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gfron1

Hey Ma! Look what I bought - Goats & Bison!

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Actually, not off topic at all to me. My store used to carry buffalo from a ranch (maybe the one that you are thinking of) that let people come in and hunt. When we first started carrying their meat, we debated the ethics of it all. I asked a lot of questions. Most importantly, how often is a second shot needed? They assured me, and I choose to trust their honesty, that the far vast majority are one shot kills (makes sense for big ass cows). If that is true, then kill me with one fast bullet anyday over multiple bullets, or loading me up into a scary loud truck and driving me God knows where to jab me in the head with an electric probe or whatever they do to kill bison.

I would never do the hunting thing personally. That's just me. I'm sure I would get that visceral rush that most hunters experience, but I don't need it. My life's an out of control roller coaster already. All I ask for those who do it is aim twice, shoot once.

I also remember the story about the autistic woman that McDonald's hired to decrease the stress put on cattle before slaughter, and how that impacted the meat through reduced adrenoline flow. That seems more pragmatic than moralist, but to me, I don't care why, just that it happens.

BTW, curious side note. I just had a great birthday dinner that included veal off the Sysco truck. This is a process for sure!

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One shot to kill an animal doesn't mean the animal died quickly and painlessly. There's no question that there are more humane ways to harvest livestock than to shoot it and let it eventually bleed to death.

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I grew up in an East Coast city and short of going to a live butcher with some of my Italian neighbors to buy chickens that were butchered and plucked I had never seen an animal killed or butchered until I married my husband ...he is from Wisconsin and grew up spending his summers on a farm ..they bought meat from the farm and had it butchered or butchered it themselves ...hunted and fished for he really believed the only way to have meat in your life was from an animal not a grocery store ..

When we were young and broke we lived in Arizona for a long period of time ..there we met an older couple who raised sheep and goats .this all started with my desire for goat milk and we became good friends I would do house work for her and she would give me goats milk ...home made cheese and butter and produce from her garden....never cash....they hated butchering the sheep they raised and did not eat goat...so my husband offered to kill and butcher for them in trade for animals for us......very good deal in my opinion.

I first time I watched my husband kill a lamb (I had to force myself through this but figued if he was going to do this I had to be there with him) and I cried ...it was seemless to be honest happened so fast..I dont think the animal suffered at all (if I had to die at someone hands it would be like this) ...he spoke sweetly to it rubbed it and calmed it ... ..thanked the animal for giving his life for us.....said good bye to it and then shot it at the base of the skull ..it dropped dead quickly ..then he bled it the rest of the way ..and in tears still but determined to be there ...I helped him with the rest ...it was really hard for me to do this having grown up so far from all of this kind of thing ..but in the end I was proud of my self and glad for it ...this was the food we were going to serve our family and I knew it was raised and cared for well, and killed with kindness and mercy ...she only wanted the chops and hind legs so we were lucky enough to have the entire rest fo the lamb and one whole goat ...this fed us for a long time ..very well.

We did this together many times over the years ..butchering geese we raised, ducks, chickens, bunnies and our own goats...we even killed and butchered a young cown one time ...he hunted as well so we butchered our own game ...

my husband never sent it for processing because he wanted the control and believes in freezer ageing meat like his father did ...so I go along with that because I never had a clue ...

he no longer hunts and we do have folks we trust, buy and let butcher our meat now ...

tears were fine I am emotiional and dramatic and do not consider it a weak thing to feel for animals ...I was a vegatarian for a long time and it was not until I really came to terms with the fact that we are meant to eat a wide variety of food from all types of sources that I could agree meat was an important part of our diets.

I think wasting animals is a worse plight than killing them ..we waste so many animals in this count.....look at the shelters???

I understand coming to terms with end of life issues ..you know that of me Rob ...

...but I also know that animals treated well and killed mercifully are ok to eat and enjoy ...you are making steps and showing folks that there are other ways to live and appreciate the world we have around us

as long as you thank them for giving themselves to you ..that is the most important thing ...

I think this is a huge thing you are doing and it should make you feel good to find your way through this ...appreciate your emotions because as someone who loves animals it is not easy to see/or know they are dieing for your table ..but it is not that way ..they have given thier lives for your table and to sustain you..so each thing you cook will have much more meaning than just buying a package of burger at the grocery store!

but we are human beings and as I said I have learned that we are meant to eat some of everything in life

take care and enjoy your journey

and yes Happy Birthday to you :smile:

boy I woke up rambling this morning sorry


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Thanks Heidi (for the birthday wishes and the thoughts). I'm curious to see once I have the meat if I'm more careful with my table waste. I have no problem typically tossing my excess if its not enough for leftovers. Will that be different with my goats? I don't feel connected to the bison, just honored.

