Crisis turned into one heck of a tasty dinner! 1)good story, 2)tasty recipe 3)defrosting and cooking tips!

We are counting down the days for our next round of beef sales. Customers come first “they say” and it is true at the 3T Ranch. Beef orders from our customers are fulfilled first and the 3T crew’s beef package is typically last one in the freezer. I opened the freezer today and realized we were out of ground beef. I’m a big “week ahead meal planner” and cheeseburgers were on the menu. Hmm.. let’s try quickly to come up with plan B while the two small kids are still napping.

Let me tell you, it is hard to cook holding “two babies”. That is our daughter’s favorite saying these days after she wakes up from her nap. “Mommy, two babies”, which means she wants to be picked up and snuggled along side our littlest cowboy. I love that time with our kiddos, they are both still waking up from their naps and want some snuggles, but it doesn’t last long before they turned into little tornadoes. I needed to seize the situation!

I guess one good thing about running low on beef is that you don’t have to dig through your freezer to see what cuts you have. (Will talk freezer organization soon, I promise)! Roast can be grinned up into ground beef. I have found my winner, chuck roast it is! You would be surprised, but it really doesn’t take long to defrost the beef. 1) unwrap the meat from the butcher’s plastic and paper 2) put it into a ziplock bag and squeeze out the air 3)put it into a sink filled with cold water. 4) flip the roast in the water every 20 minutes. My beef was defrosted in less than an hour.

I love love my KitchenAid, I use it every day. I use it so much that my Cowboss bought me a new one to replace my “rusty old mixer”. I had the chuck roast grind up in now time without any mess or extra trips to the grocery stores.

Tips for tasty cheeseburgers: 1 pound of 3T ground beef, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard. The mustard really makes it!

Healthy version of mashed potatoes: Your choice of potatoes, 2 teaspoons of Lowry’s seasoning salt, 1 teaspoon of garlic and pepper seasoning and 1/2 tablespoon of caraway seeds. Trust me, it just works with the potatoes. Make sure to include all of the seasonings while you are boiling the potatoes. When the taters are done, save about 1/2 cup of the liquid. I have used my KitchenAid to whip the potatoes and slowly included the 1/2 of the liquid. The potatoes don’t need any milk or butter. No extra calories and you are not scarifying the taste.

I hope you will try the recipe as well as our beef!

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Summer Steak Dry Rub

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We are right in the middle of the grilling season and I wanted to share with you our new favorite dry rub. It is tasty on all steak cuts, the citrus in this recipe is a nice refreshing touch. I have found that many dry rubs included sugar or brown sugar. Stay away from that sweetness! Sugar burns and you are left with a charred taste on the steak. The rub doesn’t need any sugar. The flavor of the beef and the spices are the perfect match.

Ingredients:

  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Few things to remember when cooking beef:

  • Beef should be room temperature. Take the beef out of the fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking and rub that tasty seasoning mix on the meat.
  • Let the meat rest after cooking. Don’t cut in to the beef right away.

 

 

 

Upside-down Cheesesteak Sandwich

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Ever had a soggy cheesesteak sandwich? Not on this outfit! The key to a crispy roll is to broil your bun, melt the cheese, then loan up with veggies and steak. You will be surprised how easy and fast this recipe is!

Ingredients:

  • 3T Ranch steak – sirloin and flat iron steak are good choices – thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste or your favorite steak seasoning (3T steak is plenty of flavorful on its own). I have only used salt and pepper.
  • 1/2 thinly sliced onion
  • 1 thingy sliced green pepper
  • Pepper Jack cheese
  • Hoagie rolls
  • Arugula
  • Onion rings or fries
  • Canola oil

Directions:

  • I found that the best way to cook thinly sliced 3T meat for this dish is in my wok pan, but you can certainly use a cast iron skillet as well.
  • Get all of your prep-work done ahead of time. Slice your veggies, cheese and meat. While the pan is heating up. Keep your thinly sliced beef on a paper towel. I like the meat to get air dried a little bit. You don’t want to steam your meat. The meat should be dry before hitting the pan.
  • Coat your pan with canola oil and sauté your veggies. Once they are done, keep them warm on a cookie sheet in the oven. I keep the oven about 250 degrees.
  • Wipe the pan dry, coat your pan once more with the canola oil and let it heat up again.
  • I did my meat in batches, again you don’t want to steam up your meat by overcrowding the pan. Single layer for the meat. It literary took 30 seconds on each side for the beef to cook. Put meat in the oven to keep warm and continue with your meat batches until done.
  • Now, it is time to broil your buns, then put two cheese slices on each of the buns and melt it in the oven. Sequencing is a key with this dish. You don’t want to serve a cold cheesesteak sandwich. I even heated up my plates in the oven. It sure helps to keep the meal warm.
  • Take the meat out of the oven and chop it up into small pieces.  You can see it in the picture. I find it easier to eat it. Not as messy!
  • Time to assemble. Veggies and meat go on top of the bun with the melted cheese. This really prevents the sogginess.
  • Little bit of arugula on the top. The pepper taste of the greens pairs nicely with the beef.
  • Serve with onion rings or fries!

