Kansas

Beef Chat

Feb252015

Despite High Prices, Consumers Choose Beef for Its Value

Published by Kassie Curran at 10:04 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition

It’s not news that beef prices are on the rise, and with the global beef production expected to be down 1.4% in 2015 it makes those with a stake in the beef industry wonder if consumers will keep paying for beef. Of course poultry and pork are viable protein substitutes that are less expensive than beef and we know that consumers will consume a great deal more of these options than beef over the coming year. But there’s just something about beef that keeps consumers coming back, in fact we’ve actually seen an increase in beef demand.

A 2013 study found that 72% of consumers list beef as their top choice of protein – but why? Is it the savory taste, great nutrition, or does it just make you happy? According to the study, consumers believe the price of beef accurately reflects its value. Where do you find value in beef? Is it flavor, juiciness, tenderness, or versatility? What is it about beef that makes you keep coming back for more?

For me, beef serves as a high quality, nutrient dense protein source that not only tastes amazing, but can be used in many ways. Beef quality has been increasing over the years and we’ve actually seen more carcasses grading USDA Prime and Choice (which also makes it taste better too!). Nutritionally, beef is a superstar in my opinion. A 3-oz. serving of lean beef (find out which cuts are lean here) has less than 200 calories and still provides more than 10% of the Daily Value for nine essential nutrients including protein, zinc, B12, B6 and other B-complex vitamins, as well as selenium, phosphorus, and iron.

While it’s not hard to think of lots of ways to use ground beef – spaghetti, tacos, vegetable soup, and hamburgers are some of my favorites – thinking of other ways to use steak may not come as easy to you. I love preparing a steak for supper and then saving some to use on a salad for lunch the next day. Or I like to have steak with my eggs in the morning. There are all kinds of ways to get value out of beef just by its versatility! Check out some of the recipes shared on this blog to find more!

When you consider everything that beef has to offer, it’s actually a great deal! Share with us what makes you choose beef by commenting below. And I hope you choose beef for your next protein purchase.

Eat Beef,

Kassie



[KickIt] [Dzone] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

E-mail | Permalink | Trackback | Post RSSRSS comment feed 0 Responses

Feb182015

Taboo No Longer - Happy, Healthy Hearts Love Beef!

Published by Amber Groeling RD LD at 9:12 AM under General | Nutrition | Recipe

Wait a minute...beef is okay to eat AND keep my heart healthy too? Yes, you read this correctly. No longer “taboo” for healthy, active lifestyles, nutrient-rich lean beef such as top sirloin steak can be enjoyed again without guilt. In fact, top sirloin meets the American Heart Association (AHA) certification as a lean cut of beef and heart-healthy choice.  The AHA Heart-Check certification is one of the most trusted nutrition logos and claims on a food label. 

Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University reported results from the BOLD (Beef in an Optimal Diet) study showed adding a daily serving of nutrient-packed lean beef to a heart-healthy diet could lower the risk of heart disease by reducing “LDL” (bad) cholesterol levels.

A three-ounce serving of lean sirloin (about the size of your smartphone) has about 150 calories plus the Daily Value (DV) of these nutrients:

  • Protein - 38% (for muscle growth and repair)                                                    

  • Vitamin B12 - 44% (important for brain health)

  • Selenium - 40% (protects cells from damage)

  • Zinc - 38% (strengthens the immune system)

     

    According to research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, beef is the number-one source of protein, zinc and Vitamin B12. It is the number-two source for selenium and number-three source for iron. Protein in beef promotes the feeling of satiety or fullness longer than simple carbohydrates. This means that, for people trying to curb their calories for weight loss, type II diabetes or other health reasons, eating a three-ounce serving of top sirloin in a meal not only provides important nutrients and energy, but it helps keep a person from feeling hungry for a longer period of time.

     

    Here are some tips and reminders for preparing your delicious beef sirloin;

  • It’s not necessary to bring beef to room temperature before cooking. This practice does not provide any flavor or cooking advantage. For food safety reasons, it’s best to cook meat straight from the refrigerator to keep bacteria levels at a minimum.  

  • When stir-frying sirloin, partially freeze the steak prior to preparation. It will slice easier into thin, equal-thickness strips.

  • Pat steaks dry with paper towels before pan-searing to get better browning that seals in the juices. When grilling or broiling, use tongs rather than a meat fork. The fork tines will pierce the steak, causing the flavorful juices to seep out while tongs will not cause this.

