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Archive for the ‘beef cattle’ Category

How about a whole beef in your freezer?

Posted by Thrivelearning on March 3, 2011

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Ran across this article of Jason Krause’s about how he bought a whole beef and worked to figure out what to do with it all. At average usage, a small family will use just over a quarter in a year. Plus it takes a standalone freezer to hold it all.

But this guy went for the whole cow and lived to tell about it…

What’s interesting is the informal solution a New York group figured out. Of course, it’s not something you can legally do in most states – it’s to do with Federal/State laws. But as long as people are in agreement…

Then there was the sheer amount. After three weeks, my wife and I had eaten only a tiny fraction. At that rate, it would take us over a year to finish all the meat. And you really can’t keep it in a freezer longer than a year. I started dreaming of steak, but not in a good way—in an “I have to get rid of this” way.

So I decided to throw a beef party. I borrowed two crock pots and went to work. Hours over the stove produced chili, Italian beef, steak-and-kidney pie, beef bourguignon, and spicy beef short ribs. I invited seven of my friends and family members over, and everyone crammed into our little kitchen and started eating.

My wife made gift bags with spices, a beef recipe, and a couple of pounds of frozen ground beef that the guests were required to take home. We also loaded them up with cooked meat in Tupperware.

At the end of the night, I had unloaded only 50 pounds. I still had easily 100 left.

In the course of my research, I learned there are more sensible ways to buy a side of beef. The aptly named Angus MacDonald organizes a “beefening” each year, in which a group of 20 friends in New York City and Brooklyn split several sides of beef acquired from a farmer in upstate New York. (They also do the same thing with pigs.)

“We’ll often convene late at night, sometimes right on the street in Williamsburg [Brooklyn], and spread out blankets and divide it up right there from the trunk of my car,” says MacDonald. “It must look pretty suspicious to have 15 to 20 people trading white wrapped packages on the street.”

Each person gets an eighth of a steer, or about 40 pounds of meat, for $100 to $150. They trade based on which cuts they prefer. One woman hates the chewiness of steaks, so she trades hers for hamburgers.

Much more sensible.

Of course, there is a probable legal method for handling this – which this group may have solved – buying the beef under the corporate name of the organization. Since they all are members of it, they all share in it’s produce and ownings. But that will be an interpretation of their own state laws. Hope to get a powerpoint up on this shortly.

Stay tuned…

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Posted in beef cattle | Leave a Comment »

>Tips to winterize your cow herd

Posted by Thrivelearning on December 6, 2010

>by Amy Radunz, Beef Cattle Extension Specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison
(Blogger note: I’ve included this from the OSU weekly Beef Cattle letter, as an article worth sharing in it’s entirety. There’s a lot to be said here about how to set up your cattle to survive and thrive through the winter. Mostly, you don’t expect more than minimal gain, since the best hay isn’t the same as fresh grass. But the trick is to ensure they don’t go backwards. So these tip and linked sites will help any cattle producer large or small. I only wish I’d run across this in about September…)

feeding-cattle The fall is coming to an end and for most farmers the crops are harvested, the calves weaned, and cows are preg-checked. This is a great time for farmers to make plans for the winter for the cow herd and if you take the time now to plan how to feed cow herd this winter, this can pay dividends in the spring and summer. So here are some simple tips to help winterize the cow herd.

1. Body condition score your cows. Weaning is great time to body condition score your cow herd. If you didn’t get this done, its not too late to do this before there is snow on the ground. After the calf is weaned, this is the period when a cow’s energy requirement’s are her lowest and cows can easily gain body condition during this period. Therefore, for your young and thin cows this would the most economically time to put on some body condition prior to winter and calving. One of the most mismanaged groups of cows in the herd is the young cows (3 to 4 years old) and can often be overlooked and farmers should pay close attention to energy reserves of these cows. By feeding your cows now to have a body condition score of 5 or 6 calving could pay dividends in the upcoming breeding season, since body condition score at calving is highly correlated to postpartum reproductive performance. Video on body condition scoring of beef cattle by Purdue University Beef Team

2. Conduct a forage test on winter feeds. This can be valuable information to determine a winter-feeding strategy. This allow producers to match forages to right stage of gestation and age of animal. Energy and protein intake of the cow during gestation is critical not only to her performance but the development of the calf. If cows do not intake enough protein or energy, this could lead to weak calves at birth, postnatal health problems, or poor growth performance. On the other hand, with rising feed costs farmers cannot afford to overfeed their cow herd. By knowing the quality of the forage, you can determine intake of feed instead of the cow, which will in turn save on feed expenses. Video on tips for forage sampling by Iowa State University Extension

