Glossary

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Cooking Terms

Sear

Cook over high heat to develop a flavorful "crust" that is caramelized and/or crispy .  This can be the main cooking method, as for thin-cut steaks or chicken breast filets, or as the first step in building flavor for a roast or stew.  Learn more

Roast

Cook in the oven at anywhere from 225-400F.  Depending on your recipe, you may be instructed to cover or uncover the meat; start at a higher temperature then lower the heat.  Learn more

Braise

This is a gentle cooking method that takes uses time and liquid to turn more textured cuts of meat into silky, meltingly-tender morsels.  Generally, you'll want to use a combination of water, broth and/or wine and make sure your pan is tightly covered, so the liquid doesn't evaporate during cooking.  Learn more

Use Indirect Heat

Turn your grill into an oven to get the best of both worlds: the intense crust-forming sear from cooking directly over coals (or gas flame); and a tender, evenly-cooked interior developed by moving the meat onto a side of the grill that has no coals (or the burner turned off).  Learn more

Brine

Soak meat for 6-24 hours in a solution of water, salt, sugar and aromatics to make it more flavorful and more tender.  Since kosher meat is already salted, we dial down the salt in our brines, but still recommend them for turkeys and Rose Veal.  Learn more

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Farming Practices & Food Labels

As more and more people are considering how their meat is being raised, food producers are making more and more claims about their practices. We dont blame you if you find it all a little confusing! Heres a quick run-down of all the terms you might encounter, and what they do (and don't) tell you about your meat.

Organic

Organic guidelins are regulated by the National Organic Program (NOP) and certified by third party agencies. Organic meat and poultry: eat only organic feed (by definition, organic feed is non-GMO and not sprayed with chemical pesticides or herbicides unless they are on the OMRI acceptable substance list); were never given hormones or antibiotics for any purpose; and must have access to the outdoors, including access to pasture for ruminants (in practice this can mean a door on the side of a barn that, while it may be open, animals may never be encouraged to use it).

Pastured or Pasture-Raised

While this term is not certified by the USDA, it is the one phrase you can look for if you want meat that has been raised outdoors on actively managed pasture using the techniques of rotational grazing on nutrient dense forage crops. "Free-range" doesnt necessarily mean that the animals are actually ranging for this, look for the words pastured, raised on pasture or grass-fed. Pastured meat may be fed some grain as a supplement to their grass-based diet, especially in the winter when it is harder to meet nutritional needs through hay and silage.

Grass-Fed

Animals must eat only forage grasses after they are weaned; they may never be fed any grain or grain products. During the growing months this can come from outdoor pastures; in the winter, animals may eat hay, silage or other crops as long as they do not contain grain.

Grass-Finished or Grain-Finished

Finishing refers to achieving a full weight and desirable marbling (little ribbons of fat in the muscle tissue that contribute to the juiciness and flavor of the meat). Some farmers prefer to finish their cattle on grain because it helps the animals gain weight and increases the marbling of the meat, making it more tender as well. Feeding cows grain at the end of their lives does not erase the benefits of raising them on pasture, and it is not the equivalent of keeping them in a CAFO their entire life. Grow and Behold will offer both grass-finished and grain-finished meats. Grain-finished beef can be brought to finished weight more quickly than grass finished meat and is more tender. The jury and the science is still out on which is better for the environment, as grass finished cows live long and emit more methane gas over the course of their life. Grow and Behold Pastured Beef are generally finished on a diet of about 50% grain, with the remainder being high quality forage. This is a safe amount of grain for the cows stomach to handle, and allows us to consistently finish cattle year-round. Raising animals for meat is complex, and we dont have all the answers yet. At Grow & Behold Foods, our first goal is to produce the most environmentally friendly, best tasting, highest quality meat in a transparent manner. So you can make the decision on what is best for you and your family.

Free-Range or Free-Roaming

Producers must demonstrate that the poultry has access to the outdoors. However, its quite likely that your free-range chicken never actually spent anytime outside. Most chickens raised for meat in the this country are bred to grow quickly, not to forage through the grass. Chickens can be raised in a pen with a small door that gives them access to the outdoors and be called free-range. Unfortunately, these chickens don't have to ever leave the barn, and usually don't. Our Sara's Spring Chicken are raised outdoors, on grass, which ensures a healthier life for the animals and a tastier product.

Natural

A product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed (a process which does not fundamentally alter the raw product) may be labeled natural. To label meat as natural it only needs to be raised without hormones.

No Hormones

The USDA prohibits the use of hormones in raising poultry. For beef, hormones are allowed, and frequently used to speed up growth. Hormone-free beef means that no hormones were used, and the producer provides documentation to support this claim.

No Antibiotics

When animals are raised in confinement, disease is common. Cows and chickens are fed antibiotics as preventative measures, whether they are sick or not. Many consumers worry about the excessive use of antibiotics in livestock raising and its potential effect on human health. No antibiotics means that the animals were never fed antibiotics.

Kosher

Certified by a third party agency; refers to the kind of animal, the method of slaughter and preparation of the meat. Read more about the process of making kosher meat and Grow and Behold's kosher supervision.