Little John, the giant steer

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Lannie

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Well, we finally got our meat back from the butcher. Little John, through a sequence of events (not his fault) ended up wandering our pasture for 5 years before we could get him in. His statistics were staggering (to me). Live weight was a bit over 2,600 pounds, hanging weight (after trimming 600 pounds of extra fat off the outside) was a bit over 1,600 pounds, and the meat is perfectly marbled and so far, fabulous. We had filet mignon the first night, and sirloins last night. I don't know how much finished weight came back to us, but he filled up two 14-cuft. chest freezers right to the top, plus a few packs in the other house freezers.

(The weights above are per the butcher. I just know he was a BIG BOY.)

Little John's daddy was an Angus, and his momma is half Angus, and one quarter each Hereford and Jersey. He never had a bite of grain in his life, and was raised on his momma until he was about 8 or 9 months, then weaned onto pasture, and good grass mix hay in the winter. He was a very nice boy, gentle and sweet like his momma, and besides nearly disassembling the chicken run (itchy butt, you know), never did anything wrong. He lived a good life and now he's feeding his family, and I suspect will continue feeding us for quite a few years, LOL! That is a LOT of meat out there in those freezers! I was quite fond of him, actually, and he was pleasant to have around, but now he has fulfilled his purpose. And boy, does he taste GOOD!

I took some pictures of the steaks, before and after cooking, but they're on an old fashioned camera and need to be downloaded. As soon as my hubby does that (he's the computer geek), I'll post them here. I have never had better beef in my life, except maybe for the last steer we butchered, but that was 10 years ago. I'd almost forgotten how good home-raised beef could be! :) Even those "tough ol' sirloins" off a 5 year old animal were tender and delicious! Of course, Little John was no athlete, he was more of a couch-potato steer. ;)
 

Dsth

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sounds like you are really happy with the way he turned out. I am thinking that I would much rather have one of those steaks instead of seeing the pics, so I can send you my address if you want to send me one or three.
 

504RP

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sounds like you are really happy with the way he turned out. I am thinking that I would much rather have one of those steaks instead of seeing the pics, so I can send you my address if you want to send me one or three.
Same here !
 
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Lannie

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I have PLENTY! I'm not mailing them, though, you gotta come get them. ;)

And yes, I'm VERY happy with how he came back home. I couldn't have asked for a better butchering job. It wasn't cheap, but it was worth every penny.
 
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Lannie

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I do not eat animals with names....

We name all our animals because we only have a few and we have to call them something. ;) But it doesn't affect the meat! Here are the filets:
05-18-21 LJ filet mignon 02.jpg


05-18-21 LJ filet mignon 03.jpg


And the sirloins:
05-20-21 LJ sirloins 01.jpg


05-20-21 LJ sirloins 02.jpg


YUM! I am so fortunate to be able to raise my own beef. Sometimes, it's a lot of frustration, and definitely an investment of time and money, but oh so worth it in the end. :) I couldn't afford to eat this well if I didn't have my own animals.
 

KAstocker

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We name all our animals because we only have a few and we have to call them something. ;) But it doesn't affect the meat! Here are the filets:
View attachment 4526

View attachment 4527

And the sirloins:
View attachment 4528

View attachment 4530

YUM! I am so fortunate to be able to raise my own beef. Sometimes, it's a lot of frustration, and definitely an investment of time and money, but oh so worth it in the end. :) I couldn't afford to eat this well if I didn't have my own animals.
You could post those pics in the May photo contest and see how you fare. Looks like good steak!
 

Little Joe

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I have a friend that leaves longhorn steers out on pasture until 4-5 years old then butchers, he and everyone that eats them say they're the best steaks ever. He says they're good and tender and full of flavor.
 
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Lannie

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Those look good! How long did the butcher hang/age the meat before packaging and freezing? Does he have a rule of thumb or is each animal different?

They said they usually do 10 days, but they were VERY busy (they fit Little John in because he had crossed toes on one hind foot and was going lame), and I think he ended up hanging for 13, maybe 14 days. I was getting worried I hadn't heard from them when I thought I should have, but when I called on day 17 or 18 (I don't remember exactly), they said he was all done and in the freezer and they were just working on the summer sausage. I haven't had any of that yet, but from what I've heard from the neighbors who use that butcher, I've never had sausage this good in my life, LOL! I'm pulling a hunk out today, in fact, to thaw. I figured it would make good snacks, sliced, with some cheddar cheese. It will be even better once my cows are in milk again and I can make my own cheese. :)

I have a friend that leaves longhorn steers out on pasture until 4-5 years old then butchers, he and everyone that eats them say they're the best steaks ever. He says they're good and tender and full of flavor.

