Category: Ranch Life

Meet an Idaho Rancher: Maggie Malson

Hi, I’m Maggie Malson. I’m a farm girl turned Idaho cattlewoman. I grew up a farmer’s daughter in small town Kansas. My husband, Josh, and I met in college at Kansas State, got married, and moved to Idaho to join his parents and siblings in the family operation. Our ranch is located near Parma, in southwest Idaho. We raise registered Angus and Hereford cattle, selling bulls and females to commercial ranchers and other purebred producers. We have three generations on the ranch, including our four children.

What is your favorite part of the beef industry? The people! People in the Idaho ranching community care about each other, their animals, and the land. They are kind, intelligent, and hard-working. I love being a part of the agriculture industry and helping to feed people. I’ve met so many people across the country and traveled to different places because of agriculture.

Maggie Malson | Idaho CattleWomenWhy are you passionate about the beef industry? I love our product—beef! It’s such a nutritious and delicious source of protein. I love raising the cattle, seeing our kids learn responsibility and work ethic by taking care of the animals, and sharing the story of agriculture with others. I don’t know another industry that has such a global reach, yet is also feels like a small, connected family.

What’s your favorite beef meal to cook (or favorite beef recipe)? Oh, this is hard! I have so many beef dishes. I think my favorites tend to keep it simple. My family loves cuts like flank and skirt steak, and tri-tip, that is marinated, then grilled and served with a fresh vegetable or salad. I make a lot of ground beef soups and stews in the fall and winter too. My family has a couple favorite recipes I make—Steak Alfredo, which is fettuccine topped with a cream sauce and sirloin steak bites, and Creamy Crockpot, which uses round steak, peppers and onions, and is served over rice.

When you’re not busy ranching, what do you like to do to “unwind”? I love to read, play tennis, and watch my kids in sports, school, and 4-H activities.

What is your favorite part about Idaho? I really love Idaho. It has so many pretty places and the sunsets are amazing. It reminds me of where I grew up. The people are friendly and down-to-earth. I love that you can drive about two hours anywhere from where we live and you can be in the desert or the mountains. It’s been a great place to raise cattle and a family.

Categories: Beef, Cattle, Idaho Cattlewomen, Lifestyle, Ranch Life

Meet an Idaho Rancher: Christie Prescott

Hi, there! I’m Christie Prescott. My husband Wyatt and our two children Augustus(3) and Agnes (20 months) live south of Bellevue but we claim Picabo as it is the closest town. We are primarily background and stocker operators that finish most of our cattle in commercial feedlots. We lease pasture and feedlot pens wherever we can. We have cattle on pasture or in feedlots in Carey, Picabo, Bellevue, Fairfield, Bruneau, Filer and Garden City, KS. We also operate two small cow/calf herds both a fall and spring calving set of commercial cows.

Are you a native Idahoan?
You bet, I was born and raised in Southern Idaho, attended college at Boise State University and have never had any desire to leave Idaho.  

What is your favorite part of the beef industry?
Family tradition! I grew up on a ranch in Fairfield and am happy to be allowing my kids to grow up in the same fashion. Working with cattle instills work ethic, passion, and drive.  I remember my dad working hard and our kids see us working hard. We wouldn’t have it any other way.  We also love the community and people involved.    

Why are you passionate about the beef industry?
The thing about passions is that you can’t explain them. Sometimes there Is just a gravitational pull to them. Maybe it’s the animals or the land we love the most–at the end of the day we are producing something we are proud of.  

What’s your favorite beef meal to cook (or favorite beef recipe)?
I feel very fortunate to have a freezer full of beef. It provides quick, delicious meals for my family. I think my favorite is ground beef. It is so versatile. I brown it up with onions and garlic and it go many directions from there. Spaghetti sauce, tacos, enchiladas, shepherd’s pie, simply a bake potato topping or pizza topping are some of our favorites. My husband is also quite partial to my chicken fried steak, made with cube steak. I use my Grandma Davis’s recipe which is delightful to this day!

When you’re not busy ranching, what do you like to do to “unwind”?
It seems that we are always on the go. Lately, our evenings and weekends have been spent working cattle to go out to pasture. We consider ourselves lucky when friends will come and help us out. When the work is done and we can sit under the shade tree and relax is the best feeling.

What is your favorite part about Idaho?
My favorite part about Idaho is that we are lucky enough to get to call it home.   