Dobrou chut!

 

3T Ranch Reaches 100 Cows!

The 3T Ranch has reached a huge milestone this week. Our 100th cow was born during a sunny morning earlier this week. We have had a decent amount of rain and hail, yet this little creature waited for the sun to shine through and then arrive. Mama aka “Milk Mustache” (she is all black except her white mustache) and the baby are doing just fine and have already re-joined the herd.

The Cowboss and I have started 3T Ranch about five and half years ago with 10 cows and always dreamed of having 100. Sometime people take the words “hard work pays off” for granted, but it has sure worked for us. I can’t tell you how many times the boys had to feed the cows in a snowstorm with their ski goggles on, so they can see at least a couple inches in front of them or when the Cowboss spent hours with first-time mama to help her through the delivery or when they had to fix fence in the beaming sun.. Yet, we wouldn’t have it any other way, our work is so rewarding.

We would like to say a HUGE Thank You to all of our customers who support us, watch us grow and appreciate all the work that goes into our style of ranching.

 

Italian Beef Sandwiches

I have been searching for new recipes to add to our “staples dinner list” and came across these Italian Beef Sandwiches. Our family loves roast, our favorite is smoke roast of any kind. The Cowboss does an excellent job smoking our beef, but I have to say these Italian Beef Sandwiches come as very close second! Plus it can’t get any easier to make them.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs 3T Ranch beef roast (any type of roast will be do just fine)
  • 2 packets of Zesty Italian Dressing Seasoning
  • 1 cup water
  • 16 ounce jar banana peppers
  • Sandwich rolls
  • Pepper Jack Cheese

Directions:

  • Place roast into the crockpot, sprinkle the seasoning and pour the entire jar of banana peppers including the liquid over the meat.
  • Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
  • Pour in 1 cup of water.
  • Cover and cook for another 4 hours. I find that our meat likes the low temperatures better.
  • Shred the meat with forks and place onto broiled sandwich rolls. As you can see in my pictures, I have put the cheese on top of the meat and put it into the oven for a couple of minutes to melt it. My Cowboss had a good idea.. Broil the rolls and melt the cheese and then put the meat on the bun. Extra layer to prevent a soggy bun.

Have to give credit to Buns in My Oven website for this wonderful recipe. It is a winner.

Dobrou chut!

Baked Ground Beef Chimichangas

IMG_3740Mexican cuisine is always a hit at our home, but I thought I would change up our ground beef burritos into chimichangas.

Chimichangas are basically fried burritos, but we are watching what we eat. Grassfed/grass finished beef is so good for you and you don’t want to ruin your healthy meal by frying everything. So, I decided to baked my chimichangas and it was a hit. The burritos got nice and crisp  .

 

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb 3T Ranch ground beef
  • 1/2 onion – small dice
  • 1 bell pepper – small dice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can green chili sauce or green chili enchilada sauce
  • 5 flour tortillas
  • Spanish rice (I have used the box, but you can certainly make it from scratch)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • Canola oil in a spray
  • 1 tablespoon chopped up cilantro

Directions:

  • Saute onions and peppers in a cast iron skillet until translucent. Set aside.
  • Cook your ground beef  with cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • Mix peppers and onions with the ground beef along with the shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Heat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • Spray your cookie sheet with the canola oil.
  • Steam your flour tortillas in the microwave. Make sure to put a wet towel over your tortillas and microwave for about a minute. This way, your tortillas will be easy to roll up.
  • Divide the meat mixture onto the five tortillas. Here is a quick way to roll them up.
  • Put the burritos onto the cookie sheet and spray with the canola oil.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes and broil for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Your chimichangas are nice and crisp!
  • Heat up your green chili sauce or green chili enchilada sauce over your chimichangas.
  • Serve with rice, avocado and salsa.

Dobrou chut!

Beef and Broccoli

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Finally! Our freezer is filled again with beef! Our customers come first, therefore we get our beef on the last round of processing. It was worth the wait! I wanted to have beef that night for dinner, so we have decided for an easy and fast recipe.

Ingredients:

  • flank steak thinly sliced against the grain
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar (start with two, you can always add more)
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup beef broth (best beef broth is from beef soup bones, easy to make)
  • 1 pound of broccoli thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • oil

Directions:

Heat oil in a large skillet and stir broccoli until nicely tender. Don’t over do it!