 

Many recipes using sirloin steak are quick and easy. The following recipes take less than 30 to 35 minutes to prepare. Enjoy the powerful health benefits of lean beef!

  

Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce

 

 

Serves 4

 

All you need

1/4 cup Hy-Vee smooth natural peanut butter

1/3 cup orange juice

3 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tsp sugar

4 tsp Hy-Vee canola oil, divided

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound Hy-Vee sirloin steak, trimmed and thinly sliced

1 small head Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced

2 to 5 tbsp water

2 medium carrots, grated

1/4 cup chopped unsalted roasted peanuts, optional

 

All you do

1. Whisk peanut butter, orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar in a medium bowl until smooth.

2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add steak; cook, stirring, until browned and barely pink in the middle, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

3. Reduce heat to medium. Swirl in the remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Add cabbage and 2 tablespoons water; cook, stirring, until beginning to wilt, 3 to 5 minutes. Add carrots (and more water if necessary to prevent sticking); cook, stirring, until just tender, about 3 minutes more. Return the steak and any juices to the pan; add the peanut sauce and toss to combine. Serve sprinkled with peanuts (if using).

 

Nutrition facts per serving: 364 calories, 17g fat, 3g saturated fat, 42mg cholesterol, 469mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 31g protein. Daily values: 140% vitamin A, 110% vitamin C.

 

Source: adapted from Eating Well, Inc.

 

 

The information is not intended as medical advice.   Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.



[KickIt] [Dzone] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

E-mail | Permalink | Trackback | Post RSSRSS comment feed 0 Responses

Feb122015

Made to Be Mothers

Published by Katie Sawyer at 8:41 AM under Agriculture | Coffee Shop Talk | General

I have a love-hate relationship with winter. It’s my favorite season on our farm because it brings a new crop of baby calves and proud mother cows. But it also creates long, sleepless nights for my farmer hubby and the occasional sad news of a calf that just didn’t make it.

But as I soak up the joy that is new calves playing in our backyard, anti-animal-agriculture groups continue to criticize animal owners like my husband and I for breeding our cows each year. They consider it abuse for our animals to be continually pregnant and instead advocate for cattle to spend their days mindlessly munching on green grass and carrying a calf every few years.

 

But I disagree. Our cows are born to be mothers. Not just in the literal sense of reproductive organs and hormones, but in their behaviors and temperaments. It’s their genetic make up and natural calling to carry a calf.

 

Our cows deliver a calf each winter and nurse it through the spring and summer months. In late April and early June they are usually impregnated again. All the while receiving the proper feed and nutrition – which varies according to their stage of pregnancy. We work to ensure all of our cows get pregnant around the time same so that we know when to expect calves.

 

The mothers provide all of their calf’s nutritional needs. She protects it from wildlife and the weather and watch over it as it runs, plays, grows and explores.  Mothers lick their newborns warm and dry and clean a dirty behind with a quick pass of the tongue. Mother cows and calves communicate with moo’s and bellows and pair up each night and throughout the day for food and protection. It’s a relationship not unlike that of my son and I’s and as I hear for the mothers call to their calves at the end of each day I know that motherhood is in their DNA.

 

We treat our cows with respect and a gentle hand and they, in return, allow us to participate in raising their calves. A cow’s job is to raise calves. That is her mission and purpose in life. Cows allow us to grow our herd and continue our dream of handing this farm and way of life to our children. Motherhood is not abuse, it’s a continuing of the life cycle we all depend on for food and fuel and it’s what our cows love to do.



[KickIt] [Dzone] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Tags: , , , , , , ,

E-mail | Permalink | Trackback | Post RSSRSS comment feed 0 Responses

Feb042015

A Beef-y Vacation

Published by Robin Kleine at 7:42 AM under

Every year during the first week of February, thousands of cattlemen flock the Cattle Industry Convention & National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Tradeshow. The location changes every year, but this year’s convention – going on now – is in San Antonio, TX at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center

 

This event serves as a learning opportunity for cattlemen with any size cattle operation, and those with 20 cows at home can often be found socializing with owners of 50,000 head feed yards.

