On grass-fed lamb:
I have found that grass-fed lamb is not that different from store bought lamb, and in all honesty a lot of lamb in the supermarkets is grass-fed because lamb is not a commodity like chicken, pork or beef in America. I love to grill lamb shoulders: absolutely delicious, their fat gets crispy, and there is beautifully charred marrow in the bones.
Spring Lake Lamb with Dill and Paprika Rub
My favorite spice rub for lamb is:
- 1 teaspoon dill (or a tablespoon of fresh dill)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- A dash or two of garlic powder
- And two dashes of soy sauce…
Another great flavor combo for grilled lamb is fresh rosemary, olive oil, sliced garlic and lots of salt and pepper. (Remember to heavily salt grilled meats because grilling meat decreases saltiness).
On Grass-fed Beef:
The best advice for cooking grass-fed beef is that you will want to cook the steaks at a lower temperature, further way from the flame for a shorter time. I have had an amazing grass-fed steak at Back Forty where they grilled the steak until medium rare, and served an herb sauce on the side which included cilantro and parsley (I think the Colombians serve steak this way). This is a great way to introduce guests to grass-fed beef because they can experience the grass-fed flavors, but also see how fantastic flavors tastes along with the robust leanness of the steak. I am a big fan of bold flavors; my father thinks all you need for a steak is freshly cracked pepper and salt. He likes to taste his meat and he is proud of it and he is right, but that does not mean that steak rubs cannot bring a steak to another level. Not only that, a lot of grass-fed steaks are not up to the quality that one would like, and rubs are a wonderful way to make a steak fantastic.* In the winter you might feel inclined to cook the steaks French style, with a delicate sauce, but in summer you can ease up and rubs are a great way of kicking up the flavor with little effort.
My Ancho Chili Rub
- 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder or chili powder
- 1 tablespoon red chili pepper flakes(less if you do not like it spicy)
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
Preparation: Mix together, place in glass jar, use whenever you want a spicy kick!
A note on price. Spices are expensive, I am lucky enough to live in New York where you can find thousands of excellent spices inexpensively. Go to any Chinese, Indian or Mexican market and you can get quality spices for very little. My bi-annual spice runs, are always accompanied with a meal in the neighborhood, which is another source for inspiration! For those of you in small towns, there are more and more ethnic markets opening up that cater to immigrants I recommend going and stocking up on spices, condiments and herbs.
*I mentioned before that consistency in grass-fed production is still an issue that all producers are trying to prefect. For this reason, stews and slow cooked grass-fed beef recipes are always excellent, but grilling can really bring out the faults in a producer’s methods. Even with this said when a grass-fed steak is done well, it will tell a story like no other and tastes far superior to its grain fed counterpart. You can taste the herbs, the grass, and you get an intense beef flavor like no other. Look no further then Argentina where grass-fed beef, and especially the grilled kind, has become an art form. I have high hopes for American grass-fed beef. In fact ,there are more and more producers meeting and sharing meat and methods all in the hopes of making grass-fed American beef first class.
What are your grilling tips? Please share!
Written By Ulla on June 25, 2009