Grass-fed Cattle

The results are in, and our pure grass-fed beef scored a win.

Every year we retain one small rib-eye steak out of most processed animals to send to a local meat lab to be independently tested for tenderness. Out of forty-one steaks tested, forty scored as tender. The breakdown is as follows:

Very Tender (Shear test score less than 3) 61%
Tender (Shear test score 3-4) 27%
Medium (Shear test score 4-5) 10%
Not Tender (Shear test score greater than 5) 2%

We’re pleased that our Heart-J Beef score high in tenderness, it confirms we’re on the right track in our beef-raising practices. For a more complete discussion of the factors that contribute to tenderness, see The Grass-Feeder’s Dilemma.

Of course, tenderness is a consideration mainly for steaks, about 25% of the cuts in a side of beef. Ground beef—about 40% of what’s included in a bulk purchase—is always tender, because it’s, well, ground.

And the remaining 35 percent of the cuts, mostly roasts and stew meat, are wonderfully tender when properly cooked, slow and over low heat. Six to eight hours in a croc pot is great.

For cooking tips, download our free Heart-J Beef Cooking Guide.

   By David Jessup

(A version of this article was published in the Stockman Grass Farmer, June, 2011)

Beef cattle belch out tons of methane.  Some studies claim cows account for 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.  And it turns out that grass-fed cows belch more than their grain-fed cousins, a fact that gladdens the hearts of feedlot owners seeking a patch of moral high ground on which to plant a green flag. 

 Now along comes Bill McKibben to snatch the flag back for the grass-feeders.  (“The Only Way to Have a Cow,” by Bill McKibben, Orion Magazine, March/April 2010.)    Read more on Git Along Little Microbes…

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