Welcome to the latest issue of the American Grass Fed Beef Newsletter.
In this issue, you will find the following:
* Thank You
* New Grass Fed Beef Products
* Grass Fed Beef Sirloin Steak Recipes
* Our Friends Laughed When We Started A Grass Fed Beef Site
Our family is truly grateful to all our customers and readers who expressed words of concern in regards to the accident
of our son, Pete. Pete is doing fine now.
Your thoughts and prayers were a great encouragement to us all.
Mark, Patti, Jack, Pete, Cody, Trent, Logan, and Katie Grace Whisnant
Salt and Pepper Jerky - We have a new
salt and pepper jerky flavor. The ingredients are
simply Beef top round, salt, and pepper. This beef jerky is mild and
not too spicy.
You can find it on this page:
5.3 oz. Burger patties
- We just got in a limited supply of larger ground beef burgers
which we are test marketing to see if there is a demand for
regular 4 oz. burger patties are 4 to a package (each burger is 1/4 pound) and
are still available.
new burgers are 3 to a package (each burger is 1/3 pound). They are air formed rather than pressed
which means they are more like hand-made patties.
We welcome feedback from those who purchase. Tell us if you want us
to continue this item or not.
Chuck - In the past, several cardiac patients have special ordered
super lean ground chuck. We decided that we would carry this ground
chuck as a standard item for customers. It is 90 to 95% lean:
SIRLOIN STEAK RECIPE
For those of us who have grown up around farms it is a common practice to put up a steer each year in the freezer. It was always such a content feeling when the meat arrived and you had a nice full freezer with all the various cuts from which to choose.
When you buy a whole beef or process one of your own, you quickly realize that there is a lot
of beef pounds that are not premium steak. Hence, you begin to learn how to cook
grass fed beef using a combination of moist and dry heat.
We use the sirloin, round steak, and our sliced sirloin tip steaks in the
following recipes. Feel free to add and delete ingredients according to your taste.
Please note that in the following recipes I use a Jaccard Meat Tenderizer to prepare the meat. It does an excellent job to tenderize naturally without the use of chemicals.
Plus the Jaccard is so much easier and cleaner than pounding with a meat mallet.
The use of the Jaccard also reduces the cooking time considerably. If you are not familiar with this valuable tool it can also be used to make these same sirloin steaks great to grill or simply pan fry.
Basic Smothered Steak
½ to ¾ C Flour
1 t Sea salt
1 t Freshly ground pepper
6 (8oz) Sirloin steaks
2 T Olive oil
½ t Thyme
2 Bay leaves
1 ½ C Beef broth
½ C Beer (optional)
Mix the flour, salt, and pepper together. Use this mixture to flour the steaks and pound into the meat with the edge of a plate, a meat mallet, or a Jaccard tenderizer.
Heat the oil over med-high heat and brown the steaks on each side. Take care not to burn the flour in the skillet. Remove the meat when it is browned.
Add the onions in the skillet and cook until golden brown.
Place the meat back in the pan. Add the remaining ingredients and cover tightly. Put in the oven at 325 degrees and cook until very tender (30-60 minutes).
Sour Cream Smothered Steak
Prepare steaks as in steps 1 and 2 above adding ½ t paprika and ½ t dry mustard to the flour. Add
3 T butter to the oil to brown the meat.
Brown the meat, remove from pan, add the following and mix with the pan drippings:
½ C Finely diced onions
3 T Tamari sauce
2 Cloves garlic (crushed)
3 T Brown sugar
¾ C Water
1 C Sour cream
Simmer to cook onions (about 5 minutes).
Return the meat to the pan and cover tightly. Place in the oven and cook until tender (30-60 minutes).
Smothered Steaks in Mushroom Gravy
Prepare meat as in steps 1 and 2 above.
To the pan drippings add:
2 C Water (I often substitute 1 C red wine for one cup water)
1 pkg. Dry onion soup mix
1 Beef bullion
1-2 Cloves garlic
1 t Fresh or dried thyme
1 lb. Fresh sliced mushrooms
Simmer until the mushrooms are done. Add the thyme to the mixture. Return the meat to the pan, cover and finish cooking in the oven until tender.
Smothered Steak with Tomato Sauce
Prepare the meat as in steps 1 and 2 above.
Process in food processor and then add to the pan drippings:
1 lb. Fresh or canned tomatoes (diced)
1 Anaheim pepper (or 1 can green chilies)
½ C Finely diced onion
Simmer about 10 minutes.
Return the meat to the pan, cover and cook in the oven until tender.
OUR FRIENDS LAUGHED WHEN
WE STARTED A GRASS FED BEEF SITE
For many years, I had dreamed of selling grass fed beef directly from our ranch in Missouri to health conscious consumers. We know many ranchers who privately serve their families grass fed beef and won’t touch supermarket feedlot beef pumped with growth hormones, steroids and antibiotics.
