Ordering Guide for The Snake River Farm
Why do we use fractions? What do they mean?
We sell direct to consuming families.
According to Minnesota law, farmers cannot sell meat directly to consumers, but we can sell animals.
Because most families do not want a full beef, bison or hog, the state allows us to sell fractions of that animal to more than one family. Hence the fractions. The state also allows me to haul your fractional animal to the butcher shop.
We cannot sell specific parts of the animals such as steaks or hams. Consumers can have their fraction processed into steaks and hams.
The state also requires that you deal directly with the processor and that you pay us and the processor separately.
What do we mean by “Beef ¼ for Cuts” or “Bison ¼ for Cuts”?
That means an unsegregated one-fourth of the entire animal carcass. (We do not do front of hind quarters.)
You can have your one-fourth processed according to your specifications.
Of course, that is limited to what can actually be done with one-fourth (a ¼).
For example, you cannot have your ¼ processed into all steaks. You can ask that the butcher convert you ¼ into as many steaks as possible. There are many other potential “cuts” that can come from your portion, including ground meat (hamburger).
We do not normally sell by the “1/8th for cuts”. It is simply too difficult to divide the carcass into that many equal portions.
Animals sold for “cuts” are young, grass-fat and selected to be tender.
What do we mean by “Beef 1/8th for Roast and Ground” or “Bison 1/8th for Roast and Ground”?
An animal designated for “Roasts and Ground” is normally a mature, grass-fed, cow in excellent condition. These older animals may not produce tender steaks. Roasts can always be slow cooked until tender.
Quality Meats processes the entire carcass into as many 2-3-pound, boneless roasts as possible.
The rest of the meat is made into 90% lean, ground beef.
The resulting roasts and hamburger are divided into eight equal portions.
These cows are generally larger than the young animals used for cuts.
Each 1/8th has a hanging weight of 80 to 100 pounds.
What do we mean by “Beef by the 1/10th for Ground” or “Bison by the 1/10th for Ground”?
Normally, animals designated for ground meat are mature. Sometimes they are younger animals that do not fatten sufficiently on grass to make high quality cuts.
All the meat from the carcass is made into ground.
Quality Meat then blends in enough grass-fat in to produce 90% lean hamburger.
We standardize 1/10th to be 30 pounds of packaged ground. We do that for simplicity. A small animal might actually yield seven 1/10ths, a large animal eleven or twelve 1/10ths.
Because the entire animal is made into ground meat, we can sell in any size portion (i.e. any fraction).
We use 1/10ths because that is a convenient amount.
Why are Hogs and lambs sold by the ½?
The carcasses of pigs and sheep cannot reasonably be subdivided into 1/4s.
The customer specifies how their ½ is processed.
Why do we sell “Ground Pork by the 1/6th”?
Again, the entire hog carcass is converted into ground. Quality Meats blends in the right amount of fat to produce 80% lean burger. This is terrific meat by the way. Mix 50/50 with our ground beef to have the best grilling hamburgers ever.
This whole-hog ground is unique to Snake River Farm. Other ground pork is made from trim and scraps.
Congratulations if you have read this far. I have individual info sheets on each of these products that give more details.
Just email me for those. Thank you, Tom Tom@snakeriverfarmmn.com
Safe Meat Handling
Defrosting Frozen Meats
There are three safe ways to defrost meat: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in the microwave. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not recommend defrosting meat on the counter or in other locations.
• Refrigerator—It is best to plan ahead for slow, safe thawing in the refrigerator. Small packages (1 lb.) of ground beef or pork, stew meat, and steaks/chops may defrost within a day. Bone-in cuts and whole roasts may take two days or longer. Once the meat defrosts, it will be safe in the refrigerator for three to five days before cooking; one to two days for ground meat.
• Cold Water—To defrost meat in cold water, do not remove packaging. Be sure the package is waterproof or put it into a leak-proof bag. Submerge meat in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes so that it continues to thaw. Small packages may defrost in an hour or less; a three- to four-pound roast may take two to three hours.