3. Make culling decisions. The easiest decision is to cull those cows and heifers which are determined open in the fall. Farmers can be tempted to give cows and especially heifers one more chance, but with rising feed costs can you afford to keep this unproductive females in the herd? There are several other factors to consider when making culling decisions. Unsound udders, lameness and poor mouths should enter the culling list. These could significantly impact the performance of the cow in the coming year. Disposition is another important factor in making culling decisions, not only for your safety but these cows can pass these traits to their calves and the calves are typically lower performing.

4. Decide on heifer replacement strategy. After making culling decisions, you can determine how many replacement heifers you will need. But some important questions to ask first are: Can you afford to develop your own replacement heifers? Or would you be further ahead to purchase bred heifers to replenish the herd? The heifer calves are another challenging group to manage in the cow herd, especially in small herds. This decision to keep or buy heifers is dependent on several factors such as current and future market prices, herd size, facilities, available labor, and economics. To decide what is the best strategy, producers should develop budgets and management plans for each option. For more information: Buying vs. Raising Replacement Heifers by Jason Cleere

5. Estimate your winter feed needs. Now you have made the decision on what cows are being culled, how many heifers you plan to keep, and what is the quality of your feed resources, this will allow you to design your winter feeding strategy. First estimate, your winter hay needs and determine if you have enough forage on hand. If you estimate you are short on forage, the fall can be a more economical time to purchase feed than later in the winter or early spring. This is also a good time to purchase grains or by-products to stretch your winter forage supply. Reducing winter feed costs can have a significant impact on the profitability of a cow/calf operation, so planning a head can be beneficial to the bottom line. Tools to help: Estimating Hay Needs Calculator by University of Wisconsin Extension.
These are some simple tips to plan for the winter ahead for your cow herd, which can save time and money in coming months. If you would like more information on the tips outlined here contact your local extension agent.

Posted in beef cattle | Leave a Comment »

>Why my grass fed beef won’t replace any corn for your tortillas any time soon

Posted by Thrivelearning on November 5, 2009

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Sure, I’m just joking about the tortillas – practically, the seeming biggest use of corn is sent to animal food. 1% is sweet corn, 25% goes to ethanol (and the byproduct leftover is then fed to animals), 20% is exported and another tiny bit is used for food ingredients, chemicals, fabrics, and plastics. (Source: EcoProducts)

But one of the big whoppers being told by the “animal rights” activists and other enviro’s is that cattle are taking the land we’d be growing crops on.

Look, I’m from Missouri, where we are #2 behind Texas in raising cattle. If the land is good enough to raise profitable crops, you won’t see a cow anywhere near it.

Good crop ground makes between 150 – 200 bushels of corn an acre. It takes 2.5 acres to keep a cow alive in Missouri (more out West.) So if you are getting $800 for a full-grown steer or could take those 500 bushels of corn off those same 2.5 acres and sell them at $4 each ($2,000) – which would you do?

That’s probably why we shifted over to feeding cheap corn to cows instead of having them munch away at prairie grasses. But you will also see the big feedlots in crop country, not down in the rolling hills that start where I live and keep going further down into southern Missouri.

But I’m awfully tempted to take the rest of my 45 acres I farm as crops and convert it to pasture. Why? Because it doesn’t make but about 80 bushel per acre of corn. And the cost per acre is the same, whether you get a 200 bu. yield or nothing.

Crunching the numbers for the land I have showed that I got about $2,000 profit off those 45 acres last year. Pays the taxes and the bills, barely. Now, say I had a crop which didn’t require inputs and was pure profit. 45 acres should keep about 18 more cows. If I sell their calves at about $600 profit, then I make $10,800 – so which is more profitable?

That’s what these other big-city complainers just don’t get – cattle are raised on marginal land which won’t produce any decent sort of food otherwise. Our own farm land is all marginal, even the stuff we crop right now. Mostly trees, shrubs and clay ground under about 2-3 inches of top soil. Raises better grass and trees than anything else.

You go 40 miles north or east and it’s a different scene. 6-8″ topsoil and that 200 bu. corn I mentioned earlier.

The trick is to raise that low-maintenance, low-input, environmentally-friendly grass fed beef.

