences in eating healthy Grass Fed Beef, Your thawing, cooking, recipes experiences, or any other comments you might have ………….…. 
“ You are about to have a taste of happiness " by eating my 100% GRASS FED BEEF. Bon Appetite










+A new set of rules for Cooking Free Range Chicken that is pasture raised

A new set of rules required when cooking free range CHICKEN that is pasture raised as well

Free-range pasture chickens are much more like wild birds, in that their weight bearing muscles, their legs, actually bear their weight. They are running around all day building muscle. There's an intensity of flavor in an exercised chicken thigh that is far beyond anything that you have ever had.

One thigh can give large amounts of flavor to a batch of chicken soup. And the breast of free range pasture chicken is a special, sensual flavor and texture experience.That's all assuming you learn to cook chicken with a NEW SET OF RULES!
Free-range pasture meat is lean, and that means that slower cooking times yield better results. Slow and low brings about a sublime roasted free-range pasture chicken, where it would make a conventional one soggy and overdone.

Skinless Breasts

Free-range chicken breasts are so moist and tenderly textured if they are DONE RIGHT!  ..(pan fry with butter or oiled BBQ) Hot sear for 2 minutes per side and then in to a 250Foven for 20 Minutes.  It doesn’t get any better than this!

Leg and Thighs

I've had consistently awesome results just like this...Season and lay skin side up and uncovered, then just bake at 350F for 2 hours. The skin crisps up so nice and the meat is so tender and delicious!

Many BBQ enthusiasts agree that the very best way to cook free-range chicken is by using a rotisserie.

The chicken that results has crispy skin, moist meat and that trademark smoky flavor. Cooking chicken by rotisserie not only allows the bird to roast slowly but also drains away the extra fat.

Our all time favorite roasting method is also on the BBQ

Beer-can chicken - and although they say you must use beer works beautifully with whatever marinade or liquid you prefer to use!  The indirect dry heat on the outside makes a beautiful even crispy skin and the flavorful steam frothing out of the can in the inside of the body cavity make the meat unbelievably moist and succulent. Juices will actually be running out of the breast meat when you slice into it!  This also works in your oven.

Remember that doneness also has a lot to do with the size of the bird or the pieces - follow the usual internal temperature guidelines until you figure out the time needed for the amount of meat you are cooking - often it longer than usual chicken recipes, as they assume you are using small conventional fryer size birds


+Cooking Fresh Ham



 Shannon Hayes    the Grassfed gourmet cookbook

Preheat oven 325 degrees F

Bring the Ham to room temperature and place on cutting board flat side down skin side up.

With a sharp knife cut a series of 1” gashes all over the skin cutting down as deep as the meat without piercing the meat in a criss cross pattern. Stuff the Sage & Thyme Rub into these gashes and rub the remainder on any other exposed meat...  if the roast does not have any skin then rub the Sage & Thyme Rub all over the roast.

Place in a roasting pan & insert your thermometer and roast until read 145 degrees to 148 degrees internal temperature about 3 hours or 20 to 22 minutes per pound.

Remove the roast from oven and tent with foil for 20 to 30 minutes before serving..temp should rise another 5 to 10 degrees F

Sage & Thyme Pork Rub

This is a terrific blend for slow-cooked pork roast and is best made in the food processor.

¼ cup dried sage

2 tablespoons dried thyme

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons coarse salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

4 garlic cloves

+100% GrassFed Beef BRISKET

100% Grass Fed Brisket

Brisket in itself is a tougher cut of meat regardless of whether it is grass fed or grain fed. Lower fat percentage and the fact that they are moving around in the pastures all day helps the claim.. I 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 I have the time. With the length of time that you need to cook brisket, I would not 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, I recommend my Eye of Round, which needs to be cooked for about 3-4 hours at about 275°-300°F. I also recommend adding some liquid to your braising pan (beef stock, wine or beer ) in order to help with the tenderizing..