Beef = Dinner! - Southern Fried Blog at - 309660

Southern Fried

Beef = Dinner! 
Aug. 28, 2013 11:40 am 
Updated: Aug. 29, 2013 6:12 am

Beef:  I actually grew up raising beef cattle on our farm just outside of Nashville, Tennessee.  Each year I would get two bulls and a heifer to raise until they were, well, ready to be eaten.  I’d drag myself out of bed each morning, fill up their bottles with cattle formula, and drudge through the dark to inevitably get kicked by a hungry calf or, at the very least, get a gentle head nudge if I wasn’t moving quickly enough for their liking.
They would get out of their fence quite a bit, leading us on a cross-farm trek to retrieve them in what was usually inclement weather.  I was actually late for school picture day when they all decided that the neighbor’s corn patch was much more pleasing than the safety of their dry stall in the barn, and my mother and I had to don rain gear and snatch our “cow chasing kit” (which was a large stick and an attitude of frustration) and go chase Beauty and the gang (Beauty was a conniving cow and could find the exact spot a fence was down the moment it went down.) 
Regardless, when folks would ask me what it’s like to eat an animal you’ve raised, I would usually reply with, “It’s easier to chase them around a Crock-Pot instead of a field.” 
It was difficult at times, but I knew from the get-go what the deal was with my cows.  I’m proud to say that my cows were organically grown and humanely raised and slaughtered.  And this upbringing leads me to my viewpoint on food today…
My viewpoint is this: I don’t eat a lot of meat, but when I do, I want to know where this meat hails from.  You certainly CAN tell a difference in grass-fed, organic beef and I’m completely willing to pay that extra premium to ensure the meat I’m feeding myself and my family is clean and safe.  And a hormone and cruelty-free meatball is just this side of divine. 
So when participating in this month’s “Beef: It’s What’s for Dinner” campaign, I went to our local butcher and snagged some lovely ground sirloin from a local farm near Nashville to make “Beef and Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms” on this here website. 
Wow.  I made a couple of changes to the recipe, but since beef is a bit of a treat in our household, these hit the spot.  We were going to use them as appetizers for our Sunday night dinner, but wound up cooking them earlier and scarfing them down closer to lunch.  YUM!
And did knowing where my meat came from help me enjoy it a bit more?  You better believe it.  As I stated before, we’re not big meat eaters in our house, but every once in a while a piece of organic red meat is almost a necessity in our house.  And who am I to deny us that?  Especially when all I want for dinner is a giant meatball! 

Aug. 28, 2013 5:04 pm
Agree, NN, sometimes nothing but beef will do!
Aug. 28, 2013 7:33 pm
Years ago my BIL offered me the chance to invest a small sum of money and he would buy us a cow to raise for meat on his horse farm. Well, we would visit and my kids named the cow and it had such beautiful soulful eyes that when the time came to "do the deed" I couldn't. All these years later that animal may well be enjoying the good life for all I know. But I absolutely agree with you on what I want my beef to be.
Aug. 28, 2013 7:48 pm
I agree. I want to know where my beef and ALL my food comes from. Unhappily, it's not always possible to find out. Nice info here!
Aug. 29, 2013 6:12 am
BigShotsMom - a coworker of mine says that all cows have "kind eyes" so I totally understand where you're coming from!
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Nashville Nosher

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Springfield, Tennessee, USA
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Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Member Since
Sep. 2007

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Baking, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Southern

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About Me
I grew up on a farm in Tennessee learning how to cook what we grew in the garden. I'm definitely a Southern girl at heart and love Southern cooking. I like to say there isn't a recipe I won't try...unless it involves beets. Ha!
My favorite things to cook
Southern food! You can't go wrong with it when you cook for guests - who doesn't like macaroni and cheese? Plus, i know most of the recipes by heart, so I don't have to drag out a cookbook. It also proves the theory that enough cheese can make anything taste good.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My sister and I get together each Thanksgiving and go absolutely crazy. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without someone making pink gravy, or potatoes turning black, or completely forgetting the squash in the I suppose I would say "Thanksgiving Mishaps" would be our tradition.
My cooking triumphs
I got my husband to enjoy salmon. Granted, we had just started dating when I made it for him and he HAD to enjoy my salmon, but I'm calling it a "W" anyway.
My cooking tragedies
Well, there were the peanut butter noodles that I made with Worschestershire sauce (note to self: just because soy sauce and Worschestershire sauce come in similarly-shaped bottles does NOT mean they are similarly-flavored.) There is also the blackened catfish that turned out more "blackened" than "catfish." My husband still teases me about that (it even made an appearance in our wedding vows!)
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