When you buy a quarter of a steer, you get a quarter of all the cuts available from that steer. You know you get steak – porterhouse, T-bone, chuck, and ground. You get roasts – English, rump, and chuck. But what about these other packages? There are soup bones or shanks, stew meat, and short ribs! What do I do with those?
These cuts could end up being your favorites once you know how to use them.
The crock pot can be your best friend. Put the soup bones in the pot with a generous amount of water and your favorite spices. Experiment with the spices – thyme, oregano, and basil make a great Italian seasoning. Mix rosemary with black pepper, lemon zest, garlic, and salt (optional) for another great flavoring. Add some vegetables and let it cook on low for about 8 hours. The meat will fall off the bones! Dice it, add some barley if you like and cook it for another half hour. If you don’t like barley, boil some noodles and mix with the soup.
Stew is another crock pot favorite. Just like the soup, cook the meat for about eight hours on low with your choice of spices and vegetables. Thicken the broth when it’s done. Hearty meal on a cold day with little effort from you.
Any dish that uses small, sliced meats can also be made with the stew meat. We love fajitas. The stew meat is already chucked, so I only cut the larger pieces, stir fry and follow our favorite recipe. Done!
This cut also works best in a crock pot. I like to add my favorite bar-b-q sauce and let it simmer away all day. Serve with a microwave baked potato and salad for another delicious and effortless meal.
Just as a note, we’ve recently added an electric pressure pot to our kitchen. We’ve made the same meals that we made in the crock pot quickly. It’s been a life saver on the days that “someone” forgot to start the crock pot in the morning.
These are just a few ways to serve these lesser-known cuts of meat. How many have you tried? What is your favorite ways to prepare them? Let us know in the comments below.
KeiLin Farm, producer of farm fresh beef and eggs, is located in Davisburg, Michigan.
When it comes to healthy animals, no one cares more than farmers and ranchers. The beef that farmers and ranchers raise and sell to restaurants and supermarkets is the same beef they feed their own families, so it’s no surprise that they want the best care for their livestock to ensure everyone has safe, healthy beef.
Cattle come in many different shapes and sizes – much of which can be attributed to various breeds of beef cattle. Not all cattle breeds are created equal – some are well-known for their meat quality while other cattle breeds are well-known for the amount of muscle they possess. Here’s an introduction to five popular […]
And cattle, goats, and sheep
Our busy hay season is over for the year, now we start selling our stored hay to people who need extra hay to get their animals through the winter. Finding good hay, the right hay, is not always easy. You know your animal best. Even though the available hay is good, it may not be right for you.
Know your animal
Most people know that cows and other ruminants can eat hay that is unsuitable for horses, there are exceptions there. Certain sheep and goats have diets similar to horses.
Among horses, the age and health of the horse can be a factor when selecting hay. We have a horse who is nearly 30 years old. For the past two years she has been fed second cutting or a very soft first cutting in order to maintain her weight. In addition to her chewing capabilities, her digestive system could not assimilate the nutrients from the stemmier first cutting hay. Horses with Cushing’s or other metabolic diseases may require certain blends of hay.
Know your hay
Everything that is green is not hay. Take the time to learn and recognize the different grasses that can be present in a bale of hay as well as the weeds. Some weeds are harmless; others can be poisonous for your animal.
Before committing to a hay purchase from a farmer who has not provided you with hay before, ask if you can examine the hay first. We allow prospective customers to break open a bale, check through the hay, and, purchase one bale as a test for their animal. Even the best looking hay may not be the “flavor” that your animal prefers.
Remember too, that if you are offering hay to an animal that still has pasture, the hay will be ignored for the greener, tastier pasture.
Know your farmer
If your hay farmer is out of hay and you are looking through the hay listings on the internet, how do you or would you decide on which farmer to select? Are you looking at the lowest cost? Closest to your farm? Both of these factors come into consideration, but, neither may be appropriate for selecting the best hay for your animal.
Ask your friends for the name of their hay farmer. If that person is out of hay, don’t’ be afraid to ask the hay farmer you are calling for the names of people who have purchased hay in the past. Visit the barn where the hay is stored. Was it put up dry and stored dry? Do you see or smell mold? Examine the hay for weeds. Are they lose or tight bales? A lower price for loser bales could end up costing you more in the long run.
Your animals depend on you for their food. The hay you provide during the winter must be the best you can afford to keep them warm during the cold, snowy months ahead. Know your animals, your hay, your farmer – then select the best hay possible for them.
KeiLin Farm, a producer of farm fresh beef and eggs, as well as premium hay, is located in Davisburg, Michigan.
Nutrition has always been a primary interest of mine. For years, when my children were growing up, I would freeze and can fresh fruits and vegetables when they were in season. Often, I would take the kids to the farm so we could pick our own. I think the “farmer” gene has always been in me, even when we lived in the city.