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Rob, I'm sorry if you mentioned this before, but how old are your goats? I'm, asking because by some strange coincidence, I was invited to a goat dinner this weekend.

A little background: there are several organic goatfarms in the netherlands, where goats are raised primarily for their milk (to make goatscheese, and other products). The male goats that are born, well, how to say this politely, they are not that welcome. Obviously they won´t turn into milkproducing goats, and in the meantime, they drink the milk. So these farms are trying to sell the male baby goats (at about 2 months old) to the public, and you can get them through various sources if you know where to look. They say it´s hard, people don´t want to eat baby goat (apparantly the Dutch have no problems with baby lamb, but feel sorry for baby goat).

Anyway, a friend of mine who makes a food prgramme on local tv here in Amsterdam, got one of these goats, made a 10 minute program about it, and then went home to cook it and I was one of the dinner guests.

ofcourse this is very different from your situation but what I wanted to comment on was the feeling I had when we were preparing the food and afterwards sitting at the table. There were 8 of us, we held one hind leg back, so the whole animal could have easily fed 10-12 (we ate a lot). We fried up the heart, liver, sweetbreads, and the tiny testicles. The bones turned into stock, the saddles were stuffed and rolled, the ribs were tied together into a sort of crownroast, the legs were marinated and roasted. the only thing missing was the head, I felt that we really used all other parts.

Although I had never seen this animal, the feeling that we were all sitting at the table making a meal out of this one goat was very special.

Oh and it tasted good too. The meat was incredibly succulent and tender, ofcourse with a 2 month old goat you can expect that, I was almost disappointed that it did not have a more pronounced goaty taste.

The program will be online tomorrow, I´ll post a link for anyone who´s interested in watching 10 minutes of Dutch talk about goats :smile:

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Mine are both seven months. Becky, the rancher, believes this is the best age to balance getting the most meat, but keeping it tender and young. If I had picked the pet goat that I posted on the first page, I'm not sure if that would matter to me. I think they're all cute. I can get past the cute factor.

To me its a matter of: 1) did they live a good life up til that point of death, and 2) was the death fast, non-stressful, and painless. These are goals to me, not absolutes, but certainly make it easier for me to send that cut order into the butcher.

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Rob, maybe you mentioned this earlier and I missed it--but how old is the bison? I'm wondering if bison are harvested at the same age as feeder cattle, which can be in the 18-24 month range.

You mentioned that the bison feed on grass, so my guess is that they are taken off the pasture and go straight to processing? I was wondering if they are fattened up on grain or corn before they are processed.

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The bison are a mystery to me still. I will be talking more with the rancher this week to get all of those types of details. I did just find out (this is a real-time account) that the goats were loaded up for their trip this morning.

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Perhaps the most honor you can do any of the three is to prepare them with care, and give a heartfelt sigh of pleasure at their deliciousness.

Curious - why do you want the majority of the bison meat ground?


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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I'm not a big red meat eater anyway, but I can always find a used for ground. Also, my previous experiences with bison is that it will be a bit tough. And, we're talking a lot of meat, so I'm sure that I'll have more than enough other cuts. And lastly...I'm a really lazy chewer, which is why I don't eat much red meat.

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Not that this topic is about the business of buying goats, but, it is since finding a balance between the higher priced local meats and the value of factory meats is important. I naively went into this thinking closer and smaller would translate into a decent deal. Not so much. Here's my price breakdown now that I have my two goats back.

$167.35 Cost of goats for 167 pounds total

$10 Delivery fee to slaughter house

$156 Processing fee - this doubled. I was quoted the price per as price for both, but its $78 each

$333.35 Total cost

My invoice showed 61 pounds (37% return on total weight)

I ended up with 42 pounds of meat (25% return on total weight)

The difference in weights is the difference between carcass (minus skin and innards) and packaged meat. I was told to expect a 50% return more or less...well I got much less. This makes my cost per pound average $7.95. Not the end of the world, but I was expected closer to $4/lb, so its disappointing.

A few thoughts. I noticed that as this topic evolved, I switched from process to butcher to slaughter. In the end they are only words that we choose to give meaning to (my spouse hates when I go post-modernist). Butcher is probably the term that I think is fairest.

I received the heart, tongue, liver and kidney. I'm planning on making sausage with those parts.

I'll thaw some of the meat and work on a recipe for this weekend.

I'll pontificate on my feelings about the death of the goats later. Right now between sticker shock and annoying employees, I don't really want to think about it all.

