Bonus “Recipe”: Valentine’s Special!

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It’s Valentine’s Day! A day of love and appreciation and chocolate and flowers. It just so happens to also be one of the most controversial and potentially depressing holiday of the year. Chances are you fit into one of these categories:

  • You love this day and look forward to the candy hearts and flowers you’re bound to receive from your significant other, followed by a lovely romantic dinner. You both seem to be on the same page and this is a special day for you. Or maybe one of you is into it and the other has learned it’s just best to play along. Hey, as long as everyone is happy, right?
  • You view it more as Singles Awareness Day and wallow in sadness, or better yet you realize there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being single and take the opportunity to spend a fun evening with friends or even alone – treat yourself!
  • Or, unfortunately, it’s a day of non-communicated expectations and resulting disappointment. Maybe your special person just hasn’t picked up on the subtle hints that you’d like some love too.

Regardless of where you are on the love spectrum, it all comes with its respective stresses. How about you take the stress away whether it be the crazy restaurant waits, spending money on a nice evening, or not seeing eye to eye with your SO. Have a romantic evening (or personal pampering night) and make dinner at home! You know what’s best for this occasion?

Steak.

I love that steak can fit every occasion. Throw it on a grill while drinking a beer for some low-key backyard fun, or as we’re about to do, make it the star in your very own fancy dinner. It’s a meal that you can’t really mess up, plus if you were smart you ordered beef from us and already have steaks in your freezer ready to be used! There are so many options and you get to go wild. Marinades, rubs, salt & pepper. Try something new!

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Ladies, men love to eat. Really, I think they like to be taken care of and be the one that is provided for sometimes. They like to be nurtured and pampered too. Traditionally, Valentine’s Day is considered to be for the girls and the guys have just learned how to keep us happy. Maybe this year, make it about him and serve him up some delicious food. However, being real for a minute it’s probably still all about us.

Men, ladies actually love to eat too! They love a romantic meal and they REALLY love a man who can cook. Anyone can take a girl out to dinner and throw down a bunch of money at a restaurant, but if cooking is not something you normally do I guarantee you this is a huge gesture she will appreciate. Women aren’t that complicated. Give her food, light some candles, and show you put in a little extra effort and thought this year. You’ll win some major points.

What if it’s not about one or the other? Both of you get in that kitchen! Break open a bottle of wine a little early and have fun taste-testing and experimenting with different flavors and techniques together. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a complicated, dreaded day.

If you’re spending a quiet evening by yourself, maybe make it not so quiet! Blast your fun music and dance around while you make the most amazing steak you ever have. Trust me, steak is a meal that is good with company or not.

I don’t actually have a specific recipe to share with you this month. Just some ideas. I know you probably think as a “cow blogger” I’m an expert and full of mind-blowing tricks for cooking beef. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I have to do my research just like the rest of you probably do in your kitchen. I am constantly learning and cooking steak is actually one of those things I’m still trying to perfect. I typically go with a basic oil coating and lots of salt. I love getting that crust on a steak and the amazing salty crisp. Throw in some butter, garlic, maybe some rosemary. Yum! I personally think a cast iron skillet is best for this if you’re not using a grill.

Again, I don’t think there any rules when it comes to seasoning steak. Common flavors you often see used include dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce, wine, bbq sauce, balsamic, soy sauce, fresh herbs, brown sugar, garlic, etc. Then you have more unique ingredients such as coffee, beer, liquor in general (tequila, gin), and even lavender! I came across a lavender steak rub at a craft fair type thing and passed it up. I regret it.

In searching for different recipes I came across this page filled with recipes incorporating flavor profiles from different countries. You guys, these look and sound amazing! Being completely honest, I didn’t know there were so many ideas out there before I started this article, at least not this many unique ones. Literally all I want to do is go home, cook steak all day, and try ALL of them. No joke.

https://www.foodbeast.com/news/10-steak-seasonings/

This site is also a great resource for all things beef:

https://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/recipes/collection/10014/flavor-boosting-rubs-marinades

Check out these sites, share your thoughts, and send us your own recipes and ideas! I will be posting mine soon. XOXO

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Recipe of the Month: Braised Short Ribs

It’s still winter. Still cold. These delicious, warm, crock-pot meals are still just what we need. As I mentioned in It’s a New Year!: Let’s Get Those Orders In. technically the first meal I made with my new order of beef was simply a taco bowl with ground beef, BUT this was my second and it’s worth it. This month we’re having braised short ribs.

I was excited to try this. I’ve never had them at a restaurant before and had never tried to make them myself. It’s a pretty low-maintenance recipe as they really just sit in the crock-pot for awhile and you’re done!

You guys, this is literally the best smelling meal I have ever made at my house. It’s so hard not to open the lid and sneak and sniff every ten minutes!

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What are short ribs?

