Bourbon Meatloaf from WSJ

My son was required in one of his classes at uni to take subscription of the Wall Street Journal.  We had taken it for years, but it had gotten so expensive we’d dropped.  However, as a student, he could receive it for $50 a year!

Once in a while a fabulous recipe which meets my criteria is published and i nab it and usually tweak it just a bit. Here’s one i found just last week.

The original version is pictured far below, but here’s what i did:

MEATLOAF INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion

3 cloves garlic

Sauté these in a medium hot skillet with 2 tablespoons butter, then add mushrooms and lettuce until softened – all in all about 6 minutes.  Don’t let it burn!

1 cup diced mushrooms

2 cups snipped fresh spinach

Add these items to the above skillet until softened

2 lbs grass finished ground beef

1 cup finely ground bread crumbs (i used what i had leftover from a failed baking experiment)

2 egg yolks from farm fresh eggs (save the whites for scrambled eggs in the morning)

1/2 cup ketchup

3 tablespoons brandy (i discovered that brandy is a substitute for bourbon)

2 teaspoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

Mix together, by hand, all these ingredients to make the loaf.

FOR THE GLAZE:

While the meatloaf is cooking, whisk together 1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, 2 tablespoons unprocessed organic sugar like Florida Crystals, 1/2 cup ketchup, and 4 tablespoons farm fresh milk in a small bowl.  After meatloaf has baked about 6 minutes, remove it from the oven and brush glaze over top.

Return pan to oven and bake until meat is just cooked through, or internal temperature reads 145-150 degrees on a meat thermometer.  Making a 2-lb loaf, mine cooked for about 30-35 minutes in a 400ºF oven.  Remove  from over and let cool slightly.

Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (1)
Chopped onion, grass fed butter hasn’t melted yet.
Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (2)
Home grown garlic

 

Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (3)
Didn’t have any celery, but spinach is a substitute for just about everything!
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I use scissors to cut the spinach in smaller pieces – add to the onion/garlic mix to saute.
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i keep these mixes in the frig pretty year round unless i happen to grow enough for us to use in the spring and summer.
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Separate the eggs – i keep the whites of course to use for scrambled eggs later.

Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (7)Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (8)

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Gather it up and roll onto the jellyroll pan.  Mine is 9×15″
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My loaf is far too great a diameter to be finished cooking in 26 minutes, so adjustments are to be expected.  This is using 2 lbs ground beef.
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This is absolutely NOT what the glaze is supposed to look like – i forgot to add the ketchup!  Grrrrrr!
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Without the ketchup the glaze is far too runny…….
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….resulting in this burnt mess on the pan around the loaf.
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My loaf was far greater diameter than the recipe, so i cooked it an extra 15 minutes which was just right.  Also gave opportunity for the glaze i messed up to burn a bit more.  😦

 

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Yup, it’s done.
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Thank you to my sister-in-law, Shawna, for this perfectly sized Pampered Chef mini spatula she gave me for Christmas.
Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ (21)
Restaurant quality meal (except for the glaze i screwed up).  The meatloaf has a delightful texture and flavour.
Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ Recipe (1)
Here’s the original recipe by Chef Lee as published in the Wall Street Journal
Bourbon Meatloaf - WSJ Recipe (2)
This is the whole article with the featured chef.
Salad (1)
These prepared lettuce or spinach mixes in a clam shell container are just the handiest things!
Salad (2)
Shredded Carrots on the salad.  Add whatever you are hungry for – sliced hard cooked eggs, mushrooms, olives, cheese, pumpkin or sunflower seeds.

 

Enjoy!

tauna

Getting Into the Cattle Business: Buying a Ranch and Making it Pay

Solid figures to help me decide whether or not to pursue any land purchases should any come up for sale. Farms in Linn County, MO rarely change hands.

Land & Livestock International, Inc.

By Dr. Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume, President & CEO, Land & Livestock International, Inc.

What and Why?

First, do you want to own a ranch or do you just want to be in the cattle business? Did you know that you can enter the cattle business without owning either land or cattle?

