A Freezer Full Hereford Beef

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A Freezer Full Hereford Beef

Postby George Collins » Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:02 pm

Youngblood has topped out another beef for us this year which we took to the processing plant this morning. He likes to age it 15 days so on or about Nov. 21st, we'll be back in beef.

Youngblood ain't no organic farmer but neither does he do it like the big boys. His steers are fed as much grain as they can eat (about 25 pounds per day) but they are raised in a relatively stress free environment. My wife has done a spot of research in this area and she was the one that turned me on to how stress hormones negatively affect the taste of meat.

That said, I don't know what if any health benefits are achieved from eating homegrown beef raised on feed store fed.

What I do know is that Youngblood produces the best tasting beef I've ever put behind my incisors.

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Re: A Freezer Full Hereford Beef

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:10 pm

George I envy that beef. :D I wish my Dad was a Farmer. You and the family should be in great shape for the winter and beyond. I will have to rely on my hunting skills and Hope that I get a deer this year. ;) It won't be as good as your Beef, but it is Locally sourced protein so that is a Plus. :D


PS My son is a Much better Hunter than I am, he may be the one to provide the meat this year. :lol: But I still enjoy getting out and seeing Deer, even if I don't get one, ;) ;)
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Re: A Freezer Full Hereford Beef

Postby GrahamB » Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:25 am

Guy, I hope both you and me have better luck than a friend of mine had this morning. He was out bowhunting his own land with his son. All of a sudden a twelve point came running past. They grunted and blew to try and make him stop, but he wasn't having any of it. Then they realized why. It was being chased by a mountain lion! He's pretty worried as he also has about thirty head of cattle with calves just a quarter mile away.
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Re: A Freezer Full Hereford Beef

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:17 pm

WOW, No Mountain Lions here in Pa. Not one according to the Pa Game Commission. There have been numerous sightings over the years, but they claim they were all something else like Bobcat, or Dogs, or something that was not a Lion. I tend to believe them, I don't think they have a Government conspiracy to Hide Lions in Pa. ;) Of course you can't trust those Government men. :lol:
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Re: A Freezer Full Hereford Beef

Postby George Collins » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:24 pm

I have always wondered why we age beef but, like many things in life, never bothered researching it . . . until now.

Dry-aged beef is beef that has been hung or placed on a rack to dry for several weeks. After the animal is slaughtered and cleaned, either the entire or half will be hung. Primal (large distinct sections) or sub primal cuts strip loins, rib eyes and sirloin are placed in a refrigerator unit, also known as a "hot box". This process involves considerable expense, as the beef must be stored near freezing temperatures. Subprimal cuts can be dry aged on racks either in specially climate-controlled coolers or within a moisture-permeable drybag. Moreover, only the higher grades of meat can be dry aged, as the process requires meat with a large, evenly distributed fat content. Because of this, dry-aged beef is seldom available outside of steak restaurants and upscale butcher shops or groceries [AND FAMILY FARMS THAT GROW THEIR OWN STUFF!] The key effect of dry aging is the concentration and saturation of the natural flavour, as well as the tenderisation of the meat texture.

The process changes beef by two means. Firstly, moisture is evaporated from the muscle. This creates a greater concentration of beef flavour and taste. Secondly, the beef’s natural enzymes break down the connective tissue in the muscle, which leads to more tender beef.


http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beef_aging

The process of meat hanging involves hanging the meat (usually beef) in a controlled environment. The meat hanging room must be temperature controlled from between 33 to 37 degrees Fahrenheit (1-3 degrees Celsius). It is such a small window in temperature because the meat will spoil if the room is too hot and the process of dry aging stops if the water in the meat freezes. Furthermore, due to the water needing to slowly evaporate the room must be kept to a humidity of around 85. Also, to prevent bacteria developing on the meat, the room must be kept well ventilated. The meat must be furthermore checked on in regular intervals to ensure that the meat does not spoil and the process is working correctly.

