Big Meat!

by Wendy Copley on May 27, 2010

Prather Ranch Meat

I just brought home 50 pounds of meat!

50 pounds of meat??

Yes, ma’am! 50 pounds! Here’s how that came about:

A couple of months ago, I read a book called The Butcher and the Vegetarian by Tara Austen Weaver. Zach and I picked it up because there is a whole chapter in it about our friend, Guy Prince (a.k.a Biggles) of the web site Meathenge. The basic premise of the book is that Tara, a life-long vegetarian, is directed to eat meat by one of her doctors. For the first time in her life she starts to navigate the meat-eating world. As you can imagine, she has quite a bit of trepidation about this and so she approaches this new terrain carefully and thoughtfully. One chapter that particularly stuck out for me was the one where Tara visits Prather Ranch. The cattle on Prather Ranch are raised in a humane way with a closed herd that is pasture fed. From their web site:

The philosophy that drives this operation is “a deep understanding of the importance of low stress cattle handling, responsible stewardship of the land and a desire to provide a stable and satisfying life for those who work on the ranch.” This creates a “win-win-win” situation – the cattle live in an ideal environment, the ranch practices ecologically progressive and sustainable farming and ranching methods, and the customers are guaranteed they are receiving the most wholesome beef available.

If you’re going to eat beef, this is probably the best way to do it for the animal, for the earth and for yourself.

Prather Ranch Meat

I told my sister-in-law about Prather Ranch over lunch one day (we were eating salads, not burgers) and she thought it was interesting enough that she and her husband looked into buying a share of a Prather Ranch cow. The smallest share you can buy is a quarter cow which ends up being about 100 lbs. That’s a lot of meat for a couple to go through by themselves, so they asked us if we were interested in splitting it up.

Um…YES!

We ended up bringing home 25 lbs. of hamburger and another 25 lbs. of assorted steaks, roasts and cuts of meat we’ve never heard of before. Have you ever had chuck steaks? How about mock tender steaks? I just found out what they were by looking them up online. Thank God for the internet, right? The average price per pound for all of this was about $6.00 which is a crazy good bargain when you consider that a pound of organic hamburger goes for about $7.00 in our area. So we’re already saving money on the hamburger and when you throw in the steaks and what not the deal gets even better. Get this: the price per pound listed on the filet mignons we got was $39.99! Holy cow! Honestly — that’s just nuts.

Prather Ranch Meat

I’m not too worried about getting through 50 pounds of meat in the next six months, but I’ll admit that seeing it all laid out on the table was a bit intimidating. We have been trying to reduce our family’s meat intake so we don’t want to over-do it. Anyone have any interesting ground beef recipes they want to share? I’ve got a pretty good recipe for meatloaf and I can also make shepherd’s pie. We’ll stir it into pasta sauce and make burgers too of course. Got any other brilliant ideas?

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