 

Furthermore, the Cattle Industry Convention serves as a meeting place for five different organizations within the beef industry –

  National Cattlemen's Beef Association www.beef.org

  Cattlemen's Beef Promotion & Research Board  www.beefboard.org

  American National CattleWomen, Inc.  www.ancw.org  

  CattleFax  www.cattlefax.com

  National Cattlemen's Foundation  www.nationalcattlemensfoundation.org

 

There’s more than just socializing at these events. Beef producers have endless learning opportunities, including the Cattlemen’s College. Various sessions take place during each day of the convention, including information about bovine reproduction, ranch management, beef cooking, estate planning, grazing and more! These sessions serve as a way for cattlemen to gather new information to take back home to our farms or ranches, as well as ask follow-up questions to the professionals delivering the information.

Image courtesy of @ChanMulvaney on Twitter

 

Additionally, the NCBA Tradeshow is always a highlight of the event. With hundreds of booths from breed associations and retailers, all highlighting new products and services, there are even more reasons to attend the event.

This event might sound like a bore to some of our audience … but for many, the Cattle Industry Convention is a highlight of our year. It’s a time to meet up with old friends, many of whom live across the country, and to make new friends, all while learning about our livelihood and favorite protein source – beef!

Because we are so passionate about beef cattle production, we’re always trying to learn new ways to do it better. Better might mean more economical practices, safer handling for us and the cattle, healthier end product or even insurance that ranchers will be able to pass on their operations to the next generation.

Until next time,

Robin


P.S. – Who says farmers aren’t hip? Check out the #beefmeet hashtag on Twitter to follow along with what’s happening in San Antonio! [https://twitter.com/hashtag/beefmeet]



[KickIt] [Dzone] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Tags: , , , , , , ,

E-mail | Permalink | Trackback | Post RSSRSS comment feed 0 Responses

Jan282015

Super Simple Soup

Published by Kiley Stinson at 3:38 AM under Agriculture | General | Recipe

Last night I knew that my husband (I’ve been married a month and it still feels strange to say that!) and I would not have much time for supper in between finishing evening chores and leaving for a community school board meeting. Knowing that it would be late before we made it back home I had to have something quick and easy and still hearty enough to satisfy our hard-working farming appetites. Luckily, even in a rush we were able to sit down and enjoy a big bowl of hamburger soup together!

Hamburger Soup

Prep time: 15 minutes                   Cook Time: 30 minutes                  Difficulty: Easy                   Servings: 12

Ingredients:

                2 ½ pounds ground chuck

                1 whole large onion, diced

                2 stalks of celery, diced

                3 cloves of garlic, minced

                1 can (14.5 oz.) whole tomatoes (diced tomatoes work great if that’s all you have in your pantry)

                3 cups of beef stock of beef broth, plus more as needed

                1 whole yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced

                1 whole green bell pepper, seeded and diced

                1 whole red bell pepper, seeded and diced

                4 whole carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal

                5 whole red potatoes cut into chunks

                3 tablespoons tomato paste

                ½ teaspoon kosher salt

                ½ teaspoon black pepper, more to taste

                2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

                ½ teaspoon ground oregano

                ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, more if you like the heat

 

Preparation Instructions:

               

In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the meat with the onion, celery, and garlic. Remove the pot from the heat and drain off as much fat as you can. (Discard the fat once it cools.)

 

Return the pot to the heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir to combine, and then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, then cover the pot and simmer the soup for 15-20 more minutes, until potatoes are tender but not overly mushy.

 

Soup should be somewhat thick, but if you’d like it to be more “soupy” add 1 to 2 cups more broth OR hot water and heat through. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt if needed. I’m heading out of town for a few days for work and knew several items in my refrigerator would go bad before the weekend, so I actually threw in a variety of things such as leftover brown rice, mushrooms and yellow squash in addition to the ingredients listed above AND since this makes a big batch of soup, into the freezer majority of it went.

 

Don’t forget to serve with crusty bread or crackers!

 

Good Eats, EAT BEEF!

-Kiley



[KickIt] [Dzone] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Tags: , , , , ,

E-mail | Permalink | Trackback | Post RSSRSS comment feed 0 Responses

Jan232015

Getting it Started

Published by Heath Larson at 10:17 AM under Beef Team | General | Nutrition

Each year I take a mental and physical break from hard running between Halloween and New Year's Day.  The break allows me a chance to decompress and rest, so that when spring races roll around (and hard early spring training, for that matter), I'm ready to rock and roll. 