Short ribs are the area sort of between the chuck and rib area. It’s a heavily used muscle area therefore the meat takes longer to cook to really break down those tendons and become tender. This is why short ribs are typically braised. You sear the outside and get a nice brown on them, then pop them in a slow cooker and wait. When I got mine out the meat literally fell off the bone….like, I had to fish it out of the pot.

I set my short ribs out to thaw in the fridge for a few days and when I removed the butcher paper I loved what I saw! They were so marbled and red. Let’s be honest, it looks like huge slabs of bacon which is probably what drew me to them.

Getting Started

For a basic braised short rib the ingredients are about the same on most recipes I researched, I sort of followed here and there and did what I felt like. A few notes:

1) I was stupid and didn’t trim the fat on mine. I don’t what I thought was going to happen to it but it doesn’t just disappear. Obviously I know this, but I wasn’t thinking and overlooked that step resulting in more of a mess I had to deal with when trying to remove it afterwards.

2) I didn’t weigh my ribs, I just used a whole package I had, but I’m assuming it was maybe 2-3 pounds WITH the fat. It looks like more than it was and I only got about 3 servings out of it. Granted, I didn’t serve it with mashed potatoes or anything so we ate more meat than one typically would in this meal.

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Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lbs beef short ribs (bone-in)
  • 1-2 Tbsp oil for searing
  • 3 cups beef broth (or 1 cup broth/2 cups red wine)
  • Thyme (3-4 sprigs or about a teaspoon of dried)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 minced garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Process:

First you want to TRIM THE FAT. Trust me.

Then, salt and pepper the ribs, oil your skillet, and sear those beautiful hunks of meat on all sides. (I would have loved to have my cast iron skillet for this)

While doing this you can start cutting up your onions, garlic, and any other vegetables you might want to add at some point (carrots, celery, potatoes, etc.)

Place the seared ribs in your crock pot with your veggies, 1 cup of broth, thyme, and bay leaf.

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Back to your skillet, saute the onions until they get tender. This took quite awhile for me. I like them real soft – but this will happen in the crock pot too.

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Add the garlic and tomato paste, cook for a minute.

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Add the remaining broth (some recipes used a dry red wine. This would have been delicious but I skipped it this time.)

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Boil this mixture until the liquid reduces by half or so, then add to the crock-pot with the other ingredients.

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Cover and cook for awhile.

My crock pot has super powers and gets really hot. I went ahead and just cooked mine on high for about 2-3 hours, however you can cook it on low for up to 8 hours if you wish Unfortunately if I did that the whole thing would probably just evaporate.

Additional Tip: Make sure you pour some of that delicious broth over your ribs! To make it more of a gravy, mix a little flour or cornstarch with some water and add to the broth while stirring. It will thicken quickly.

A lot of people serve these over mashed potatoes. I just ate it as is with a side of green beans. I actually added some of the juice and onions to my beans and it was delicious!

It’s a New Year!: Let’s Get Those Orders In.

Hello readers!

It’s so good to be back to our normal routine. The last month has been very hectic with marketing, communication with customers, finalizing orders, communication with the butcher (we’re BFFs at this point), picking up and delivering beef. It’s been great but I’m ready to get caught back up and start a new year.

2018 was a success! It was our first year reaching out to the public with our beef and spreading the word about Grant Creek. We, especially I, learned a lot about the process and I feel we had a pretty smooth year. Now we’re ready to tackle 2019 and expand our customer base. My New Year’s resolution is to get us even more out in the world and continue to bring you more exciting articles and recipes!

Speaking of, I owe you a recipe. I was very excited to try a cut I have never personally made before. It was great, but you’re going to have to wait to find out the details.

So what was the first dish I made in the new year with my new batch of meat?……

….Nachos. Not very exciting. I wanted to share this picture below though. I am admittedly horrible at remembering to thaw meat ahead of time. I’m not sure it’s something that will change anytime soon. I don’t love defrosting in the microwave but I made an exception this time. This picture is AFTER I defrosted. The first thing you should notice is the plate isn’t full of liquid! Store bought beef is so often loaded with extra moisture and half of it escapes during the thawing process. It was so nice to know that I got a pound of beef and a true pound was my end result. I didn’t pay for weight I wasn’t getting in the end. 

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1lb of ground beef AFTER defrosting.

So now we’re starting over and want to explain what exactly that means for us. Obviously by now you’ve picked up on some aspects of our process through our blog posts and you’re familiar with some of the pros and cons of purchasing locker beef. Pros: Cost efficiency, availability and convenience, and health. Cons: Upfront Cost, can’t pick and choose, only available for purchase at certain times.

Let’s focus on that last one. We are not a retail store in which you can pick and choose what you want when you want it. Our beef is only available once or twice a year. This is something we will definitely expand on as we grow, but for now it is crucial that we know the interest of our customers early! Below is a better explanation of our process, timeline, and why we must know in advance if you are interested in placing orders.

Calves are Born

We have two separate herds of cows, one group calves in the spring (February and March) and the other group calves in the fall (September and October). About two months after they are born the new calves are gathered up and given identification ear tags. The calves remain with the herd, drinking their mother’s milk and grazing, for at least 6 months. After this time, they’re gathered up and weaned from the herd.

