Owner/Chef Kevin Hanney of 12th Avenue Grill in Honolulu travels to the Big Island every year to participate in Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range. He debuted at the event in 2006 and was assigned the beef cut “top round” to prepare in 2010.
Located at 1145C on 12th Avenue in Kaimuki, the Ilima Award-winning dinner hot-spot has grass-fed beef on the menu. The restaurant is known for its “contemporary American” cuisine that uses fresh, island ingredients.
As grass-fed beef has lower fat content than its grain-fed counterpoint, Chef Hanney says he’s “always conscious of that” when cooking it.
“Conventional wisdom is, ‘fat is flavor’, but that’s not necessarily the case,” he details. “Grass fed-beef has a bolder, beefier flavor without the fat. I like to say, ‘it’s the way beef is SUPPOSED! to taste.’”
Advice for Cooking Beef Cuts
When preparing grass-fed cuts geared for grilling, broiling and searing—such as ribeye and New York strip steaks—Chef says to be careful not to overcook them.
“These cuts require less cooking time than conventional meat. Searing them first, over a very high heat, helps retain juices,” he suggests.
Chef adds, “If doing cuts that are typically sliced, such as skirt, London Broil, etc., make sure you are slicing across the grain.”
When braising grass-fed meat from the shoulder area, like chuck cuts, Chef advises braising for longer lengths of time on a lower heat. He shares his delicious Yankee Pot Roast recipe, which uses grass-fed chuck roast, a versatile, value cut. We prepared the recipe and it was fork-tender when cooking it as instructed for 1.5 hours.