Categories: Blogging, Cattle, Idaho Cattlewomen, Lifestyle, Ranch Life, Uncategorized

Meet an Idaho Rancher: Dawn Anderson

Did you know that July is Idaho Beef Month? The Idaho CattleWomen are excited to be partnering with the Idaho Beef Council, as we spend the month introducing you to different ranching families across Idaho, here on our blog and Facebook page!

My name is Dawn Anderson, and I’m a born and raised Idaho rancher. We own and operate a registered Hereford and Red Angus operation, JBB/AL Herefords & Reds, that’s located halfway between Gooding and Bliss along the Malad River. My parents began raising registered Herefords 50 years ago. I had my own herd of Hereford cows growing up and was fortunate to marry someone who was interested in the ag industry. My husband, James, and I entered a partnership with my parents, John and Bev Bryan, in the early 1990’s. Our children, Bryan and Jae, started their own herd of registered Herefords as well. In 2012, my son and my Dad decided it was time to add a second breed to our operation and purchased our first group of Red Angus heifers.

We maintain a herd of around 125 spring calving cows and hold a production sale the 2nd Monday of March in conjunction with Spring Cove Ranch.  Our offering includes bulls and heifers.  We also farm and raise primarily corn and hay.   

JBB/AL Herefords | Idaho CattleWomen What is your favorite part of the beef industry?
It’s difficult to identify one part of the beef industry as my favorite.  It is probably the connections it creates among producers and beyond.  I enjoy talking with people who have been in the industry a long time and hear about the changes that have occurred as well as to those individuals who know very little about “cows” and assume I raise black and white animals that produce milk for public consumption.  It’s exciting to share our story.    

Why are you passionate about the beef industry?
There is no better way to raise a family.  It provides a great opportunity to teach children responsibility and that we have a greater responsibility to the world in providing a wholesome, nutritious product.  I was fortunate to be raised in this lifestyle and to be able to raise my family in this environment.  It is imperative that we be good stewards to provide the same opportunities for our children to raise their families here if they desire to do so.  

What’s your favorite beef meal to cook (or favorite beef recipe)?
I don’t like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so my favorite is fast, easy and delicious.  You can’t go wrong with a steak (any kind) on the grill, with freshly picked asparagus, and a baked/grilled potato.  

When you’re not busy ranching, what do you like to do to “unwind”?
I’m not sure how relaxing it is but I enjoy golfing whenever I get the chance.  

What is your favorite part about Idaho?
I recently made a trip to the Moscow area and it reminded me of the variety of terrain Idaho offers.  It’s amazing and beautiful.

To catch up with Dawn Anderson and her family on a regular basis, you can keep up with her ranch’s Facebook page!

Categories: Blogging, Cattle, Idaho Cattlewomen, Lifestyle, Ranch Life

Easy Beef Stew: Year of Beef

It’s been a little, or actually, a lot busy around here, so I was thankful for some beef in my freezer and my dutch oven the other day. I was able to prepare an easy and delicious Tex Mex-inspired beef stew for my family. I’m usually pretty good about meal planning for the week, but last Monday I found myself working at the computer first thing in the morning and didn’t think about dinner until lunchtime. As I was prepping lunch, it dawned on me I better also get a jump start on dinner! We had a 4-H meeting with our three oldest children each giving oral presentations that night and had to be out the door by a certain time. We would also get home just in time to get ready for bed and school the next day, so dinner needed to be eaten before we left. I pulled a package of Beef Stew meat from the freezer because it can be used in a variety of ways. Unlike a frozen roast or steaks that would have taken more planning time to use, stew meat can make a meal come together quicker.

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Braising is searing meat on a high temperature then finishing it in a covered pot set at lower temperature with a variable amount of liquid.

Meat for stewing should be lean and can be less tender because we’re going to use braising to create the tenderness. Cuts from the chuck or round are great for stew meat. You can buy it precut at the store or as a larger roast that you cut into chunks yourself. I appreciate that our butcher precuts bite-size chunks into packages for us. It’s usually the scraps after steaks and roasts are cut. Stew meat can be a more affordable cut that still creates a delicious and hearty dish.

I pulled the package, probably about 1 1/2 pounds out of my freezer and defrosted it in the microwave so it broke apart easily. Normally when I’m planning ahead I defrost meat in the refrigerator the day before I cook it. Safe cooking tip: Never thaw meat on the countertop.

