In every 1/4, half or whole beef you order from us, you can request your portion of what our butcher labels soup bones. Unfortunately, I have inherited a blood pressure problem, and can really tell when I consume too much salt! Therefore, I LOVE making my own beef bone broth! The health benefits of just sipping on bone broth is all over the internet and I regularly see it now on cooking shows, news etc...Also, I love making the stock to put up in Mason jars for use later. I cool down the jars, and anything that I am not going to sip on, I freeze for later use. I have found that freezing them in smaller mason jars is easier for thawing. You can even freeze them in ice cube containers!
Here is what I did a few days ago:
Thawed out 2-3 lbs. of our 100% grass fed beef bones
Rinsed off the bones, (there is still beef meat attached), and dried off
Heated up about 3-4 Tbsp of olive oil (you can add more later if need to avoid from sticking)
Browned the bones in the olive oil, turning every so often (med to med-high heat) to brown evenly
While I was browning the meat...
I took a peeler to about 4 carrots and rough cut them into 1/3rds
Cleaned about 4 celery stocks, rough cut into 1/3rds
Sliced an onion into equal parts
I put some parchment paper in a shallow dish, brushed with olive oil
I poured a little more olive oil over the veggies, gave them a good mix to cover and sprinkled the veggies with some salt and peper, and some Bragg brand organic 24 herb and spice seasoning.
I baked the veggies in the oven on 400, until they browned some and got a little caramelized.
Once the meat was browned on all sides, added the browned and somewhat caramelized vegetable mix to the Dutch oven I browned the bones in. Leave all the drippings from the meat before you add the vegetables, gives it flavor.
I covered the meat and vegetables in the Dutch oven with as much water it needs to cover all. Be careful not too get too close to the top so it does not boil over. I left about 1 1/2" room.
I added a Bay Leaf
I added about 3 Tbsp. Mother's Earth Apple Cider vinegar
I added about 3 Tbsp chopped garlic ( you can just throw in whole cloves of unpeeled and unchopped garlic, I have done this too).
I let it all come to a slow boil, then transferred it to the oven on 350 for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Ultimately, I like to simmer it in the over for up to 12 hours. I don't always have that time, but you can also make your beef bone broth in the slow cooker, after the browning of the meat and vegetable part of this and cook in low and slow for up to 12 hours! That method would be a lot safer if you have to leave your home during this time.
I removed the bones/meat and the big chunks of veggies and set them aside.
I strained the liquid through a fine strainer into a large bowl to let cool.
I put a funnel over two large Mason jars, in this case, and sealed them.
You want the broth to gel up overnight in the fridge, that perfect. You will have a layer of fat on the top. You can scrape it off if you want, you don't have to, before pouring whatever portion you want to heat up. The gel like broth will turn into a beautiful liquid, perfect for sipping or using in your recipes, such as soups, stews, gravy etc...homemade beef broth adds such a depth of flavor to any recipe! Enjoy!
P.S. The frugal part of me will be using the left over meat on the bones, (I am adding some of our farm raised stew meat), and the vegetables I used to make the broth, as well as more I will bake off, and making beef-vegetable soup for tonight's dinner! I am using some Quinoa that I had made earlier in the week, to make a salad, and have some of just the Quinoa left, I will add as a thickener. I like to see how much use I can get out of my refrigerator ingredients, leftovers, etc...to avoid so much waste. I think I read the average American wastes something like 40% of the food they buy! Egads...I'm trying not to be that average American!
Tip: I do make out menus for the week, breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have been doing this for like 25-30 years. I has always helped in saving me $ at the grocer. I look to see what I have in my pantry, and plan around it. Since we are fortunate enough to be able to raise our own pork, beef and lamb, I plan meals around that, as well as adding chicken and fish to our diet, and vegetarian meals for a balance. We love leftovers, so if I make soup for dinner one night like I will be for tonight, we will eat it for lunch tomorrow. Making a grocery list for just what you need for those planned meals that week saves a ton of $, avoiding impulse buying...and don't go to the store hungry...it's a diet and budget killer!