Yeah, I'm suspecting those extra years added a TON of flavor to this meat. Last night I made spaghetti sauce with some of his burger, and although I did it the exact same way I always do it, it was out of this world delicious! It's not just my imagination, because my husband said the same thing and he normally doesn't like food. (He's weird.) But he said it was the best spaghetti he'd ever had, and all we could figure is it's the intense beefy flavor of the hamburger. Just plain ol' hamburger, but wow! So much flavor.

I know the butchers like to do younger animals, just because they're smaller, but boy-oh-boy, I'm glad our butcher was able to process our huge beast because he certainly is tasty! And to think, at one point (when I couldn't find a butcher to take such a large steer), I thought we were going to have to shoot and bury him in the pasture. I'm so glad things worked out. :)
 
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Lannie

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So, I never did ask you guys - do you think those steaks in the picture have good marbling? It's perfect as far as I'm concerned, but is it "good" in the general sense? I just want to know if I have a weapon to fire at the anti-grass-fed people who say all grass-fed beef is lean, tough, and gamey. I know they're just repeating what they heard from their grandpas, or neighbors, or whatever, but if our grass-fed is well marbled, maybe I can show them it IS possible? So what would you say about the marbling? A picture is worth a thousand words, and I've used up more than a thousand words already trying to describe how good this is, LOL!
 

Davemk

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So, I never did ask you guys - do you think those steaks in the picture have good marbling? It's perfect as far as I'm concerned, but is it "good" in the general sense? I just want to know if I have a weapon to fire at the anti-grass-fed people who say all grass-fed beef is lean, tough, and gamey. I know they're just repeating what they heard from their grandpas, or neighbors, or whatever, but if our grass-fed is well marbled, maybe I can show them it IS possible? So what would you say about the marbling? A picture is worth a thousand words, and I've used up more than a thousand words already trying to describe how good this is, LOL!


Please don’t argue with either side. The beef business is big enough for grass fed and grain fed. Just enjoy your beef and smile when some dipshit wants to argue.
 

Ky hills

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I agree the arguing hurts both sides in the long run, mainly because most folks that aren’t involved in agriculture have no idea how it works and are easily swayed to believe propaganda from those opposed to it as a whole. I personally prefer grain fed. That said I sampled a roast from a grass fed beef, and it was good. Grass finishing is fine if there is experience and knowledge of what it takes to do it consistently. A person just can’t pull a decent size animal out of a normally overstocked field and process it and expect to have a high quality result. Most folks don’t have the acreage or the knowledge to go that route, I know I don’t. We had a heiferette to be processed, slaughter house was closing down for the summer, before she would be ready even with grain finishing. I fed her for 35 days, 1/3 of what I would normally do. I knew she wasn’t ready and I wanted just hamburger, but wife wanted steaks and roasts. The hamburger and roasts were good, but have to cook the roasts a long time. The steaks were like whet leather to me. Otherwise all of the beef I have fed out to my liking has been real good, but I’m still always apprehensive about how it will turn out especially if it’s being fattened for somebody else. I think the main thing people have to realize is that there are a lot of factors that go into the equation of beef quality. I think the most consequential one is that a beef has to be properly finished whether it’s on grass or grain, and if so then that should go a long way towards both being a good product.
 
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Lannie

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Well, I guess we did something right. ;) I know not to get into a serious grass/grain argument because it can get as intense as religion or politics. I just thought I could post a pic or two, but being a newbie at raising beef (it's just a benefit of having milk cows), I didn't really know if our beef looked good. I know it tastes good, and it's very tender, and that's all that really matters. :)
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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No one can "plan" on feeding an animal for 5 years and make money. Having some Jersey in him sure didn't hurt the marbling, but any steer allowed to eat well on grass for 5 years better be marbled and taste good. Hanging for 12-14 days improved the tenderness.
Glad you are enjoying him. You have a lot to eat!!
Surely you are joking when you say your only option if you couldn't get a butcher was shoot and bury. Selling would be a far better option IMHO
 

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