Monday, July 19, 2010

answering questions about our beef

Please ignore the different font sizes:  For some reason when I copied and pasted the questions from my comment section, Blogger then refused to allow me to make all my paragraphs the same size.  Go figure.  

 I was asked a couple of questions about our newly-processed meat:
I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...That is a lot of beef. Do you eat it all or give some away. We used to get a half a beef and even that was a lot of meat. Considering where it came from I'd say it's going to be choice meat fit for royalty. 
It truly is a lot of beef, but beef keeps well in the freezer for a long time.  And our whole beef may not have any more meat than the half-beef you used to buy; Sir was a Jersey, which is a small dairy breed, and he was butchered at almost exactly one year of age.  Beef breeds such as Angus and Hereford, and so many others, are usually butchered, I believe, between the ages of eighteen months and two years.  Beef type animals yield a higher percentage of meat from a carcass than dairy breeds, and have usually been fed quite a bit of grain in a feedlot; this makes the meat marble nicely, and produces good, tender meat, and more of it.  We have the biggest portion of our beef put into ground beef, and the few roasts and steaks we ask for have no bone.  Cliff tells me the bones would take up a lot of room in the deep freeze.  

Our freezer is medium-sized, and there wasn't quite room for all the meat we brought home.  That's OK, because Cliff's sister next door has a tiny little freezer, and she had made room for some of the meat; so she has a good supply of beef handy if she gets a hankering for chili or meat loaf.  If my daughter and her family want some ground beef, all they have to do is come and raid the freezer.  We also took a few pounds to the neighbor across the road who has so often blessed us with catfish ready for the pan.  
I do hope when Bonnie calves next month that she has a heifer, because this meat will easily last us for two years.  I don't need another steer.
Amy said... Do you keep the head?! That's how barbacoa is made! (good stuff....I had it for breakfast yesterday....and fairly expensive, considering it's made from a part most people would turn their nose up at....)
No, Amy, they don't even give the option of keeping the head, although I imagine a person could ask to keep it.  I wouldn't turn my nose up at anything made of the head; I like brains and sweetbreads, although I haven't had either since Cliff's days of working at a butcher shop.   I like mountain oysters, too.  But of course, that's from the other end of the cow.  
Here's how the invoice read:  1 beef slaughter, $15.  480 pounds cooling, aging, cutting, wrapping, $187.20  16 pounds liver, heart, tongue and tail, $6.24.  And 1 Waste Removal & boxing fee, $15.00.


Cliff said...

We haven't had a beef processed for several years but we used to do one big steer (a 14 or 1500 pounder) a year. It does take two freezers however. But it sure is hard to beat isn't it.
Yes the shops are getting expensive. I know the deer hunters around here do a lot complaining about the charges.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Thanks for the answer...I see your invoice included liver. My oldest son gave me some from his beef last year and it was the best I'd had in ages.

The Guy Who Writes This said...

They tend not to let the brains go out since that is the vector for Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease(CJD) better known as Mad Cow. Some won't let the spines go out either.

kcmeesha said...

I like liver (my Mom makes a "cake" out of, not sweet cake, it just looks like one, with layers of liver, grilled onions and mayo) and tongue

Midlife Mom said...

Nothing like home grown beef. You don't have to wonder what things they put in it to 'beef' it up! I too remember dressing the chickens and watching them run around after my Grampie cut their heads off! Thought it was a hoot back then, would probably freak me out now! ha!

Hyperblogal said...

I LOVE liver and onions... unfortunately no one knows how to fix it properly....

Lori said...

From research we have done, I don't think butchers are allowed by law to let you have the head. I mean, if you processed one yourself, there's no law against it, but for someone to do it commercially, most states have laws against it because of diseases in the brain. It's the same with the feet of most animals.