"Waiting for a Chinnook" Also known ...
“Waiting for a Chinnook” Also known as “Last of the 5000”

You are already thinking, “This guy has lost his mind!” But seriously, you can. You can lease land and take in pasture cattle–i.e. you can pasture someone else’s cattle on leased land for a monthly per head fee. Once you get a reputation for paying your bills and taking good care of other peoples land, ranch lease opportunities will come to you. You won’t have to look for them.

This is an excellent way for young prospective ranchers to get into the business without having to…

View original post 2,118 more words

Compare 2-Year-Olds to 3-Year-Olds

Conventional wisdom from cattle management experts as well as those in the Ag University system insists that to properly develop future cows for a profitable cow herd young females (replacement heifers) need to calve by the time they are 2 years old.  The main idea is to identify those females which are the most fertile and to select for early maturation.  But is that really the way to do so?  And is early maturity a desirable trait?  Consider that most producers (in cattle) are expecting those young females to give birth by what is a comparable human age of 14, gestate, and raise a baby every year thereafter.  Whereas, the 3 year old compares to 18.  Animal Age Calculator

There is also the ‘belief’ (because i’ve never seen any data to support this) that a cow calving as a 2 year old raises one more calf in her lifetime than the older heifers.  I cannot speak to this with my own data since i’ve not been at it long enough to gather data, but i also don’t plan to do the research and have another herd that calves as 2 year olds.  However, I’ve spoken with a few producers who have been doing this for a long time and they are just as convinced that allowing their heifers to be physically mature before calving them allows them to live longer and more productive lives.

My heifers are not exposed to a bull until they are at least 2 years old – actually most are born in May of a year and not exposed until mid-July two years later, so they are actually 2 years and 2 months old and they will calve when they are right at 3 years old the following May.

Although there are several producers who manage their cattle this way, we tend to not be outspoken much for to do so would be to encourage belligerent confrontation or the sorrowful looks to imply that we are just hopeless cases and will never be legitimate or profitable ranchers.

Outside the obvious lifestyle benefits for producer/rancher and the comfort and animal welfare of the livestock, I’ve put together some financial figures which will apply to my ranch and indicate to me that I’ve made the right decision for my operation.

 

Heifer Development Costs
2 year old 3 year old
Value of Weaned Calf  $    630.00 450 lbs  $      1.40
Value of 2 year old  $    810.00 600 lbs  $      1.35
Hay
Pasture Year 1  $    125.00  $    125.00
Pasture Year 2  $    125.00
Salt/Mineral  $        3.00  $         6.00
Breeding Fees
Veterinarian Fees  $        5.00  $         5.00
Supplies
Labor
Interest
Insurance
Taxes
Depreciation
Machinery
Bulls  $      40.00  $      40.00  per head
Costs  $    153.00  $    281.00
Total Cost  $    803.00  $ 1,111.00
Conception Rate 70% 96%
$1147.14  $ 1157.29
*PPI 70 50 days
Calving Assistance 18% 0%
2nd calf conception 70% 96%
Advantages:
Manage growing, breeding, gestating, calving heifers as one mob with cows
Older Heifers are physically and mentally mature with no special feed requirements
Observing older cows calving seems to teach the heifers what to do
Less than 1 % calf death loss
Calves at least 50 lbs heavier at weaning and can be weaned with the cows’ calves
No special treatment

*PPI – post partum interval – the number of days it takes for the female to recover from calving and becoming pregnant again.

The calving assistance and pregnancy rates are taken from various University research data over decades of record keeping.  Most research heifers are developed with considerable grain and feed inputs which incurs more costs including labor.  However, my comparisons are grass and forage only.  Therefore it is likely that the grass managed 2 year olds could be significantly higher open (not bred) percentages than what is illustrated here.  Whereas the 3 year old development percentages are actual from my ranch.  My grass managed 2 year olds were only 10% bred!  Ouch!

WOTB – Working on the Business – tweaking the plan to discover a bit more opportunity for profitability in ranching.  Margins are too thin for my hobby level of ranching, but trying to do my best.

Cheers!

tauna

heifersIMG-3631

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The red heifer in the middle with the black ear tag is a coming 3 year old expecting her first calf while the two red heifers to the left of her are long yearlings (about 1 1/2 years old) and will be exposed to the bull in mid-July.  The black cow to the right is much older – as you can see the coming three year old exhibits nearly the same maturity.

