Cooking events with celebrity chefs are very popular events at food festivals. At the Taste of the Hawaiian Range at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island, Chef Hubert Des Marais of the Fairmont Orchid led a wonderful cooking demonstration. Sharing his knowledge and experience using local Hawaiian grass-fed beef, chef Hubert shared cooking ideas, techniques and tips to prepare a variety of grass-fed beef dishes.
Grass-fed beef tends to have less fat than its counterparts so it's wiser to always keep the fat that is already there. Even though grass-fed beef is leaner, it's benefits include lower fat and less calories per serving. It is also high in good fatty acids like Omega 3s and the meat actually taste better than regular grain fed steer.
Here are some worthwhile tips that Chef Hubert shared with the audience:
1) Choose your meat wisely and in accordance with how you will be preparing it. With any grilled meats, it's better to stick with a flank, skirt, tenderloin or sirloin steak. It's easy to use these cuts by frying or grilling the meat. Chef Hubert does not suggest trimming away any of the fat since the meat is fairly lean already. Do not cook with any salt since it draws out the moisture, just sprinkle it on the meat after wards.
2) For stews or roasts, stick with brisket, tongue or roasts and cook these slowly and at low temperatures. For these particular cuts follow the techniques below to prepare the meat.
You may brine the meat by using a mix of salt, sugar, garlic with cold water poured over the meat- let it set for 24 hours in the fridge.
To use a dry rub technique, mix the meat with a blend of spices and herbs and let it sit for 8 to 24 hours in the fridge.
Drain the brine and rinse and sear the brined meat in a heavy skillet. The dry rubbed beef can be cooked as is. Afterwards, transfer into a crock pot or cook in low temperature on the stove for at least 8 hours.
3) For tougher meats like top round, common in the meat department, you need to tenderize the beef. Using a tenderizing agent like a blended whole Papaya is ideal. Dip the top round into the papaya mix and allow to rest for 8 hours to overnight in order for the meat to tenderize.
Local grass-fed beef from Hawaii can be found on each island at KTA stores, Foodland, Island Naturals and Whole foods. Always ask your local butcher if they do offer local grass-fed beef and enjoy the delicious cuts.