I put a little canola oil (around 1-1 1/2 TB)  in a heavy stock pot and browned the pieces, making sure not to crowd them. I wanted them good and brown. As you can see there were lots of bits and pieces stuck to the bottom. After the meat was finished cooking, I added a can of stewed tomatoes and about a can and a half of water. Stirring the liquid helps deglaze the pan and gets all those yummy bits off the bottom. The acid in the tomatoes also help tenderize the meat. I also added in seasonings, including a tsp. of beef bouillion, 1 TB. of taco seasoning, some black pepper, cumin and minced Easy Beef Stewgarlic. This is where you can get creative—add seasonings your family enjoys. I also added one chopped chipotle pepper in adobe sauce. It adds some heat and smokiness. Smoked paprika is another option to add flavor.

I set my temperature to low, which on my stove maintained a low boil/high simmer, then I checked the pot about every hour to see how the meat was tenderizing and if I needed to add additional liquid (I didn’t). It simmered about 3 hours. This braising method helps break down the meat so it pulls apart and is super tender. About 30-45 minutes before I wanted to serve it, I added chopped green bell pepper and chopped onion. I also added a cup of frozen corn and a can of black beans (rinsed). I cooked the stew until the veggies were tender, but still had a little bite to them. I topped the stew with chopped fresh cilantro. Other optional toppings could include shredded cheese, crispy corn tortilla strips, plain Greek yogurt or sour cream. Or you can leave it plain as it has plenty of flavor.

Easy Tex-Mex Beef Stew
1-2 pounds stew meat (chuck or round cut into cubes)
1-2 cans stewed tomatoes plus 1-2 cans of water
1-2 tsp. of beef bouillion
1 TB. taco seasoning
Other seasonings to taste (ie. salt, pepper, garlic, smoked paprika, chipotle pepper)
Green or other bell peppers
Medium onion
1 cup frozen corn or 1 can corn
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)

*If you want to use this in your slow cooker, you can brown the meat in a skillet, deglaze pan with some water or broth, then add it to the slow cooker with the seasonings and veggies. Cook on low heat 6-8 hours or high 4-6 hours.

This Beef Stew is super easy because you can take the meat in different flavor directions. I went with more Tex-Mex Seasonings because I had more of them on hand, but you could easily do a traditional stew with potatoes, carrots and celery or instead add Italian herbs and spices. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

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In addition to a full week of kid activities, it’s calving season on the ranch. Lots of new babies are hitting the ground every day and it’s fun to have pastures full of cows and calves.

I’m sure many of you have busy weeknights also, but still want to get a great tasting and healthy meal on the table for your family. Don’t be afraid to keep a package or two of stew meat in your freezer because this Easy Beef Stew is a great option for a weeknight family dinner.

~ M

Maggie and her husband raise their four children and registered cattle on his family’s southwest Idaho ranch. As a family, they enjoy sports, showing cattle, 4-H, church and other activities when not working on the ranch. She likes to experiment with recipes in the kitchen, shares her love of sweets through baking with her children and has been known to start a DIY project every now and then. Sometimes she actually finishes one.

 

 

Categories: Beef, Blogging, Cattle, Idaho Cattlewomen, Ranch Life

O Bone (Chuck) Roast: A Year of Beef

Welcome! Today is the first day of our Year of Beef series.

Before we get into the actual cooking beef part, I want to make a few things clear.

  1. I am not completely inept when it comes to cooking; however, I am far from a professional. I don’t own any fancy cooking devices, know what a balsamic-reduction is, or know how to fold my linen napkins into little origami swans. So if you’re reading along thinking to yourself “I don’t know if I can do that,” the answer is “Yes! Yes you can!”
  2. Very few of the recipes I use this year will actually be of my own creation. I plan on using a few of my favorites, things I’ve found, and recipes that you’ve submitted! So when I say “next week I’m going to be using a Rib Steak,” feel free to send me your best Rib Steak recipes! You can fill out the contact form on our website, email us (info(at)idahocattlewomen(dot)org), or send us a Facebook® message!
  3. We wholeheartedly welcome your feedback!! That being said, we want to keep this a positive place. The point of this series is to help women feel more comfortable when cooking beef, and give new ideas to those who already do. Feel free to leave tips or tricks that you have found helpful when cooking beef or ask any questions you have about cooking beef!