Calves are Weaned

The weaning time for the spring calves is November (they are approximately 8 to 9 months old at this time) and for the fall calves is May (they are approximately 7 to 8 months old at this time). At weaning time, we have to make a decision to either retain the calves or to sell the calves. For the November weaning time we will retain calves for our beef program based on the interest that we have received from our customers. The remaining calves are sold. Our usual market for the calves being sold in November is either the Eureka Sale Barn or the El Dorado Sale Barn. The retained calves are taken to our Carney, Oklahoma pre-conditioning ranch where they are weaned and then wintered. Wintering refers to the care and feed that the calves receive during the winter months when there is no available grass.  These cattle will graze forage left over from the summer, they will be given hay, and they will be given protein supplements. There is a rather high cost to wintering cattle (cost of labor, cost of hay, and cost of supplements), and we only choose to winter cattle that we know can be sold later in our beef program.

We take the fall calves weaned in May to the pre-conditioning ranch where they are weaned and then put out on Bermuda Grass pasture for 45 to 90 days.  After this period these calves are either sold or retained for our beef program. Again, any retained calves will have to be wintered, so we only retain those calves that we know can be sold later in our beef program. For these calves, this decision making time is July or August.

Retained Calves

Retained calves are pastured in Carney, Oklahoma over the winter and following summer. All of our grass-fed beef is harvested approximately 1 year after the calves are weaned.  Fall calves would be available in June the following year and the Spring calves would be available in November of the following year.  Our beef supplies are very limited since we only retain what we know we can sell. Knowing customer interest helps us to be able to determine how many of our calves to retain at weaning time.

What we need from YOU

It’s so easy to wait until the last minute for most things today, however as you have read we need enough notice to know how many calves to retain. So if you are interested in ordering for the first time, or even if you JUST received an order and know you will be out by November/December, please email us! Remember, we need a deposit to actually hold your portion. The reason we ask for this is because we have too many people express interest but then disappear when it’s closer to time. While taking people at their word would be nice, we run into problems if too many calves are retained and we get stuck with the extra beef. We need that small commitment in the beginning, but rest assured the balance is not due until the cows are slaughtered and weighed. This gives you plenty of time to save and prepare. All you need to do is go to our Contact page or fill out a Purchase Request and we will reach out to you!

Questions? Just ask! We are here to help in any way we can. We understand it can be a lot of information to take in if you’ve never purchased bulk beef before and there are no dumb questions. I promise we’re all very friendly here 😉

 

 

Myth or Fact: Common Debates Among Meat-Eaters.

We all know the internet can be a wonderful thing. Information is readily available at a moment’s notice, blah blah blah. Unfortunately, another more frequently used tool of knowledge is word of mouth and more likely than not this information is wrong. The internet is funny in that it can either perpetuate the old wives’ tales we cling to, or enlighten people about them.

Once upon a time I was the administrative assistant to the Risk Manager at a hospital. She is one of the wisest people I know and she shared a story with the staff that has stuck with me to this day. She had been tired of hearing “well, this is just how we’ve always done things” when discussing why a certain approach was taken in patient care. Her intent in sharing this story was to show this is not always the best thinking. Just because it is common practice doesn’t mean it’s correct.

The story starts with a young girl watching her mother bake a Thanksgiving turkey. Her mother put the turkey in the oven and left the oven door slightly open. The girl asked her mother why she does that and she replied, “That’s how my mother always did it.” So the girl visited her grandmother and asked her, “Why do you leave the oven door cracked when you cook the turkey?” Her response was the same. It was something her mother had always done. The girl then went to her great-grandmother and repeated her question once more to which her great-grandmother replied, “When I was young we lived in a very small house. The oven was not big enough for the turkey so the oven door wouldn’t shut all the way.”

For the great-grandmother this was not a clever strategy but a necessity. Things may seem logical at one time, or may have been in a specific situation, but we have to keep in mind the weight of certain circumstances in that moment and maybe even accept that new knowledge or circumstances has surfaced rendering the old obsolete. Society is always learning and advancing but sometimes we refuse to budge from our familiar frame of mind.

Heavy stuff, right? This is actually kind of a fun little blog post today. There are a lot of theories out there regarding prep and cooking of beef and it’s something people apparently feel strongly about on both sides. I am not here to side with either theory but to simply shine light on these common debates. The rest is up to you. I am curious to know your personal opinions and practices!

#1. Should you rinse meat before cooking?

Some believe you should rinse meat before cooking to get rid of the bacteria that reside on the surface. After all, it has been drilled into our brains that is important to rinse fruits and veggies before eating them. It only makes sense to rinse meat as well, right? However, others disagree explaining this actually does not make much of a difference at all. In cuts you would rinse such as steak and roasts bacteria only lives on the surface and those bacteria will quickly die with exposure to high heat. They believe the only thing you manage to do when rinsing meat is easily spread that bacteria to your hands, sink and counters.