Because the land only gets better when you raise your beef right. And the quality of the beef is the best that can be produced. Award-winning and lab-tests to prove how heart-healthy it is.

And it will make this farmer improve his own rural lifestyle by being able to maybe quit his day job – one day, anyway.

If you follow what Nature laid out, not the government, you generally have an easier time of it. At least, that’s what I’ve experienced.

Try it for yourself and see…

– – – –

While I raise my own grass-fed beef here in Missouri, I suggest you try a vendor such as La Cense Beef if you want to sample some truly wonderful, Montana-raised grass fed beef.

Posted in beef cattle, government cost, grass fed beef, rural lifestyle | Leave a Comment »

>Why you probably won’t ever see Organic Beef coming from my farm

Posted by Thrivelearning on November 4, 2009

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The reason is pure economics. Has nothing to do with the quality of beef produced. Let me lay it out for you.

I’ve already covered in a broad sense how grain-finished beef is more expensive to produce than grass-fed beef.

Let’s look this over:

  • I don’t have to have a lot of expensive equipment to run my farm or produce my crops.
  • I don’t have to spray anything as the cows eat almost all of the weeds.
  • I don’t have to deal with insects, since the more I can get in the pastures (well, except maybe face flies) the better the pastures do.
  • If I do it right and manage my grazing, I don’t have to even cut and bale hay for the winter.
  • And If I manage my herd properly, the soil will actually improve in quality – which means I can actually start adding more cows just to keep up with the grass.

Follow the money…

What’s my net cost for each calf I produce? About $40 in shots for the new ones (and I’m beginning to think those are even unnecesary…)

Now, per beeffrompasturetoplate.org,

The truth is it takes 2.6 pounds of grain and 435 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef in the United States.

When you take a 400lb just-weaned calf up to 1100lbs, you are using 1820 lbs of grain (usually corn and soybeans, ground and mixed). If it were just corn and I had to buy it at commodity prices, I’d be paying at least $4 per bushel (more or less) – so a rough cost would put the extra cost at $7280 – at least on paper. Large operations will get their feed much cheaper than this (and have to.) But that tells you right there why you pay high beef prices and farmers still go broke.

My own experiences, from fattening cattle on this farm, told me that the feed bills alone took half the calf crop. We never made enough corn on our land to feed out cattle, so we’d sell the corn we raised (for real minimal profit) and then buy the other feed.

Now, the funny thing was when I found out feeder calves (sold right after weaning) made as much income as keeping those calves up to fattening weight – well, I never fattened cattle on corn again. (And I got to keep the money from that corn we raised.)

The next price break was when I found that a calf fattened to a year old on just grass will give me about $600 profit per head – and that’s taking out the cost of keeping them and their mother alive during the winter with hay.

So my profit of selling these calves as yearlings was better than feeding them on corn I didn’t have.

The next break – selling them as finished cattle (about 20-22 months) was no better profit, because you have to winter them over with hay again. Since they are now eating more to put those last few pounds on, it’s a wash for those extra months. (Of course, when I go over to “mob grazing” and no hay in the winter – every calf is nearly sheer profit…)

The cost of Government-inspected Organic Beef

Here’s where organic comes in. Annually, I would have to keep paperwork and get this inspected to prove that I didn’t add anything to the land or the cattle. So I pay a fee to have my paperwork checked – for every single acre and animal (as I understand it.) Essentially, this is a government tax at work.

Right now, the premium paid for locally-raised, grass-fed beef is the same or higher than organic beef. Why? Because people know where it came from and who butchered it.

And the last case of e-coli infecction I heard of came from what? USDA Government-inspected beef – which came from cattle out of four states and two countries, all mixed together into a yummy, tasteless, uniform-sized, frozen, plastic-wrapped, gray patty.

So if it costs more to get the government involved, but I make the same amount of income – which is more profitable? Pasture-finished or organic pasture-finished? (And we’re leaving out the idea of making organic corn – a whole ‘nother expense…)

That’s why I’m not going to be raising organic beef anytime soon. It gets the government into your operation and makes it cost more. I’ll make more money and higher quality beef, even if I just sell to my neighbors in our local cities.

– – – –

While I raise my own grass-fed beef here in Missouri, I suggest you try a vendor such as La Cense Beef if you want to sample some truly wonderful, Montana-raised grass fed beef.

