We raise choice grade beef that is grass raised and grain-finished to maximize full flavor. All our beef is processed at local USDA inspected facilities. We have worked with our partners at the HAT Ranch to develop a herd of Black Angus and Tarentaise crossed cows that deliver a consistent quality outcome and great tasting product.
Most people in the U.S. are familiar with the superior marbling and taste qualities of the Angus breed and recognize it as the staple breed of the U.S. beef cattle industry. The Tarentaise breed, however, wasn't introduced in the U.S. until 1972. The breed originated in the rugged Tarentaise Valley high in the French Alps and is renowned for it's superior muscling characteristics and the high butterfat content of the cow's milk, The U.S. Range and Livestock Experiment Station in Miles City, Montana found that the Tarentaise breed not only produce a high level of milk, they milk at higher levels throughout the year than other breeds tested. This yields a heavier healthier calf at weaning.
When Tarentaise are crossbred with the Angus breed offspring are produced which mature with a flavor profile that is superior when compared to other purebred or crossbred animals. The HAT Ranch has invested heavily in research and development over the last 20 years and has verified that Angus and Tarentaise crossed together to produce optimal performance and superior taste.
In September of 2003, Iowa State University conducted a blind taste panel test that consistently found Angus/Tarentaise steaks and hamburger more flavorful and tender than the others tested. Another study at South Dakota State University indicated that Tarentaise crossbred cattle had the highest cutability, least fat cover and superior rib eye size of the breeds tested.
The Aging Process
Dry Aging of our beef is one of the most important phases of producing a superior product. All of our beef is aged for at least 14 days, "the old fashioned way," which allows nature to work its course to maximize flavor and tenderness. The ever-increasing demand for beef in the U.S. and world markets has caused the meat industry to cut corners and quality and speed up production.
Today's industry-standard includes a process called wet aging in which beef is cut and wrapped in vacuum bags with a preservative called Sodium Nitrite within 2-5 days of slaughter. This causes the beef to develop a strong flavor and decreases the tenderness of the product. Sodium Nitrite has also been known to cause severe allergic reactions. Please visit the website below to learn more about the dangers of nitrites.
The Health Benefits of Naturally Raised Beef
But besides knowing where your beef has been raised and that the environment for production is a humane, safe and healthy one, recent research suggests that beef raised in this manner (and for that matter other "naturally raised" products) is better for you. Marian Burros wrote an article in the August 30, 2006 edition of the New York Times ("all the news that's fit to print") extolling the taste and quality of grass-fed beef and sighted a number of the health benefits as well.
While our beef is not raised exclusively on a diet of grass pasture, (we finish our beef on a natural mix of soybean hulls, corn gluten and corn screenings along with hay and grass) we believe the absence of added growth hormones and background antibiotics in our production practices and a shorter period of time in the feedlot results in a more healthy and better-tasting product.
For additional information on the health benefits of eating naturally raised and grass-fed beef please visit these additional websites:
Our beef is processed at USDA inspected facilities and is available for purchase. All cuts are trimmed and finished just like you'd find at your local butcher or grocery, vacuum packed in durable plastic, individually labeled and flash frozen. Like most frozen food products it is best to consume our beef within 6 to 9 months of purchase but beef packaged in this manner will last in your freezer for approximately 1 year or longer without significant freezer burn or drying provided package seals have not been broken. (Always observe safe handling practices when working with any raw meat product.)