Beef Harvest and Beef Tallow
Beef Harvest Spring 2021!
A few weeks ago, our family processed our second batch of Flying F Beef right here on the ranch. We raise our cattle on pasture their entire lives. When our beef program steers are about a year old, we implement spent brewer's grain from local breweries and distilleries. How awesome is it that we can up-cycle waste to our feeders to provide nutrient dense protein for our people? Sustainability in action.
Then, about three months prior to harvest, we slowly work their way to a beef builder grain mix formulated by an animal nutritionist with plenty of pasture, forage or hay. This helps us finish our cattle at a proficient pace while also applying wonderful marbling and flavor to the beef. Yum!
Currently, our finisher cattle are only grain-finished. They are always offered pasture or hay as mentioned above. We plan to raise grass-finished beef in the coming years in addition to our grain-finished once we nail down our genetics with our Black Angus herd. For now, this is our program and we are happy with the outcome that has come full circle!
We had a mobile butcher come to do the kill, butcher and breakdown of the carcasses. He then transported our beef to our cut and wrap shop in a refrigerated truck to be custom cut for our customers.
Our butcher shop works one on one with our buyers to ensure they get exactly what they want. The carcasses are dry aged for 14 days and then ready for pick up. We already had a few buyers get their beef and sent us photos and wonderful reviews.
Want to check out our beef pricing? Click the link below!
What an honorable experience. I had the kids with us as we watched the entire process happen while chatting with our mobile slaughter guy. The kids were interested, asking questions and understanding the reason we do this. We care for these animals so they can take care of us, other families and friends.
We give our buyers the option to keep organ meat like heart, kidney, liver, tongue. However, most of our buyers didn't want to keep offal (organs). I couldn't let any of the offal go to waste. So, Bryce and I had a processing set-up in our kitchen to cut up liver for our dogs, separate kidney from the fat (this is the BEST for making beef tallow), heart and tongue. We ended up keeping one heart and tongue to experiment with, gave one heart to a close friend, and almost the rest of the remaining offal went to my sister-in-law who feeds her cat a raw food diet.
Kidney fat, WOW! I was told that this is the best fat to make tallow. Beef tallow is a wonderful addition in the kitchen and has so many uses. You can obviously cook with it. It makes a wonderful replacement for butter or oil when sautéing veggies, cooking meats and seasoning cast iron. Definitely my go-to to cast iron care. Other than cooking, tallow can be transformed into soaps, chapstick, or candles! I just love how versatile beef can be! Also, it is totally easy to make! No preservatives and all natural!
Making Beef Tallow:
- Keep back the kidney encapsulated in fat after harvest, or contact your local rancher to see if you can keep any kidney with fat after the process a steer.
- Separate the fat from the kidneys and be sure there is no meat attached to the fat. This will be a quick way for your tallow to go rancid.. You can chop up the kidneys for dog/cat food (that is what we do at least!)
- Rinse the fat to get rid of blood or other foreign materials.
- Chill the fat in the fridge.
- Next, you can take pieces of the fat and crumble it into a crock pot or a stock pot on the stove.
- Simmer tallow on a very low setting on the crock pot or stock pot.. I put my crock on low and slow for 8hrs.
- There will be melted fat and some crumbles of fat in your pot. The liquid will be clear and a golden color. Strain the liquid out with a fine mesh strained into a bowl, then strain again with a clean cheesecloth. The tallow will be a beautiful clear golden color.
- I pour mine into a wide mouth mason jar, then refrigerate and whalah! Tallow!
- I continue slow cooking and straining for as long as I can. I literally did this for two days straight and got about 5 jars of tallow done.
- I keep mine refrigerated to prolong the longevity of the tallow and to prevent it from going rancid. It will last 12-18 months in the refrigerator.
We respect our animals by trying to utilize every bit we can. Again, we care for them so they can care for us and others around us. Being able to use he whole animal is sustainable and nourishing. We will be harvesting beef again in September/October 2021! Be sure to be on our mailing list to know first when we have wholesale beef ready to purchase!