#2 Will letting meat come to room temperature allow for more even cooking?

This is one I see all the time and have always been curious about. It does kind of go against everything I learned in my food health safety course when I worked in the fast food industry. This is advice offered by everyone from a back country BBQ’er to renowned chefs. If you cook a steak straight out of the refrigerator the center will take much longer to heat causing the outside to overcook. It’s usually recommended to let the meat sit for 20-30 minutes before cooking. Several people have taken to test this theory and noticed that in reality it usually takes an alarming couple of hours before you could consider meat room temperature. On top of that, they didn’t seem to notice much of a difference between cold and room temperature in the final product.  Whether this is something you believe to be true or not, it does seem universally agreed upon that this only applies to whole cuts as bacteria doesn’t penetrate the meat. You never want to let ground beef or even cuts that have been tenderized to sit at room temperature for longer than a few minutes.

#3 Do marinades make a more tender meat?

I feel like this is one of the most debated theories out there. I even said myself in my pot roast recipe post that I love when I get to marinate meat. It’s not something I do often and feel fancier when a recipe calls for it. I always think the longer the wait, the better the meal is bound to be – something I have definitely proven wrong, by the way. Some say using certain marinades, such as something acidic, can actually have the opposite affect after too long of a period. Others say marinades only penetrate the very surface of the meat, not making too much of a difference. Who knows?

#4 When should you season meat?

There is some discussion on whether or not seasoning at a certain point in the cooking process makes a difference. I remember hearing from a famous chef that you can salt a steak before cooking but you should never use pepper until after because the pepper can burn causing an unpleasant taste, or something to that affect. Then again, I’ve seen this contradicted by that same chef. Other people believe salt will draw out the moisture creating a dry, tough steak. Another idea is that this is a good thing because a dry surface is how you get that good, seared crust. What do you do?

#5 Will searing meat keep juices in?

I’ve noticed in my research that people everywhere are VERY concerned about their meat juices. It’s pretty commonly taught that searing the meat will create some sort of barrier, keeping the juices in and your meat nice and moist. It is argued that this really doesn’t affect anything and juices will escape no matter what. In fact, some people even state this CAUSES more juices to leak out. The good news is the feeling I got from most of my reading is the difference is super minimal, so it may not matter regardless of which way you tend to lean.

#6 How many times should steak be flipped?

In line with searing, the idea is that you should only flip steak once in order to not release juices, also if you keep flipping the heat doesn’t have time to reach the middle, meaning an overcooked surface or under-cooked center.  The absolute complete opposite has also been said, that flipping actually helps get a more even doneness.

#7 Juice

Like I said above, people are serious about their meat juices. (Fun fact: Did you know the red juices you see running from beef isn’t blood? It’s actually a protein found in the muscle called Myoglobin and it dissolves in the water causing the pink liquid you often see.) For the sake of repetitiveness I’m going to group these all together:

You often hear, don’t flip with a fork, don’t cut open to check for doneness, and let meat rest after cooking. All of these revolve around avoiding loss of moisture or allowing the meat to absorb all it’s juices again. I think this is where basic human psychology comes in. When you poke a steak or roast the juices pour out of it. It looks like a lot of moisture and flavor being released!  Of course it’s going to be concerning. Apparently it’s not to some though. It is actually said that this loss is so minimal and actually unnoticeable in the meal. This is one that is probably just safer to agree to disagree with your neighbor.

#8 How to check if it’s done. 

Honestly, I didn’t even know this one existed. Most agree the best and safest way to test doneness is to use a meat thermometer, but need I remind you of the juice loss concern? So along came the “poke test” or testing with your finger or face. Now, hear me out before you start putting your face all over your steak. Apparently you can poke the meat with your finger and compare how much the meat gives with different parts of your hand or face (ex: a medium rare steak will feel like touching your thumb to your middle finger). This determines how done the meat is in the middle. Guess this depends on if your dedication lies with meat juices or clean hands.

#9 Bone-in or Boneless?

Do you think this makes a difference to taste? Some people think the bone in meat will give it better flavor. This has been argued, of course. I even read about a study someone did with mashed potatoes  cooked with and without a beef bone. Some people noticed a meatier flavor in the potatoes with the bone, but most didn’t notice any difference. I’ve also read there’s more science to it (mashed potatoes aren’t the same as beef), that it is only true to the meat directly surrounding the bone, that this makes a difference in certain cuts. I personally tend to go for boneless for the convenience. I’m lazy and I like to think I’m not alone, haha.

#10 Is well done the safest way to eat meat?

I think when it comes down to it, people’s preference of meat doneness again comes down to our mentality. Some people, regardless of how good it may taste, just don’t have the ability to get over the raw-ness of a rare steak. It is easy to believe it is not safe. Others simply do prefer the taste and texture of a well done piece of meat. As I have mentioned before I think it is universally agreed that with ground beef well done is the only safe way to eat it. However with whole cuts, this may just be a personal preference.

