It can be noted that we aren't good bloggers! But if you are a regular visitor to the website you will have seen the tweaks and changes that we have been making at Red Star Ranch. Here are the highlights...
In the summer of 2016, we saw our first labeled beef ready for sale! Individual cuts and package deals were available to purchase through the website. It has taken some bumps and bruises but we are slowly getting this marketing piece of the business ironed out so that we can reach more people and share our delicious grass fed beef and pasture raised pork with families in Idaho.
In February, we will have our first individual cuts of Red Star Ranch pork available for purchase. Can you say BACON???
At about the same time we will be opening a new market stand that will enable you to easily purchase cuts of meat in Twin Falls without arranging a pickup time and waiting for delivery. We are hopeful that this will develop into a year round opportunity for you to easily access high quality meat for your families.
The final new development is the addition of a CSA package to our purchase options. This allows you a monthly pickup to stock your freezer for the month without having to purchase a freezer to store larger quantities of meat. You get the great price of a bulk purchase without the required storage of a bulk purchase. These packages will include both beef and pork. Check it out on our products page.
It sounds so great: Local food sold directly from producer to consumer just like in the good old days. Simple, right?
Ever tried to read government regulations at the federal, state, county and city levels just to figure out if you can sell a chicken to your neighbor? And if you sell a chicken how it must be labeled??? It gave me a headache and even after talking to those in the government who are there to interpret the regulations…I still wonder if anyone knows what is legal! Not simple.
We live in Idaho where big game hunting, bird hunting and fishing are common. Opening day is a holiday. Most of us have seen a fish gutted. We can name the local butchers and may even have a favorite who makes the best venison pepperoni or has a favorite sausage recipe. I trust these local businessmen to provide us with safely prepared meat as I am sure that many of you do.
I understand the need for food safety regulations. Food poisoning can be painful and fatal AND humane treatment of animals is top on our list of priorities. Here is what the regulations say about how we can sell our local meat and poultry to our local consumers:
· If we sell a LIVE animal – We can deliver it to a butcher of the buyer’s choice.
· Any products that are packaged for individual sale must be butchered at USDA inspected facilities.
Why do I make the designation between live animals and products packaged for individual sale? Because of the difference in USDA inspected facilities. Our local butchers are not inspected to package meat for individual sale. This is NOT a bad thing. Inspection does not make you a better butcher or indicate your facility is cleaner. Clean facilities and good butchers are determined by the pride and passion that a business has for their products. There are waiting lists for our local butchers!
For the past couple years, we have used the local butchers and sold live animals to local consumers. This has worked well. We have sold out of pigs every year and already have most of the 2015 production spoken for. It has also limited us. None of the local facilities process poultry and we haven’t had many takers on picking up live chickens and turkeys!
In 2015, we are taking the livestock on the road. Caldwell and Blackfoot have USDA inspected facilities where our livestock can be processed for individual sale. This will allow you to pick up whole chickens and turkeys ready for the oven and also to purchase beef by the pound and cut. We will continue to support our local butchers if you are interested in purchasing a half or whole beef.
Continue checking back to see when our first individual cuts are available!
You thought it was a great idea – a half of beef in your freezer and then it happens. The hamburger supply is dwindling, roasts are gone, you are saving the best steaks for a special day and then there are the random steaks and some cuts you have never heard of. You can’t keep feeding the family BBQ beef out of the crockpot – it tastes good but you need some variety and a quick dinner. I am currently in this predicament and my culinary skills are being stretched to come up with creative solutions.
I had one that worked!!!!!! Fingersteaks. A regular meal but not one that you typically think to make from scratch at home. A little internet research revealed that you can use a multitude of different cuts to make this tasty treat. BINGO! It took just a little longer (and tasted so much better) than opening a pre-packaged bag but I made enough for 4 meals and put the extras in the freezer (definitely something to add to the list when I am making freezer meals).
I added the recipe below. Share your recipes and suggestions with us!
DISCLAIMER – Being the cook I am – no actual measurements were taken so these are all guesstimates
Step 1: Cut 2 lbs of various steak cuts into fingersteak size strips. Dredge in flour.
Step 2: Whisk 2 eggs and about ¼ to ½ cup milk. Dip fingersteaks in mixture and set on racks to allow any extra to drip off.
Step 3: Combine ¾ cup flour with seasonings. I used salt, pepper, paprika, garlic and ground mustard. Dredge the fingersteaks in the flour mixture.
Step 4: Heat oil in pan on the stove. Add fingersteaks when the oil is hot enough to make them sizzle. Fry until golden brown – a couple minutes each side. Our house uses coconut oil…a little salt in the oil cuts the sweetness and adds great flavor to homemade French fries too!
Serve with dipping sauce of your choice.
Oh the places cattle will roam
They seem to prefer any place but home
A few have learned to ignore the spark
And go through the electric wire like a walk in the park
The neighbors have our number programmed in their speed dial
Short abrupt exchanges have become the preferred style
Phone calls before sunrise and after the sun has set
Are followed by BLEEP, BLEEP, &*$#@!, BLEEP, sh*t
The joy of our cows grazing peacefully along
Has been crushed because they won't stay right where they belong
Stripe Face, Beef Steak, Chubs and that other black one
Are about to find out that their adventures are done
Hamburgers, steaks or a good ol' fashioned roast
Bar-be-que, tacos or chip beef on toast
The rancher is looking forward to the date
When they are served as dinner on your plate.
Thus the rancher became.....the motivated seller!
We will soon be finalizing our orders for 2014 poultry. Call, email or find us on Facebook to reserve your pasture raised poultry.
Red Ranger Heritage Chickens - $4.00 per pound
Cornish Cross Chickens - $3.50 per pound
Turkeys may be available in November if enough interest is expressed.
Spring is just around the corner and the changing season is evident all around Red Star Ranch...
The youngest rancher laughed for the first time this past week. Baby giggles are just the thing to bring sunshine to rainy March days. Warmer days and rain have made the perfect consistency of mud to stomp in, ride bikes through, and slog through while sorting cattle. Happy boys and grumpy dads!
I saw our first flower last week and each day brings another flush of green - unfortunately most of these are weeds! The cold frame is full of new plant starts and the men are starting to count down the days to planting. Our first calves are playing in the pasture and new chicks will soon be scratching in the garden!