 

One thing I notice every year when I start training again is a big increase in appetite.  Especially first thing in the morning, when I get back to the house from a hard 6-8 mile workout.  Unfortunately, eating everything in sight (especially when there are still so many Christmas cookies left) doesn't bode well for fast distance running.  That said, a bowl of cereal on its own doesn't cut it, either.  So what's to be done?  When hunger calls, especially after a morning workout, I reach for a dose of tasty animal protein.  If time is tight before the kids wake up and the fridge is empty, I love making "egg in a hole," which is essentially just like it sounds...a cooked egg dropped in the middle of a slice of toasted bread.  And if the kids like it too!  But after a really hard run, it's time to double down on protein, taste, and satisfaction.  So, what I really love to do is take a few strips of last night's grilled steak and toss into my breakfast burrito...or omelet, depending on my mood. 

 

In doing so, I'm reaping two huge benefits of lean protein when I need them most:  hunger satisfaction and muscle recovery.  Of course, the recovery aspect helps me to "reload" for tomorrow morning's workout.  As a bonus, lean beef packs more protein into into fewer calories than any other protein rich food...plant or animal based.  And since I'm not hungry 30 minutes later, it keeps me from hunting for empty calories in the pantry at mid morning. 

 

And if I time it right, as soon as I finish, our kids will wake up, give me a hug, and say they're ready for a hearty, protein rich breakfast of their own.  I can't think of a better start to the day than that.



[KickIt] [Dzone] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Tags: , , , , , , ,

E-mail | Permalink | Trackback | Post RSSRSS comment feed 0 Responses

Jan152015

Ranching – a Full Time Job

Published by Kassie Curran at 4:29 AM under Agriculture | General

As a college student, I feel extremely blessed to be able to get the “best of both worlds.” I have opportunities to learn about topics I’m interested in from experts in the field of food and agriculture, but when I get tired of the “big city” of Manhattan, KS I can go home and enjoy the rural lifestyle. When I’m at home I get to help work and feed cattle, care for newborn calves, and take lots of pictures of the scenery to remind me of home when I go back to school.

Something that I’ve been reminded of lately in these frigid temperatures is that while I get to relish the joys of being a rancher whenever I choose (which is usually when I have time and when the weather is nice), there are thousands of ranchers across the country who don’t get to go inside when it gets a little too cold for their liking. Nope – these guys and gals are sacrificing their own comfort for the sake of the cattle. Just as cattlemen and cattlewomen suffer in the heat of summer to care for their cattle, they also suffer in the chill of winter to make sure that cattle are well taken care of, have feed, shelter, and most importantly access to water. Ranching is not something that can be done at your leisure or when it’s most convenient, it’s a full time job – 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

My brothers chopping ice to make sure the cows have access to water.

One could wonder why someone would want to put themselves through this kind of torment and discomfort. It’s a valid question, and a big reason why so many people don’t return to their family farms and ranches in exchange for an 8 to 5 job – usually one that’s inside. This is also one of the reasons why we’ve seen the number of farms and ranches shrink, while the size of them grow. Consequently, farmers and ranchers have needed to adopt innovative technologies that help them be more efficient with less man power. Like most industries, the beef industry has evolved to fit the times and we now see a more technologically advanced industry with fewer than 2% of the population raising the food we eat while 10% of jobs in the U.S. are directly related to agriculture. However, in my opinion nearly any job can be related to agriculture if you think about it.  

Me and my siblings bundled up and feeding cattle.

Regardless of your occupation, let us be grateful to those who are willing to do the job we aren’t so that we can enjoy the fruits of their labor. Next time you take a bite into that juicy steak or savory burger, remember the hard work and sacrifice that ranchers put in to it that allow you to enjoy that delicious and nutritious protein in a nice, warm place.

Thank you to all farmers and ranchers that work every day of the year – rain or shine, heat or cold, wind or snow – to provide food for others throughout the world!

As always, eat beef!

Kassie



[KickIt] [Dzone] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

E-mail | Permalink | Trackback | Post RSSRSS comment feed 0 Responses

Jan072015

Ancient Grains and Lean Beef: A Warming Combination

Published by Amber Groeling RD LD at 9:09 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition | Recipe

Ancient grains like farro are new to most Americans, but they have been around for over 2,000 years. Ancient grains are a delicious source of beneficial nutrients, and have a heartier texture and unique flavor. Pairing ancient grains with lean beef and warm veggies makes an easy and satisfying weeknight meal. 

