Monday, March 29, 2010

Butchering Weekend

This weekend was butchering weekend for my family. It's become a family tradition of sorts that we do each year. Last weekend my brothers and a cousin hung the two beef we were processing, so that it had time to age. Paul, his mom, and I got up at 4:30AM and drove the 2 hours to my parents Sat. morning. We met up with my bro, his wife, dad, and a 2nd cousin to begin butchering at about 8 AM. This is ours that we shared with my parents. We each got a half.
This is my brother & sis-in-law's and a 2nd cousins beef. They were smaller this year, but with less fat, so a lot better meat.
We started the day with Paul cutting ours first. We wanted round, ribeye, t-bone, sirloin, and New York steaks, a couple roasts, and lots of hamburger.
My brother runs the big meat saw and Paul helped him. They were cutting the round steaks.
Then my dad, Paul, and SIL cut off the excess fat and trimmed the steaks into the size we wanted. All the excess went into tubs to be ground for hamburger.
After we completely cut up the first cow, we ground all the hamburger. Dad's grinding the meat.
My bro did most of the grinding.
Then Paul & Leslie (MIL) stuffed all the packages of hamburger. We got about 75, 1 lb packages of hamburger, which should last us a good majority of the next year. This is Paul's grinder with the stuffer attachment. We also got a new meat mixer this year which really helped to mix in the tallow so the fat was evenly distributed. The weather was in the 40's with a strong wind, so we were all bundled up in heavy coats trying to stay warm. It was the perfect weather for cutting the meat though. My MIL and I were the official packagers, but I forgot to take pictures of our three coolers full of beef. We used the Food Saver and it worked awesome for packaging.
We finished the first cow before dinner and my mom had fixed a big lunch and a cake for Paul's birthday. He turns 31 tomorrow. After we ate, we went back to work and did the second cow. We finished at 6:30PM and we were all exhausted! Mom fixed corn beef and cabbage for supper which was a nice treat. My mom was the official babysitter for my niece, so they fixed the meals for us. My MIL took all our meat home for us and we stayed till Sunday at my parents.
My dad, brother, and Paul went for a drive on Sunday to look at a tractor, so mom and I had the house to ourselves. We did dishes, shortened pants, looked at my grandma's old quilts, and took a long walk. It was 70 degrees. The new baby calves and their mama's were all around. This one is a new born and is just trying to stand up for the first time. I love calving season.
I really enjoy going home to visit my parents and even though it was a lot of work to butcher, it feels so good to have it done for the year. We shouldn't have to buy much beef for the rest of the year now. We're looking forward to going back to my parents again next weekend as my Bro & SIL are having Easter at their house.


BitnByAQuiltingBug said...

Oh man! I'm coming to your house for dinner! Nothing better than fresh burger. I ran out and haven't ordered another side yet. Buying it from the grocery is yucky after you get used to the good stuff! Enjoy!

Barb said...

Man that brings back memories. I lived on a ranch for a while and we used to butcher our own meat. It was a lot of work but so worth it.

Cindy said...

I really have to admit, I enjoyed the photos. When we lived in Cairo, Egypt, they butchered right on the streets.

Cindy said...

Thanks for sharing and all those great pictures. When I was a kid we never did beef but we did have our annual chicken day. Those are still some of my best memories.

Deb A said...

Sounds like a busy but fun weekend with the family! Oh, to have a freezer full of meat all set for meals, lucky you!

cowgirl commentaries said...

What a fun way to spend the weekend! It is fun to get together with family and do stuff!!

Jen said...

I'm glad you're posting stuff like this. It's fun to see this part!!

Seriously, why do I suck so bad at leaving you comments when it's the first blog I check EVERY morning??