Some bonus grill theories for you:

Will oiling the grill grates prevent meat from sticking?

A lot of people do this to make life easier. I certainly have. I’ve also read you should oil the meat directly. Something about the cold temperature of the meat keeping the oil from burning and creating a bad taste. It seems to be a debate even among celebrity chefs. Some say oil hot grates, some say oil them cold. Try it out and see what you think!

How will lifting the lid affect temperature?

Another thing grill masters seem to be adamant about is lifting the lid to the grill as little as possible to avoid a slower cooking time. I figured this to be true but actually read something interesting. Some people say it’s the heat on the surface of the meat that cooks the inside. So while opening the lid will release a lot of hot air, this does little to affect how the meat cooks. I guess some could argue that it will just take longer to maintain that surface heat.

Sear first or last?

Grilling is one of those things I so badly want to excel at. I absolutely love the crusty charred goodness on any sort of meat but it’s something I haven’t mastered without overcooking everything. Well this is one I will have to work on. It is commonly believed that you should sear your meat directly over the heat source and then move to indirect heat to let it cook the rest of the way, however it is also rebutted that you should actually cook through first and then in the last couple minutes sear to perfection, known as the reverse sear. Either way, I just need to figure out how to succeed!

So there you have it. Almost every debate you will read about how to properly cook beef. I noticed a lot of the beliefs people hold on to really make sense, but so do the opposing arguments. As with anything, it seems near impossible to get a straight true answer. So I want to know what your meat beliefs are and challenge you to be open-minded, do your own research and try something new! You may find a new game-changer technique!

Comment below!

 

The Nature of Grant Creek Ranch

Calves and Beef are obviously the big business of Grant Creek Ranch. Understandably, this is what we focus most of our time and effort on promoting. We have a great product to offer that we all stand behind 100%. Naturally we want to share that with the world, or at least our small part of the world for now, but in fact there is so much more to Grant Creek.

The drive to our ranch is not unlike most one would experience in the central part of the U.S. Once you leave Tulsa and pass through the suburbs to follow you reach what most people probably envision when you tell them you’re from Oklahoma or Kansas: Flat nothing. Of course there’s so much more than that, but to the untrained eye it can seem desolate. What you see are flat fields of grass, hundreds of cows, the occasional house, hawks gliding through the air. It takes you to a quieter time before cities pushed further and further out. It’s fun to wonder about the people who live out this far. How often do they go grocery shopping? What’s the closest town to them? How much work does it take to maintain this much land? What do they do??

Black-Eyed Susans

While I love outdoorsy things and have no problem getting my hands dirty, I am admittedly a city girl at heart. I love the convenience and easy access to necessities and entertainment. Most of all, I love the style and look of “City.” For being in a southern state I’m not much of a southern girl (regardless of how much I may love biscuits and gravy or beans and cornbread). However, having just recently moved out to the “country” myself I can definitely see the benefits. It’s much quieter. I have talked to my neighbors more than I ever did living in town. Traffic isn’t much of an issue unless you run into the occasional slow tractor or loose cow. There definitely is something relaxing about being in the country and time seems to slow down, especially at the ranch.

Going further in our hypothetical drive towards the ranch it gets increasingly quieter and calmer, towns are even fewer and far between. You can tell the people around have to rely a lot more on their local resources. It’s a completely different atmosphere. Luckily this is where the scenery gets better with rolling hills starting to form, wide open skies and beautiful flowers. When you get to the ranch there’s open space for miles. You can’t help but stand and take in all the beauty you don’t get in a city. While pictures won’t do it justice it’s certainly the next best thing and I wanted to share them with our readers!

Birds, and their lodgings, are everywhere at Grant Creek. I find the nests of the Swifts/Swallows to be the most interesting. They are built up all throughout the shop we use to house our big equipment. They use such a unique design you don’t often see. Hawks are another common bird that are so beautiful to watch as they gracefully glide through the air, giving the impression its an easy task.

I am amazed at the people who can identify certain types of flowers. It’s certainly not a talent or skill of mine so please comment below if you know what these are. Google is letting me down. For now, I will simply admire their beauty and all the colors. Maybe I’ve watched Disney’s Alice in Wonderland a few too many times, but looking at the purple/blue flower with yellow in the middle I can imagine it’s a little tiny woman twirling her glamorous dress all around her.

Of course, where there are flowers there are insects. I can’t say they’re my favorite things ever but I can appreciate the pictures. Look closely at the pictures above. Do you notice the little spider chilling on his purple chair? Most interesting of all, zoom in on the picture of the tall violet stem. There’s more than the big bumble bee to find here. Putting their awesome camouflage skills to perfect use is an insect hidden on almost every one of those buds. Can you see them? Does anyone know what these are or what type of flower this is?

It’s almost hard to believe that in all these big open spaces you can find so much. You have to look closely or they’re easy to miss. Photo credit goes to Steffanie, the wife of one of the ranch’s managing members. She has such an eye for catching these magnificent images while most of us rush on by. Thank you, Steffanie!

