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Archive for the ‘rural lifestyle’ Category

>Grass Fed Recipes – moisture-rich cooking for busy people

Posted by Thrivelearning on November 6, 2009

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Here’s some recipes I’ve uncovered in my research. Now you cooks out there, have patience with this old cow-boy. My best meal to date has been Pancakes, followed closely by French Toast.

But the key with Grass Fed Beef is to realize it doesn’t have that extra fat in it. So these recipes mostly use a crock pot to keep the moisture in and additionally tenderize the beef.

The other advantage to crock pots is that it can safely cook all day while you are at work, creating a warm and satisfying meal (or several) ready for you when you return that night. So even if you don’t enjoy a rural lifestyle like many of us, you can enjoy the beef we grow!

CROCKPOT BEEF AND BEANS

  • 1 1/2 lbs of stewing beef
  • 1 tbsp. prepared mustard
  • 1 tbsp. taco seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 can 16 oz diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 med. onion chopped
  • 1 can Kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 can chili beans

(I also added 1 can of black beans)
-Combine mustard, taco seasonings, salt , pepper and garlic in a large bowl. Add beef and toss to coat!
-Put the beef in your crock pot and add the rest of the ingriedients. Cover and cook for 6 -8 hours on LOW.
-Serve over yummy hot rice!

CROCKPOT BEEF AND GRAVY

  • 2-3 pounds roast cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 packet Lipton’s Onion soup mix
  • 2 cans Cream of mushroom soup

Place pieces of roast in crock pot. Sprinkle packet of onion soup on meat. Cover with cream of mushroom soup. Let cook up to 9 hours. Stir about 1/2 way through cooking (but I’m sure you could just stir at the end). Serve over mashed potatoes or pasta.

CROCKPOT BEEF FAJITAS

  • 1 1/2 pounds beef flank steak
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 green sweet pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 can (8oz) chopped tomatoes
  • 12 8inch flour tortillas

Toppings: sour cream, guacamole, shredded cheddar cheese and salsa

Cut flank steak into 6 portions. In any size crockpot combine meat, onion, green pepper, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander and salt. Add tomatoes. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-5 hours. Remove meat from crockpot and shred. Return meat to crockpot and stir. To serve, spread meat mixture into flour tortillas and top with toppings. Roll up.

More pointers on cooking grass-fed beef

La Cense – the Montana Grass-Fed Beef experts – have some additional pointers about cooking pasture-finished, natural beef:

Like all grass fed meat, La Cense Beef cooks differently from the grain fed beef found in most supermarkets and butchers. This will help you get the tastiest results – every time!

Keep It Frozen!
Keep your La Cense Beef frozen until you’re ready to use it. Then thaw it completely before cooking. To defrost, we recommend placing each individual vacuum-packed cut in the refrigerator overnight. If you’re in a rush, you can also defrost in a bowl of cool water. Never use warm water.

Less (Heat) Is More (Flavor)
Because La Cense Beef is lean, lightly marbled and lower in fat than conventional grain-fed beef, its flavor is accentuated by cooking at a slightly lower temperature and for slightly less time. So, unless a recipe specifies grass fed beef, reduce the temperature in the recipe by 50° when cooking with La Cense Beef. Even at the lower temperature, cooking time for grass fed beef will be about 30% to 50% less than for conventional beef.

And as well, here is one of there top recipes from Ulla Kjarval:

Roasted La Cense Boneless Prime Rib Roast

Ingredients

  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 Boneless La Cense Prime Rib Roast- about 3 pounds
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

Instructions

Defrost the roast in water the day before keeping it in the plastic in a large bowl of water. This should take about 3 hours. Place in the refrigerator overnight. Two hours before you cook the roast take the roast out letting it reach room temperature. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees, season the roast and slather it with olive oil, roughly chop rosemary and place on top with garlic, set in a roasting pan. You will be roasting this quickly at about 5 minutes per pound – I had mine in the oven for about 20 minutes. It is important to have a meat thermometer so that you can monitor the doneness, as most ovens vary greatly (mine takes a long time) you will want it roasted to an internal temperature around 130°F to 140°F which is medium rare. Let it rest in a tin foil tent for 10 minutes before you serve! Enjoy!

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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.

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Posted in cooking natural beef, grass fed beef, rural lifestyle | 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…

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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 »

>Welcome – and thanks!

Posted by Thrivelearning on October 3, 2009

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Thanks for visiting my blog and giving me some of your time.

I hope to bring you consistently good content about raising and marketing grass fed beef cattle through the posts on this blog.

I’ve been working in this area for about 9 years now, having taken over my parents’ farm and learning all I can about it. Turns out, with the land we have, grass fed beef cattle are more profitable than any other crop we have – but the two cheapest crops to raise are grass and trees. Of course, then, the most profitable sight you can see is a herd of cattle grazing under a tree-shaded  pasture.

(It turns out, oddly, that cattle will eat more if they have shade, and grass grows better if it’s shaded during part of the day. So my farm needs to look like a savannah to be the most profitable.)

Anyway, I have tons to write about as I keep my own research going. Hope to keep you informed, entertained, or enlightened as I work this rural lifestyle.

Cheers!

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