• Microwave—When using a microwave to defrost meat, plan to cook it immediately after thawing because some areas of the food may become warm and begin to cook during microwaving.
Foods defrosted in the microwave or by the cold water method should be cooked before refreezing because they may have been held at temperatures above 40°F.
It is safe to cook frozen meat in the oven or on the stove or grill without defrosting it first; the cooking time may be about 50 percent longer. It is not recommended to cook frozen meat in a slow cooker because the center may not fully cook.
Raw Meat Handling
The cutting boards, plates, knives, and other utensils used to prepare raw meat should be washed with soap and hot water, both before and immediately after using them. Be sure to wash your own hands before and after handling raw meat as well. Raw meat may contain harmful microorganisms.
Liquid in Package
The red liquid in packaged meat is not blood (that is removed from the meat during slaughter and only a small amount remains in the muscle tissue). The meat’s natural moisture, combined with muscle pigment, is the source of the liquid.
Freezer burn appears as grayish-brown leathery spots on meat and is caused by air reaching the surface. Freezer burn does not make food unsafe, merely dry in spots. Cut away freezer-burned portions before cooking the food.
Marinate meat in the refrigerator up to 24 hours. Boil used marinade before brushing on cooked meats. Discard any uncooked leftover marinade.
Safe Cooking of Beef
For safety, the USDA recommends cooking hamburgers and ground beef mixtures such as meat loaf to an internal temperature of 160°F. Use a meat thermometer to confirm the internal temperature. Whole muscle meats such as steaks and roasts may be cooked to 145°F (medium rare), 160°F (medium), or 170°F (well done). It is recommended that whole muscle cuts that have been injected (moisture-
enhanced) or mechanically tenderized be cooked to medium or well done.
Leftover hearts, tongues, livers, kidneys, bones, soup bones, marrow bones, tallow, fat, lard, etc.
Customers never want all parts of the animal.
The stuff you do not want is left in the custody of Quality Meats.
Most of those leftovers are picked up as “Offal” by a company that QM hires to disposes of such things.
You need to ask ahead for these leftovers. QM does not generally hold them in their freezers.
HEARTS and TONGUES
These are muscles actually. Some folks ask to have heart and tongue packaged separately.
If not packaged separately, these organs are normally added to the “trim” and made into ground meat.
If you order ¼ of beef, you get ¼ of the tongue and heart.
There are no leftover hearts or tongues, but you may be able to get more heart or tongue by swapping some of your ground meat to another customer who does not want any heart or tongue. Ask QM.
Some customers take their livers, many do not.
Liver cannot normally be added to the trim. It can add undesired liver taste and dark color to hamburger.
Liver is considered as a tasty and nutritious food by many. Try the links below.
Absolute Best Liver and Onions Recipe | Allrecipes
32 easy and tasty pork liver recipes by home cooks - Cookpad
10 Best Lamb Liver Recipes | Yummly
If you ask QM, you can often get as much liver as you wish.
Your only cost is processing by QM. They will slice, wrap and freeze liver for you.
Few Americans eat kidneys. But the rest of the world considers kidneys as a nutritious food.
Especially lamb kidneys. We harvested 25 lambs this year. I doubt that any of those kidneys were eaten.
Beef Kidney: Nutrition, Benefits, and Recipe - Dr. Robert Kiltz
Pork Kidney Stir-Fry with Tomatoes and Bell Pepper ...
How to cook Lamb Kidneys - Farmison
You can have a lot of kidneys if you wish.
Your only cost is processing by QM. They can slice, wrap and freeze kidneys.
SOUP BONE, BROTH BONES, MARROW BONES.
Soup bones are bones with some meat left on them. You can ask QM to process some of YOUR carcass into Soup Bones, but there are no extra soup bones.
Broth Bones or Marrow Bones, (same thing) are unclaimed bones from which all the meat has been removed. Normally, these bones come from animals that were converted entirely into ground. They could be beef or bison.