LEARN TO LOVE

 

FARRO

  • Was once a staple in the ancient Roman diet, widely used in Italy

  • One cup provides 8 grams of cholesterol-lowering fiber and 7 grams of filling protein.

  • Use in place of rice, add to soups, make a grain based salad – see the recipe below for a warming farro dish 

AMARANTH

  • Prized grain of Aztec civilization

  • Integrity of outer layer causes the grain to “pop” when chewed

  • Nutty, malty, peppery flavor

  • Sprinkle on lean beef salads

     

    FREEKEH

  • Traced back to the Mediterranean region, a form of roasted/cracked wheat

  • High in protein and fiber; lower carbohydrate content

  • Smokey, nutty flavor

  • Use in salads, pilaf as a side to steak, or with beef stir-fry

 

KAMUT

  • First grown in Asia or Egypt

  • 20-40% more protein than modern wheat; high in B-vitamins

  • Sweet, nutty, buttery flavor

  • Serve in place of long grain brown rice and pair with lean beef

     

    QUINOA (pronounced “keen-wah”)

  • Grown in the Andes mountains of Bolivia, Chile and Peru

  • Comes in a variety of colors such as red, tan or purple

  • Earthy, nutty flavor

  • Serve as a side dish or add to chili and soups as a thickener

 

BEEF FILETS WITH ANCIENT GRAIN & KALE SALAD

The most tender of them all, the Filet, is served beside a salad of faro, kale, dried cranberries and almonds.

Total Recipe Time: 35 to 40 minutes

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

INGREDIENTS 2 beef Tenderloin Steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 6 ounces each) 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper, divided Salt 3 cloves garlic, minced, divided 1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth 1/2 cup pearlized farro 1 cup thinly sliced kale 1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries or cherries 2 tablespoons sliced almonds 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Combine 1 clove garlic and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; press evenly onto beef steaks. Combine beef broth, farro, remaining 2 cloves garlic and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper in small saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until most broth has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Stir in kale and cranberries. Cover; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in almonds and lemon juice. Season with salt, as desired. Meanwhile, place steaks on rack in broiler pan so surface of steaks is 2 to 3 inches from heat. Broil 13 to 16 minutes for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning once. Season steaks with salt. Serve with farro mixture.

 

2 beef Tenderloin Steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 6 ounces each)

1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper, divided

Salt

3 cloves garlic, minced, divided

1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth

1/2 cup farro

1 cup thinly sliced kale

1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries or cherries

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BEEF FILETS WITH ANCIENT GRAIN & KALE SALAD

1.       Combine 1 clove garlic and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; press evenly onto beef steaks.

2.       Combine beef broth, farro, remaining 2 cloves garlic and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper in small saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until most broth has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Stir in kale and cranberries. Cover; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in almonds and lemon juice. Season with salt, as desired.

3.       Meanwhile, place steaks on rack in broiler pan so surface of steaks is 2 to 3 inches from heat. Broil 13 to 16 minutes for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning once.

4.       Season steaks with salt. Serve with farro mixture.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION FOR BEEF FILETS WITH ANCIENT GRAIN & KALE SALAD

per serving: 550 calories; 14 g fat (4 g saturated fat; 6 g monounsaturated fat); 110 mg cholesterol; 682 mg sodium; 59 g carbohydrate; 10 g fiber; 47 g protein; 15.1 mg niacin; 1.1 mg vitamin B6; 2.0 mcg vitamin B12; 4.5 mg iron; 62.1 mcg selenium; 8.2 mg zinc; 161.8 mg choline.

This recipe is an excellent source of fiber, protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, selenium, zinc and choline.



[KickIt] [Dzone] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Tags: , , , , , , ,

E-mail | Permalink | Trackback | Post RSSRSS comment feed 0 Responses

Dec122014

Success (and Failure) in Holiday Season Cuisine

Published by Heath Larson at 8:29 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General | Recipe

My family, like most from the area where I grew up, has Swedish ancestry.  From thanksgiving to Christmas each year, it was a sure bet that any holiday gathering would feature traditional Swedish food.  Having Swedish food during the holidays is a classic tradition for us:   No one really knows why we do it, and no one knows why it started, but everyone looks forward to it.  So a few years back, I began making my first attempts at contributing to the tradition.  Keyword:  attempts.

