Sat Jan 07 2006 08
Bell Tolled, Beef Hanging Around!
Well had to make my end of first week stop to the butcher shop and check
on the beef. I must say the new straight corn method has produced an
excellent carcass. As you can see in this picture the sides all Graded
Prime. Receiving this grade is a combination of the correct genetics
with the proper feed ration. Since my son took over the custom beef
raising five years ago he has got the feed rations down to a science.
(which it is a science) These cattle came out particularly nice. Perhaps
250 pounds over finished. A little over finish just means you wasted
money making additional cover (fat) on the carcass instead of maximizing
the growing finishing process. Part of that was due to the slaughter
house not accepting animals the end of December so we had three weeks of
growth at 4.6 pounds per day or so of cover added on to the carcass.
Take a look at the sides of all of them hanging in this picture:
Nice and uniform. You will notice the oxtail hanging down and even it
show a little bit of cover. Can not wait for the oxtail, black truffle
soup this year! I am making one big batch and freezing it this year.
This next picture shows the forward shoulder again the almost complete
cover is very encouraging to see. We are going for 21 days dry age, the
more uniform the cover the better chance we have of getting to 21 days
without the USDA rep going nuts and making me have them cut up.
All in all this is going to be a great steak grilling summer. Another
nice thing about these angus cross are the beautiful shanks they create.
The marrow is really nice and dark with the meat on the outside fairly
well covering the bone. This makes for great braised beef shanks (beef
osso buco) but I do have to tie the shanks, as with the 2 inch cut I
ask for, the meat will slide off if I don't tie them. Anytime you can
get lesser cuts to be premium you are getting a much better value out of
the feed and time put into raising these animals.
I wanted everyone to get an idea of what a whole steer looks like and
give you some scale to see what size these things really are when they
are slaughtered. My butcher is 5 foot 11 inches tall, the foreleg of the
shoulder is about 6 inches above the aging locker floor. We are talking
about handling a large large carcass.
This picture shows the 684# red angus, the largest this year was the
white face cross at 705 on the rail and the smallest what the char/angus
cross at 645# on the rail. All in all a good growing year for these
animals not one got sick so they were raised with no growth hormone, no
injections at all. They did receive the pour on 8 months ago for
internal parasites when we received them from the delivery truck.
These guys have two more weeks of just hanging around before they get
dressed up in their whites with the blue stamp stating what is inside
the white butcher paper.
Ahh I can smell that T-bone wafting around the backyard now!
Til we talk over a steak,
Chef Bob Ballantyne
The Cowboy and The Rose Catering
Grand Junction, Colorado, USA