Is your butcher keeping a secret from you

Is your butcher keeping a secret from you?

If your local butcher is anything like mine, they might have a big secret…

Is your butcher keeping a secret from you

Since I moved out of Sydney last year, I've struggled to find a good butcher. I used to have an amazing organic butcher just a short walk from my house. My butcher would make me up paleo sausages to my exact requirements (pork and apple were my favourites), order fresh turkey for me (something I find surprisingly difficult to find in Australia) and always had super cheap grass-fed bones I could use for making bone broths.

I've not seen words like “grass-fed”, “pasture-raised” or even “gluten-free” at all in my new local shops. It’s not really practical to buy meat in the city and travel back home with it – and I don’t yet have a big enough freezer to buy half a cow from a local farmer. So what’s girl to do?

I'm ashamed to say I've been walking past my local butcher for quite a few months without stopping. I glanced at the display and made a lot of assumptions.

Well yesterday, I stopped.

I've taken to roasting a piece of pork rind in the oven and filling the tray with veggies to roast in the delicious fat (try it!). Pork rind is really cheap (in keeping with my $50 budget challenge) and using good quality pork it’s a great fat source. Anyway, I couldn't find any pork rind, so stopped to have a chat with the butcher.

I asked her if they ever get in any grass-fed meat, or can order some – she told me that all of their meat is grass-fed! She pointed to an old black and white photo behind the counter, and explained that her grandfather was in the photo – and that they've been buying all their meat from the same local farm for the last three generations. It’s all naturally raised. Could she make me some gluten-free sausages? All of her sausages are gluten-free – she just never uses words like gluten-free or grass-fed because she’s found those words put people off!

What a revelation!

I bought two giant pieces of pork rind for just $3 and am so pleased to finally have a local butcher again.

So if you've not found anywhere locally, my advice is this – speak to your butcher. Chances are they too don’t realise how much of a good marketing feature their naturally raised, organic, grass-fed meat is!

Would love to know if you've had a similar experience with your butcher too?

Easy beef jerky recipe dried Biltong recipe paleo network-min

Recipe: Quick & easy beef jerky

Beef jerky is one of my favourite snacks. It's really filling, full of good fats and protein and easy to store. That is if you make your own. The shop bought stuff can have some nasty added ingredients.

These ingredients are from a packet of Jack Link's Original Beef Jerky:

Beef, water, Sugar, Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soy Beans, Salt), Salt, Corn syrup Solids, Flavourings, Hydrolyzed Corn Gluten, Dextrose, Flavour Enhancer: (Monosodium Glutamate), Antioxidant:(Sodium Erythorbate), Preservative: (Sodium Nitrite), Smoke Flavour.

Yeah, that's not even remotely paleo. So make your own! Whilst it's a lot easier to make in a dehydrator (this is mine), you can also give it a try in your oven.

Recipe: Quick & easy beef jerky
Recipe type: Snacks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
These are great to keep on hand for a quick healthy paleo snack - they'll keep for ages too!
  • Grass-fed beef (try sirloin or flank steak)
  • Coconut aminos
  • Sea Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • Cinnamon
  • Chilli
  • Paprika
  • Ground Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  1. You want to slice the meat really thin for best results - to achieve this wrap the beef and put it in the freezer for a couple of hours.
  2. Once the meat is not quite solid, remove it from the freezer and using a sharp knife (and a lot of care!) slice into thin slices. It's important to make the slices as consistent as possible so they will all require the same drying time.
  3. Put the meat in a ziplock bag and add in the aminos, salt and olive oil. Seal the bag and allow the mixture to coat all of the meat. Put the bag in the fridge and allow the meat to marinate overnight.
  4. Remove the strips from the bag and dust with the cinnamon, chilli, paprika, pepper and garlic.
  5. Space the strips out evenly on the shelves in your dehydrator. Keep checking, but your jerky should be dry in 2 to 4 hours.
  6. If you don't have a dehydrator, heat your oven to 70° C (165° F). You'll need to put the strips on a wire rack, with an oven tray underneath to catch the drips. Expect oven dehydration to take two or three hours.
  7. Which ever method you choose, make sure the meat is cooked all the way through and fully dry before removing it.
  8. Store in an airtight container - and enjoy!

