We’ve Got Beef!

. . . was the title of the e-mail I received Thursday night. That’s right. Our half cow was ready.

Alexander Farms is mostly known as a chicken farm with a sustainable focus. I see their eggs offered in some of the most locally conscious restaurants in town (like Fino), but I found out through the Dai Due newletter (a local sustainable  supper club) that they were going to be ‘processing’ cows for sale to the public in quarter cow, half cow and full cow increments. These cows are grass fed and finished, no hormones or antibiotics and typically live the uneventful, happy life that we think of when we think of cows (pasture, sunlight, mooing). After contacting Kim Alexander and discussing the specifics of cost, I knew this was something I wanted to do. It supported what I believe is the way we should be eating beef (especially after reading In Defense of Food) and it was cost effective. $3.75 per pound of all cuts of meat. Quite the steal, right?

After a Sunday afternoon of scrambling around to get a truck, coolers, collecting money from everyone and sorting all of the different cuts, we had our beef. We ended up splitting the order with 8 other groups of people and everyone ended up with a similar variety of cuts of meat and about 35 lbs (give or take) for ~$135. Our freezer is pretty packed to the brim right now with two orders than are not ours still waiting to be picked up. But I have no complaints, a full freezer is an efficient freezer after all!

And I’m going to take the opportunity to quote my coworker and blog friend (and regular friend too!), Mindy about something she said about the purchase that impacted me:

It felt great to sit down to dinner last night and know we’d done a good thing. We were talking about how it reminded us of “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” when she talks about giving thanks for your food and the fact that a living being gave it’s life for your supper – I’m finding that it’s much easier to be conscious of this when you’ve got the meat from one animal in your fridge, not ground beef that may have parts of 10 different animals! Every time I cook one of those steaks I’ll think of our cow and what sort of life it might have lived – very cool concept.

I really like the idea of giving thanks for the living being that gave it’s life for your meal and I strongly agree with Mindy that I am so much more conscious of what I was eating last night because of where we got it from and that it was from one animal that we know lived a life in the sunlight, without any odd chemical modifications.

Well, as I mentioned, we took the opportunity last night to grill up some hamburgers with this delicious purchase! I decided to try my take on the ‘Cowboy Burgers’ that are so beloved at the Whole Food meat counter.

‘Cowboy’ Burger
Inspired by Whole Foods

1 lb ground beef
1 seeded jalapeno (pointy bottom = spicy, rounded bottom = less spicy)
4-6 slices of center cut bacon
3/4 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Pulse bacon and jalapeno in food processor until jalapeno is chopped finely (or alternatively, chop both very fine) . Mix everything together in a bowl. Form 4 patties and grill to your liking!

Pretty simple. I felt that these came pretty close to the real Cowboy Burgers from Whole Foods but it could have just been how freaking amazing the quality of our ground beef was. 😀


  1. Posted February 23, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Best. Burger. Ever.

    That’s all I have to say about that.

  2. cooperella
    Posted February 23, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    YAAAAY I’m so excited to try this out, this is Tyler’s most favorite burger ever!!

    thanks for the quote! 🙂

  3. Posted February 23, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’ll be honest…I don’t really like to think about the meat I’m eating as having been alive…it makes me want to be a vegetarian, but I appreciate the idea of what you and Mindy are talking about.

    I didn’t know that about the tips of the jalepeno! Good to know!

  4. Posted February 23, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Are those sweet potato fries? They sure look delicious. 🙂

  5. Elizabeth
    Posted February 23, 2009 at 2:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Ellie – I understand that feeling. I don’t really like thinking about them alive all the frequently, especially when I have no idea where the meat is coming from. I have comfort knowing where this meat came from and that they were treated well though.

    Dar – They are sweet potato fries. 🙂 I adore them!

  6. Posted February 23, 2009 at 3:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    We’re thinking about doing that this year, too. We wanted to do it last year, but though about it too late in the season to find enough people to join.

    What a great way to support local farmers, eat more frugally, and more healthily!

  7. Posted February 23, 2009 at 11:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well you KNOW I am going to have to try this out…seeing as how my addiction post even made it into this post. 🙂

  8. theperfectlyimperfect
    Posted March 1, 2009 at 8:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is a fabulous idea. I wish I could find such an option in my neck of the woods. We have a raw milk/meat coop, but it is significantly more than $3.75 a pound! Time to investigate further …

  9. cooperella
    Posted March 8, 2009 at 9:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    tried the burger tonight after the garden install – didn’t have jalapeno or bacon, but they were still really delicious! and so simple – we’ll definately do it again. yay for fresh beef. Yummy!!!!

4 Trackbacks

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