We're down to the last of our yearly grass-fed beef. All the ground beef is gone — long gone — so I'm finding ways to cook the odds and ends in the freezer: stew meat, tri-tip, some gorgeous grass-fed steaks, and various roasts. Necessity is the mother of invention, they say, and I would agree. I've had a fun time learning and getting better at cooking grass-fed meat.
Looking for resources on grass-fed meat cooking? It doesn't behave the same as feed-lot meat. My favorite resources are: the Grass-Fed Cooking blog by Shannon Hayes or her book Grass-Fed Gourmet. And in Fundamentals II eCourse, I share everything I know — including all my favorite recipes — in the lesson on Pastured Meats.
Last night, I made a warming beef and cabbage soup from beef stew meat. Mmmm… the soup got rave reviews from all five of us. We can't wait to eat the leftovers for lunch. A keeper for sure!
Warming Beef and Cabbage Soup
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 to 3 pounds grass-fed beef stew meat (or lamb, buffalo, goat or wild game)
- 8 cups stock or water, plus additional as needed
- bay leaf
- 1 to 2 onions, coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 6 ounces wild mushrooms or organic crimini mushrooms (optional)
- 1/2 cabbage, cored and chopped into bite-size pieces
- 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus additional as needed
- 1/2 tablespoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley (or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped)
- 4 cups cooked brown rice* (see instructions for soaking and cooking here)
*If you want to cook the rice along with the soup instead of separately, add 2 cup of soaked rice grain to the pot where you see the * in the recipe below.
Over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large stockpot. Add the stew meat and brown thoroughly on all sides. Add the stock or water and the bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and let simmer several hours, covered, until meat is tender. Replenish water as needed to keep it to the same level. *If using pre-soaked rice grain, add it when beef is tender. Let rice simmer and cook with the meat for another half hour, or until tender, before proceeding with the recipe.
Over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a cast-iron skillet. Add the onions, garlic and mushrooms. Cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add to stock pot. Add cabbage to soup. Simmer until cabbage is tender, but still has crunch. Add sea salt, pepper and parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve over warm, cooked brown rice (unless rice is cooked in the soup according to alternate instructions above).
What are your favorite ways to prepare grass-fed meats? What do you do when you're down to the odds and ends of a bulk pastured meat purchase?
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