Now that we raise our own cattle for beef and hens for eggs, I’m very conscious about what we feed our animals and how we can produce the healthiest food for the table.
The controversy over grass-fed and corn-fed cattle has been going on for quite a while. Now, with the government looking at how much meat we should really consume, there are more and more studies that look at the nutritional value of our meat.
One of the latest studies that was published by researchers from Texas A&M University’s Department of Animal Science1 compared ground beef from grass-fed cattle with traditional, grain-fed cattle and the risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type II diabetes in men. The conclusion? No significant difference.
What they did find is that ground beef is one of the most important sources of the healthful monounsaturated fatty acid in our diet. The interesting thing is that although grass-fed beef is higher in omega-3 fatty acids, something we would expect, it is also higher in saturated and transfat. This is the fat we should monitor and eat as little of as possible.
Premium beef, on the other hand, although lower in omega-3 fatty acids, again as expected, it was higher than grass-fed beef in monounsaturated fats and lower in saturated and transfat.
But what this study did not take into account is how some cattle farmers feed – which is neither 100% grass nor high concentrations of corn.
We feed our cattle free choice pasture and hay, much like most grass-fed herds, but, we offer our cattle a small amount of a grain feed, which is blended for us at the feed elevator. It is a mix of corn, barley, and other grains to provide a more balanced feed that is both nutritious and contributes to the marbling that is required to produce premium beef.
So, go ahead and treat yourself to that burger. Grass-fed or grain-fed, it’s great for dinner.
KeiLin Farm, a producer of farm fresh beef and eggs, is located in Davisburg, Michigan.
I was rather surprised when I read an article earlier this year about a woman who is 116 years old. Yes, 116 years old. No type there.
She lives in Italy, and when asked about what she contributed her longevity to, she first mentioned her daily glass of homemade brandy, but then quickly added, she eats two eggs a day – one raw and one cooked. This diet was suggested by her doctor when she was 20 years old and had anemia. She’s been doing it ever since.
Yes, she does eat a small portion of meat and pasta, cereal and milk – yes milk – usually two glasses every day. She is in good health – and takes no medication. Wow!
It was the eggs that intrigued me. I remember when eggs were bad for you and was told they contributed to high cholesterol. Yet, this woman has been eating two a day for almost 100 years! So I decided to find out the real story about eggs.
About six months ago I blogged that eggs were good for your eyes because the yolks are a source of lutein and zeaxanthin, both of these may reduce the risk of macular degeneration. What I also learned is the egg contains choline which can enhance brain development and memory.
Although the egg contains a large amount of cholesterol compared to other foods, it is no longer labeled as a risk for high cholesterol. In fact, while the egg can raise the HDL (good cholesterol) level, it also changes the size of LDL (bad cholesterol) from small to big. Big LDL is ok for your blood.
Low in calories – only 77 in an average egg – it is packed full of the vitamins and minerals your body needs – 9 essential amino acids, iron, phosphorous, selenium, vitamins A, B12, B2 and B5, and, if you eat eggs from range fed hens, Omega 3!
Now for the best part. Eggs can help you lose weight! In a study that provided overweight women with two breakfasts that were identical in calories – a bagel or an egg – the group that ate the egg for breakfast ate less for lunch and ate less over the next 36 hours! [ref] At the end of 8 weeks, the egg diet participants showed a 61% greater reduction in BMI and a 34% greater reduction in waist circumference. [ref]
I’m beginning to understand why that 116 year old woman is so healthy! I’ll pass of the raw egg, but I’ll take mine over easy every morning from now on.
KeiLin Farm, producer of farm fresh beef and eggs, is located in Davisburg, Michigan.
One of our most frequently asked questions is – what’s a quarter? Is it the front or the back?
Understandable confusion – many years ago there were butcher shops around that would sell beef by the front quarter or the hind quarter with the front being less expensive than the hind. But, you only received chuck and ribs if you selected the front quarter, and the porterhouse and T-bone steaks are in the hind quarter.
When we sell by the quarter, you receive one-fourth of the steer. The means, you get ALL the available cuts. T-bone, porterhouse, Delmonico, chuck, round steak, sirloin steak, roasts, steak-burger, and soup bones.
Wow! That’s quite a variety of cuts.
And a quarter typically weighs out at 100 pounds of table ready beef. Yes, that’s a lot of beef. Considering that the average American in 2012 consumed 71.2 pounds of red meat and about 60% of that was beef, a quarter can last your family anywhere from six months to two years.
Note: this figure includes ALL red meat eaten, regardless of where it was prepared.
The next question is how do I prepare the cuts I’ve never tried before? We’ll help you there. Both on this blog and on our website we will be adding recipes and tips on how to prepare every cut of meat you receive in quarter.
Whether you grill, roast, or fry, we want you to enjoy your quarter.