Best Steak Ever
November 15th, 2016 · 7 Comments · Posted in farming
We said goodbye to our steer Del recently and got a hearty thumbs up from the butcher.’
“Keep doin’ whatever you’ve been doin’,” he said. “It doesn’t get any better than this!”
Del (short for Delmonico) had put on a good layer of fat during his 18 months with us, which must owe to our decision to let him keep nursing from mother up to the very end. Grass-fed cattle don’t normally show so much marbling, but Del had enough fat leftover that the butcher used it to improve the burger of his other clients.
Del was the offspring of our Jersey dairy cow Emily and a Red Angus sperm donor. It was a great match, because the meat we’ve tasted so far has all been out-of-this world delicious. We sold half to a friend, but that still leaves us with several hundred pounds–enough to fill half a chest freezer and save us the expense of buying .beef at the store for the next year or so. (In case you’re wondering, the photo above was taken a year ago when Del was still a calf.)
Of course, there’s a bit of sadness that goes with butchering an animal you’ve raised since birth. Although not quite as cuddly as his mother, Del was like a member of the family. It pained me to see him killed. It was also painful to watch Emily mourn for him. For several days, she returned to the paddock where she’d last seen him and bellowed.
It’s a privilege to live in such close proximity to your food source. It’s also a struggle with mixed emotions.
Thank you, Del.