In the meantime, cut your steak. In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger, garlic, sesame oil. Pour half of the mixture over the meat and coat it. Reserve the second part for the actual sauce.

Take broccoli out of the pan, pour in little bit more oil, let the pan come to temperature again and put in the meat in a single layer. I had to do three different batches, but it was worth it. Don’t stir the meat right away, you want to have a nice crust on the meat. It takes one minute on the first side and 30 seconds on the other. Take out the meat. Remember, don’t over cook it, the meat will go back into the sauce and it will cook some more.

Pour the remaining sauce into the pan along with the beef broth, let it thicken and put in the meat and the broccoli.

I have served the dish with coconut rice (you can already buy it in a box). It was a nice change to either white or fried rice, but either way you can’t go wrong!

Give a try! Dobrou chut!

Why You Should Buy Beef in Bulk, Support Local, Look for Best Value.. and still have time to shop for cowboy boots

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Well, our whole family is slowly gearing up for the arrival of our new cowboy. The cowboss and Luke aka our top ranch hand/oldest son are so excited for another cowboy helper to be joining our crew. Peanut and I are ready to “mother” this little boy. Excitement all around us.

Needless to say, I also want to be ready when he comes. I need to have meals ready as I’m not planning to cook any five star dinners during the first weeks, but I want my family to have a tasty meal each night. Our 1/4 beef will be in the freezer by the end of September! Just enough time for me to cook and freeze our meals.

Fall is the time of the year to buy beef in bulk from local ranches like ours. Why fall? Why is beef a seasonal item like peaches? Easy answer.. you want to buy beef when the animal just came off green grass and they are in their prime condition. Beef in February? Not so good.. Cows don’t gain weight during winter months as they are only fed hay. Nothing beats luscious green grass. Same as peaches, you know that August peaches taste the best, winter peaches are available, but the flavor and nutrients are just lacking.

Why buy in bulk? You save time, money and introduce your family to new cuts that are not typically available at the grocery stores. Easy math = We sell our 1/4 beef (100 lbs) for $710, which is $7.10 per pound. Each 1/4 includes steaks, ground beef and roasts about 1/3 of each. $7.10 per pound for grassfed, grass finished local beef? How much did you spend the last time you have bought T-Bone Steak? I bet it was not $7.10 per pound! I have seen prices that are at least three times as much at the stores with no guarantee that you are truly getting grassfed/grass finished beef. Many stores import beef from South America. We also sell smaller options, check out our  3T Ranch website. Why buy in bulk? I make less trips to the grocery store.  I can usually whip up a pretty good dinner as long as I have some kind of protein in the fridge or freezer. Steak salad, steak fajitas, grilled steak, beef stew.. endless possibilities. Not sure what to cook or need an inspiration? Check out our 3T Ranch Blog.

Why local? Make friends with your local ranchers and farmers. Here at the 3T we are happy to show you our operations, how we raise our cows, what we feed them, etc. You may learn a thing or two that you didn’t know about cows. I know I’m biased, but ranching is pretty interesting. It is not just about handsome cowboys riding into the sunset and stylish cowboy boots. Ranching is tough, but rewarding work. Our cowboss will talk your ear off about his cows, but I would think that is a great sign that he knows what he is doing, proud of his product and truly a guarantee that you are getting what is being sold to you.

Why Best Value? I don’t know about you, but I want to feed my family the best we can afford. I shop smarter, not harder. I’m going to give you another example. Each year, we buy peaches from The PeachFork in Palisade. I buy four big boxes. I use the peaches for jams, homemade ice cream, freeze them for delicious cobblers, bars in the winter time and my guys gobble up at least one box just for snacks. Why do I buy from them? I know them, I trust them, I talk to them and I know that they are passionate about their farm. Bonus? The peaches are the best, flavor, size, price.. You just can’t beat that. So, next time you are buying two steaks or two peaches at the store, ask yourself a question. Are you shopping smarter or are you shopping harder? How many times have you gone to the store to buy meat? Was it $7.10/per pound? I’m sure enjoying my quiet time as I get ready to make peach jam and make room in my freezer for my beef. I have everything I need at home for a full year. I have supported local, got the best value and my family will have plenty of healthy meals.

Round Steak

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Round steak is not your typical cut that you can find at the grocery store, yet so tasty that it totally should be!

We like to use the round steak cut for fajitas. I cut my steak thinly against the grain and fry it with just a little splash of oil in my cast iron skillet. Make sure your skillet is preheated. This cut is super lean and it doesn’t take very long to cook. You want to see some pink before taking it out of the pan. Seasoning is very simple, salt, pepper and little bit Wildtree Asada seasoning.

This cut is also great for Beef Stroganoff, the braising does wonders for it.

Give it a shot. Sirloin is tasty for sure, but many beef cuts are underutilized, round steak being one of them.