IMG-3631 (1)

 

 

 

Biscuit Topped Italian Casserole

Sometimes a stumbled upon recipe in a catalogue or magazine or flyer  really resonates with your family and it becomes part of the regular menu lineup.  This casserole is one such that i found probably 20 years ago.  The beauty of it, is that it is easily modified to accommodate your own tastes and whatever you have on hand (within reason of course!)

The original recipe is pictured way below, but the one i made yesterday included my home raised green beans and home grown grass finished ground beef.  For chopping the vegetables i use a mini food chopper and even chop the green beans if i’m preparing for Sunday’s meal with Allen’s 98-year-old Aunt June.  She has lost her teeth and can’t keep track of dentures – so it is what it is.

Family sized version:

2 lbs grass-finished ground beef

1 medium sized onion – chopped

3 medium sized carrots – chopped

1-2 cups Asian long pole green beans – chopped

1 24 oz jar of Eden Organic tomatoes  (normally i use my home raised tomatoes, but i’ve already run out!)  Eden’s brand is excellent, but, honestly, to open them, i either need my stout son, Dallas, to do it, or i go get my long handled Channel Lock pliers.  It’s really ridiculous.

2 cups of your favourite cheese, divided – 1 1/2 cups to stir into veggie/beef mix, 1/2 cup to top off the casserole.  Or stir in 2 cups of cheese to melt – whatever your choice!

Brown the ground beef in a 4 quart pot and add all the vegetables, including the tomato sauce, throw in maybe a tablespoon of salt (check your tomato sauce – it may already have salt in it – i try to use straight tomatoes) and a teaspoon of black pepper -whatever suits ya, and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so.  Add 1 1/2 cups of your favourite cheese and stir to melt.

Once the mix is ready, pour into a 9×13 inch pan, level it off, then top with biscuits.  I make my own, but you can buy some to use.  Then sprinkle about a cup of shredded cheese on top.  Then add a sprinkling of parsley, basil, or oregano if you like.

Bake in a preheated oven of 375 F for about 28 minutes until cheese is melted and biscuits are golden brown.  This makes 6-8 servings.  Takes about an hour to make and bake, but if there are leftovers, it’s still a time saver.  What does it cost?  that will totally depend on the quality of ingredients you purchase.

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i mix my own biscuits up, then roll the dough to 1/4 inch and use this small juice glass to make 2 inch diameter biscuits.  But you could make larger ones, just not thicker- remember the heat to cook the casserole is reduced so thicker biscuits may not cook through.
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After pouring the beef/veggie/cheese mix into a 9×13 inch baking dish, top it with the biscuits.

 

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Then add about 1 cup of shredded cheese
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Sprinkle on some parsley if you like, then bake in a 375 F oven about 28 minutes.
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Finished casserole – YUMMY!
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Here’s the original recipe i cut out of a magazine a couple decades ago!

Buon Appetito!

 

tauna

Meal Kit Services

Lots of ship to home meal kits out there on the market.  Anyone using these services?  What do you think?  i’m thinking of ordering one just to try for fun and see what they are like.

Here’s a link to a comparison article from Money, but there are several comparison checks on the internet using different companies and services.

This Is the Best Meal-Kit Service on the Market Right Now

 

Cheers!

tauna

Written Tradition, Part 1: Clyde’s Truck

Son, Nathan, still blogs occasionally. Gotta share his; his are much more interesting to read than mine.

Enter Wonderland

Everyone has a story. The one that makes your eyes light up when you tell it. The one that makes you wheeze with laughter before you get to the punchline. The one that makes you hold your breath until the end. The one that isn’t quite the truth. Some people have several. Some people have one good one they tell every time they see you. But we all have one.

In the past, these oral traditions were passed from generation to generation. They were modified slightly, but were recognizable. The very best became legends and myths. Now, though, many of these tales are lost with the passing of a generation.

This series is my attempt to capture some of the tradition of my family and those around me. I will try to make monthly updates, but no promises!

Clyde Powell was my great-great-uncle. Way back in the day, he bought…

View original post 199 more words

Faith, Family, Farm

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