We bought into quite a project. A twenty-year project. A lifetime project. I’m in love with this project. There is a lot of infrastructure to unleash. Fencing, organizing, tool storage, keeping the roofing in order among many, many other things that need to get done. We tick away at it piece by piece. Sometimes I feel like I get nowhere. It’s difficult to see progress. But we keep at it. The herd is constantly getting reviewed. Brent works with the herd everyday a few times a day keeping up with their needs as well as their job working the pasture. Why are we doing all this? For great tasting, yummy beef. For long lasting, green pasture supporting all sorts of life. For our environment. Up until last week, the taste of our beef was an unknown. We sent our first cow (a 14 month old male) to the abattoir. The word “cow” for most people means anything that “moos.” For us, it means any moo-ing thing that gave birth. So really the cow that we sent to the abattoir was a young bull or baby beef or taurillon. This is not our premium product, but a farmer’s got to eat. We will have some amount of taurillon each year. He was milk fed, grass fed and grass finished. Of course we were skeptical on how the beef might taste. We set our expectations at “first draft” and ready for refinements to the finishing. Our low-stress loading system worked beautifully. The cow calmly popped onto the truck. And then we waited.
He was hung for nineteen days, which would be the upper limit for aging a young bull. When it was time to butcher, Brent was there to check out our work and learn a thing or two about butchery. Days before, he realized that with our first carcass we could do something you can’t find here in Southwest France, T-bone steaks. Because the taurillon was a smaller size than a big Blonde d’Aquitaine cow that you typically buy at the shops, we could carve out a nice amount of T-bone steaks.
After Brent and the butcher sorted out the carcass, he’s was brought home. A moment after we had the meat carefully packed in the cooling units, I heated up the fry pan, mouth salivating to check out the taste.
One bite, we were happy. The grass-fed, grass-finished beef we worked over a year making was delicious. It was tender. It was tasty. I think we may be on to something.