Friday, January 29, 2016

Using Milk to Tenderize Beef


I'm excited. We fried up our first Jersey steaks tonight. Those bull calves just jumped a lot in my estimation.

But we didn't just do steaks the "normal" way. We did an experiment.

Dad has a keen sense of what texture, taste and properties he wants to experience in the food that he sells to others. And he cares enough to dig into the processes that contribute to raising that food as well.

When a customer told Dad they learned that milk can tenderize beef, Dad knew this was something we had to try.

So we did.

This afternoon I grabbed our trusty kitchen guide to grass-fed cooking, Shannon Hayes' Grass-fed Gourmet cookbook, and flipped to a recipe for bison sirloin steak (pg 42).

Since Jersey beef is naturally lean, I thought it made sense to try a bison recipe. Cooking times might be longer. On top of the breed difference, the fact that the steer was harvested at a younger than prime size (700lb) could also make a difference.

Using the simple ingredients of basil, coarse salt, pepper, and olive oil, I slathered the first T-bone steak and rubbed in the seasonings.

Then I took the other steak out of the fridge. It was about 16 hours ago that I submerged the T-bone's twin from the package in a baking pan of creamy raw Jersey milk.

The milk dipped steak held the seasonings well, so I only rubbed in the mixture and prepared it just like the other steak.

As the recipe said to do, I let them sit for a bit. Then, drying them off, I seared them for 3 minutes per side on the stove in a bare skillet.

Mistake #1. Don't sear in a bare stainless skillet! The house looked like a chimney and smoke curled everywhere.

After the searing, both steaks were set on a baking sheet to slowly cook for a couple hours while I went out to milk.

Long story short, here's the response:

Written November 2015