Update on Beef Sales

2018 Grass Fed Beef Sales – Tulsa Area

Our beef will be ready to be picked up from the processor in late December 2018.  The hanging weight should still be the same as discussed in the sales page and the price will still be $3.99/lb hanging weight plus processing. We still have some beef left to sell, so if you are interested in beef for 2018 please take a look at the sales page for details on reserving your beef. There is a form that you can fill out to get in touch with us. We will get in touch with everyone who has reserved beef in about a month to discuss payment of your deposit which will guarantee your beef for 2018.

2019 Grass Fed Beef Sales – Tulsa Area

We are already planning for 2019 beef sales and if there is enough interest we may have beef sales in July 2019 and November 2019. Our normal beef sales time is late in the year, but we understand that some people may want beef before this date. If you are interested in beef for either date in 2019 then please fill out the form on the sales page and in the comments section let us know that you are interested in either summer or winter 2019 beef purchase.

Update on Calf Purchases – Oklahoma City Area

We have for sale 1 year old weaned calves that have had one round of shots and are eating out of a trough. These calves are located at our Carney, Oklahoma pre-conditioning facility and may be delivered from here if you are interested. If you are interested in purchasing these calves please fill out the form on the sales page and let us know. We will then be in touch with you to arrange a time for you to take a look at the calves and to discuss pricing and delivery of the calves.

Calves for Purchase

 

May is Beef Month!

Happy Beef Month, everybody!

We are excited to be really focusing on getting the word out about our grass-fed beef this year. We stand behind our practices 100% and believe we sell a great product. In doing some reading this morning I came across Don’t Forget You Are Eating An Animal a great article that perfectly sums up a lot of our thoughts.

Certain diets have been mentioned on our website a few times recently, especially in our post about Bone up on Health: Grass-fed Beef and the Diets of Today. Grant Creek Ranch actually has no stance on any particular way of eating, however we are definitely behind the overall benefits of consuming wholesome, unprocessed grass-fed beef.

We’ve talked extensively about why you should make the switch to grass-fed.

  • Health: Not just the nutritional aspects, but the animal itself. The way we raise our cows results in less disease, stress, and other unpleasantness that can sometimes come from cows raised in feed-lots.
  • Treatment: Like the article mentions, humane treatment of our animals is one of our responsibilities as a calf-cow operation and we believe it truly makes a difference in the quality of meat you’re getting. Honestly, it’s even simpler than that. Where is the sense in mistreating our cows? What does it get us?
  • Cost: We’ve talked about why cost is a huge factor. It can get complicated, but in reality you’re saving so much by buying in bulk up front, having that meat ready to go at any given time rather than eating out, and not wasting money on questionable quality.

So, in celebration of Beef Month go grill up a beautiful, medium-rare steak slathered in garlic butter and thank a local farmer. Don’t forget to also start making plans for our beef sales later this year! Contact us if interested!

Recipe of the Month: Not your Caveman’s Chili!

Happy May 1st! Boy, are you in for a treat. From now on we will be sharing one new recipe a month to really give you some ideas on what to use your grass-fed beef for.

We are so excited for the warmer weather we’re getting and all the other wonderful things Spring brings (try saying that 3 times fast). So at start of grilling season why am I reverting back to Winter with a chili recipe!?

Bear with me y’all. This is the best chili, and my personal favorite. In fact, I literally have all the ingredients sitting on my counter at this moment so I can get a pot going once I get home. I don’t know who came up with the rule that chili and soups are Winter foods only but after you try this you’ll ignore that just like I do. Plus this recipe mostly uses a slow cooker, reducing time at the stove and ultimately the added heat of cooking, which of course we don’t want in these temps. Just put it all together and forget about it for a couple hours!

We love all carnivorous ways of eating and plan on incorporating all sorts of recipes for any type of diet involving meat. This particular recipe happens to be keto-friendly. For those unfamiliar with the term it translates to “low-carb deliciousness.” OK, not really, but it might as well. That’s right, this recipe is low-carb which means it doesn’t contain beans and other high-carb foods. That may seem crazy for a chili but I promise you won’t even notice. Besides, it is something you can easily modify!

First, I have to give credit where credit is due. This is not my own recipe. I’ve borrowed it from http://www.ruled.me

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pounds stew meat (or 1 pound stew and 1 pound ground)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium green pepper
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Red Boat Fish Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • *Optional: 1 cup coffee for more watery chili

A few notes:

  • You do want stew AND ground beef, however you can either buy a pound of ground beef or make your own using a food processor or meat grinder.
  • I have personally never used the fish sauce. I have read that Red Boat is the best brand and I cannot find that in my local stores, but I still thought the chili had great flavor.
  • I have also never tried the coffee trick. I like my chili thick!
  • This chili does have a little kick to it but is not extremely spicy. You can definitely cut back on the chili powder or cayenne for a milder flavor.

LET’S MAKE IT!