The age of animals that we convert into whole-animal-ground varies. Only the younger animals yield bones that are suitable for broth or marrow. Over the course of a year, the supply normally exceeds demand.
How to Make Gut Healing Bone Broth with Organic Beef ...
DIY Collagen Rich Grass-fed Beef Bone Broth - Pasture ...
Roasted Marrow Bones Recipe | Food Network Kitchen
How to Prepare and Serve Bone Marrow - Honest Cooking
You can probably get all the Broth Bones you want.
Your only cost is processing by QM. They will slice, wrap and freeze bones for you.
Lard is pig fat.
Customers who buy ½ hog from us also get a fair amount of pig fat.
I feed our pastured hogs a relatively high percentage of oats. I do that for several reasons but one good effect is that the lard from oat fed hogs is higher quality.
It renders easily. It melts at a lower temperature.
That fat can be easily rendered into the most superb cooking lard.
How To Render Lard In A Crock Pot - Mommypotamus
What is Lard? Benefits, Uses, Substitutes, & More
There is NO unclaimed pig fat. Our customers use it all.
You will need to buy ½ hog to get it.
Tallow is beef fat.
Most grass-fed animals do not have much fat beyond what properly goes with the cuts of meat or into the ground. QM targets 90% lean/10% fat in ground beef. That does not leave much extra fat.
Grass-fed bison never have extra fat.
Nevertheless, sometimes I bring in a grass-fat beef cow that does have extra tallow.
You can use beef tallow a number of ways but the most common use is super-biocompatible soap.
You can easily do it in your kitchen.
A Basic Tallow Soap Recipe - Countryside
Your only cost is processing by QM. They will wrap and freeze tallow for you. They can grind it if you wish for easier rendering.
How to Render Tallow: Easy Crockpot Method - Bumblebee ...
Some of you ask about these and other leftovers to feed their pets.
I understand that. At our house Gail trims meat and gives the scraps to her cat. Sometimes I notice that the “scraps” look as good as the parts I am getting for dinner.
Quality Meats is a licensed pet food processor.
As a farmer, I grow food for people. But, if some unused parts of the animals we raise can be used to feed your pets, I guess that would be a good thing.
Ask QM about processing food for your pets.
Ask Quality Meats about these extras.
p.s. Email if you have questions.
Quality Meats, firstname.lastname@example.org
Quality Meats, phone # 320 968 7218
Snake River Farm Website www.thesnakeriverfarm.com
Snake River Farm Facebook page here.
Lamb Processing Choices
LAMB Processing Choices:
Lamb Chops: What thickness do you want?
(Most customers prefer 1 inch, some prefer thinner ¾ inch.)
How many chops per package?
Lamb chops average from 1 ounce to 3 ounce.
(Most customers request 4 to 8 chops per package.)
Shoulder Roasts: Standard size is 3 lb.
If roast is not wanted, you may have it cut to all steaks or trim out.
Shoulder Steaks: What thickness do you want?
(¾ inch is normal.)
How many per package?
Most will do 1 less steak than chops.
Back Hams: Can be left whole or cut in ½. (There is one ham per ½ lamb)
The leg of lambs can be smoked for an additional $0.75/lb.
Spare ribs: Can be packaged as ribs or trimmed out.
Hocks: Can keep or have trimmed out.
Heart, Tongue and Liver: Can be packaged. Heart and tongue can be added to Trim.
Trim: Can package as stew meat or lamb burger. (Lamb makes delicious burger.)
Sausage, such as seasoned links can be made for an additional cost.
Links are $1.85/lb
Recommendations & Notes.
Lamb Cut & Cooking Guide
This guide provides information about the different cuts of lamb available. It also helps with cooking methods for each cut.
Keep in mind that a lamb carcass is much smaller than a beef or hog carcass. The individual cuts are relatively small. The total amount of meat from a ½ lamb is not great. Consider it as the delicacy it is.