Posted in beef cattle, government cost, grass fed beef | Leave a Comment »

>How grass fed beef improves the land it comes from

Posted by Thrivelearning on November 3, 2009

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A lot of exaggerations are used by “animal rights” activists to forward their own agenda. One of these is how natural grass-finished beef is lumped in with all the rest of the ways beef is produced in the US.

Practically, they’d be better off taking more vacations from the urban blight they live in and go get some lessons from their country cousins. (Or maybe just try to raise some of this stuff themselves for once instead of giving advice all the time…)

While New York and other coastal cities are busy dumping its waste into the ocean on a daily basis, as well as covering huge masses of land with their garbage landfills, the lowly cow recycles between 75-100% of what it eats directly back onto the ground (depending on what study you believe).

You see, cows are some of the most efficient and environmentally-friendly automatic harvesters we have. And not only that, they also produce another of themselves every year.

Factory approach to meat production

It’s only since WWII, when we started feeding grain to cattle that we started interrupting their natural process with our man-made “efficiencies”. When you add the cost of planting, fertilizing, spraying, and harvesting miles of corn just to coop up animals in a concentrated feeding operation – well, that’s where things get messy. Literally.

In their natural environment, cows roam around the pastures, usually with one calf at their side and another on the way. For about every 50 cows or so, a bull keeps it that way – year in and year out. Meanwhile, all concerned are simply eating all the forage they can. When they get full, they rest and digest, then get up and go at it again.

As they eat, they drop their manure in the pasture, where it is digested and improves or restores the ecosystem with concentrated nutrients. And when their calf is born on a grassy field, there is little bacteria that they can’t handle on their own – because they are already immune to most everything out there.

However, when you take that calf and shut it up in a dirt feedlot to eat grain on a schedule, that whole ecosystem is interrupted. Grain puts on low-quality pounds of flesh, with a lot of fat to go along. While their mothers had high Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratios (bad fat to good fat), grain-fed beef are known for their heart-stopping renditions of the “Cholesterol Blues”.

Grain does another funny thing – it robs the flavor. Anyone who’s ever gotten a hamburger from a pasture-finished beef and then went to eat one of these fast-food wanna-bes will tell you – nothing from a supermarket has any taste at all compared to an all-natural grass-finished beef burger.

And with all those cows in a small space – there’s a lot of cleaning up to do. Literally mountains of manure being piled up…

Let’s look further at the land it comes from – when you have a cow on pasture, you don’t have to spray for weeds or insects. Sure, there are a lot of insects out there – and they all have plenty to eat. Because there are thousands of varieties of plants out there. It isn’t a problem that we can only raise one type of plant and have to spray to keep any other plant from growing out there – or to get rid of just a few insects that attack that particular plant you are trying to raise.

Plenty for everyone.

And about those weeds – depending on the particular breed of cow you have, they are just as likely to become a meal as to get to their full height where they can shed their seeds.

Everything-bunched-up-together-and-on-schedule, please

Let’s look at another problem with these Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO’s): just like when you put a bunch of people into a small space and force them to live together, any disease spreads quickly through such a herd. The current veterinarian practice is to load the whole herd up with antibiotics to keep everyone safe.

And what about these hormones? These are used to create growth spurts so that the animal gains weight more quickly. The idea being presented is that you can factory-ize these animals.

  • All cows chemically suppressed and then artificially inseminated so they are giving birth at the same time.
  • Cattle are weaned at 7 montths. Either at birth or at weaning, the bull-calves are neutered so they put on extra weight. Calves are sent to a feed lot for fattening on corn or other grain rations.
  • At 14 months, the steers are sold to a packing plant – and the heifers (if not also slaughtered) are now ready to be inseminated.
  • If you check the schedule, this means that these heifers can now take their place in the herd besides their mama’s – and the whole oragnization keeps right on schedule. Fattened calves are sent off, the pens are cleaned – and just in time for the next set of feeder calves.

Grass finished beef is different.

It takes around 20-22 months to fatten a calf on grass. So it doesn’t fit that once-annual factory schedule. As well, the natural insemination from a bull isn’t as definite as an artificial one. So there are “windows” of birthing – weeks, not hours.

But everything is in sync with the natural conditions around them. Illness and sickness – rare. Visits with the vet – rarer. Cost and overhead – nearly non-existent. Just move your cows to fresh pastures frequently or infrequently and both the cows and the pastures stay healthy. And that makes for healthy beef.

When you know how your beef is raised, you know how healthy it is for you – or not.

Choose healthy beef to begin with – chose grass fed beef.

