Last month I received a tweet from @Grassfedorganic that said, “Omnivore?” My reply was, “Yes, most definitely!” @Grassfedorganic is the twitter handle for Rocky Mountain Organic Meats. The CEO, Rod Morrison, generously offered to send me some of their grass-fed meat to try in my kitchen. They have a variety of products from ground meat to beef jerky to deli meats. I told him that I loved brisket, but looked forward to trying any of their beef products. Located in Wyoming, Rocky Mountain Organic Meats offers certified organic grass-fed beef and lamb through their website. According to the Rocky Mountain Organic Meats website:
“Each of our farmers and ranchers, as well as our processing plant has been inspected and certified organic. This means that our livestock have not been given antibiotics, growth hormones, genetically modified organisms or animal by-products and have eaten only organic feed such as certified organic pasture grasses.”
|Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Meats.|
I’ll add my usual disclosure here. I did not receive any compensation for writing about Rocky Mountain Organic Meats. They generously sent over an assortment of products for me to taste (no obligation to review), and all opinions expressed are my honest opinion. Here’s a look at the assortment:
|Beef Jerky, Hot Dogs, Brisket, |
Beef Sticks, Ground Brisket, and Beef Pastrami
I love brisket. Smoked, braised, or stewed I will eat it. It’s a cut of meat that lends itself to creativity. Over the summer I smoked the brisket on the backyard grill and enjoyed it with pickled onions. With three feet of snow on the ground and more piling on every other day (that’s what it feels like!), we have to stick with indoor cooking for the time being. Rod sent a 2 pound grass-fed brisket for me to try. When our package first arrived, we opened the Styrofoam cooler and looked under the still-frozen solid ice packs to check out the goods. We put most of the products in the freezer, except for honey pepper beef jerky and the brisket. I can’t remember ever eating beef jerky and the hubby has never really liked jerky of any kind. But this he liked. It was because he felt confident that the ingredients were natural (not like the convenience store jerky). We gnawed on pieces of spicy sweet jerky for a few days for snacks and it was gone pretty quickly.
We also tried the organic beef hotdogs for a quick weeknight dinner with coleslaw and baked beans. The hot dog ingredient list is full of recognizable items: 100% USDA Certified Organic Grass Fed Beef, Water, Organic Black Pepper, Organic White Pepper, Organic Paprika, Organic Ground Mustard, Organic Ground Celery, Organic Granulated Garlic, Sea Salt and Celery Juice Power. I can’t even tell you the last time we ate hot dogs outside of a baseball game or cookout. These were smoky and beefy and if you are craving a hot dog will do the trick.
For the brisket, I wanted to keep it simple to make sure I could taste the flavor of the meat. Rod sent an email describing their meat:
“This beef has never ever seen a feedlot, and does know what corn looks like or taste like. I believe you’re going to taste flavors that you have never had before. Understand that when the cowboys from Texas drove cattle north the cattle got fatter. The high mountain grasses of the Rocky Mountains carry a lot more protein and mineral than always green grasses of the south”.
Using my grandmother’s basic brisket cooking method, I substituted my own flavors for a New England Winter Brisket. I also wanted to make barbecue sauce to top it off. With access to really great locally produced maple products this winter, I’ve been adding maple to a lot of my recipes. For the brisket I used granulated maple sugar, ground roast dark coffee and salt and pepper. While the brisket cooked for a few hours I made a homemade mustard-maple barbecue sauce to top it off. The sauce came out sweet & tangy and was made me think about summer (even with all the snow).
So how did the brisket stack up? The brisket was 2 pounds and had a thin layer of fat on one side. I usually trim off most of the fat, leaving just a few pieces. Grass-fed beef is generally leaner than conventional beef, so it isn’t necessary to trim all the fat away. It will help baste the meat as it cooks. Regular brisket can sometimes shrink in size almost by half after cooking. I weighed the Rocky Mountain brisket before and after cooking for comparison. Since I did trim off some fat, the brisket didn’t shrink very much. It was 1/2 pound lighter after cooking. That meant more to eat! Brisket holds up well to long cooking times, but in general it’s best to cook grass-fed beef for less time than regular beef. Because it is so lean, it will dry out and overcook faster.
New England Maple-Coffee Brisket
This is best prepared the day before you want to serve.
2 pound brisket, some fat trimmed
1/4 cup granulated maple sugar
1/4 cup ground dark roast coffee
1 tablespoon kosher salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper (to taste)
1/4 cup beef broth
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a small bowl mix together maple sugar, coffee, salt and pepper
Place brisket on a large piece of foil (large enough to wrap meat in)
Sprinkle 1/2 of the rub on top and massage into meat, turn the brisket over and repeat on the other side
Sprinkle beef broth on top and wrap tightly
Place wrapped meat in a large roasting pan
Roast for 2 hours
Remove the pan from oven and take brisket out of the foil, placing it on a large platter for about 30 minutes
Wrap in new foil and refrigerate
Drain any juices from the original foil and the platter into a container, refrigerate
On Serving Day:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Slice brisket into 1/8 inch slices, being sure to cut against the grain (short fibers = more tender meat)
Place meat into a roasting pan or casserole with either the gravy or barbecue sauce
Cook for 20-30 minutes before serving
Sweet & Tangy Maple BBQ Sauce
Warning: You may want to drink it…
Makes 3-4 cups of sauce, depending on how you measure
2 cups of tomato ketchup
3/4 cup Grade A Dark Amber Maple Syrup (or Grade B)
1/4 cup prepared Dijon mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons mustard powder
In a large saucepan, heat ketchup over medium-high heat (wear an apron – it bubbles!)
Whisk in the remaining ingredients, bring to a bubble and then lower heat
Simmer for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
I wrote down the recipe as I went, but I know I tweaked amounts while I cooked. I’m pretty sure I added extra maple and extra mustard powder, but no record of how much. Have fun and tweak it to your liking!
I served the brisket on toasted hot dog rolls with a generous serving of sauce (that's my Sunshine Soup on the side). The sauce is so delicious that I’ve been topping rice, chicken, couscous, really anything I can get my hands on with it. I hope that you enjoy!
For a fun take on barbecue and the taste of summer in winter, head over to my friend’s blog at The Food in My Beard for barbecue soup!
Thank you Rod and Rocky Mountain Organic Meats for sharing your delicious grass-fed beef. To learn more about them, visit their website at http://www.rockymtncuts.com/.
Next on the list to make are burgers using the ground brisket. What's your favorite beef cut to cook?
|Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Organic Meats|