Lamb is a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals.
Choose leaner cuts on most occasions, reserving the fattier pieces for weekend treats.
This part of the animal works hard, so the meat from a lamb’s shoulder is full of flavor. It takes a while to become tender, but this means it’s a great choice for stewing and slow-roasting. To maximize the flavor, cook lamb shoulder on the bone so the meat simply falls apart when pulled with a fork. Recipes using lamb shoulder are fail-safe crowd pleasers. Do a slow cooked shoulder for a perfect Sunday. To keep things super simple, make an herb rub with some mint or rosemary, garlic, sea salt, black pepper and olive oil, slash the skin of the meat and massage the rub into all its nooks and crannies. Sit it on top of wedges of onion, add some liquid, cook on a high temperature to get the skin lovely and golden, then cover and turn down to low (around 160ºC) for 4 to 5 hours (depending on the weight of the shoulder)
Lamb chops or cutlets are the most expensive cuts of lamb, but are incredibly delicious and tender. They are taken from the ribs of the lamb and cooked individually, normally over a grill or a barbecue. When several are left together and cooked as a whole, they are called a rack of lamb. Best served pink, they are amazing.
These are mini T-bone steaks cut from the waist of the lamb. On one side of the chop is the lamb loin and on the other side is the fillet. Just like chops, they’re great for grilling or barbecuing – serve with a Middle Eastern vibe or marinate. Serve with harissa-spiked humous to embrace delicious Moroccan flavors.
The rump comes from the back of the lamb. This cut is lean, tender and full of flavor. Be careful not to overcook as it will become tough if left to dry out. It is delicious pan-fried whole, finished in the oven for a few minutes, then sliced to reveal its blushing pink center. Or, it can be cut into chops on the bone then grilled or pan-fried.
Like the shoulders, the legs of a lamb work hard, which means that this cut has a good, strong flavor. Leg of lamb is great roasted whole on the bone, or boned and barbecued. It’s a fairly lean muscle, so take care not to overcook it, or else it could end up quite dry. Rub it all over with an herb oil, some garlic and even a little mustard, if you like, roast in the oven, then finish off on the barbecue to get a great gnarly smoked flavor.
Lamb shank is a super-simple, cheaper cut that goes a long way. Taken from the lower part of the back legs, there is a lot of collagen in the shank, which, when cooked slowly, gives the meat a lovely soft, melting texture, making this another cut that’s perfect for stews and slow-cooking.
Lamb neck can be cooked slowly on a low heat, yet unlike the shoulder, it can also be treated like a steak and cooked quickly over a high heat until pink. It goes well with a whole load of flavors and is delicious served when cooked low and slow. It works well as a stew or curry and is a great cut of meat to make kebobs with, too.
Visit our Facebook page here.
2022 Introduction to Customers
Our GoalsTo humanely raise and harvest our animals,
To be good stewards of our land,
To grow delicious healthy meat,
To sell that meat at a fair price,
To provide authentic country experiences to our customers.
About the Snake River Farm.
The Farm consists of 240 acres located in the center of Sherburne County.
Sherburne County is east of St. Cloud and northwest of Minneapolis.
The Farm is a mixture of open pasture, native prairie, oak savanna, wet meadow, and lowland.
The Snake River, a small, beautiful stream, winds through the farm for a mile.
We practice rotational grazing and work continuously to improve our soil.
We rotate our herds through the more than fifty pastures, according to the seasons.
We have barns and sheds, a one-room schoolhouse, a museum of farm and household tools, an International Harvester tractor collection, and a playground for kids.
We enjoy using our horses for wagon and bobsled rides as well as farm work.
About the Animals we raise.
We keep only as many animals as our grazing land can handle.
We raise bison, cattle, hogs, sheep, goats and poultry.
We raise animals only for direct sale to consumer families.
In 2022, we will harvest and sell about 15 bison, 100 beef, 150 hogs, 30 lambs and a few goats.