People often ask me what I like to do in my free time. I When I have time, I like to experiment with new recipes, make up my own, cook and bake. So, while Jay was out mowing one of the lower fields this morning, I decided to bake an Apple Streusel. I had all the ingredients...it was totally worth the time and mess. It turned out awesome! My farm boy likes a little snack with his coffee...so I know he will appreciate that I did this, when he get's in from the field. Off to wash my car...I needed to have some free time, after flipping both the "haycation"homes yesterday.
Although the Pacific Northwest isn't generally known for it's hot weather, you wouldn't know it by looking back at last summer, and seeing how this one has started! I had thawed out some country pork ribs for dinner and a cold salad, at the end of a hot day, to accompany the grilled ribs I was planning to cook on the smoker...sounded good! So for those of you looking for a nice cold side dish, on a hot summer day, to go with whatever you are grilling...this one is a good one! You can't go wrong with apples and pork!
3 broccoli florets~washed, dried and cut into bite size pieces, washed and pitted 1 1/2 cups fresh bing cherries, and cut in half.Chopped one half red onion,chopped one large granny smith apple,1/2 cup sunflower seeds, tossed together in a big bowl. For the dressing~1/2 cup non-fat greek yogurt, 1/2 cup low fat sour cream,2 Tbsp vinegar,1 Tbsp sugar,salt and pepper to taste. Mix it together with the salad, and refrigerate. Next time I will add celery and bacon..just for fun, and maybe switch out the sunflower seeds for hazelnuts.
Our motto around the farm is...all chores done by cocktail hour. So, I pulled the ribs out of the fridge and smothered them with a dry pork rub, and let them sit for a bit. Just before cocktail hour, I put them on the smoker. I cut some sweet potatoes into thick discs, drizzled them with olive oil,salt and pepper, threw them in the oven to cook. Once they were soft, I smashed them a little with a potato masher, put them back in the oven to cook until a little crispy...and we were ready to eat!
Give it a try! It was super delicious and plenty left for our lunch the next day!
From my farm house kitchen to you! Enjoy!
We get a lot of interest about butcher day on the farm, so I thought I would write to explain how it happens. I set the butcher dates, usually months in advance, depending on their busy season. If it's deer/elk season, I schedule those months before, as they get so busy. I pre-sell the animals we are going to butcher. They call me the day before, to let me know what time the crew will be here. Jay usually get's up a little early, and corrals the beef we are going to take. I sometimes help with this, if he wants my opinion, or there are multiple animals. You want a one shot kind of butcher, no one that is inexperienced at this...safety and you don't want all your hard work ruined by someone that is a bad shot and you have the animal running around mad, for safety reasons and not to get all that adrenalin running through their blood and into their system! The assistant bleeds them out and Jay transports them to the butcher truck with the loader tractor. They always park at the end of our driveway, near the lamb pen. When they are done with the beef, I am the clean up girl at the barn where they were shot. I immediately get the hose out and wash down the road, as much as I can, and the concrete that leads down to the area they were in holding at. Not only does it look unsightly, but it starts to stink when as it warms up, so if it's not rainy season, I'm right on it. Same with the hogs and lambs. The hogs are taken with a bullet but the lambs, they break their neck...so it's fast and they don't suffer. They are both bled out as well...and I'm in the barn next, hosing off the concrete pads, the walls and wood, if there is anything on them. It's all the butcher's job after that. They remove the heads, stomaches, hoof portions that aren't edible. They remove the tails and cheek meat of the beef for me, as it makes for great stews! The customer is entitled to it if they want it. If they don't I take it. Jay has fond memories of his grandmother Minnie, coming to the farm every week end from Seattle and making the family oxtail stew. The carcass are hung in the sterile butcher truck to their shop, ready to be custom cut and wrapped.
