2

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Grass-fed Beef - how lean is too lean?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 17, 2012 at 11:58 PM

When does the lean to fat ratio of grass-fed beef make it not worth bothering with? I found a VERY close (I have no idea how I missed the field of longhorns driving by it three times a week, but it happened) source with what I think are reasonable prices (grass-fed, no hormones/antibiotics), especially considering I won't have to waste much gas to get it -

  • $3.50/# for 95/5 ground beef
  • $5.50/# choice roasts/liver
  • choice filet/ribeye/t-bone/sirloin between $10.00-$12.00/#
  • they do bulk for hanging weight with butchering/packing for $3.75/#.

...anyway, the rancher touts the beef as "naturally lean Texas longhorn" and such, and with that sort of fat-to-lean ratio, am I getting much benefit over the grain-fed stuff (aside from ethical issues)? I suppose I could ask if she sells the suet, perhaps?? It's just literally down the street - talk about buying local. Heeeelp.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 18, 2012
at 02:35 PM

Blossom- I would think you'd have to to regrind. Throw in some ground meat, few chunks of fat, repeat.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 18, 2012
at 09:30 AM

I see a new business for you in my crystal ball. Pack that up in some dry ice and ship it out to the rest of us who are paying $6+/lb. for ground grassfed.

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on February 18, 2012
at 12:55 AM

Totally not in Texas...just the breed name. :-)

0607529af9b78bb5b178f7ffabdc4693

(701)

on February 18, 2012
at 12:45 AM

Just curious... where in TX?

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on February 18, 2012
at 12:20 AM

Is it difficult to add into ground beef? I am trying to picture how that would work...I do possess a pro meat grinder, but I've never used it - regrind?

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on February 18, 2012
at 12:18 AM

Nope, by the pound. Good point. It's down the street, and it's $3.50. Durr.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 18, 2012
at 12:10 AM

Definitely ask for any extra fat. Even if you don't add it to your ground beef, you could render it down to tallow. Grass-fed lard is a beautiful, tasty thing.

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5 Answers

best answer

2
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on February 18, 2012
at 12:11 AM

Try it! (Unless you have to buy a side of it at once?)

85/15 is the lowest I go with ground beef, so you could add some fat or skip it.

Steaks depend on the breed and pasture.

We had 3 local producers where we used to live and I only liked the meat from one of them.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 18, 2012
at 09:30 AM

I see a new business for you in my crystal ball. Pack that up in some dry ice and ship it out to the rest of us who are paying $6+/lb. for ground grassfed.

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on February 18, 2012
at 12:18 AM

Nope, by the pound. Good point. It's down the street, and it's $3.50. Durr.

1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 18, 2012
at 06:03 AM

They are selling it as lean to market it to the low fat crowd. They will likely sell you meat with more fat. If it is grass fed it is worth it regardless of the fat level.

1
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on February 18, 2012
at 12:15 AM

grass fed is leaner but not all GRASS FED is the same. You need to invest time and finding the right farm or rancher. A good butcher should not cut the animal in the same way as a convential butcher does either. Cheaper cuts will be better.

0
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 18, 2012
at 04:03 AM

Depends what you want to do with it.

For making jerky from ground beef I go for as lean as possible.

Might be a good base for something like a bacon wrapped meatloaf.

0
7d01d86c539003eed77cf901bf037412

(1076)

on February 18, 2012
at 03:23 AM

She may mean it's not as well marbled -- you don't get much if any marbling in grass-fed -- in which case it could just be a matter of asking them not to trim cuts too close.

Another angle is just going for fatty cuts. I'd be really surprised if the brisket is lean, for example.

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