Some people live with the ‘fresh is better than frozen’ ideology, and they suffer needlessly for it! They lose opportunities to pre-make their favorite meals (thus enjoying delicious dinners even on busy nights), it forces multiple trips to the grocery store every week, and worst of all, they miss out on some of the best beef on the market.
Although the word “fresh” is often used to mean “not frozen,” whether or not its been frozen has nothing to do with how fresh the product actually is. In fact, freshness gets locked in during the freezing process and is used to facilitate the dry aging process (which is used to increase flavor and tenderness).
We have nothing against freezing and thawing our beef, which is always fresh off the farm. Freezing it locks in that freshness so you can store it in your own freezer after purchasing for as long as you like. Here are some of the most common ‘frozen food’ myths we have encountered.
As many of you know, we at Perry Land & Cattle have a very unique relationship with Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe, Arizona. (We’ll write another blog soon delving into that deep well of awesome-ness). To sum it up for the sake of brevity, they send us the nutrient rich leftover liquid from their brewing process (called ‘wort’) and we feed it to our cows. Hence, our beef is ‘beer fed,’ and this is a big part of what gives it the exceptional taste and superior marbling. But how do you properly pair the finest quality beef in Arizona with the best beer brewed in the state? Read on to find out.
Step 1: Start with some good quality beef. Whether you want to believe it or not…this matters a great deal. There’s a reason why beef comes at different price points: it has to do with the breed of cattle, the diet it’s fed, the way it’s raised, and the quality of the finish. Matching the breed with the environment in which it’s raised is also important. For our Arizona desert, for example, we choose hearty cattle who fare well in the heat. We’ve raised Angus, Charolais, Hereford and Beefmaster steers, which have all done exceptionally well in our climate. How long we finish them, the quality of grain we use, and our absolute refusal to use artificial hormones to bump their growth, all play into the delectable taste of Perry beef.
Trust me, you don’t want to ruin an expensive steak with the wrong seasoning.
Step 2: Blend your spices together and apply liberally. If you take step one to heart, this simple blend is all you need for perfectly seasoned steak:
This will give you enough for 4-6 steaks and if stored in an airtight container, will keep for a year. A pro tip from experience (and Southern Living agrees!)... apply salt-based seasonings 20 minutes in advance- preferably while the steak sits on the counter, coming to room temperature.
Step 3: Choose your favorite method of cooking. Whether you grill, pan fry, or roast in the oven… with great quality beef and a simple seasoning, you’re sure to have a delicious dinner.
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If you’re like many beef lovers, you’ve heard of ‘short ribs’ (because there is a short rib CRAZE going on right now) but don’t exactly know what they are. We’re here to explain and to help you discover the best ways to cook them. You may be surprised at how easy to prepare, and exceptionally delicious they really are.
This is delicious! What’s your secret?! We won’t tell if you won’t. Learn all about the benefits of taking it slow. This one’s for those who love the finer pleasures of dining without all the fuss.
Who doesn’t love a home filled with the teasingly delicious smell of dinner without even rolling up your sleeves? Slow cooking brings together all the best elements of simple ingredients, flavor-to-taste style, leftover ready, large batches, and brag worthy tenderness without breaking the bank on prime cuts. Grab a fork and get ready to experience your new favorite way to stay well fed.
Imagine this. It’s Monday morning and you’re starting to think about dinners for the week. You walk to your freezer, scan the contents, and easily decide on Taco Tuesday, Burger Thursday and plan to smoke a brisket on Saturday. You grab a package of carne asada, a pound or two of ground beef, and a 4-5 lb brisket from the freezer and place them in the fridge to thaw. It’s almost too easy!
Buying a side of beef (or a whole cow) is a great way to make life easier (saving trips to the store) and also gives you the peace of mind that your yearly supply of protein is already in your freezer! Getting your beef this way is a little different than grabbing it from the supermarket, however. Here are 5 things you should know about buying a side of beef.
When its Perry Land & Cattle beef, it’s a cut you can count on. Tender, flavorful, well marbled… which cut is the right one for your table?
If you’ve ever found yourself staring blankly at the beef section in your local grocery store wondering which cuts of beef are superior, you’re not alone. Cut location, quality grade, feed type & cattle environment, these all play a role in the cut you choose. Choosing the right beef to feed your family should be a lot easier than learning the hottest new line-dance, and much less embarrassing. Let us fill you in on just what you’re looking for.
It’s an art, a right of passage, and a great time that everyone can enjoy. Let’s teach you how to do it RIGHT. Check out some of the best tips on mastering your grill.
You’ve got to admit it, there’s just something about grilling that makes us feel alive. Maybe it’s the modern equivalent to hunting for what you eat. Or, maybe it’s bringing you back to the basics of actually caring about your food, instead of just punching holes in the top of a plastic container before you press 4:00 on the microwave. Whatever it is, we’re about to cover the best tips for keeping your grill game at its peak.
America's heritage and tradition in the beef industry still shines through the cattle rancher's of today. Learn more about what it took to bring it to life and bring it to your table.
Have you ever bitten into a steak and said, “Wow, this steak is too high-quality, can I get some low-end beef?” We didn’t think so. It’s not just you, then entire beef industry has been chasing better beef since the 1600’s. The fact is, even with regulations and standards, there are a LOT of different ways to raise cattle in the US. So, if you’re looking the perfect texture, temperature, and taste to hit the plate in front of you, it helps to know how it gets there.
You fire up the grill to get it right. Now make sure you know the difference between what’s hot and what’s not.
We all know the feeling, pushing back from the table we were bellied-up to moments ago realizing that was a perfectly cooked steak. That’s a place we wish we could return to night after night, but sometimes it’s a struggle to recreate the magic. But it doesn’t have to be.
There’s a lot to cover when learning to prepare and perfectly serving your steak, but an out of control temperature ruins all the prep work the fastest. No one gets it right on their first try, many of us have honed our craft over years and years of disappointing those we shared the table with. It takes fine-tuning and consistency with your tools. You can’t jump from a gas grill to charcoal one week and then broil the next day in the oven just because it’s raining. Set your controls consistently, use the same brand and amount of charcoal frequently, or be willing to stand there with an umbrella if the heavens open up and demand it. This is your dinner we’re talking about, and we take it seriously.
Once you’ve dedicated to your tools for the job, next comes the hard fact of internal temperature. There’s no getting around it, this is the ONLY way to get a steak the way you want it on purpose. If you witness the chef glance at the meat and waive their hand magically over the grill and mutter, “that looks about right,” you might as well stick to wine and mashed potatoes for dinner because what you ordered is NOT going to be on your plate. Get yourself, or gift that hopeless chef in your life, a meat thermometer and you’ll never quit a steak early again. Once your hands are on your tools, consult this temperature perfection chart to make sure everyone around the table is bellying up and smiling every night.
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Alicia Perry, PhD, Owner/Operator and all around Hay Maven (see my blog post on the time I fell off a haystack...). I share industry insights, tips & tricks on grilling great beef, and my personal journey into the ranching world.