Where’s the beef?

There's the beef

Burgers and T-bones and chuck, O my!

This is what a steer looks like after the people who know its people get hungry and descend upon it, brandishing checkbooks.

Herself and I were share owners in this steer, along with a few other folks who were better acquainted with him, and after a quick out-and-back to Crusty County one-eighth of him resides in our freezer alongside a half-dozen quart bags of Pueblo chile. I foresee a synergy between the two in the very near future.*

Thinking about, acquiring, preparing and consuming food helps keep my mind off the ongoing clown show that is American presidential politics. Rick Sanctimonious is getting wiggier by the minute, practically a character in a Monty Python skit about the Spanish Inquisition. And don’t get me started on the RomneyBot 2012. Last machine I saw perform this erratically was a 1996 Ford F-150. It wound up in a ditch, and I wound up back in a Toyota.

* I actually started this post yesterday and didn’t get around to slapping it up until today. Thus the Larga Vista Ranch chile has already become acquainted with the Crusty County beef in the form of a very tasty pot of chili con carne.

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16 Responses to “Where’s the beef?”

  1. Khal Spencer Says:

    Ooohh. I’ll tell my Indian bride not to look at that picture.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      At least he was dispatched humanely. Any more time on Earth and he might have seen tonight’s GOP debate. That’s enough to taint anyone’s meat.

      • Khal Spencer Says:

        I’ve thought of putting a bullet to the brain (or the radio, perhaps) rather than listening to any more NPR stories featuring the Repugnant Party hopefuls. Your meal at least was dispatched before hearing any more debates.

        Some day I might go back to eating meat, but the promise I made to myself long ago and far away was that I would have to once again oil up the Model 70s, sight them in, and shoot the food myself like I did back in my misspent youth. That is always an option. As my better half once said to someone, meat doesn’t grow on trees. It grows on the hoof and someone has to dispatch it. Best way to make sure that is done in a humane and dignified matter is to either do what you and Shannon did or what I used to do–do the job myself with a little help from Brothers Winchester and Speer.

        Bon apetit!

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        K, I’ve never hunted. I suspect my dad must have, pre-WWII (he was born in Bogalusa, Louisiana, and grew up in Perry, Florida), but postwar there were no guns in our house, not so much as a Red Ryder BB gun. So I never learned how.

        This seems a semi-honorable way to get meat. Hal is an expert hunter and has become a pretty damn’ good part-time cattle rancher, and he’s involved in every step along the path, from birth to death. Contributing to Hal’s bottom line suits me just fine.

        Likewise Doug Wiley of Larga Vista Ranch. I just biked down to meet him and his wife, Kim, on their regular Wednesday run to Bibleburg and picked up some pasture-raised pork to round out the freezer. Their swine are living the piggy dream down there. They actually have the run of the ranch — it ain’t just a figure of speech.

  2. Arnold Says:

    Yep the only way to get any finer maeat is to “see to it” yourself. Ans as fewer and fewer folk live out in the “sticks” this is the next best thing. Enjoy my friend and know that this is the way it was (almost) intended to be (despite what the anti meat brigade will have us believe). And one noer thing; If we are not supposed to eat meat, how come it tastes so good? 🙂

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Arnold, I hear you. I have a bad habit of tweaking militant vegetarians by telling them that vegetables are what food eats.

      In point of fact, we aren’t exactly Atkins Diet types ourselves. A pound of ground beef figures in a chili that will make a few dinners and lunches. Likewise a pound of pork flavors a posole that will be around for a few days. A pound and a half of chicken breast gets turned into quesadillas, kung pao chicken, chicken enchiladas in green chile sauce, and whatnot.

      But when I’m feeling lazy, we might snack on some sardines or smoked oysters with a bit of cheese and a massive salad. Or even eat vegetarian. Don’t tell anyone.

  3. BenS Says:

    Soooo, like when is community meal? I make a mean noodle kugel and very enlightening brownies (well back in the day).

    We use to do half’s on a steer raised by friends. Filled that International Harvester freezer chest right up. In a family of six dedicated carnivores it didn’t last a year. One less kid or a bigger steer would have gotten us through.