 

On a work trip to Stockholm, I eagerly began asking where to find some great traditional Swedish cuisine, and was quickly told "Oh, we only eat that food at Christmas."  Wow!  I guess our holiday tradition was more rooted in our home country than we thought!  While not a fan of herring, I knew it would pack easily for the trip home, and began asking where to find it. 

 

Swede:  "Do you mean sour herring?

Me:  "Uh, we call it pickled herring back home, but yes...I think so."

Swede:  "You'll have to ask the butcher for it, he won't have it out up front, but he will have some in back."

Me:  "Great!"  (Thinking this must be the "good stuff" if they keep it behind the counter.)

 

The butcher gave several serious instructions, including opening the can outside and underwater to avoid making the whole house smell like a fish.  This seemed odd to me, but hey, it's tradition, right?  At Christmas, I took the can outside, and opened it.  A geyser of fish juice shot up my arm and into the air.  And we were instantly overpowered by the smell of at least a truckload of rotten fish.  Not quite what I expected when he said "sour" herring!  The herring never made it to the house, let alone onto anyone's plate.  But it did take me a week to scrub the smell off of me.  Maybe we aren't as Swedish as I thought...

 

However, this year, I made my first attempt at my all time favorite:  Swedish meatballs.  And during my first attempt, they got rave reviews.  A little beef/pork mixture, some spices, some gravy, and a bit of time were all that it took to create these, and between the kids and the adults, they were gone in nothing flat!  Plus, we were able to cook and eat them INSIDE the house!  Maybe I can contribute something useful to this tradition after all...

 

The recipe is below.  Have fun with whatever holiday tradition you are cooking up in the kitchen this year...just stay away from the sour herring!

 

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chef-johns-swedish-meatballs/

 

Notes: 

Make the meatballs smaller than called for.

Ours cooked for about 20 minutes in the oven, but that would change with size.

We used regular sausage for the pork.

Omitted cayenne pepper and Worcestershire sauce.

Doubled the amount of flour in the gravy.

 

Serve with mashed potatoes (using leftover meatball gravy) and lingonberry preserves.



[KickIt] [Dzone] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Tags: , , ,

E-mail | Permalink | Trackback | Post RSSRSS comment feed 0 Responses

Dec042014

Beef: Handled With Care

Published by Kassie Curran at 1:55 AM under Agriculture | Coffee Shop Talk | General

As I have shared before, the beef business is a family business for me and my family. As much as we treat our family members with care and respect, we have a similar sense of care and respect towards our cattle. Last week, when I was at home I was reminded of the importance of the care and respect that we must give our animals and its presence in the family business.

 

My brother was already over at my uncle’s ranch working so my dad, two other siblings, and I decided to go over and see what they were doing. As we were getting ready to leave the house I told my sister she didn’t need to wear her work boots since we were just going over to take pictures of my brother for his FFA record book.

I should have known we would end up working!

Not five minutes after we had arrived and taken a few pictures, each of us had assumed a job in the process of working the calves that had recently arrived at the ranch before they were turned out to pasture. One brother was checking to see if the calves needed castrated, doing so when needed, and keeping record of the weights. The other brother helped him by holding the tail out of his face and helped with branding. My sister and my dad gave shots and tagged the calves while I sorted and moved the cattle through the pens and up the alley for their turn to be processed. It was a beautiful fall day that I enjoyed spending outside with the cattle and my family. It also reminded me how much I love being a part of the beef industry that is so family-oriented. The lessons in responsibility and respect are two of the most important to me when I think about all that I’ve learned growing up with cattle.

Providing animals a comfortable environment and treating them with respect takes a lot of responsibility. This is something that is always on my mind when I’m working with cattle, because I know that they will be healthier and perform to their potential when they are treated well. In my experience this is how other beef cattle ranchers treat their animals too, which gives me confidence in the U.S. beef supply.

 

If you’re thinking about a protein for the center of the plate for your family this holiday season, I hope you choose beef and feel confident that beef producers have used care and respect for the beef that feeds our families and yours!

 

Eat Beef and Happy Holidays!

Kassie Curran



[KickIt] [Dzone] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Tags: , , , , , , ,

E-mail | Permalink | Trackback | Post RSSRSS comment feed 0 Responses