  • Grind half your stew meat (if doing this on your own), prep the veggies, and get your spices gathered and ready.
  • To make the sauce combine the beef broth, tomato paste, soy sauce, chili powder, cumin, fish sauce (optional), minced garlic, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, worcestershire sauce, and coffee (optional). Set aside for later use.
  • In a pan bring 2 Tbsp. olive oil to its smoking point then add the stew meat to the pan. As it cooks you can pour the excess juice into your slow cooker. Cook until browned and transfer to the slow cooker.
  • Next, add the ground beef to the pan and season with the salt and pepper. When this is finished you’ll add it to the slow cooker as well.
  • In the same pan, cook your chopped green pepper and onion until translucent then add to the slow cooker.
  • Remember that sauce you made in the beginning? Guess where you’re adding it…Stir everything together in the slow cooker and let simmer on high for 2 1/2 hours.
  • When the time is up, take the lid off and let the sauce reduce for 20-30 minutes.
  • Serve! You can add your favorite garnishes such as cheese, onions.

Makes about 4 servings, each serving coming out to about 398 Calories, 17.8g Fat, 5.3g Net Carbs (total carbs minus the fiber), and 51.8g Protein.

MODIFICATIONS;

The ground beef in this recipe is meant to provide a bean-like texture, however if you do not have any dietary restrictions you can definitely add any sort of beans or veggies you may want!

Let us know in the comments if you tried this chili and what you thought! Also, share with us your own recipe ideas. You may even see it featured as a Recipe of the Month someday!

 

 

Cost: Is Grass-Fed Beef Worth it?

The first concern most have when they think of grass-fed beef is…you guessed it: Price. You’ve heard it’s better for you and love the thought of feeding your family the best, but does it really make THAT much of a difference? Is it really worth taking that leap?

The short answer: Absolutely.

For this article I’m going to step away from behind the scenes. My name is Jess and I am admittedly new to this whole thing.  It has been so fun working with Grant Creek Ranch because I have learned a great deal about cows in general and how they do things on the farm, which has caused me to further my own personal research and make decisions affecting my food purchases. I, like probably many of you reading this, am in that part of life where I’m doing responsible things like buying/remodeling a house, planning for my future, and trying to improve my overall health. Budget is always on my mind. I always strive to find that balance between the best products and not breaking the bank. I can honestly say that I do believe grass-fed is worth it.  It’s what makes it so easy to talk about and share.

To be completely honest, it all comes down to priorities. Being realistic, this will not apply to every person out there. If you eat as cheap as humanly possible, eating almost no red meat least of all steaks or roasts, and do not care at all where your food comes from then this probably isn’t going to change your mind. However, if you are teetering with the idea of eating better food and weighing the pros and cons of grass-fed beef while maintaining a modest budget then please read on. There are many things to consider when purchasing grass-fed beef, whether from the ranch or the grocery store, and I am going to explain them all right now.

The Cost Breakdown

First, I’m going to get to the point of what you want to know. Straight up, grass-fed is going to cost you a little more, but how much? Keep in mind that it is near impossible to come up with an example that fits perfectly due to varying factors that come into play such as cut choices, but here is a general example:

A ½ cow, which can feed a family of 4 for approximately a year, weighs about 400lbs. This is the hanging weight (HW), the carcass after removal of all the unnecessary parts. We charge $3.99/lb (HW) which equals $1,596. You add to that the processing fee of about $0.76/lb ($304) and you end up paying $1,900 (Multiply or divide by 2 to get the price of whole and ¼). Now, you are ending up with about 250lbs of cut weight (CW), what you are taking home in the form of roasts, steaks, etc. If we take $1,900 / 250, you are basically paying $7.60 per pound. Compare this to the grocery store. It might be on the high end for ground beef, although not by much for grass-fed, but only a third of your order is ground. The rest will be steaks and roast. $7.60/lb for steak is a great price when you consider you would be paying upwards of $10-12/lb at the store, and that’s not even for the good grass-fed stuff. Using US averages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics of “normal” store-bought beef I came up with a total of $1,418. I tried to add up an approximate ½ cow order from a local grocery chain (Reasors) and came up with a cost of $1,666, among several other total prices.

Pros and Cons

Did that number seem shocking to you? It’s going to at first. How often do you go to the store and buy 250 pounds of beef to last you an entire year? Chances are, not often, but I guarantee you’d be surprised too if you added up what you spend on meat in a year going to the grocery store and out to eat. One of the few cons to buying in bulk is the cost is paid upfront.  The only other downside I can think of is meat isn’t always readily available. Currently we are not ready to sell. This is one of the many reasons commercial beef can be cheaper. Due to their resources, they are able to raise and put out beef at a much quicker rate. Most of the grass-fed market is still coming from small local farms. However, as long as you get a deep freezer and buy the right amount for you and your family it’ll last you until it’s time to buy a new cow!

