By: Jennifer Murray

Beef It’s What’s For Dinner in 2011

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Where’s the beef?  It’s in my freezer… almost.

We’re starting off our 2011 with a freezer full of beef.  Over 200 pounds will be arriving tomorrow from the farm Brad’s Uncle David works for. Although it was a bit of a “beefy” up front cost, the pound price is actually much more affordable! We’ve already been able to sample several pounds of meat from the same farm, and it’s an amazing difference – leaner meat and better flavor! Plus you have the assurance of knowing where your meat has been.

When I told Henry that Uncle David was bringing us a cow, he gave me the “you’re crazy mama look” and said, “A cow? A cow with a head on it?”

No thank you.  We’ll stick to ground beef, steaks, and roasts please. No cow head for me.

It will be great having a butcher shop’s worth of meat in our freezer – now if I can just remember to thaw it before dinner! 

image  Photo Credit

I have several easy dinner recipes already in mind for our beef stash – taco meat, spaghetti sauce, meatloaf, burgers, pot roasts, etc.

Here’s a few new ones I’m anxious to try:

~ Myra from My Blessed Life just showed me this week how to brown beef in the crock pot. Easy, Peasy!

~ I’ve never made Salisbury steak, but I think I’m up for this one (also a crock pot recipe) from Mommy’s Kitchen.

~ Dying to try Southern Fairytale’s marinated steak sandwiches (she had me at the sautéed mushrooms).

~ I’m always up for a good hearty chili – Thanks, Cooking for the Boys!

~ Oh yum! Homemade Hamburger Helper from Kitchen Stewardship. Leave the MSG in the box.

I’m always on the hunt for more easy kid-friendly meals if you have a favorite to share! Also, have any of you ever bought a 1/4 of a cow or more?  How has your experience been?  I might have to pick your brains later on what to do with a mystery cut of beef!

*Edited to add an AMAZING link to my friend Amy from The Finer Things in Life about what to do with a freezer full of cow. It’s “Moo-ving”.  

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34 Responses to “Beef It’s What’s For Dinner in 2011”

  1. Amanda f
    January 5, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    We bought a 1/4 cow mid-summer…workin’ our way through it! We are loving it!

  2. Amy
    January 5, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    We have been looking into getting a cow. The farm we found near us actually charges more per pound than the store. I know it’s better meat, but I struggle paying that. I’m still on the lookout, though! Enjoy!

  3. Heather Bender
    January 5, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    Growing up we always had a freezer full that was raised at my Grandpa’s house. Now my husband and I purchase from a co workers parents. We got in last year when someone backed out of a 1/4 and this year got a 1/2. With our growing kids (3 boys and 1 girl) we are looking at 3/4 to a full next year.

  4. Sioby
    January 5, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    OH how ironic! Annie and Richard just bought a cow from Indiana and it will be on its way here next weekend!! They just bought a deep freezer to keep it all in. How awesome y’all got a cow, too! Wonder if its the same farm?? haha :)

  5. BLR Graham
    January 5, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    My 3 year old only eat fillet mignon — classy huh, but it’s because of its soft meat, otherwise we really have to slow cook the meat:)

    Following your lovely blog and inviting you to add this at http://olahmomma.com/momlounge – a mommy blogger directory and more, where you can also meet more mom bloggers like you and get connected with them by visiting your profile after registration.

    You can also add there your giveaways and business links; get featured by sharing your crafts, recipes and interesting musings.

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  6. Crystal @ Simply Being Mommy
    January 5, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    How cool is that. I wonder if I could find somewhere around here that sells it like that.

  7. Leah @ Beyer Beware
    January 5, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    We buy freezer from my brother. We usually get a whole animal and split with family. I love having the high quality meat at the great prize as well. You will notice you have a lot more roasts than anything else. I have several different ways I use beef over on my blog. http://beyerbeware.blogspot.com/search/label/beef. We also buy pigs from our neighbor who raises them and have frozen pork as well. If people are looking for people to buy freezer meat from, they should contact their State Beef Association. They usually have lists of people who sell freezer beef.

  8. Amanda
    January 5, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    We bought half a cow 2.5 years ago. We STILL have meat in our freezer but we are getting down to the weird cuts that I don’t know how to cook. I do a lot of googling to find what to do w/ certain cuts. We have Roast in the crock pot at least once a week. Easiest meal ever!

  9. Lana Wallpe
    January 5, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    Love your post! Leah Beyer sent it my way! We raise feeder cattle, and I have been taking orders over the phone and Facebook! Stop by my page for a visit! We are up here in Benton County! We can swap recipes!

    http://www.walkingtheoff-beatenpath.blogspot.com

  10. Rachel
    January 5, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    Love It!
    We’re buying 1/2 a Cow in February — it’s AMAZING the difference!

    I can’t wait for you to try those sandwiches! You’re gonna love

    xoox Congrats, doll!

  11. Devin
    January 5, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    Jen, the best tip I can give you is that, when you get the meat, (if it is not frozen already) brown up the hamburger. I buy 10 pounds at a time from Rawhide, and when I get home, I brown most of it up (in a huge pan and in two batches) and then freeze it flat in ziplocks. That way, when you need browned hamburger for something, it is SO easy. Taco meat, additional meat in a spaghetti sauce or baked pastas, or a homemade hamburger helper type meals….you don’t even have to defrost it, just put in in and while the sauce (or whatever else) is heating, it will warm the meat right back up. That tip has saved me so many times when I forgot to defrost something for dinner!

