Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Healthier Summer Sausage

We promised last year to try to come up with a summer sausage that had better ingredients than the stock seasoning mix we were getting from Alaska Butcher supply.

Here is the recipe we are using and all the ingredients are available in the bulk spices bins at Fred Meyers.  We sold out our first batch and are going to do another 100 pounds this Saturday at the end of the hamburger run.

Mustard Seed
Black Pepper
Garlic Salt
Liquid Smoke
Brown Sugar
Celery Salt
Hot Sauce
Worcestershire Sauce

This is not as strong as our old mix but it has no MSG or preservatives.  This is available to folks picking  up a side of beef for $5.50 a pound.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Progress on 2014 Meat Cycle

Its hard to believe that just a few short weeks ago we were putting in the water and sewer system for our future slaughter and processing facility.  Now the concrete floors are in and we have completed the first round of 20 sides of beef.  Tomorrow the next 20 will be slaughtered at the State plant and we will be doing the next processing the middle of November.  Our next scheduled slaughter dates are Nov 3 and Nov 24.  So far I think we can accommodate all of our orders.

Several folks had trouble finding our  explanation of our "standard" cutting package so I will include that here.

The "standard" package is what we have found to be the most common preference of our customers for how to process their side of beef.  It is a three way split between steaks, roasts, and hamburger.  The cuts include rib eye, T bone, sirloin, round, and flank steaks cut to 3/4 inch thickness.  The roasts include prime chuck, sirloin tip, rump, bottom round, brisket, eye of round, and knuckle roast.  We shoot for 3-5 pound roasts that will fit in the crock pot.  We include some stew meat, and short ribs and soup bones.  We do the hamburger as lean as possible- aiming for 90% and package them in 2 pound packages.  We cut up the large bones so you can render them down if you wish.  We find homes with mushers for those who want to leave their bones.   A standard cutting package on a 250 pound side of beef will also produce about 40 pounds of bones and fat or "trim".  You can vary the cuts any way you want.  The thickness of the steaks and the size of the hamburger packages can change at your request.  Since the hanging weight does not include organ meat it is not included in the pricing but is available as is extra hamburger and sausage if you request.

Payment is by check or cash at the time you pick up the meat.

Sitkinak Cattle Company Visit

 Last week I enjoyed visiting the custom mobile slaughter and processing facility on Sitkinak Island.  It was very instructive to learn how they handle these wild cattle that go back to the days of the Russians.  There were a lot of techniques we can apply directly to our own slaughter facility that will hopefully speed things up if we get it going for next year.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Two Thousand Fourteen Meat Season

I recently realized that the puzzle pieces were in place for this fall's meat season.  The cattle have been luxuriating in lots of grass.  The calving season is over and the breeding season for next year is nearly over for that matter.  We have slaughter dates which will again be getting our first orders to customers in the middle of October.  Unfortunately because of the full schedule of the State slaughter house we will not be able to finish processing until late into November.  Since we go from the top of the list to the bottom the timing of filling orders will depend where you are on the list.

Another issue finalized recently was the price.  If you remember last year we raised our price for the first time in seven years when we realized that the national markets had jumped over thirty percent in that same time frame.  We could have justified jumping a full dollar a pound last year but decided to raise the price 25 cents a pound and re evaluate again this year.  Well,  since last year the national prices have gone up another twenty five percent so we are going to set our price for this fall at $4.50 a pound on the hanging weight and hold the processing fee at $1 a pound.  Please remember that we are trying to sustain not only our own cattle business but other ranchers that are also growing into the business of local, clean, grass fed beef.  Those farmers that grow to our specifications get one hundred percent of the $4.50 that you pay for your meat.

We are in the process of building our own custom slaughter floor on the farm in hopes that we can start and finish our meat cycle in a compact period of time of our choosing instead of fitting around the State's schedule.  In early October I will be spending a few days on Sitkinak Island with the Mudd family to learn how their relatively new slaughter facility works.  We will no doubt be posting pictures about that.

Rather than rehearse the slaughter routine I am going to refer you to last year's post in September on this blog.  What I am going to mention is some features that will be different.  A new cut in our "standard" cutting package will be a knuckle roast.  This is a large bone that is difficult to bone out cleanly and is served in Italian restaurants in South America.

We are still waiting on a request to Alaska Butcher Supply to provide us with organic summer sausage ingredients.  The long delay in their response suggests that this may not be possible but we are trying.  In any event you will know when you order if it can be organic or not.

I hope you enjoy your meat again this year.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

August 1 Cleanup Begins

To their delight, the Canadian bull and the steers were released to the main pasture to make sure everyone is bred.  Judging by the quiet state of things our little red bull did his job.

Noticed that most of the swallows are gone.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

#11 Completes Delivery Season- 7/22/14

#11 was last to calve last year and is even later this year.  She had another bull- this time black and must have been born yesterday 7/22/14 because he wasn't going to stand still to be tagged. He will be #46 first time he goes through the squeeze chute.   She picked the same spot as last year also.  According to Grandaughter Remedy the calf's name will be "Boy".

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Rot proof fence Posts

A side benefit of the oil industry in this State is the abundance of drill stem around.  We got 130 lengths to start replacing rotted wooden posts.