We also raise turkeys, ducks, geese, chickens and rabbits.
We keep eight horses for enjoyment and for farm work.
Most of our horses are mustangs that we adopt. Most are trained to ride and drive.
All of our animals live in a natural environment.
The animals are in herds or flocks that satisfy their social needs.
Our bison and beef eat only grass and grass hay.
We raise our hogs in large outdoor pasture-lots. Our hogs are raised on a special mixed diet as suits their nature.
Our hog feed is mixed and ground from locally grown grains.
We use only natural feeds without medications or antibiotics.
We have no feedlots or handling pens. Our animals have plenty of space at all times.
A typical pasture has both high and low ground, trees for shade and running water.
Our animals are relaxed and healthy. They grow slowly compared to grain-fed or feedlot-fed animals.
How and When we Harvest.
We harvest our animals humanely. Beef and bison are pasture harvested. Pasture harvest means that we kill the animals in their pasture. Then transport them immediately to Foley for butchering and processing.
Pasture harvesting eliminates anxiety, stress, and trauma for the animals.
Low stress harvesting also maintains meat taste and quality.
We harvest bison and beef animals from June through early November.
We harvest our hogs from August through November.
Our animals are processed by Quality Meats, a family owned, state licensed facility in Foley, Minnesota.
How we sell our Meat.
We sell bison and beef by the quarter for cuts, by the eighth for roasts and ground beef, and by the 1/10th for ground meat.
We sell hogs by the half for cuts and by the 1/6th for ground pork.
We price our meat based on hanging weight. Hanging weight is the weight of the carcass after the animal is butchered but before the meat is cut, ground, and wrapped.
The folks at Quality Meats determine the hanging weight on their calibrated scale.
Bison quarters range between 100 and 150 pounds hanging weight.
Beef quarters range from 115 to 190 pounds hanging weight. You can request larger or smaller quarters.
All quarters are mixed. That means all quarters from a given animal are equal. No front or hindquarters.
Hog hanging weight is between 85 and 150 pounds per half. You may request a smaller or a larger half.
You tell Quality meats how you want your meat cut and wrapped. Order by email to Tom.
How you pay for your meat.
We do not require a deposit, just your honest intention to purchase the meat.
We will email an invoice to you immediately after your animal is harvested.
You should pay that amount to us via check upon receipt of the invoice. Please plan to do so.
The folks at Quality Meats are very helpful and easy to work with.
They will process and package your meat according to your instructions.
You pay Snake River Farm for the meat and you pay Quality Meats for the processing.
We work to make this easy and simple for you.
We keep customers informed via twice monthly Farm Updates.
You are welcome and encouraged to visit the farm. We have Winter, Spring and Fall Customer days.
There is no penalty for changing or cancelling your order but please tell us of a change before we harvest your animal.
Do not be anxious if this is your first-time buying meat this way. We and Quality Meats are committed to making it easy for you.
A quarter of bison or beef, or a half of hog will require about three cubic feet of freezer space. It will fit easily into a small chest freezer, the kind that sells for around $200.
If necessary, we can help with delivery of your meat. A majority of our customers pick up their packaged meat directly from Quality Meats in Foley. Some customers meet me at convenient locations in Albertville, Maple Grove, and Andover for drop off. There is no charge for mutually convenient delivery to those drop off points.
Our Prices, based on Hanging Weight.
For current prices and other information please email Tom. email@example.com
Winter, Spring and Fall Customer Days in 2022.
Winter Farm Day is Saturday, February 26. Bobsledding, lard rendering, campfire etc.
Our Spring Customer Day will be Saturday, May 21.
Our Fall Customer Day will be Saturday, September 17.
There are picnic areas, a playground, a farm museum, chickens to feed, a one-room schoolhouse and more.
Of course, you will be able to see all the animals up close, including the bison.
On the Customer Days, we give rides through the farm.
Please email if you have questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
See us on Facebook here. Our visit our webpage here. www.thesnakeriverfarm.com