New beef, record calf, record rain, July 2015!

Recently we were the recipients of that incredible deluge which filled Lake Buchanan from 55 % full, to 71 % full.  A narrow band of showers dropped 10.7 ” or so at the ranch, evidently due to a stalled front.  The Brownwood airport received 12″ that morning, over some 6 hours.  All this on a day when, in Austin, it looked like it shouldn’t be raining anywhere.

So, one large tank at the ranch caught 7′ of water and went on the spillway (along with the others).  It is now about 18′ deep!


This month we just harvested and processed our largest calf to date, almost 1200# live weight.  At today’s cattle prices it is hard to make them into beef, but we still are.  Had to bump the prices just a bit, but we still offer a great value in quality, local, grassfed (and grass-finished) beef.

As I write this we are already a bit low on a couple of items, but we are processing two more next week.  So, send those orders in, holler and come on by!

As always, the Pricelist, some great recipes and more are located at our website:


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Turtle burger rocks!

We had occasion to visit The Turtle Saturday night.  Of course, I had to try one of their burgers (using Condalia Farms Brand Steakburger).  The Saturday special was 1/2 # burger with horseradish sauce, and a yellow tomato slice.  Wow.  Chef Bubba continues to hit it out of the park!

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Mesquite Bean Flour-encrusted London Broil …

Last Thursday I was hungry for a London Broil.  I decided I wanted to brown it in the cast iron skillet, and went to the freezer for some flour.  No flour.  All I had was mesquite bean flour which I had ground last year.  WAIT!  There’s an idea.  So, I sprinked the London Broil with the mesquite bean flour, sea salt, pepper – and browned it the skillet.  Wow, the aroma coming off of that was fantastic.

In case you have never tried mesquite bean flour – and you probably haven’t – it’s wonderful stuff.  It has the aroma of molasses.  The pods are high in sugars, carbs, and the seeds are high in protein.  The flour consists of both, although the seeds are very, very hard to grind.

Love it or hate it, the mesquite is a one smart plant.  It provides a bean that deer and cattle and other critters love, and that bean is nutritious to them, as well.  The pod portion is easily digested, but the seeds make it right on through the digestive system, coming out in a convenient, moist, fertile … mini-compost pile!  Now that’s a smart plant.  Yeah, sometimes they come up in our fields where they are not that welcome, but on balance, they are a positive, in our opinion.  I don’t think anything would have survived 2011 without them, as they provided a bumper crop of beans that year, when we had 5″ of annual rainfall (v. 27″ normal) .  That’s when we started wondering just how sentient these plants really were.  OK, pretty woo woo, but we’re just observing what’s going on.  David and I both agreed it was the largest mesquite bean crop we’d witnessed, and the trees dumped them profusely in big piles.  Maybe they were just stressed, but there’s little explanation for the huge volume of beans.

So, you can find out more about how to make your own mesquite bean flour right here on the site.  And ’tis the season – July.  We had a very small, late crop of beans at the ranch this year.  Either the trees put out so much last year, or they were hindered by the 0.4″ of rain we received between November and Memorial Day, or – hold on to your hats – they knew we would get 4 + ” of rain on Memorial Day, followed by several 2″ rains in June and July, so they figured they didn’t have to make so many beans this year in order for stuff to survive, so they could take the year off.  Take your pick!

Back to the London Broil … after browning, cooked it for about 40 min at 350 F, it was perfect.  Slice it thin, like brisket, against the grain.  It has been great in London Broil salads with baby arugula and Cruciferous Crunch, since then!

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Grassfed Beef Vegetarian …

Here’s something neat I have found, that I want to share.  Trader Joe’s has a couple of packages of “greens” that I really like – their Baby Arugula and Cruciferous Crunch.

Take some Sirloin or London Broil from the night before, some Baby Arugula and Cruciferous Crunch, a little ranch dressing and pepper, maybe a dash of Bragg’s Apple Cider vinegar – and you have a great grassfed beef salad!

Trader Joe’s Baby Arugula is tiny – the way I like it.  And it’s only $1.99 per bag.  HEB does not often have this size, from any supplier.  Also, this product seems to stay fresher, longer.

The Cruciferous Crunch is just that, a collection of a bunch of crucifers – you know, those plants they say are so good for you:  two kinds of cabbage, kale, sliced brussel sprouts and shredded broccoli.

Just call me a “grassfed beef vegetarian”!

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New customer has this to say about our Steakburger …

“Hi Martin- I just wanted you to know that your steakburgers were by
FAR the best that we have ever eaten.  Thanks again for the high quality product.”

Dom B.

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Next Harvests … and Pray For Rain.

Our next harvest will be one beef on April 10, two on April 29, with the beef available about two weeks plus a day or two, after those dates.  The last two really went fast, so mark you calendar, get those orders in!

Meanwhile, it is dry, dry at the ranch.  No measurable rainfall since … November.  Wow.  It is getting bad.  The cows are doing OK, we are taking care of them, but we must have good rains, and soon.  Please pray for rain!

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Janet G.’s Laredo Rib Recipe …

Hey all you cookers, does Janet G. have to supply all our recipes?! That’s OK, she doesn’t mind.  But send ’em in!

Here’s another good one, looks really interesting:

Thaw ribs, and rub with one teaspoon each of salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Place in heavy rotating pan, and brown at 400° for a half hour or so. Reduce heat to 300° and add one quart water or stock. After an hour, add 1/2 cup chopped celery, and a pound of chopped squash, couple handfuls of baby or cut kale. Cook another half hour. Remove ribs from broth, cool, and remove meat from bones.  I added a teaspoon of Italian seasoning at this point, and a fourth of a package of spaghetti, broken into smaller pieces. Cook another five minutes.

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The Truth About Red Meat …

Here’s an interesting link, discussing red meat and health, grassfed v. grain fed beef, more:

Thanks Janet G. (once again) for providing this link.

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Big Bend & Scooter’s Quickie Chili for a Small Army

Recently we traveled to Big Bend, about twenty of us.  Young former Boy Scouts, and older former Boy Scouts.  The weather varied (9 hours of gusts up to 52 mph one night, 18 F the next night, shorts weather two nights later) but we had a great time.  Did three great hikes, camped at Rio Grande Village at the wonderful group campsite.

Our menu consisted of Easy Thai Lettuce Wraps , Claudia’s beans and greens, burgers, and on the last night, Scooter’s Quickie Chili for a Small Army.  All of the meals were wonderful.  The boys really gobbled up the chili on the last night.  Yeah, they were hungry, but it was good, if I do say so.  Scooter’s recipe falls into my favorite category – simple, easy and … synergistic!  Yes, the result is far greater than the sum of the ingredients.  Give it a try!

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Merry Christmas!

We just posted a bunch of new recipes under Beans, Potatoes, More, and some under Beef, as well.  As you know, I have a “thing” for simple recipes that turn out fantastic, a lot of “bang for the buck”.  Many of these recipes were contributed by you folks – our friends and family.  Some are old ones I’ve saved over the years.  So, enjoy, and keep the recipes coming!  And Merry Christmas!

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