Wade Redger was a life-long row-crop and feedlot operator in Kansas. Nearly his whole life he’d battled with health issues, and five years ago, his doctor finally put a finger on the problem. The answer was ironic: He was suffering from inflammation due to too many Omega-6’s in his diet. Why was it ironic? The very food he raised -- feedlot-based, grain-finished beef -- was sky high in Omega-6s. It was time, Wade thought, to make a change.
With the encouragement of his family, Wade began to research the health effects of grass-finished beef. What he found was that pasture-raised, grass-finished beef has very low Omega-6’s (the inflaming kind) and sky-high levels of Omega-3’s (the kind that actually reduce inflammation, and which Americans generally eat far too little of). That was enough for Wade. He made the switch from feedlot to grass-finishing.
Five years on, Redger Farms is one of the most health- and flavor-focused ranches in Kansas, and Wade couldn’t be fitter or happier.
“We feed our herd a mix of silage and hay,” Wade explains, “along with minerals, non-GMO molasses and apple cider vinegar. It gives our beef a very unique and mild flavor that’s uncommon for grass-finished beef and really delicious.”
The 100% Black and Red Angus herd graze Kansas pasture year-round on grasses including brome, triticale, and crabgrass. Wade’s dedication to pasture-based farming and the highest standards of animal welfare has led his farm to be GAP 4 Certified. It’s also Non-GMO certified, and Wade never uses chemicals, growth hormones, or implants.
The flavor, as we would describe it, is decidedly subtle and soft, unusually so for a grass-finished steak. It’s easy eating, and chock-full of healthful Omega-3 fatty acids.
Grass-fed, grass-finished beef is delicious, make no mistake about it. Speaking of mistakes, many people who write-off grass-fed beef make the mistake of preparing it the same as the grain-finished beef that they're so used to. At Crowd Cow, we've found more often than not, that the difference between a great grass-fed steak and a sub-par one all comes down to knowing how to cook it correctly.
At Crowd Cow, we've had the good fortune to taste a lot of grass-fed, grass-finished beef -- from different cuts and different producers. We've found that grass fed beef usually takes 25-30% less time to cook. You might be used to cooking your rib steaks 4 minutes per side, but for grass-fed beef, you'll want to only give it 3 minutes. Better yet, try sous-viding your grass-fed steaks or preparing them with a reverse-sear.
Lastly, consider a marinade or rub. These can often overwhelm more-mellow grain-finished beef, but are perfect for rounding out the flavor of grass-fed beef, and marinades in particular are helpful in keeping the meat moist, preventing it from overcooking and drying out.