    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Ben, we need to get the band together for some cycling, drinking and eating one of these days. Dunno about those brownies, though. The veggies today’s kids are putting in those things could send Newt to the moon without a Saturn 1B.

    • md anderson Says:

      My parents did the same. Shared a “side of beef” with another family. And we even had a IH freezer too! My dad didn’t hunt but had friends who did and some venison would invariably find it’s way into the freezer as well.

      What our family did in a big way was garden. Green and yellow wax beans, English peas, and yellow corn were frozen. Carrots got eaten fresh. We had 6 pear trees and Mom canned pears plus peaches, red and white cherries and tomatoes from a local grower (my aunt and uncle). We all sat in the living room on summer evenings watching Jackie Gleason (or Andy Williams or Glen Campbell or Sony and Cher, whoever had a variety show that year) and snap beans or shell peas.

      • Khal Spencer Says:

        Sounds like you and I grew up in parallel universes, MD.

        Didn’t mean to start a discourse on the ethics of meat, but anyone who knows me knows I won’t waste the chance, either.

        I used to be a militant hunter and meatitarian. Then a militant vegetarian. Now I just try to explain that there is no free lunch. We leave our ecological and moral footprints on the planet no matter what we do or not do or eat or not eat As the backpacker’s creed says, try to leave no trace. That’s tough for anyone living and working in BombTown, so I don’t pretend to be holier than Rick Santorum.

        My epiphany came on the last day of deer season one year a long time ago when I had nothing in the bag and a shitty shot or no shot at all a few minutes before dusk. I took the shot, and had to hike a long way to a badly injured and struggling deer to finish the job. It was not pretty. It left me thinking pretty hard about why I was such a selfish motherfucker and why I put that animal through such hell. Considering what happens to most feedlot animals, that deer had it easy. So for anyone out there getting the hair on the back of their neck up, just relax. Its nothing personal and I really don’t have any interest in proselytizing beyond this little stint on the soap box. Enjoy.

  4. Doug G. Says:

    I’ve been getting Gingrich and Romney robo calls here is the Detroit area for 2 weeks now. The sad part about it is I have to go vote next Tuesday because we have a millage for our library that I want to support. I can’t wait to see what kind of tin foil hat wierdos are hanging around the polls.

  5. Libby Says:

    Spanish Inquisition: bring on the Comfy Chair!

  6. Larry T. Says:

    We switched to eating only “happy critters” years ago when I found a place offering pasture-raised, grass-fed beef, etc. Costs a bit more than the industrial stuff spewed out by local hero Eldon Roth (one of the stars of Food, Inc. as I recall) but we can eat it on Sundays as the Italians used to do, then enjoy bits left over as dressings for pasta, etc. during the week. Sometimes on my birthday we’ll get some fiorentina-style porterhouse steaks cut three-fingers thick and grill those up, but we’re far from Atkins types. I don’t know if I have the stomach to use the links you have here OG and read any more stupidity from the Repuglicans – the only thing dumber is the comments on Velo these days. Making the self-proclaimed experts use their real names has done nothing for civility or informed discussions over there. And hey, there are some bike races this weekend!

  7. barry Says:

    Hey Patrick… I have another question for you. I made the red chile sauce the other night from Santa Fe School of Cooking’s recipe page that you so frequently link to and loved it. However, 1/2 cup of chile powder can get damn expensive if making that sauce frequently. Am I missing something here or is there a much cheaper chile powder out there I’m not aware of?

  8. Opus the Poet Says:

    My weekly forays into the kitchen are to prepare a vegan beans and rice dish with 3 or 4 species of beans and brown rice, and enough Cajun spices to tear the roof of your mouth off. It takes about 8 hours in the crock pot mostly because the rice takes about 2 hours to cook after the beans get mostly done (enough to season).

  9. Larry T. Says:

    What’s up with VeloNoise? Two battles over cobbles, mud and more this weekend with webcasts, etc. Have you moved to Newt’s moon colony? I watched the Bill Maher special the other night, as he says, every comedian owes the Repuglican candidates for prez a big thanks – you can’t make that s__t up!

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