Last weekend my family hosted the tween girls on the farm for dinner & movie. Having 4 tween girls between 3 families is full laughter and sometimes a tiny bit of drama, I brought the drama on myself this night. We made homemade pizzas for 3 of the girls then came the 4th, who has a strong dislike of pizza. For her I made oven smoked bbq style ribs. Next thing I hear from my very own Rutabaga. ” Mom, will you make me some BBQ Brisket for the 4th of July?”
Now for those of you who have met Rutabaga she is cute as can be. When she asks for something so sweetly & homemade to boot I can’t resist. Then to top it off she said those works all Momma’s want to hear. ” Mom, will you teach me how to make it too.” This led to a tiny bit of jealousy from Daddy who she normally bakes with. They are my baking team. After the BBQ was going Daddy promptly made a cherry dump cake with Rutabaga to get in a cooking lesson himself.
With our recent March 1st price cut on Beef our brisket became alot more affordable. The price went from $12.99 lb to $9.25 lb, nice eh? Our briskets are also cut family style into quarters making them between 3-4 lbs each. Enough to feed a crowd. To top off the Brisket I used Buh’s The Sweet Side Sauce which retails in the NCF Store for $5 a bottle. I only used the sauce to drizzle across the brisket, leaving enough for at least 2 more dinners if not more.
Full disclosure- my smoker is off limits to me at the moment (I got sick). If you want to to this on the smoker I recommend using hickory wood and keeping the grill at 225. Cook for 3-4 hours until fork tender. These smaller cuts cook quick so keep an eye on the heat. Always remember fat side up. If you need a little insurance cover extremely loosely in aluminum foil
There has been a bag of Amish Noodles staring at me from the pantry for a month. In July, my daughter and I traveled to my home state of Missouri, the northwestern corner of the state up by Kansas, where Mennonite & Amish Markets abound. There I bought a bulk bag of Egg Noodles with dreams of Beef Stroganoff.
One of our big sellers is Beef for Stew. I use it for many things soups, stews, kebabs, etc. This meal is larger, feeding up to 8 people (Or my just my ravenous bunch of kids – Editor/Farmer).
Boneless Beef for stew runs $8.99 per pound with all of the ingredients listed you’ll have dinner for roughly $12-$15. If you want to jazz it up a bit use one of our Sirloin Steaks at $14.99 lb, thinly sliced with the fat removed.
1 lb NCF Beef for stew
2 tbsp Butter (extra virgin olive oil can be substituted)
1 med yellow onion sliced thinly
3 cloves of garlic minced
8 oz Cremini mushrooms
1 cup beef broth (low sodium or no salt)
1 cup Guinness beer or 1 cup Pinot Noir (if you prefer no alcohol double the beef broth)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 cup sour cream
1 cup fresh peas *optional
salt & pepper to taste
The Beef for Stew chunks are rather large. The first step is to cut them down to bite size removing any left over silver skin, season with salt and pepper.
Melt the butter in a large deep casserole or dutch oven over med heat.
Once the butter has melted add in the onions & mushrooms lightly salt, cook until the onions are translucent with a bit of browning showing.
Add seasoned beef and cook till browned.
Toss in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Next up add the broth, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard and the beer.
Lower the heat to med low.
Place lid on and simmer for 45 min to 1 hour stirring frequently if the liquid is greatly reduced add a bit more broth.
If adding in peas do so now, let cook for 4 minutes.
Flavors from Asia, they’re complex by nature. You bite in and instantly go “How did they do this”? Umami is a word in Asian Cuisine used to describe the savory taste. Short ribs have a bounty of Umami.
The ribs come in packs ranging from 1 lb- 2 lbs at $8.99 a lbs. With ribs you want 1 lbs per person due to the removal of bone. While this recipe is for 5 lbs I typically use 2-3 lbs of the ribs. When doing this freeze part of your unused marinade for later use.
The secret to short ribs is the cooking time. Once again we are going to using that trusty dutch oven and set the oven at 280F. The length of time will vary on the density of meat, towards the end check every 30 minutes. You’re not just checking for fall off the bone you also want the connective tissue broken down enough to bite through easily.
Short Ribs with Asian Flavor
1 large Fuji apple
1 large Asian pear
1 ¼ cup soy sauce
¾ cup sugar
1 red onion, roughly chopped
4 green onions, chopped (optional)
1 tbsp ginger, grated
3 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
¼ cup sesame oil
5 lbs Short ribs
Enough water to cover ribs
Green Onions, chopped (garnish)
Preheat oven to 280F
For the marinade: Grate garlic, ginger, apple and pear into a large bowl, making sure to catch all of their juices.
