I had never sautéed or pan-fried a steak before ... always grilled them ... as of this week, that is going to change forever!! No more braving the wind, rain, snow and sub-zero temperatures to fire up the grill to make steak or burgers. The skillet is my new best buddy!
Heritage pastured poultry/eggs and grass fed beef produced on Old Time Farm are unique because the variables in production can distinctly change product on your plate while commercial meats are "carbon copy" duplicates focused on fast/cheap production. The age at harvest, the type of forage fed, the amount of exercise received, the mineral/supplementation provided, consistent weight gain through their life (and especially up to harvest), how much fat or "finish" they have, stress levels at farm and at harvest, how they are cut by the butcher and how long they were aged for after harvest all make a huge difference in the texture/flavor of the products we offer and combines the art of observation and timing as well as science to create a true artisanal product. Selective breeding for rate of growth, how fast they mature, weight of bone, richness of milk for cows to feed their calves, body/muscle type, how well they forage for food, and how docile and calm the temperament all play in to the flavor and texture as well. Variables in harvest age mean that there is not one cooking method fits all harvest ages or cuts of poultry or beef to accentuate the delicious depth of flavor and nuances of texture - some are better cooked "low and slow" while others like it quick & hot!
Contemporary recipes are created for commercial meats so I decided to take some cooking "coarses" to "bone up" on the science of cooking and to "stretch my wings" beyond the country comfort food I was brought up on. I wanted to understand "why" things cooked like they did and apply it to the range of grass fed, pastured and heritage meats we produce on Old Time Farm. Thank you Chef Todd for leading the way and to you for following on this journey with me!
One of our assignments in the cooking "coarse" was to choose a "protein" to sauté. Being a "good" student, I could not sauté just one protein, I had to sauté a variety of proteins! What is the key to the beautiful caramelized coating on the beef and the perfectly pink interior? You can watch this video by Chef Todd and/or follow these instructions:
So onward with the research into cooking these amazing foods and the nourishment they provide ... more cooking "coarse" classes along with many good reads like "Nourishing Broth" by Sally Morell, "On Food and Cooking" by Harold McGee, "A Guide to Modern Cookery" by A. Escoffier, "The DNA Restart" by Sharon Moalem, "Minerals for the Genetic Code" by Charles Walters and more!
Old Time Farm