I have been bound and determined to check off my list, to update our site and write blogs regularly. Since butcher our May butcher date is upon us, I thought it a good time to blog about the process. We get a lot of questions about it, so hopefully this will help. We pre-sell our animals for butcher, which is required, unless we have them processed at a USDA processing facility. There is not one in this county yet. There is one in the works, hopefully it will be up and running in the next 1-2 years, as well as a USDA mobile unit. As of now...we can sell beef by the 1/4,1/2,3/4 or whole animal, lamb and pork, by the 1/2 and whole. You choose your custom cut/wrap using our butcher's guideline sheet. There is always wiggle room...so be sure and ask. Processing time on the beef is 10-14 days, as it dry age hangs at our butcher shop before it is custom cut/wrapped, according to your request. The pork processing time is 7-10 days, to allow for the hams and bacon to be cured/smoked. The processing time on the lamb is determined by what day of the week they cut lamb next. All the meats are wrapped in plastic then paper and each individual package is marked what cut it is. The lamb burger and pork sausage are all in rolls, 1 lb.or more, it's up to you. We ask that you have your cut/wrap instructions in on or before butcher day, so that when the shop is ready to process the orders, they have your card in front of them. You provide them with your name,phone # and our name, so they know what farmer you belong to. If you are looking for 100% grass fed beef, and all natural pork and lamb, non-medicated meats, then we would love to be your source.
I'm finally taking the plunge! Since having our (the farm's) first web-site built and launched recently, I've danced around it enough, and decided it was time to start writing about this life I stumbled into and love. I don't claim to be a "lifestyle expert", "food expert" or any of the other catchy phrases I see attached to self proclaimed experts of food,lifestyle, and media. I am however, authentic, and merely want to share what knowledge I have gained, mostly from the time I moved onto the farm, and our experiences, sometimes very funny. Some days you could just not make up what happens on the farm, and my friends have often encouraged me to write about it...so here I am! I will be blogging about happenings on the farm, the "haycation" homes, where they come from, and the people we meet through hosting their stays on the farm, food (I love to cook), I am self taught, no formal culinary background. However, I have a reputation for baking and making some pretty kick ass food and desserts, so I want to share some of that with anyone who is interested. I will be posting recipes for not only our meat customers, but anyone else you wants to learn how to say, make a roast 101, gravy, pie dough etc...the basics and then some. We try to waste little (that's where the frugality part comes in), whether it's in a meal we made (say, a roast, and then planning meals for the next few days eating it up), or in the butchering of an animal, and eating as much of it as we can, with little being wasted, hence oxtail and cheek meat stew! We raise pork, beef and lamb for meat sales, as you can see from the site. Jay will be sharing some of what he does now and again, care and feeding of the animals, what is involved in butcher day, chasing animals off a neighbor's lawn and getting them back home, fence repairing (after afore mentioned wandering animal gathering), and just general farming knowledge that he has learned in his 57 years (his lifetime) of living and farming on this very farm. That in itself is so unusual these days and people are always intrigued to hear the story~about this beautiful farm his father bought in 1949 and his parents grew to be one of the most well respected diaries in the area until the year 2000, when they stopped dairying. We started "bringing back the farm" in the year 2008 and we haven't stopped! I like to think that people are wanting to live a simpler life, get back to basics and my hope is that in sharing our stories, will be not only just fun to read, but hopefully encouraging others, who are looking to start raising their own animals, raise a garden,start a farm, or just want to experience farm life vicariously through us! I always say when marketing the farm for "haycation stays", come to the farm to disconnect and reconnect! I hope you enjoy my future blogs and you find them at times entertaining, useful and fun to read. I feel like a live in a little slice of heaven on earth and want to share it with you! I finally know the saying is true..."do what you love and it won't feel like work"! So true!
City born and raised, now living among the corn maze. I don't profess to be an expert at anything, but I hope you enjoy what I have learned along the way and landed right where I love...this farm!