"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Holy Steer

         What approximately 150 pounds of grass fed steer looks like.

                                Filet Mignon in red wine caper sauce

Today we picked up our beef from Keizer meats. My sister's family came with us to pick up their half of the half. It turned out to be a bit more expensive than we had figured, for two reasons. Our steer just happened to be a big one, weighing in at over 900 pounds hanging weight. My neighbor had told me they usually dress out at around 600. Each of our quarters weighed 247 pounds. That's a lot more cut and wrap fee than we had anticipated. Also, there is more waste on a cow than there is on a hog. From our hog, we got about 80% of the hanging weight back in meat, but a steer yields more like 55-60%. Instead of paying $2.30 a pound, we are paying about $4.00.

But still. Go price grass fed beef at your local grocery store. Oh wait, you probably can't find any. 

In preparation for this day, I hadn't bought any beef in weeks. I wanted to be hungry for it. Deciding what to cook for dinner tonight took me a few minutes. Of course I went right for the Filet Mignon (which they label tenderloin steak). I also grabbed a package of short ribs. My brother-in-law Marcus opted to take his ribs in a big old barbecue slab, but I chose to have mine cut into more manageable portions. I snarfed my filet just a few minutes ago (that plate in the picture didn't last long), but the ribs are braising in the oven in a bath of barbecue sauce made from cider vinegar, soy, siracha, garlic, mustard, ketchup and honey. Homero ought to be home in about two hours, which sounds like perfect timing.

Filet Mignon in red wine caper sauce

two or three or four 8 ounce filet mignon steaks, 3/4 inch
olive oil
3 0r 4 tablespoons butter 
1/2 cup red wine
tablespoon or two of capers (rinsed, or the sauce will be too salty)
tablespoon or two of heavy cream
chopped parsley
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet until very hot, almost smoking. Salt and pepper steaks on both sides, and lay in pan. Let a nice crust form, then flip. Cook to desired doneness, but anything beyond medium is a crying shame. 
Set steaks aside, lower heat to medium-low and add half of the butter and the rinsed capers. 
When butter is foamy, add wine and let simmer for a few minutes until slightly reduced. Add the rest of the butter in small pieces, stirring with a wooden spoon, and last the cream. Put sauce on plates, steak on sauce, and shower with finely minced parsley.


~ Denise ~ said...

That's a LOT of beef! ;0