How to Cook a Grass-Fed Steak

Happy Tuesday, Hen House readers!

Today we bring you a recipe/method for cooking grass-fed steaks. Drawing on help from Shannon Hayes’ extraordinary cookbook, Daniel Salatin recently cooked us all New York Strip Steaks for lunch…and we all just about fell over, they were so good!

Many people making the transition from conventional to grass-fed meats don’t realize that they also need to transition their cooking skills. Pastured steaks are leaner and are often times done cooking sooner than a conventional  steak would be.

For the optimal flavor, texture, and overall experience with your grass-fed steak, try this method and let us know what you think!

You will need:

2 Polyface NY Strip Steaks (or another grass-fed steak)

A marinade of your choice

Olive oil, real butter, or lard

A meat thermometer


Allow steaks to thaw, and leave in fridge for a few days to a week to “wet age.”

On cooking day, marinate steaks for 2 hours in the fridge.

Remove steak from marinade, and allow to come to room temperature (takes about 1 to 1 ½ hours).

Warm a cast iron or regular saucepan over medium-high heat.

Once heated, add a bit of olive oil, real butter, or lard to cover the bottom of the pan.

Salt and pepper both sides of the steaks, place in pan and add a thin layer of the olive oil, butter, or lard to the side that’s facing up. Make sure the steaks are not touching while in the pan.

Place meat thermometer in the side of one steak so you can watch it during the entire cooking process (you’re looking for a temperature of 120 degrees, but not higher than 125 degrees)

Cook 5-6 minutes; flip to other side and cook 5-6 more minutes.

Remove from heat and tent with foil to rest for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

*NOTE: All NY strip steaks in particular have  a single layer of fat that can be quite tough – for best flavor, do not trim it until after the cooked steak has rested.

Do you have any grass-fed meat cooking methods you’d like to share with the Hen House? List them in the comments!

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About Brie Aronson

Brie Aronson came to Polyface from southern California. During college, she was diagnosed with food allergies and had to begin asking about the source of every single thing she put in her mouth. This led to an interest in all things food and she sought out a way to learn how it can be produced ethically and sustainably. Her desire is to help people shift their focus from counting calories, being intimidated by their kitchens, and being disconnected from the land to one that experiences the life-giving enjoyment of food. Having completed the internship in summer 2010, she now assists with the buying clubs and sales building, leads school tours of the farm, and will be the summer 2012 farm cook.

7 Responses to How to Cook a Grass-Fed Steak

  1. says:

    Thank you Brie. Here in Illinois we have Tallgrass brand grass fed beef available. We usually put ours on the grill. Will try it the way you suggested next time. Love your Hen House blog. Would like a search function on the site if possible, please.

    We have an orchard this year for the first time and will be learning so much about all the mixed fruit and how to preserve in various ways.


  2. c lall says:

    Now…. have read and enjoyed Shannon’s book. You say to Let it thaw and ‘wet age’ . We will need to educate the consumer to ‘ plan ahead’ and not s
    just take it out of the freezer and pop in the micro to thaw, and then cook. Like the method, and the meat. too.

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  4. CC says:

    This will make a killer London Broil: We pre-marinate steaks (top loin, bottom loin) in meal-sized portions in the freezer (freeze them in their marinade- can be oil/vinegar, bbq, whatever you prefer). We like the thick, 1 1/2″ or so thick steaks, and the freezing really seems to help the marinade penetrate all the way into the meat. Then when it’s time to cook them, we do it fast, London Broil style (5 minutes per side or so, 1-2″ under the broiler) to get a nice crispy outside (browned/with a little char) and a tender, pink middle. The fast cooking keeps it from getting tough, and the other “trick” is to make sure you cut the strips across the grain for a more tender “bite.” This is pretty good even without a marinade, but you might want to use a seasoned salt or something on the top.

  5. Julie Drigot says:

    My husband recently cooked up four grass fed t-bones on the grill, very little time but they came out pretty overdone. We were disappointed but they were fine with steak and eggs for breakfast the next day. He resisted my urging to marinate with more fat (olive oil). I’m sending him this blog. Thanks.

  6. aumcchildren says:

    I recently bought my grassfed beef from another farmer and he said the key to cooking a steak is hot and quick. He cooks his on the grill. He covers both sides with olive oil first then salts both sides. He said no salt then has to be oil then salt..and then hot and quick..5 minutes max on both sides. It will make it just pink inside which is the way he and I like it. I hope to try it soon as it stops raining!

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