About a week and a half ago, we got a very interesting email from a gentleman named Rod. Rod is the President of Rocky Mountain Organic Meats, and he was wondering if we would care to sample a cut of his certified organic, grass fed beef and do a review on it. In his email, he made the connection that certified organic and grass fed beef would be perfect for anyone following the Paleo lifestyle. We were excited to hear those magic words, and gladly accepted his offer. (We are not being compensated in any way for this review, other than the gift of the beef which we have enjoyed, by the way.) Around this time, we received a plea from one of our followers to try our hand at making a grass fed roast that would be juicy and flavorful. The timing was perfect for both emails, so we responded to Rod with a request for a chuck roast.
What arrived a few days later was a proverbial treasure chest of Certified Organic beef. Not only did we receive a 3lb. chuck roast, but we also were surprised with two grass fed burgers, some beef jerky, and a flank steak! Needless to say, it was a very kind gesture of Rod to send along extra cuts which we had not asked for. While we plan on doing recipes involving the burgers and flank steak in the near future, I will quickly note that the beef jerky tasted great! We tweeted a few times about the “grass fed” beef that had just arrived from RMOM. To our surprise, we received a direct message on twitter from Rod, saying that “Certified Organic” is the important point with their beef, not so much grass fed, and to give him a phone call. We were intrigued! In this age of Facebook, email, and text messaging – it seems like we actually talk to one another less and less. So, we picked up the phone and spoke with Rod.
On the other end of the line, we were greeted by a boisterous and friendly voice. He was out tending to his cattle – one of whom had decided she would jump a breach in the fence. Nonetheless, Rod was neither brief nor curt with us in what could have been a stressful situation for him. Rather, he took a great deal of time to talk to us about the importance of the USDA Certified Organic program. Being a 3rd generation cattle farmer, Rod knows a thing or two about the livestock industry. He told us that the language that defines USDA livestock regulations is much more strict for Certified Organic livestock than the language for Grass Fed. In the eyes of the USDA, corn is seen as a grass (did you just gasp like we did?). Not only that, but the permitted feed for Grass Fed beef can contain milled corn and even grain. Rocky Mountain Organic Meats raises their animals the old-fashioned way; no steroids or growth hormones, no antibiotics and no grain. All of their beef is 100% grass fed and grass finished, so you can be sure you’re getting the best beef on the market. It’s a win-win for both the animal and the consumer.
We’ve paraphrased the bulk of our conversation with Rod, but hope he will take some time to be a guest speaker on our podcast in the coming weeks to expand upon this topic. His knowledge of the beef industry is vast, and he is a friendly, intriguing guy. If you want to learn more about USDA Certified Organic meat and the regulations for livestock, Rod provided us with some great links to pass along:
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- http://www.rockymtncuts.com/catalog/how-our-beef-is-raised.php (the RMOM website is full of great information too!)
Our recipe today is a dish that many of us have enjoyed – a classic pot roast. I (Bill) grew up on many nights of hearty, beef stews and pot roasts. Aside from the wonderful aroma of a pot roast, there is something so satisfying about a warm, savory pot roast filled with vegetables on a cold winter night. The home-cooked version I knew growing up had just a few key ingredients: beef, potatoes, vegetables and broth. Remaking this recipe into a Paleo-friendly version was a cinch with Hayley’s food expertise. She decided that substituting turnips and parsnips for the potatoes as the primary starch would be perfect. We rounded out the recipe with carrots, onion and some Imagine organic beef stock. It all gets tossed into a crock pot and left to cook for 6-8 hours – so simple! The key to juicy, grass fed beef success is “low and slow” – ie. low heat for a long time!
- 3lb Chuck Roast (certified organic, grass fed – on sale now at RMOM!)
- 4-5 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 large onion, cut into chunks
- 5 turnips, quartered
- 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 cups Trader Joe’s beef broth
- 1 tbsp of salt and pepper
- bouquet garni: thyme, sage, 1 bay leaf, and 3-5 cloves of garlic
- Clean and chop all vegetables.
- Place vegetables to cover bottom of a crock pot dish.
- Place chuck roast in crock pot, and place remainder of vegetables around roast.
- Pour in two cups of beef broth, and sprinkle salt and pepper over the top.
- Place lid on crock pot, and cook on low for 6-8 hours. About 1-2 hours before finishing, place bouquet garni into crock pot and continue to cook on low.
This is a simple recipe which is enough food to enjoy for several meals – a real score when you don’t have to do much work in the first place. The chuck roast was one of the best cuts of meat I’ve ever had. It had just the perfect amount of fat – which made it doubly good for this pot roast, because the fat gave the broth an incredible dose of flavor. The meat came out juicy and tender, so I give Rocky Mountain two enthusiastic thumbs up and our seal of approval! It even had Hayley, who does not eat beef, wishing the case were otherwise. Look for recipes in the next week or two for the organic, grass fed burgers and the flank steak, too.