– – – –

While I raise my own grass-fed beef here in Missouri, I suggest you try a vendor such as La Cense Beef if you want to sample some truly wonderful, Montana-raised grass fed beef.

Posted in beef cattle, CAFO, cooking natural beef, grass fed beef | Leave a Comment »

>How my local beef is better than your supermarket version – and I can prove it!

Posted by Thrivelearning on November 2, 2009

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While I’ve been working to improve the quality of the beef I raise, I find that many people don’t know that they can buy their beef directly from the farmer. Factually, this will actually save them money when they do.

Additionally, they know how that meat was raised and what it was fed.

Most local beef is raised in an environmentally-friendly and responsible manner. This is why a great deal of it is grass-fed, also known as pasture-finished. It’s as natural as they come.

Government Intervention in Beef

Now there is some discussion about organic versus natural versus grass-fed beef. And another discussion about USDA-inspected or not.

My rule of thumb is this: the less the government is involved, the better. The Feds own the organic trademark and license it’s use. That doesn’t mean you get the best quality – but you can guarantee it costs more.

If you stick to the USDA definitions for these types of beef, you’ll quickly see that they are nearly impossible to achieve – as they are so limited. So that again means that you are going to have higher costs.

Same with USDA-inspected. All meat lockers and processors have to have regular inspections from the state health inspectors. When the USDA is involved, they have to check into other special items, like the conditions of the lymph nodes, and so on. All USDA means is that you can re-sell the pieces of a cow (like a single steak or just one pound of hamburger) and it’s guaranteed safe. (Well, almost always…)

Again, this just raises the overhead for the beef – which is passed right on to you.

The more your beef is connected to the government, the more it’s going to cost you.

Buying grass-fed beef directly

The best guarantee of your beef quality is to know how it was raised, where it came from, and who butchered it.

You should be able to drive out to these places and visit them. (Try that with Argentinean beef when you are in New York…)

I was looking around and found this great explanation from the University of Washington:

Many farmers do not sell meat by individual cuts, but offer it in sides, quarters, or smaller packs containing a variety of cuts. It may be more economical for you to purchase a whole, half (side), or quarter of grass-fed beef if you have the freezer space to do so. It is important to understand how you are buying the beef if you choose to buy a large quantity.

A variety of factors affect the amount of meat a whole, half, or quarter will yield. First, the dressing percentage (the weight of the carcass after the hide, blood, and organs are removed) will alter the amount of meat a 1,100-pound live steer will yield. Typically, dressing percentages range from 56 to 65%, so a 1,100-pound steer would result in a carcass weighing between 616 and 715 pounds.

Cutting yield is the amount of meat remaining once a carcass is further processed. Typically, with grass-fed beef, there will be a loss of 25–30%, which is attributed to the removal of bone and fat. Losses can be greater when the consumer prefers more boneless cuts. With a 650-pound carcass, a consumer can expect to take home 455–487 pounds of beef. A side of beef will yield about 200–240 pounds of beef, and a quarter will yield 100–120 pounds.

When buying meat as a whole, half, or quarter, be sure to ask who will pay the processing costs. In most situations, the consumer works directly with the processing plant and pays the processing costs; however, some farmers will pay the costs for processing and then include that charge in the overall price of the meat.

If you are unfamiliar with negotiating regarding cuts of meats and costs, ask the farmer from whom you are buying the meat to assist you with this process. Most farmers consistently work with the same processing facilities and should be able to address any questions you may have. You will need to follow up with the processing plant soon after the animal has been delivered to the facility to provide cutting instructions as well as any special requests you may have (e.g., sausages or special cuts). Depending on how long the carcasses hang before they are cut up, the meat will not be ready for 2–3 weeks. The processing facility should call you when your meat is ready. Payment is expected when the meat is picked up.

Questions to ask the producer

Farmers use a variety of production practices to produce high quality meat products, and it is worthwhile to talk to the producers about how their animals are raised. Typically, beef cattle are slaughtered at 18–24 months of age. Grass-fed beef is usually produced without growth-promoting hormones or other additives, but be sure to ask the producers about their production practices if it is important to you. Grass-fed beef may or may not be produced with corn. Some pasture-based farms feed a little grain to “finish” the animal.

One benefit of buying directly from farmers is you can talk with them about their production practices, develop an understanding of their actions, and learn the reasons for their production decisions.