Meat hanging allows processes to continue in the meat that would normally cease in dead animals. For example, the muscles in the meat continue to use the oxygen that is in the proteins of the blood. This normal biological process creates a chemical by-product known as lactic acid. Since the blood is no longer being circulated through the body, the lactic acid starts to break down the muscle and connective tissues around it.

The process takes, at a minimum, eleven days. At this point, the meat will noticeably taste better. However, the longer the meat is hung, the better the flavor will be. This length of time also results in a greater chance that the meat will spoil. Therefore, most companies will only hang meat for 20–30 days. Furthermore, dry aged meat will shrink, as much of the water has been evaporated. This loss of mass causes the meat to shrink 10-15% in size.

Beef’s appearance changes through the dry aging process. The meat will change color from red to purple and will be much firmer than fresh meat.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanging_(meat)

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Re: A Freezer Full Hereford Beef

Postby Lollykoko » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:29 pm

Thanks to your research George, I can conclude that the 1/2 Black Angus beef I buy this time of year is not dry aged. The time from pasture to my freezer usually only takes 10 days.
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Re: A Freezer Full Hereford Beef

Postby mannytheseacow » Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:32 pm

In another life time I worked in the food industry. I used to by large cuts (sirloins, ribeyes, steamship rounds, tenderloins, etc.) and throw them in the cooler on the bottom rack way in back and let them sit for a minimum of 6 weeks before cutting them into steaks and using them. We'd label them with the dates and keep tight records on how the stock was rotated and what was being used. Yep, 6 weeks minimum. Even when I deer hunt now, I dress and skin it and let it hang in cooler space for about a month before cutting into smaller cuts.
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Re: A Freezer Full Hereford Beef

Postby George Collins » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:05 pm

The figurative freezer full of beef is now an actual freezer full of beef.

The steer dressed out at 495 pounds which cost us $360.59 to process.

Tonight, life is good.

This is what 495 pounds of beef looks like in coolers.

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Last edited by George Collins on Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

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Re: A Freezer Full Hereford Beef

Postby George Collins » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:20 pm

We invited another family over to enjoy our first meal of Youngblood's beef. For that reason, I thawed three pounds of hamburger. Knowing that my grill will only accommodate two pounds of burgers, I decided to try a few on the griddle and compare grilled v. griddled head up. The meat thermometer is on the blink so I had to use my eye (always a risky prospect) to determine when done. The ones on the grill went for 5 minutes each side. The ones on the griddle for 5 minutes then 4 minutes respectively. Each burger was wrapped in foil and rested for five minutes while we poured the beer and slathered mayonnaise on toasted buns.

For that first burger I chose one from the griddle. Apprehensively but anxiously I took that first bite.

At this point, allow me to digress a bit. After eatin the real stuff, a bite into a hamburger made from grocery store beef will often times literally make me gag. The only hamburgers I can now eat have to come from higher end burger joints and steak houses and the exceedingly rare truck stop that seeks to distinguish itself based on its burgers. Because of this, I can't remember the last hamburger I've had. It may have been when we grilled the last packs of last year's beef back in July. That means that perhaps as many as five months have gone by without me eating any homegrown beef and perhaps that long since I've eaten a hamburger of any quality.

Words are failing me for that first bite. Delicious. Heavenly. Juices running into my beard and me not caring. Hurrying to eat it so I could get back for seconds before my own kids and company. Forgetting to drink beer because I didn't want to spend the time it would take to do so apart from my burger.

And you know, after having eating two and licking the plates of my kids and company clean, I think that the griddle did a better job.

Can you have griddled hamburgers for breakfast?
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

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Re: A Freezer Full Hereford Beef

Postby mannytheseacow » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:52 pm

That store bought stuff is just something else, isn't it George? My property doesn't accomodate beef so I don't get to eat it very often. I've been living off of venison for my red meat for several years now. A while back we had a package of store-bought burger for some reason, I can't remember why. I was frying it up and my daughter came in and wrinkled her nose and said, "Yuck, gross! What is that SMELL?!". That was the last time for that. I was at a party last weekend and the host was grilling up some Simmental ribeyes that he raised. Not even the same thing... The fat was so luscious I could have died happy from plugged arteries right there!
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