How I Like Your Meat

Greetings, and may God bless you;

I'm Dale H. and family from Ballwin, Mo. with an update on how I like your meat so far.  I have prepared some of the following so far: ground beef, chuck steak, skirt steak, sirloin, and the brisket.  I still have most of the skirt, sirloin, chuck, and burger left.

The chuck steak I cooked very slow and indirect.  I don't think I could have gotten it any more tender without marinating overnight.  I just seasoned it and smoked it for about three hours with a bbq mop.  It was good, and most of it was tender, a few chewier parts, flavor was very good.  I cooked the smaller package (about 0.8 lbs) of skirt steak along with it.  It was marinated for about four hours in a combo of cooking sherry, olive oil, lime juice, and water (long enough for flavoring but not nearly long enough to tenderize).  The boiled marinate was used as a mop.  It turned out very good and was about as tender as could be expected without an overnight marinate.  Flavor was very good.

I thawed out a sirloin to try and wasn't too careful with preparation.  I just seasoned it a little and grilled it.  Seared it quickly then indirect low heat until done.  I got it a little "doner" than intended but mostly medium to medium rare.  It was wonderfully flavorful and plenty tender.  Very juicy too.  You guys are selling yourself short on the tenderness issue.  The only thing I would like to see different is the cut thickness.  These are 3/4" and for sirloins I like 1 1/4".  Your meat is tender enough to handle it, I think.

I cooked a brisket tonight on the smoker.  Six hours slow.  So slow that it wasn't done enough yet.  No special treatment, just some spices for a rub and throw it on. At this point it is thoroughly smoked but still very chewy (and still very juicy, not at all dry).  Next is my secret braising method.  Take it off the smoker, cut it in half, and place it in a 5 qt. pot with 24 oz. of beer and a cup of BBQ sauce.  Throw in some sliced onions and seasonings and simmer it for 3 (yes 3) more hours.  It will become pleasingly tender while retaining all the juiciness and smoky flavor.  Make a great gravy by thickening the braising liquid.  Together it is awesome.  As my daddy used to say,  "If the good lord made anything better than that, He saved it for the chosen people."

The ground beef is so good I can't find words.  I made seven burgers out of two pounds of meat and they were marvelously good.  My kids scarfed them up like candy and pronounced them the no. 1 burger ever.  My wife and I agree.

In short, the flavor of your grass-fed beef is markedly cleaner and richer than store bought (to say nothing of the health benefits).  The chuck steak and skirt steak will benefit from a 24 hour marinate (I'll tell you the results).  The sirloin should be 1 to 1 1/4" because it is tender enough to handle that thickness no problem (I know you are experiencing processing difficulty).  And the brisket was great as I prepared it.  The ground meat...let's just say I'm glad I bought 20 lbs.

We pray for your endeavors, The H.'s (Dale, Deni, Kent, Cori, Kirk, & Clint) July 21, 2002