Time really flies when you're working your tail off (ha). The months came and went, and suddenly our long awaited butcher date had arrived!
We loaded up our two black angus cattle - our first two beef projects - and headed out to begin the next phase of the process.
Our first two ended up a little on the smaller side. We were a little frustrated with our quantity as a result, but this was a learning curve. We will let them go longer the next go round, and have our steaks cut a little thicker. That said, we still ended up having to plug in a secondary freezer in order to accommodate all we got back so it was not as though we were completely lacking!
The results were pleasing! We looked over steaks for color and fat content. We ended up with a very clean looking, medium red (not dark), leaner cut with some marbling. The beef, in our opinion (and we have sampled many variations of beef), was flavorful with simple seasoning (salt, pepper, & butter) with a strong "umami" or "beefy flavor". We felt very accomplished with the outcome of our care and nutrition provided to our cattle.
DR Prime Rib (pictured here, frozen)
We were weary of numerous things with our beef - we didn't want overly fatty beef, or dark cuts (indicating stress in the cattle), but we also didn't want it so lean that it lacked flavor and moisture/tenderness.
There were several cuts included in our beef packages - various types of roasts, steaks, tips, brisket, ground beef, dog and soup bones, and then some. We were happy to give our customers a package that had variety and may inspire some new recipes for them to try! Everyone received at least one of everything we had available.
Here are some graphics from the Beef CheckOff Program regarding different cut options and the best way to prepare them:
Here's one on "Steak Swaps" that is helpful:
Here's one for "Roast Swaps" that may also be useful:
Our customers came by the ranch to pick up their beef packages and those interested were provided a tour of the livestock. Many kids were able to visit and ask questions about raising all kinds of animals!
We so appreciate the support from our customers and followers of our journey, as well as our hay producers, and Corner Point Brewing Company for the wonderful spent grains. We learned so much and identified areas where we could make improvements as well. We look forward to our next harvest date in October, and to adding more cattle to the herd to keep up with requests for local beef!