1) Humane Treatment

So, diving more into why grass-fed is worth the extra cost let’s go back to the beginning. How were the cows raised? If you have taken the time to explore our site you know that our calves are raised in a pasture with their happy cow-moms, living happy, free lives. We feed our cows native and Bermuda grass, only supplementing with protein cubes in the winter when the grass is unable to provide all the appropriate nutrients they need. Some people wonder why all this matters. They’re just being bred to provide food anyway, right? Well, let’s think about that. Unfortunately, sometimes cows are mistreated, especially if finishing their lives in a feed-lot where they’re fattened up more quickly. The calves are raised being scared of humans and the treatment they associate with them. They know what being shoved in that pen means. Using people as an example, when you are stressed it affects you not only emotionally but physically as well. You are tired, achy, and possibly even malnourished. It makes sense that if cows are raised in a harsh stressful environment it will affect their bodies as they produce adrenaline and other hormones, ultimately affecting the quality of our meat. And remember, we are what we eat.

2) The Dry-Aged Difference

Next, how the meat is processed. We’ve quickly mentioned the difference between dry and wet-aged processing. So how does this affect you, the consumer? To refresh, dry-aging involves hanging the meat for a period of time in a refrigerator. During this time, the meat begins to breakdown. Some liquids leave the meat while some absorb into it. This is how the meat tenderizes. It does cause a lot of weight loss, around 20% actually, but results in beautiful flavorful meat. We like that.

In wet-aging, the meat is placed in vacuum-sealed bags which also allows the meat to breakdown but in a shorter time, allowing for faster transfer from butcher to plate. Cha-ching for the big guys. What this affects, and what this all boils down to really, is flavor. Dry-aged beef will have a robust flavor while wet-aged is going to have a more metallic taste. Honestly, if you are used to store-bought meat then this is probably what you are more familiar with and making the switch might be strange at first.

I conducted my own taste test when I was first introduced to the world of grass-fed and while it was unable to be a blind test on my part, my husband was completely clueless. I purchased the normal cheap ground beef I would usually buy from the store. The first thing I noticed was the rich red color of the grass-fed beef compared to the dull pink I was used to seeing. I cooked both for the same amount of time with no seasoning. During the cooking process I noticed that the store-bought did lose more moisture, rendered more fat and shrunk in size while the grass-fed did very little. We both agreed that while not a super noticeable difference and I can’t really explain exactly what, there was something we both liked slightly more about the dry-aged taste. It was just better.

3) Meat Quality

So what is so bad about store-bought? Nothing! You can absolutely get excellent cuts and flavors either way. Some stores even have a section of dry-aged beef on display along with grass-fed and other options, but again, I’m going to bring in that little word we all know too well: Cost. Say you go to the store and find the cheapest ground beef possible. This beef will be fattier and likely have had moisture added back to it during the grounding process. This is replacing weight of meat, and weight is what you are being charged for. It also isn’t as good of quality as you could be getting.

If you haven’t yet, go read my previous post Bone up on Health. It references some benefits found in switching to grass-fed beef that affect our bodies. This is personally my number one, and almost only, reason for making the switch. Another aspect of the health reason is the actual obvious condition of the meat. When you purchase meat from the grocery store it consists of several cows, increasing the odds that you are getting some questionable content or infections. Higher quantity of cows means it ups the chances that one of them had an infection and now it’s mixed in with all your meat. But when you are purchasing one cow from one place you know its condition and you know that nothing else (aka other cow meat) can compromise that. You get what you see.

I just love the idea of knowing exactly where my cow grew up, what it ate, and that I am getting that cow solely instead of a mixing pot of whatever is out there.

Still Need Convincing?

Here are other things to consider and ask yourself:

  • You will be getting all sorts of cuts that you probably steer clear of at the store due to higher prices.
  • How often are you going to go out to eat when you have 250lbs of meat in your freezer ready to be cooked? This alone would save most families probably thousands of dollars over the year.
  • You know what you are getting is 100% grass-fed and grass-finished. No sneaky labels.
  • You’re getting lean high-quality meat as opposed to what you may have to compromise for at the store.
  • A big reason why commercial meat is cheaper in some aspects is they have the giant farms, equipment, employees. They have all these resources that go through the process much faster. They have cows all year long. With grass-fed you’re dealing with things on a much smaller scale: Small farms and ranches, and limited resources and time. You are supporting a local business.

I cannot stress enough that we do not believe this is the only tried and true way to raise/eat/buy beef. Feedlots are not inherently bad. Grocery store beef is not always low quality. Commercial beef companies are not all evil! With everything, there will be those few bad eggs that ruin it for everyone. We just prefer knowing exactly what is going on with our food and deal with less of the “unknown.” Ultimately, you have to weigh the pros and cons, consider your priorities and decide what you think is the best decision for you and your family, but I for one cannot wait for the next order time.

Next time you go shopping, take a look at prices, do your own math, break out the research and you’ll see that it pays to feed you and your family the best. Now go invest in that deep freezer!

For another good read, check out Why Grass-Fed Beef?