Add the soy sauce, sugar, onions, sesame seeds, and sesame oil, mixing thoroughly.
Place short ribs to the bowl, use tongs to ensure all of the ribs are coated with the marinade.
Refrigerate the meat & marinade for at least 12-24 hours before cooking. (The longer you marinate the meat, the better it flavor!)
Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before cooking.
In a Dutch oven place ribs & 1-2 cups of the marinade. Place in oven with the lid on 280 until tender 6-7 hrs.
Remove and let sit for 10 minutes before removing ribs and breaking down the meat.
While the meat cooks simmer the remaining marinade till syrupy & pour over finished ribs or serve beside them.
For those of you who have contacted me to buy some beef, now is the time. I’m traveling all day today but will be back this evening if someone wants to pick up beef. I’m around the rest of the week and this weekend as well. Just contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements to stop by.
I don’t expect this beef to last too long based on the people who’ve already told me they want to buy some. It’s first come, first serve.
Friday Spork and I took the new reefer truck(that’s a refrigerated truck to you snickering out there) and picked up Sam from Chaudhrys. We had enough truck to pick up 30 cows so I was a bit worried we didn’t get enough meat from one cow because the meat looked pretty puny in the big truck. However when we got home and started packing the freezer, we filled it to overflowing and had to put the rest into another freezer. I guess there was more there than I thought.
In talking to SWMBO this morning, she’s agreed that we could sell some of the beef we have to make a bit more room in the freezer just to be organized. If you’ve been asking me when we’ll have beef, now is the time. Shoot me an email if you want some. We have all kinds of cuts and will be updating pricing on the website as soon as possible.
Now, onto the rest of the story.
As you can see, not only did Spork get to ride along (I love home schooling) but he was able to catch up on his sleep as well. Don’t let the snooze fool you. He worked hard on each end of the trip and was a joy to ride along with for the hour trip each way. As you can see we had the windows down on this trip. It was mid-July in North Carolina and it was about 84 degrees, low humidity, and a light breeze. It just doesn’t get any prettier.
Chaudhry’s did a great job with our cow, packaging, communication, etc. The only hiccup we had was they didn’t box our meat for us, which I’m used to. It’s not even remotely a problem, except I didn’t have boxes with me so we had to scramble a bit but it all worked out fine. Next time I’ll have plenty of boxes with me so we’ll be prepared.
We had dinner plans last night and tonight so I couldn’t whip up a test steak to see how everything came out which was driving me crazy. What to do? How about steak and eggs for breakfast? The verdict? Holy cow! Quite simply the best grass-fed beef I’ve ever had, and I’ve had some “good” grass-fed beef. I cooked these steaks the way you DON’T cook grass-fed beef, fast and with high heat. The steaks were tender, juicy, and flavorful. It’s really hard to get fat into a grass-fed cow but with our methods it seems to have worked in this case very well. When you consider that our cows receive NO COMMERCIAL FEED, no GMO, no hormones, etc, etc it’s pretty exciting that we can finish a cow to this quality. Fat equals flavor and fat is what you need to cook with high heat. We have fat in these ribeyes and they are wonderful. We have a number of ribeyes so we can spare some, along with sirloin steaks, hamburger, stew beef, etc. SWMBO has decreed that no filet mignon’s (her favorite cut) will be sold so I apologize in advance if you want some of them.
Here you get a better look at the marbling in these ribeyes. Ribeye is usually the most heavily marbled cut and has the most flavor. That’s why it’s a prime cut. High end cattlemen have ultrasound machines where they measure the fat on the ribeye before the process the cow to make sure there is enough for the cow to grade out well. Of course we don’t do that here and rely on the old eyeball and experience to tell when a cow is ready to process. Sam looked ready and boy was he. This is a beautiful ribeye with lots of white flecks in the muscle. Those flecks are the marbling that we are after. Seeing that much marbling is what caused me to cook the steaks hot and fast. Our steaks will stand up to the grill.
Of course we couldn’t leave out our hard-working guardian dog. After we’d finished our breakfast, Cotton got to clean up all the scraps and bones. She was a happy dog this morning.
Finally we have a loaded grill for an actual test. The weather gods have not been kind previously but they have made up for lost time with an absolutely perfect day today.
Despite our South American grill, we are as North American as we can be with hamburgers and corn. We will add bacon and cheese for the burgers in a few minutes and hopefully have a successful grilling experience.
So far the vertically stacked burning setup is working extremely well. Moving the coals around in our make do fire pit? Not so much. But we are persevering.