Easy beef jerky recipe dried Biltong recipe paleo network-min

Sirloin Steak with Chimchurri Sauce and Caramelised Onions paleo recipe dinner grass fed beef-min

Recipe: Sirloin Steak with Chimchurri Sauce and Caramelised Onions

Let’s face it – there’s nothing better than a tender, succulent piece of grass fed steak. My particular favourite is a dry aged sirloin, but I also love fillet and porterhouse on special occasions. If you've never heard of it before, Chimchurri sauce is an Argentinian recipe made from a blend of olive oil, garlic and herbs – the South American version of pesto. It’s perfect for steak, but works well with fish and chicken too. The caremelised onions in this recipe add a real depth of flavour and complement both the steak and the Chimchurri effortlessly.

Serves 2

Sirloin Steak Ingredients:

  • 2 sirloin steaks (ideally grass fed, even better if they’re aged for around 28 days) – approximately 200g and 1 – 1.5cm thick
  • Sea salt, 1 clove garlic, plenty of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  •  1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

 For the Chimchurri:

  •  1 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 cup fresh coriander
  • ¼ cup fresh oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Juice 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 hot red pepper (I used a jalapeno), deseeded and finely chopped

 Sirloin Steak How To:

1)    An hour before cooking, marinade the steak by crushing the garlic clove in a mortar and pestle and mixing it with a little olive oil, salt and pepper to make a paste. Rub this well into the meat, and then leave the steak at room temperature.

2)    To make the caramelised onions, gently heat 1tbsp coconut oil in a heavy based saucepan. Add the onions to the pan, and leave to cook very slowly for at least half an hour – this brings out the natural sweetness. Stir regularly, and season with a little salt and pepper along the way.

3)    Meanwhile, make the Chimchurri by blending all the ingredients apart from the olive oil and hot pepper in your food processor. Transfer this to a sauce bowl, then stir in the olive oil. Finish with the red pepper, if using.

4)    To cook the steaks, heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan over the highest heat. Sizzle for a minute each side for rare, then serve and leave to rest for 5 minutes before eating. Serve topped with the caramelised onions and with the Chimchurri on the side.

Sirloin Steak with Chimchurri Sauce and Caramelised Onions paleo recipe dinner grass fed beef-min

Grass fed beef in Australia and New Zealand-min

Grass Fed Beef In Australia & New Zealand?

I was talking to an Australian Doctor at the Ancestral Health Symposium about finding grass fed meat in Australia. He was explaining to me that Australian meat is almost all grass fed, unlike America where grass fed meat is a lot harder to come by.

Grass fed beef has a far better omega 6:omega 3 ratio and far more vitamins & minerals than grain fed beef.

Since I got back I've been trying to find out if more about beef quality and availability. Until I make friends with a farmer, if I could be certain I was buying grass fed meat, I’d be very happy!

It seems that grass fed beef is dependent on the season; meaning springtime meat is more grain than grass fed.

On their website Coles state: –

Coles source both grass and grain fed cattle depending on seasonal quality. When rains are good, cattle are fed on grass. Being high in beta carotene, this is transferred to the meat and is why the fat is cream in colour. During drier times, grass is substituted with grain feed, and the fat has a whiter appearance. We offer both grass and grain fed cattle depending on the seasonal conditions to source the best quality available.

Woolworths doesn't go into much detail on their site, so I wrote to them, and have just received this reply: –

Woolworths has a number of different types of beef on offer. Our Riverine and standard Woolworths beef range are from grain fed animals, our market value and Macro branded beef come from grass fed animals. We are currently in the process of working on new labels and stickers which will help customers to be able to identify the difference between our beef range. You will notice these changes over the coming months.

So, whilst I’ll always strive to source my meat from a farmers market, or a good local butcher, it’s nice to know at a pinch there are some reasonable options in the supermarkets. If their new labelling enables me to see exactly what type of meat I'm eating, then that will be even better.

Where do you get your meat from? If you've found a good source of grass fed meat in Australia or New Zealand, share it in the comments.

Grass fed beef in Australia and New Zealand-min