– – – –

While I raise my own grass-fed beef here in Missouri, I suggest you try a vendor such as La Cense Beef if you want to sample some truly wonderful, Montana-raised grass fed beef.

With thanks to University of Wisconsin – A Consumer’s Guide to Grass-Fed Beef – A3862 – http://www.uwex.edu/ces/cty

Posted in beef cattle, cooking natural beef, government cost, grass fed beef | Leave a Comment »

>Cooking with Grass Fed Beef – not yo’ mama’s roast

Posted by Thrivelearning on November 1, 2009

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I ran across this excellent pdf created by the University of Wisconsin and just had to share this part of it with you.


This excerpt is about how to cook with grass-fed beef. As you see below, our whole culture has evolved to handle all the extra fat that grain-fed beef has leftover.


With the enhanced flavor of grass-fed beef, it isn’t hard to re-learn a few basics when you first order this natural protein.

Cooking with grass-fed beef

Because grass-fed beef can be leaner than grain-fed beef, modified cooking methods may produce better results. Because of its typically higher fat content, grain-fed beef is more forgiving when cooked in that it is less likely to dry out or toughen if overcooked. Grass-fed beef depends more on juiciness than fat for its moisture. Searing the outside of the meat to trap moisture, then cooking it slowly is recommended for grass-fed beef. For best results:

  • Bring your grass-fed meat to room temperature before cooking, about 30 minutes for steaks and not more than 90 minutes for a roast.
  • Don’t overcook! Because of the leanness of grass-fed beef, cooking to well-done can dry it out. Cooking to rare or medium-rare preserves the meat’s natural juiciness.
  • Reduce the cooking temperatures by 25–50°F. The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 125–145°F for roasts.
  • Fat and juices make beef tender and flavorful. When grilling or roasting, sear the meat quickly over high heat to seal in the juices.
  • Ground beef can also be very lean. You may find that you need to add a little olive oil when browning or pan-frying hamburgers.

General guidelines for cooking different cuts

Loin cuts: The highest quality, most tender cuts of meat come from the rib and loin areas of the animal. These include such cuts as rib, T-bone and porterhouse steaks, and prime rib roast. Next comes the sirloin area which includes sirloin steaks and sirloin tip roasts. All of these cuts are good for grilling, broiling, and roasting. They can also be pan-broiled over low heat on the stove. The roasts are good for dry-roasting in the oven. 

Round cuts: Rump roasts, round steaks, and round roasts tend to be somewhat less tender. Round steaks can be marinated and grilled, but they’re more often cut into chunks or sliced thin and used for kabobs, stir fry, or stew. Rump and round roasts work well either as pot roasts or in stews cooked in liquid on the stove or in the oven.

Shoulder cuts: Shoulder, or chuck, cuts include chuck and arm roasts as well as short ribs. These cuts all work well braised or roasted slowly in liquid. Braising involves browning the meat, then cooking slowly in a small amount of liquid in a covered pan on the stove top. If prepared in the oven, these roasts are best cooked as pot roasts in a deep pan with liquid.

Working with frozen meat

Buying meat directly from a farmer often involves working with frozen meat. Butchers use either white freezer paper or plastic vacuum packing for packaging meat. The plastic maintains freshness for longer periods in the freezer and reduces the risk of freezer burn. If your supplier’s butcher uses freezer paper, ask if it is wrapped in plastic inside the paper. This will help maintain quality during storage.

While it is possible to cook a roast starting with a frozen cut of meat, most people thaw meat before cooking. There are several ways to thaw frozen meat.

Refrigerator thawing: This can take 24 hours or more, so you need to plan ahead.

Microwave thawing: Most microwave ovens have defrost settings that work fairly well for thin cuts of meat, but thicker cuts often end up being cooked around the edges before the center is thawed. The meat should be cooked immediately after it is thawed.

Thaw in cold water: If your meat is wrapped in freezer paper, remove and place in a water-tight plastic bag. If it is vacuum-packed in plastic, you may place it directly in the water. Change the water every 30 minutes. Thawing will take 1–4 hours, depending on the size of the cut.
– – – –
While I raise my own grass-fed beef here in Missouri, I suggest you try a vendor such as La Cense Beef if you want to sample some truly wonderful, Montana-raised grass fed beef.

With thanks to University of Wisconsin – A Consumer’s Guide to Grass-Fed Beef – A3862 – http://www.uwex.edu/ces/cty

Posted in beef cattle, cooking natural beef, grass fed beef | Leave a Comment »