Moooooooooooo-ving on…let’s get cooking!!!

The roast cooked today is an O Bone, named because of the small, circular bone within the cut. This is a type of bone-in Chuck Roast. A Seven-Bone Roast or other bone-in chuck roast will cook the same. meatdiagram

As you can see, Chuck cuts (highlighted in yellow) come from the high shoulder area. It’s naturally a tougher cut of meat so cooking it low and slow yields a tender texture and delicious taste!

If you’re someone who is going to be looking for one of these bad boys in a grocery store, you’ll find them to be moderately priced—so buy away!

The recipe I’m using came from The Wicked Noodle and is one I will definitely be using again!

Ingredients:

2-3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

4 pound Chuck Roast

1 medium to large yellow onion, chopped

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

5 sprigs fresh thyme

2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth

2 bunches small carrots

1 pound baby potatoes, white or red

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

**My additions/substitutions: Neither of my local grocery stores carried fresh thyme, so I chose to forego that ingredient. I like rubbing meat in a product called “Spade L Ranch Beef Marinade and Seasoning,” and thought this would be a good opportunity to do so (which I will explain about below). I also had a couple sweet potatoes that I wanted to get used up, so I substituted those for the 1 pound of baby potatoes.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. Heat oil in a large dutch oven over high heat. Season roast well with salt and pepper, add to pan and brown well on all sides (a few minutes per side). Remove roast and set aside.
  3. Add chopped onion to drippings in pot and reduce heat to medium. Sauté onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, increase heat to medium-high and boil until reduced and slightly syrupy, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in Dijon.
  4. Set roast on top of onions in pot. Pour in 2 cups of beef broth and add thyme sprigs. Cover and place in over for 2 ½ -3 hours, or until very tender.
  5. Add carrots and potatoes to pot and return to oven. Continue cooking until carrots and potatoes are tender, somewhere between 30 and 60 minutes.
Isn’t a rubbed roast just beautiful?!

Isn’t a rubbed roast just beautiful?!

Spade L Ranch Beef Marinade and Seasoning is one of my favorite products, so I decided to put it to good use. Although the original recipe doesn’t call for adding a rub, I chose to rub my roast the night before, and let it sit overnight in all that delicious flavor.

Rubbing something like this is super simple…I added a small amount of water to a shallow baking dish, got all sides of the roast wet, and then went to town rubbing Spade L anywhere it would stick. 

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Fun Fact: My house and I both survived the browning process, intact!

I’m not going to lie, the browning process made me real nervous. I remember one time when I was younger my mom was making a friend and I homemade finger steaks, and accidently had a small grease fire. Ever since I’ve been leery of beef and oil together….so you can only imagine what went through my head the moment I put my roast in the pan. “Here I’ve promised everyone that I wouldn’t burn my house down, and chances are it’s gonna happen right now!”

After the browning process, I continued on with adding the chopped onions in and probably sautéed them for a good 5-6 minutes. Then I boiled down the balsamic vinegar and added in the Dijon. It was at this point where I wondered if I had picked the right recipe. Hot onions, boiling vinegar, and spicy Dijon–my eyes started watering with all the fumes and there was a small part of me that wondered if I still had time to turn back.

Remember when I told you that I didn't own any fancy cooking devices? Case in point...I borrowed this Le Creuset dutch oven from my Mom, and it was the perfect size!After everything was browned, sautéed, dijoned,and brothed it was finally ready to go in the oven! I love this part because it gave me time to get a few things done around the house, which included washing all the dishes I used! I’m the kind of person who loves sitting down to a meal with an already-clean kitchen!

At the 2.5 hour mark, I took the roast out, and added the carrots and potatoes. I cut both up pretty thin, because I wanted them to come out really tender. I kept the roast in the oven for another hour before pulling it out and slicing it up!

O Bone Roast

 

This, my friends, is O Bone Roast heaven! The guys had to unexpectedly run to Twin Falls the same day I made this, so Justin didn’t come home for lunch. Since I didn’t want something this fresh-out-of-the-oven to go to waste, I called my Mom and had her come over for lunch. She gave it two thumbs up, and told me she wants to use this recipe on her own cut of Rafter T Ranch O Bone!

Next week I’ll be cooking up a Rib Steak, so if you have any good recipes be sure to send them my way!

Categories: Beef, Cattle, Idaho Cattlewomen, Ranch Life, Recipes