Stanley Fishman is a cookbook author and blogger who is an expert on cooking grassfed meat. Stanley uses traditional flavor combinations and cooking methods to make the cooking of grassfed meat easy, delicious, and tender. Stanley has written two cookbooks that make it easy to cook grassfed meat — Tender Grassfed Meat: Traditional Ways to Cook Healthy Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue: Traditional, Primal and Paleo. Both books are sold by U.S. Wellness Meats. Stanley blogs about real food and the cooking of grassfed meat at his blog Tendergrassfedmeat.com.
Q: How did you get involved in cooking to begin with? Was it something you learned to love early on or did you come to it later?
I got a taste of barbecue when I was 5 years old from a neighbor, and that was the best thing I had ever tasted. My parents did not barbecue, so I decided to learn, just because of the wonderful taste of that first chicken wing. As I continued, I discovered that I had a talent for cooking meat, and I kept doing it.
Q: Why is eating grass-fed meat and sustainably-caught fish different? How does it affect your cooking?
Grass-fed meat is very different from factory meat. It is far less watery, and denser. It must be cooked differently. I used to ruin grass-fed meat until I learned to change the way I cooked it. Sustainably caught wild fish have a much cleaner flavor and need very little in the way of spices to be wonderful.
Q: Is it just about health? Or is there more to it than that?
Yes, there is a lot more to it. It is also about taste and satisfaction. Properly cooked grass-fed meat tastes so much better than the factory variety. Grass-fed meat also gives you a feeling of satisfaction that never comes from factory meat, because you are getting the nutrients that are only in grass-fed meat, in exactly the form that your body expects. Sustainably-caught wild fish taste 100 times better than farmed fish, and are also much more satisfying, as they too have a wonderful balance of nutrients.
Q: How did you learn about grass-fed meat?
I was trying to rebuild my health after a serious illness. I had researched how often people ate beef as a way to recover from injuries and illness in the past, but the factory beef I was eating at the time just was not helping me. This got me to wonder if it was the same beef that used to help people recover in the past, and my research quickly showed that our ancestors all ate grass-fed beef until the twentieth century.
Q: Why is it so important to have the right ingredients?
Quality. Health. Taste. All meat is not the same, no matter what the government says. Good grass-fed meat is so much more nourishing and so much tastier than factory meat. Natural, unmodified food and ingredients are so much better, in every way, than the modified and heavily processed products of modern agriculture, raised with artificial chemicals.
Q: What are the most important keys to success for the home chef?
Getting quality ingredients is key. You also need to know how to cook the foods you prepare. It is important to have good cookbooks that clearly describe how to cook a particular food. It is also important to have a well-organized kitchen and to plan your meals before you cook them. The more you cook, the easier it gets.
Q: What are your best tips for home cooking?
First, only use natural, quality ingredients, like grass-fed meat. Realize that simple recipes, often using just a few quality ingredients are often the best. Avoid complex recipes and start out with easy ones. Keep cooking, and learn from your mistakes. If you cook enough, you will just know what to do, almost instinctively.
Q: What is your favorite recipe using grass-fed meat?
That is a hard one, because there are so many recipes using grass-fed meat that I love. But one of my favorites is English Style Prime Rib, on page 86 of my first cookbook Tendergrassfedmeat.com. This recipe has only four ingredients and is so easy to make, yet so wonderful. But you need quality grass-fed meat to make it work.