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Don't put the hearts in sausage, treat it like any other lean muscle - grill it or roast it. Anticuchos are great with lamb heart, I don't see why goat heart would be any different.

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Last night we had our first goat meal. This was leg roast - just a small one (1.2 lb split by two).

gallery_41282_4708_17218.jpg

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I wanted to do something very basic so I could actually taste the goat. I only added LeBlanc roasted peanut oil, salt, pepper and a bit of garlic. Slow roasted for eight hours in the crock pot. Finished in the oven (because we started to burn in the crock), with veggies.

It was very good. The texture was extremely moist and oily (in a good way). I tasted hints of seafood, which was the gamey taste I was expecting. That taste was very subtle and pleasant. It was also a bit sweet which could have come from the garlic, but I'm not sure. After the fat meltoff, there wasn't a whole lot of meat, but I really enjoyed it, much moreso than beef or bison roasts which lean toward dry and too much chew-work for my liking.

My next recipe will be a Mexican roast. I'll probably not post my results here since there are plenty more goat topics in eGullet.

The emotional separation is definitely complete. They are now just bundles of packaged meat just like any other. I am very aware of where this meat came from, and feel better about the lives that were lived prior to butchering. I was also very aware of waste last night which I normally don't give too much thought to. I think that's a mix of honoring the lives that were given for me, and the costs associated with this experience. I still can clearly picture the two goats in my mind and did go through a period a few days ago when I was envisioning death.

I wasn't able to get the heads by an unfortunately twist at the end, but I'll work on that for the next order.

Next up bison...will it fit in the freezer!?

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I don't have my bison yet, but I did get some info from the rancher. Mine is a Plains Bison versus the other which is called a Woods Bison (found mostly in Canada). She was a 30 month old female. Her name (by the rancher) was Mean SOB.

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Tonight we're having our second goat meal - steak with a mustard brandy glaze. Unlike the roast this cut is reminding me of where it came. Not an issue, but just running through my head. Also the blood (what we like to call juice) was a bit slimy, which I'm sure is a good thing, but another adjustment I'll have to make.

gallery_41282_4708_8028.jpg

I heard this morning that my buffalo is waiting for me to pick up.

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This is interesting. I do think that the supermarket tray approach to meet creates a huge disconnect - a block of frozen beef could be a block of mild cheddar for the consumer, though they are hardly the same for the producer.

As for upbringing and general familiarity with meat production, I guess that even seeing farm animals around, even if not animals being raised for meat, makes people think differently about meat production.

I had a fairly extreme experience as an interpreter for a group of meatpacking industry people, visiting every major slaughterhouse and meatpacking plant in New Zealand (a looong time ago).

The people involved (except for me) had all been working in meatpacking for many years, and had no illusions about the nature of modern meat production, but they were not inured to the slaughter process. They found it hard to eat during the trip.

People working daily in the slaughterhouses, on the other hand, varied - some obviously identified more with the supermarket end than the farm end of the process, while others were very aware of what we visitors were seeing and experiencing.

The environment is figuratively and literally chilly - there is every attempt made to keep animals calm before slaughter, but not in terms of human contact (and of course, herd animals would feel differently about being patted or held by humans than animals raised almost as pets, with close daily human contact and interaction - I imagine that having its head patted or held would panic a herd-raised animal).

The chilling that prevails right through the slaughter line, and the fact that everything is kept very clean, remove the thought of warm life much faster than a farmyard slaughter and butchering would, because smells are deadened (in some parts of the process) by the cold, the carcass quickly chills, and blood and waste disappears almost before you know it's there. It's unavoidable, partly because of modern hygiene requirements, and partly because of the mass-production approach made necessary by the fact that we eat so much meat.

And it's ironic that one reason for that is that it's become less hassle to toss a steak on the grill than to wash and peel vegetables!

I think you're right about waste though, knowing that this animal or that plant is no longer alive where I last saw it, entirely because I wanted to eat it, makes me much less cavalier with leftovers.

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YAY !!!! that dish looks scrumptous!!! save your bones and if you would like ... I will give you the "family" recipe for "goat water"..it is a f#$ing fantastic Caribbean soup made from all the trimmings and bones of goat...

you may know of it?

also curry goat I make it Caribbean style and would be glad too share that recipe as well

these two dishes are distinctly and authentic (off the beaten path) Caribbean


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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If the blood is grossing you out at all, consider kashering your meat - which basically means to brine it in saltwater, then rinse it thoroughly. It will also add flavor and texture.


