I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time and share simple tips for a perfectly tender steak. If we focus on these two easy things, our steaks will be of the highest quality and deliciously tender.
But first, let’s get real.
The last few years have been pretty hard on our pocketbooks, haven’t they? Meat prices fluctuated all over the place, and frequently beef was hard to buy. And finally, when we could buy steaks at the grocery store, the last thing we wanted to worry about was whether or not they would be tough, sinewy, or * gasp * tasteless.
You know me… I really like to keep things simple. So, here are two simple tips for a perfectly tender steak.
Tip #1: Unlock the flavor with salt.
I still remember when the New York Times bestseller Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat hit the bookshelves. I wanted to learn her simple elements that would help me master the elements of good cooking.
The book’s first chapter delves into salt, the flavor of salt, different types of salt, the effect that salt has on taste, and how it all works. Each sentence was fascinating and frustrating because I was reading it on my kindle, traveling somewhere. I wasn’t able to immediately put to use what I was learning.
I learned that salting meat in advance actually seasons your meat from within. With time, salt dissolves protein strands in the flesh and turns it into a gel. In other words, salting gives the meat moisture, softens the tough parts, and therefore makes it tenderer.
Friends… believe me when I say that salting truly unlocks the flavor of steak!
The first time I salted and left my meat in the fridge for a day, it blew me away. Sometimes (depending on the thickness and toughness of the steak), I will salt and leave it in the fridge for several days before cooking. The results are magnificent!
If you’re wondering how to salt, I made a quick little video showing how easy it is.
This post is happily sponsored by White Farms, which specializes in raising grass-fed Black Angus cattle on healthy pastures without antibiotics or pesticides. Located in Boone County, Arkansas.
Tip #2: Buy beef that grazes on good healthy soil.
Okay… can we just take a second and gaze upon this gorgeous ribeye steak for a moment?
Just look at the marbling!
You won’t get beautiful marbling like that from a feedlot cow.
Why is that?
White Farms is located near Harrison, Arkansas. It is a family-owned and operated, pesticide-free, and chemical-free cattle ranch focusing on land management (healthier than just wild pasture).
White Farms has over 1,000 acres and they practice a silvopasture system. This means they intentionally and intensively integrate trees and grazing livestock operations on the same land.
George White’s grandmother first purchased the family land, and his father added additional acreage over the years. It’s a family affair as his wife, daughter, and sons are happily active and supporting the farmland.
I’m happy to know my farmer.
George and his wife Renee attend the same church I attend (albeit in another town). When we visit their services, I love hearing him (well, both of them!) talk about taking care of the soil. They believe that taking good care of the earth is taking good care of the herd.
Farmer George shared with me, “Our belief in nature is that it is symbiotic and not competitive. We aren’t trying to force or mine the soil to get the most money. We are bringing life to its fullest potential, and our aim is to make available its bounty to those that have an appreciation of it!”
White Farms spends a lot of effort on soil health because they believe that it gets their beef to taste better and more tender than anything you can buy at the store. “It starts with soil health, making for healthy grass and cow diet.”
The cows are moved every day at White Farms. Paddocks are rotated to make available the diet cattle chose for themselves. Moving the cattle every day is done so that they eat whatever is current in the season. The cows get to choose.
There are no herbicides because some of the essential minerals are found in certain weeds. Farmer George believes that plants all have specific characteristics where they pick up certain minerals.
Grain is used mainly as a behavior incentive, like a dog trainer. They are constantly watching and changing locations so that moving the cows every day allows them to get the best diet.
White Farms sells their beef through shares. You buy a “share” of the animal, and you own it. Then, they raise the cow for you and eventually deliver it to Harpo’s Das Butcher Haus and Farm in Green Forest.
I know many people who have purchased a share of a cow and then split it with a family member or friends.
Now, it’s your turn.
If you’re interested in getting on the list to reserve a share, contact White Farms via their Facebook page (message Tovah) or call Rhonda at 870-613-4433.
Life is short.
Let’s make the most of it!
Eat joyfully and live happily,