How to Make a Great Steak

Everyone wants to eat a great tasting steak, but where does the flavor come from? Once you select your cut you can marinate it, if you type that in on Google you’ll get a jillion recipes, or you can have it cut to a certain thickness, or aged a certain way.

You can slow cook it with low heat, fast cook it with high heat, eat it rare or well done. You could boil it, fry it, sear it, broil it, or grill it and the list goes on and on.

However I think the recipe for a great steak starts long before you select your cut of meat. It starts with the animal! Really a lot of things about the animal come into play but today we are just going to consider a couple.

I think one of the single most influences on your steak is what the animal had to eat both while it was in the growing phase and the finishing or fattening phase. I have to admit the first grass finished beef I raised was not very tasty. When I looked into it a little bit I figured out why right quick, this calf had a diet of only one kind of plant all through his finishing stage. Can you image eating the same exact meal day in and day out every day for 14 to 16 months? Yuck!

So when you add variety like multiple species of grass and legumes and other forage you actually are creating a flavorful steak. If you add to that nutrient rich plants, thick and green and lush with no chemicals on them, that adds to the flavor of the meat as well.

If you think about it, a calf was not created to have a grain based diet anyway. They will adapt and learn to eat it and do well on it but they were created to eat grass.

The other thing that influences flavor and tenderness is the way the live calf was handled. If he was spooked very easily and always panicked or shied quickly away from things then no matter what you feed him him he is likely to be average tasting at best. I’ve found that when I have a young calf that is a bit shy of people or equipment if I will spend some time on several occasions walking thru the herd and not really trying to do anything with them but just getting the accustomed to being moved and handled they settle right down. Some calves this may only take a couple trips and others maybe several, but then when you need to handle them or move their pasture they are much easier and safer to be around.

So the secret recipe for a great steak starts with knowing your farmer/rancher and how the calf was raised and what it was fed and how it was handled.

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