"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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This is usually made with an older goat but I also was taught by my Caribbean mother figures that you do not waste what you have on hand so young goat it is! and I have made some wonderful goat water with young goat

this is Island penicillin!

oven 475 (I used convection roast)

2-3 lbs ...not precise! of all your leftover bones and any goat trimmings you have saved (cooked or not does not matter)

depending on how much you have to fill a medium roasting pan

(I am thinking myself through the steps of this because I dont think I have ever written it down)

1 sweet onion sliced

3-4 stalks of celery

1 carrot (a big thick one is best for this) sliced

1 tsp cumin seed

cracked pepper (more is good!)

kosher salt

couple of bay leaves

1-2 or 3 (depending on the heat you like I use three scotch bonnet peppers ..habaneros are fone) cut in half

1 tblspoon fresh cracked allspice berries

toss together well with a bit of oil

couple of shots of Vietnamese fish sauce (yes you are hearing me right..a make do that worked perfectly!!)

toss all together well in the roasting pan...pop in to the oven and brown for about 15 min or so you do not want this deeply roasted just a slight ting

put into a big stock pot

in a stock pot cover with water and high simmer (skimming of course) until all the flavor is out of the vegetables, bones and trimmings and into the broth! I just do this for hours actually ...strain well through as fine a mesh as practical

taste for seasoning now and add anything you might think will even it out..a shot of Maggi and a couple of Knorr chicken cubes is what usually I add it usually will just pull it together ..or sometimes nothing because it is perfect the way it is!

then you want lightly brown about a pound of goat stew meat

then add the stock and simmer until almost tender

add just one sliced carrot and a stalk of celery ..(this soup honors the meat but the bits of vegetables are important too)

simmer again until done

serve with a nice shot of scotch bonnet sauce (10 habeneros in a blender with a shot of vinegar and a couple of allspice berries)

and some fungi!!! click for recipe this recipe looks about how I make it ...just I use fresh not frozen okra

hope this is understandable and that you will try it

soul food

(do not tell anyone but I have added roasted green NM chile to this shhhh)


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Thanks Heidi. I'm looking forward to trying it. Maybe this weekend.

In the meantime I picked up my bison. A half after processing resulted in 145 pounds more or less. I was surprised (but somewhat relieved) that it was so little. I ended up with the following:

Ground: 57.5#

Pikes Peak Roast: 5.1#

Arm Roast: 8.4#

Sirloin: 10.95#

Round: 17.25#

Rump: 3.14#

Rib Roast: 16#

T-Bone: 9.15#

Sirloin Tip Roast: 5.2#

Chuck Roast: 12.45#

My averaged out cost per pound for meat and butchering was $6.52/lb...that's just under $1,000 for the whole kit and kaboodle. Again, I'm feeling like this isn't the best financial deal, although its not bad. But again, I know that this was grass-fed, antibiotic free, free-range.

What I found interesting was the butcher. Super nice guy. He's in his 80s and has been looking for someone to learn the trade with no takers. He normally does small game but has branched into bison by necessity.

I don't know why I expected the folks in this trade to be burly, bad ass, chaw spittin', shotgun-in the back-window types, but none has turned out that way. Each has been nice, patient with this newbie, willing to jump right into story telling mode, and always curious why this city slickerish type is dancing at their prom. But they all seem appreciative to have me on board. If I've learned nothing else in this process, its to ask anything I want and trust that they'll not look at me like I'm an idiot.

Today I talked with the butcher about marrow and how I might be able to use that next time. He understood exactly what I was talking about (although in different words), and offered to cut specifically for that on my next half...that may be a while!

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you are welcome ..wow Rob...for someone who is not a big meat eater ..you are going to be busy with lots of of really red meat.. for a long time looks like!

you will crave a huge purifying hunk of fresh tofu with some fresh clean greens sooon very sooon

:smile:

I would be and I am a meat eater!!!

my advice ..pace yourself here


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Here's an interesting update to this saga. From what I've seen, if you go and buy one animal, that's the end of the story. But, if you buy one animal and continue dialogue with the ranchers/growers, then they'll welcome you into the community. I've had just a few conversations with my goat broker (she's not really a broker, but has made the connections for me...which I guess makes her a broker) about buying rabbit meat. Well, with our county fair coming up next week (county fairs are after the state fair in NM, and much more important), she has linked me with the champion rabbit raiser in the area, and he in turn is working on lamb, chicken and turkey for me. Wow! All of a sudden I'm going to have the whole Ark, dead and in white butcher paper sitting in my freezer.

It will be interesting next week at the fair when I talk to the 4-H kids, "Hey little boy, I want your cute little rabbit...so I can chop its head off and eat it!" But, they're rancher kids, so its good for them.

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