Recipe Connection: Grassfed Beef Burgundy

Is “grassfed” a sort of status symbol when stamped on a recipe?

You betcha. You can make just about any recipe, especially one that cooks the meat for a long time and in liquid, with either grassfed or conventionally raised beef. It makes the recipe title sound fancy, though, doesn’t it?  😉

UPDATE: A commenter pointed out that it sounds like I’m saying grassfed beef is just the same, nutritionally, as grainfed beef. Not at all. I firmly stand by grassfed beef as higher in CLA, a healthy fat, than conventional beef. There are many, many reasons I purchase beef from our local organic grass farmer.

It’s just that sticking “grassfed” in my recipe just to sound hoity toity isn’t one of them.

If you’re buying beef from the store, you can make this recipe. If you’re using only grassfed beef, you can make most recipes for beef without adapting them at all. That’s all I’m saying. (You should cook grassfed beef for less time overall than store beef because of it’s lower fat content and tendency to get tough when overcooked on the grill or frying pan. Long, slow cooking of grassfed beef, or any beef, is a no-brainer that is hard to mess up.)

This is one of the recipes I was tossing around to share during “Get out the CAFOs” week, and I just didn’t squeeze it in.  What better time than review week?beef burgundy (4)

Grassfed Beef Burgundy
 
This recipe came from a local school’s fundraiser cookbook collection. Books like those are some of the best sources to find real, tested recipes that normal people like.  I modified it a bit, of course.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course
Ingredients
  • 2-3 lbs. round steak
  • 3 Tbs. butter, refined coconut oil, ghee or tallow
  • ¼ c. flour
  • 2 c. burgundy wine (any not-too-sweet red wine will do)
  • 3 medium onions, sliced
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ Tbs. dried parsley or 2 Tbs. fresh
  • 1 bay leaf
Instructions
  1. In a medium to large pot, saute mushrooms in fat, turning once (or just mixing them up until browned because your pot is full).
  2. Crush the garlic and set aside.
  3. Add onions and saute further until onions are transparent, better yet, browned.
  4. Add the carrots to the pot.
  5. Meanwhile, cut the beef into strips.
  6. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and saute for a few minutes until you can smell the garlic.
  7. Remove vegetables from the pot.
  8. Over medium high heat, brown the steak strips briefly, adding more fat as necessary.
  9. Remove meat from the pot as soon as it’s browned.
  10. Add another Tbs. of butter plus the flour to the pot. (See Cook's Notes for a gluten-free adaptation.)
  11. Whisk together until bubbly and add the wine, bringing the mixture nearly to a boil while whisking.
  12. Return the cooked food to the pan along with the parsley (if using dry) and the bay leaf.  Cover and simmer 3-4 hours on low.
  13. If using fresh parsley, add 10 minutes from the end.
  14. Serve over cooked noodles, fluffy brown rice or mashed potatoes

Cook’s notes:

  • I quadrupled the flour from the original recipe, mostly because I never get thick enough results when I only use a little flour.  We like our sauces to be saucy, not soupy.
  • Gluten-free adaptation: Add about 3 Tbs. arrowroot starch to a 1/2 cup cold water or beef broth. Whisk into the pot after bringing it to a boil right at the end of cooking.
  • I know Julia Child would tell me not to crowd my mushrooms, but I have kids.  I don’t have time to mess around babying my mushrooms.

sauteed mushrooms Other recipes for your grassfed beef (and the normal stuff, too):

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17 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. tonya says

    “Is “grassfed” a sort of status symbol? You betcha.”

    this illustrates one of my issues w/ grassfed beef & real food…food elitism. food should not be a status symbol. food is a necessity. giving organic/slow/local/grassfed/etc a superior status is wrong. we should not have to ration our consumption so as to afford these pricier alternatives or prevent their shortage (due to decreased production efficiency).

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Tonya,

    Good point – I will edit the post to make myself more clear. I didn’t mean that grassfed beef itself was only a status symbol – I firmly believe in the research that shows that grassfed meat is healthier in many ways than grainfed. I meant that in a recipe, saying “grassfed” is being a bit elitist, because any recipe can have grassfed or normal beef used in it. Sorry to fuel the elitist fire – didn’t mean that!
    Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    tonya Reply:

    what do you say to those who cannot afford to put grassfed beef into their recipes? I’m sure you probably say everyone can afford real food…and maybe they can if they ration their consumption & pinch every last penny out of their dollars…but that goes back to what I was saying about rationing. We should not have to ration ourselves, other than not being gluttons, of course.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Tonya,

    Some days I can barely afford grassfed beef – or at least don’t feel like I can, although I know there are people who really, truly can’t. I think rationing my food intake for the good of my budget or my health, or yes, even the health of the community/world as a whole is a very generous and service-oriented thing to do. I strive to live keeping all God’s children in mind, so I would eat less meat if it meant others could have better meat.