    • Jennifer McDougal
      January 5, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

      That is an awesome idea! This made my day. I never would have thought of this. Thank you so much!

  12. Shannon
    January 5, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    One of my favorite recipes is a new stew for the crock pot. I have the recipe up on my cooking blog.
    http://emilyandshannon.blogspot.com

    Something I also like to do is brown some of the ground beef. I mix some with taco meat, some with spaghetti sauce, and some with sloppy joes. I then put these in the freezer for nights when I need a quick dinner.

    • Shannon
      January 5, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

      It should say a beef stew. Super easy and good!

    • QuatroMama
      January 6, 2011 at 10:39 pm #

      Awesome ideas, Shannon. So glad you shared your blog with me! Going to check it out now!

  13. Amy @ Finer Things
    January 5, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

    I’ve purchased hamburger at a store ONCE IN MY LIFE. (only when we ran out of OUR meat and were desperate) My freezer is constantly stocked with 1/4 or 1/2 beef from my uncles’ farm. Here are a few things we do:

    http://amysfinerthings.com/wholey-cow-now-what

    Enjoy!

    • QuatroMama
      January 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

      Seriously, Amy, you are amazing! What an awesome resource…just added this to this post! =)

  14. Erin P
    January 5, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

    Thanks for sharing recipes! last year we got a 1/4 grass fed cow, and it only lasted 6 months or so, so this year we got half, and I think it was right around 200 pounds. For the price, it’s the most affordable thing we can eat! It’s crazy to peek in the freezer and know that we will eat all that in less than a year! :)

    • QuatroMama
      January 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

      Seriously – it’s crazy to look in the freezer and see how much we consume! I might have to call on you for ideas for some of these roasts.

  15. MH in OH
    January 5, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

    We had a 1/4 the first time and a 1/2 the second time. Apparently the 1/2 was from a really large cow because it was way more than double the first quantity we received.
    Anyway, I had no idea what to do with blade roast – cooked it in the crockpot then added the ingredients to make beef barley soup.

    • QuatroMama
      January 6, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

      That’s a TON of cow! =)

  16. Jill
    January 6, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    Jen, that’s awesome! I wanted to tell you a trick I learned from my MOPS group about browning beef. If you want to brown lots of it at one time (and make it almost as low-fat as turkey), put it in a big pot and fill it up with water, about 1″ more than the meat, and then boil it. You can put onion, salt & pepper in it too if you want. Stir it every once in awhile to break up the chunks. It usually only takes 20-30 minutes to boil a huge batch, then drain off all of the water (which takes all the fat with it!), break it up some more so it gets pretty fine, let it cool, then put it in freezer bags and it’s ready to go! All you have to do is lay it on the counter to thaw or put it in a sink with some water and your beef is already done. I do this a lot now with 6 pounds of beef at a time and I can get 5 freezer bags (usually 1 lb. each) of ready to eat meat, which saves so much time when dinner time rolls around! Just wanted to share! Happy Cooking!

    • QuatroMama
      January 6, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

      Great advice, Jill. I’d never heard of this method, but I’d like to try it out. Sounds like a serious time saver! Happy Cooking back at ya, Friend!

  17. Kathy @ House of Hills
    January 6, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    You people are making me want to buy a cow…. When I get my big freezer, maybe I will!

    • QuatroMama
      January 6, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

      I don’t think you’ll regret it, Kat! =)

  18. Miranda
    January 6, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    Want the easiest chili recipe ever?
    http://athankfullheart.blogspot.com/2011/01/my-easy-peasy-chili-recipe.html

    • QuatroMama
      January 6, 2011 at 9:12 pm #

      Easy + Chili = Winner! Thanks so much for sharing, Miranda!

  19. Holly
    January 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    I am slavering over your cow.

    • QuatroMama
      January 6, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

      Come on over and help yourself! =)

  20. connie
    January 9, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    awesome. so much better price, and better meat!
    We bought a 1/4 cow a few years back, and one thing I wish we would have done is gotten more ground beef. We went through it alot faster than I thought..course, i use it for alot of meals.:)
    I did make lots of stews, and roasts, with potatoes, carrots and celery in the crockpot.
    One tip though, I ALWAYS brown my roast before cooking them.
    Poor some EVOO in a skillet with some fresh garlic, and brown both side til a nice dark color…locks in the flavors!:)

  21. maureen
    January 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    We received 1/4 cow in March as a gift a- I was really, really surprised how quickly we went through it!! We LOVED it. There are some great family friendly recipes on the MOST Family “Cooking for a Crowd” forum http://www.mostonline.org/forums.htm

  22. Joanna Wall
    January 12, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    Easy + Chili = Winner! Thanks so much for sharing, Miranda!

  23. Kate
    January 12, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    We have gotten 1/4 cows in the past. When I don’t know what to do with a cut, I google the cut, “recipe” and “crockpot”. Works every time :)

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