Today I grilled pastured pork on the bonfire. We we have bonfires we usually cook a stew so grilling is new to me. In the kitchen we typically slow cook big pieces of meat in the oven in a glaze or tomato based sauce or use small bits of meat in a dish. I have had customers ask about grilling relative to pastured meat so I’m learning about this great American pastime. Apparently grilling grass fed meat can be a little tricky since pastured livestock have less fat on the cuts and less marbling than confinement corn/soy fed animals with traditional breeds although modern confinement breeds are also very low marbling – “the other white meat” as they say.
From what I have read on the net the secret seems to be to sear the meat quickly over a hot fire to lock in the juices and then cook more slowly for the remaining time over a lower temperature being careful not to overcook the meat. I followed that advice on the hamburgers above and they were tender & delicious. These are true hamburgers as the meat came from the once ground hams of a 5 year old pastured sow. Another trick several people have mentioned is using thicker cuts of meat – 1.5″ pork chops instead of 3/4″ or 1″ chops. I didn’t follow that rule on these, they were only about 3/4″ thick patties.
There is an interesting book, “The Farmer and the Grill” by Shannon Hayes of Sap Bush Hollow Farm in New York. I have not ordered the book yet but probably will.
If you have secrets to successfully grilling, or otherwise cooking, pastured meat I would be interested in hearing them.
Outdoors: 62°F/27°F Sunny
Farm House: 60°F/55°F
Tiny Cottage: 58°F/50°F cutting block, selecting granite