Why is Grass-Fed Best?

Grass Fed Beef Frederick Maryland

At Esworthy Farms, we’ve always known grass fed is best. But why is that? Why is it worth our investment in our cows to make sure they eat only the best?  And why does it make a difference on your plate?

Pasture

Our beef cattle are raised on open pasture, with access to the shelter and to the pasture when they choose.  This makes sure they are free to roam, exercise and have access to grass.  When we need to supplement the pasture for their food, they get our own orchard grass and alfalfa. This makes sure our cattle are healthy and cared for. Our cows are completely grass fed and grass finished. No grain, just grass. We do this because we feel it is the best way to produce the best beef.

Flavor

This type of pasture and diet also allows for better marbling (the small veins of fat within the meat, not just around it) and flavor. The diet of locally grown grass also makes sure your beef tastes amazing with a nuance of flavor you couldn’t imagine from a grocery store cut of meat. You will be able to cook beef and enjoy the taste of the meat itself, not just the spices and marinades you may add.  But, it’s not all about how it tastes. It’s also about what’s better for you and your family.

Health Benefits

Grass fed and grass finished beef is great for health reasons. Choosing grass fed beef contains a healthier distribution of the types of fats.  There are significantly less monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. (These fats are the big bad wolf you’ve been hearing about for years).  But, that’s not all. Grass fed beef has more Omega-3s and Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) that have been proven to have health benefits.

Grass fed beef also has more vitamins than traditional beef, especially Vitamin A and Vitamin E.

Environment

And, let’s not forget the environmental benefit of locally owned and fed grass fed beef.  With more green space and less transport for food and the cows themselves, we are helping make the Frederick, Maryland air a little bit cleaner.

If you want to learn more about grass fed beef, or taste the difference yourself, contact Esworthy Farms today!

What Beef Cut To Choose

We have all been there.  Standing in the grocery store, staring at the beef section.  Steak or roast? What even is chuck, anyway? And, once you choose a cut of beef, what do you do with it to make it taste amazing?  

This quick reference guide can help you learn how to choose the best cut of meat for your table and what you should do to make it’s flavor stand out.

There are eight main cuts of beef to choose from.  Of course, your first step should be choosing high quality, grass fed beef (learn why here).  From there, it’s a choice of flavor and preparation.

Chuck

Chuck meat comes from the cow’s shoulder.  Because the cow’s shoulder is a strong, frequently used muscle, this cut tends to be a bit tougher and loves the low-and-slow method of cooking.  This cut is also extremely flavorful and can be cut into many ways to maximize your cooking.

Chuck is most frequently used for ground chuck, flat iron steak, chuck short ribs, stew cut chuck and chuck pot roast.  There are many other cuts to be made, so, when in doubt, ask your butcher or beef supplier what is best for you.

Chuck is great for balancing flavor and cost, so use this cut to experiment with all kinds of meals!

Brisket

Brisket comes from the chest of the cow.  Although this cut is usually tough and fatty, it is one of the most popular for melt-in-your mouth flavor.  Barbecue and pot roast are frequently made from cuts of brisket. Season well and cook low-and-slow. You can’t go wrong!

Shank

Shank is located in the forearm of the cow.  This is one of the toughest cuts and is mostly used in stews and soups, allowing the beef to become more tender.  One of the most famous preparations of a shank cut is Osso Buco, which is tenderized through braising.

Ribs

Ribs may be one of the most self-explanatory cuts.  Made from around the ribs and backbone, there are thirteen pairs of ribs, but only 6-12 are outside of the chuck cut.  But don’t let the name fool you. Beyond your assumption, ribs can be used for boneless ribeye roasts, cowboy steak, ribeye steaks and more.  Anytime you’re looking for flavor and delicious marbling, ribs are a great choice.

Plate

This is the source of short ribs.  Found by the abdomen, its fattier than the similar rib cut.  This meat is frequently used for fajitas, skirt steak, philadelphia steak and short ribs.

Loin

This is where the most expensive cuts of beef are found.  The loin is directly behind the ribs, and is a less frequently used muscle, leaving the beef tender and soft.

There are two parts to the loin: short loin and sirloin.  Short Loin gives us cuts like filet mignon, tenderloin steaks, T-bone and strip steak.

Now that you have a better idea of all the possibilities from just a few cuts of beef, it’s time to find your favorite recipes and styles for each.  If you want to find all your new favorites, it’s important to choose local, grass fed beef for the best flavor and to know your cows were well cared for.

Esworthy Farms is a family owned farm, locally owned in Western Maryland.  For generations, we have raised happy cows who are cared for every day by our family.  Our beef cattle are fed grass and grain grown and stored on our farm, so we know exactly what they eat.  If you want to taste the difference, contact us today!