By Shannon Hayes
this allows the naturally occurring sugars to caramelize on the surface, while protecting those muscle fibers from contracting too quickly. Tough grassfed steaks result from over-exposure to high heat, which causes the muscle fibers
to contract tightly and become chewy and overly dry.
Keeping these principles in mind, I’ve included two
techniques for cooking a fantastic steak, using the same
seasonings. On the right, taken from The Farmer and
the Grill, is a technique for working outdoors with open
flames—my preferred method, year-round. (And now for a
shameless plug: The Farmer and the Grill thoroughly covers
how to cook all the different cuts of grassfed and pastured
meats out on the grill; plus, it thoroughly explores ecologi-
cally responsible grilling practices…which actually result
in better-tasting and healthier meats. And hey! It’s even
printed on recycled paper. Anyone in need of an ecological-
ly-sound, socially responsible and inexpensive holiday gift?)
The technique on the left is taken from my forthcoming cookbook, Long Way on a Little: An Earth Lovers’
Companion for Enjoying Meat, Pinching Pennies and Living
Deliciously. Much to my surprise,
not every family on the North
American continent has access
to an outdoor grill—hard to
believe! Thus, in an effort to
include you in the thrill that
comes from eating the best-tasting steak available, I’ve included an indoor steak recipe
that guarantees your grassfed
meat will remain tender and
Shannon Hayes is the host of grassfedcooking.com and radicalhomemakers.com. She is the author of Radical Homemakers, The Farmer and the Grill, and The Grassfed Gourmet. Hayes works with her family producing grassfed and pastured meats on Sap Bush Hollow Farm in Upstate
New York. View article resources and author information here: pathways
THE BEST STEAK OU T DOORS
(The amount of seasoning you will use will vary based
on the size of your steak. If it is close to 1 pound, use less.
If it is closer to 2 pounds, use more.)
1–2 tbs. coarse salt
1–2 tsp. ground black pepper
1–2 cloves garlic, minced
Either 1 sirloin, sirloin tip, tri-tip, top round or
London Broil, rib eye, porterhouse, T-bone, top loin
(New York strip) or tenderloin (filet mignon) steak.
Steaks should be at least 1¼ – 1½ inches thick.
1. Combine the salt, pepper and garlic in a small bowl.
Rub the mixture into both sides of the steak, then
allow the meat to come to room temperature while
you prepare the grill.
2. Start the grill and warm it until it is hot. If you are
using a gas grill, turn off all but one of the burners
once it has come up to temperature. If you are using
charcoal, be sure all the coals have been raked to one
side. Use the hand test: The grate is hot enough when
you can hold your palm 4 inches above the metal for
no more than three seconds.
3. Sear the steaks for 2– 3 minutes on each side directly
over the flame, with the lid down. Then, move the
steaks to the part of grill that is not lit. Set the lid in
place and allow the steaks to cook, without flipping
them, until they reach 120-135 degrees, about 5–7
minutes per pound. Remove the steaks to a platter
and allow them to rest a few minutes before serving.
© JOANNA WAKSMUNDZKA / DREAMS TIME. COM
Recipe adapted from The Farmer and the Grill: A Guide to
Grilling, Barbecuing and Spit-Roasting Grassfed Meat by
Shannon Hayes, Left To Write Press, 2007.