As a rancher, veterinarian and mother of 6 children, I felt that many health conscious consumers would switch to grass fed beef if they knew what I knew about beef. However, living in a rural area it was impossible for our grass ranch to share our passion for grass fed beef and easily reach folks who would agree. Throwing caution to the wind, my New Year’s resolution in 2002 was to take some serious steps to establish a grass fed beef website.
Our older children thought mom was off on a strange hair-brained scheme. My husband, Mark, was supportive but figured sales would be dismal. Even our butcher thought our venture was doomed for failure.
Other ranchers laughed at our folly, ”Who will want such lean beef?”
How could our website survive with America’s tastes for fatty corn and grain fed beef? Even the majority of health conscious organic beef consumers buy fatty feedlot organic beef and have never heard of grass fed beef.
Despite the hurdles, we decided to take the plunge and start our website. We made many mistakes in the beginning.
For example, we offered unaged, butcher wrapped, ranch style portions which our working family enjoyed. We quickly learned that city folks wanted dry aged, vacuum sealed small portions for quick, convenient, low fat and low calorie individual servings.
The start-up expenses have been immense. My husband, Mark, is a perfectionist and when he decides to do something . . . he spares no expense. We started our website with 5 home freezers. Within a month, we purchased a large commercial freezer. Within another month, Mark had a crew installing an 18’ X 20’ walk in freezer. I thought this purchase was overkill but has turned into a Godsend.
Mark feels we have to provide the best grass fed beef in the country. We knew that dry aging is a dying art form, but produces the best quality of beef. It was difficult finding an excellent USDA beef processor that could dry age and vacuum seal beef. Each time we process, we have to make 2 round trips and travel several hours from our ranch to use this old fashioned butcher.
We lose 20% of marketable beef in the dry aging process. On top of this expense, we spent thousands of dollars buying a commercial Jaccard meat tenderizer a few months ago for our processor since we discovered Jaccard
was the best natural beef tenderizer method in the world.
The combination of the Jaccard and dry aging gives our grass fed steaks a superior quality at considerable expense to us. Currently, we market at the same price or less than most other grass fed beef providers who sell wet aged or non-aged beef.
We now have inventory problems we never experienced before. Dry aging requires 3 weeks of pre-planning to restock not to mention the pre-planning required for conceiving and raising our cattle for an unknown demand. Maybe our rancher friends are right . . . we are probably insane for attempting to provide a year-round supply of grass fed beef which is known in the beef industry as a seasonal product.
Our whole cattle raising operation is being turned upside down. We are currently converting our pastures to support year-round rotational finishing fields. We are changing our focus to particular breeds of our cattle which produce better grass fed beef.
Shipping a frozen food product in summer months is a learning experience of its own. We
negotiate shipping rates, study charts, packaging methods, explore dry ice substitutes and conduct shipping tests that we never knew existed.
Being country folk, we have no true fast internet access and before the website never cared about ANY internet access. Now we have two connections . . . a flaky satellite which weather conditions
consistently sends offline and a modem which moves at a crawl.
We always thought our cattle raising standards were high. However,
we never realized how marketing our grass fed beef directly would raise the bar even higher for us.
Our customers have become friends. We hear stories of severe health challenges of cancer, allergies, ADD
and heart conditions. Also, we have been privileged to meet new friends who are competitive body builders, medical doctors, chefs and famous health experts.
Our most surprising customers are the former strict raw food vegetarians who have turned to our grass fed beef to improve their health. From our rural grass farm we have connected with folks in far off places like Australia, Japan, Hawaii and Alaska.
These friends depend on us to provide grass fed beef with true health food qualities while maintaining a gourmet taste. Many of our customers have had negative experiences with organic beef and grass fed beef suppliers. We feel an incredible responsibility to make sure that our grass fed beef continues to meet
super stringent health requirements. We would be horrified if our beef ever failed to meet expectations.
We are currently celebrating our first full year at AmericanGrassFedBeef.com. Our formerly incredulous ranching buddies are actually beginning to wonder if we weren’t making a somewhat intelligent decision after all.
In general, only major corporations have the economy of scale to turn a profit in the beef industry. These corporations control the beef prices and offer small ranchers like us a “song” for our cattle.
We are beginning to see major corporations claim they provide grass fed beef.
We know it is virtually impossible for big corporations to mass produce dry aged grass fed beef using organic farming methods and
high standards. Their grass fed beef is really mass processed grain finished feedlot beef which at one point was fed
With the startup costs of directly marketing grass fed beef, we still are “at best” currently breaking even. In the future, we hope to make direct marketing profitable in our niche.
In the meantime, we have the satisfaction of knowing that our customers are
enjoying the rare opportunity to experience the finest grass fed beef.
Patricia Whisnant, DVM
Grass Farmer and Veterinarian
P.S. Feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends, clients and colleagues.
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