    Not everyone can afford real food. However, many who don’t think they can, probably can if they work at it. It’s the same thing with staying at home instead of working – many people think they “can’t” when they could if they penny-pinched. It’s about priorities and choosing to live your life and your budget with purpose.

    Here are some of my ideas for helping the food budget and what I would really tell people who can’t afford grassfed beef: “Buy what you can afford and pray your meal blessing.

    One last thought: I think I would be happier living in the 40s with sugar, meat and gasoline rationing, victory gardens, and the overwhelming national commitment to contributing to the greater good than I would in this day and age of cheap food and abundance.

    :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Natalie Reply:

    Tonya,

    There was a time when my family didn’t think we could afford grassfed either. So, we looked at what we were spending our money on. We cut out all fast food. At McDonald’s, even if we only ate there once a week, my family of four would drop $25-$30. That’s $100+/mo. We took that money and used it on grassfed meat. Unless you are eating meat every single day and more than once, it’s not, generally, going to cost you more than an extra $100/mo to fit it into your budget. But, we also cut back on the amount of meat we ate. We also stopped going to the movies as much and rented those dollar movies (Redbox) instead. We found a way to work Real Food into our budget. We had to get creative, but we did it. I think many many people can. It’s about finding your way on this journey and the timing. When you’re ready, you’ll figure out how to make it work. Baby steps and positive thinking are key.

    [Reply to this comment]

    tonya Reply:

    I have no interest in a true real food lifestyle. I’m 100% happy with conventionally produced ag products.

    My concern is, if we all convert all food to slow food, farmers won’t be able to feed the world population & I’m also extremely concerned when conventional food is labelled as crap & slow food is labelled as better. I also have serious issues with rationing (cutting down on consumption) as you say you have done, in order to afford, in this case, grassfed beef.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Tonya,
    I’m hesitant to leave your comment on this post, because I absolutely don’t agree with your selfish perspective, but censorship also makes me uncomfortable.

    MY concern is, if we all continue to eat cheap meat, the Gulf of Mexico will end up a dead zone because of nitrogen runoff from the Midwest (of course, that may be a moot point because of the oil making the Gulf a dead zone, sadly). I also have serious issues with convenience food choices affecting the rest of the eating community while people attack an individual family for choosing to eat less meat to prioritize something they think is important. Check out any of the frugal/budgeting blogs, and they will recommend reducing meat consumption in order to trim the budget in general, as well. It may be countercultural to use self-control and sacrifice, but it is not off the grid.
    Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Natalie Reply:

    Tonya,

    I think, over time, you’ll find that your take on this will be of the minority.

    Cutting back on meat and/or only eating grass-fed isn’t something that should just be done for environmental and animal cruelty reasons (have you seen the way feed-lot animals are treated/raised?). It’s also a serious health issue. Feed-lot meat is loaded with hormones that are very dangerous, especially to girls. I have heard many many cases as of late of families being told to cut out all feed-lot and dairy that is not guaranteed to be hormone free b/c their girls are starting puberty at very young ages. They are being told this by their pediatricians. A close friend of my husband recently faced this situation when his daughter begain regular periods at age 10. This puts these girls at high risk for breast cancer (and more). Their family doctor told them what I mentioned above. This father’s move: He bought cows to raise himself so he knows exactly what his family is eating. We can’t all go to those extremes, of course, but you get the point.

    It’s our responsibility to protect our children – and I feel it’s negectful not to reduce feed-lot meat consumption when we have learned of the risks (personal health and environmental) of consuming it. Not everyone is aware of the risks yet – but those of us who are, need to be using our conscience to guide us in how we eat.

    I think the risks of feed-lot meat are sure to hit mainstream media hard in the near future. Farmers can be retrained and we can raise cattle and grow crops differently. It’ll take time and creativity. But, it can be done and I think it will HAVE to be done. Just because we may not see it during this generation or next, doesn’t mean we should flat out ignore the very serious issue at hand.

    You can stop being stubborn and resistant to change and try to get on board and start making small changes by voting every day with your dollar or you can continue to contribute to this mess. Maybe, eventually, it’ll start bothering your conscience.

    I can assure you that my opinion and the way I choose to feed my family may be of the minority right now – but eventually it’ll become the majority.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Natalie,

    Thank you for the real life example! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  2. Annie says

    this sounds really good. I’ve been playing recently w/ using red wine to cook with our beef. Right now I’m braising(? slow cooking in the oven after searing?!) a flank roast (IIRC) that we got from a great local farmer for $3/lb!!! Couldn’t say no and bought four! I wish we had red wine to use with it. I don’t know if I care to be preparing food that’s a “status symbol”… not my style. hmmm… interesting lol

    [Reply to this comment]

  3. Sarah says

    I made this recipe last night! It was pretty easy, but my results were VERY rich. Is this normal for this recipe?

    I’ve never really made or eaten Beef Burgundy, so I don’t have anything to compare my results to. Just checking! :)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Sarah,
    You can definitely taste the wine, if that’s what you meant by rich. If it’s too much flavor, try adding some veggies right in with the meat to cut it a little. :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

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