Meat for the homestead
By Jackie Clay-Atkinson
Backwoods Home Magazine
Meat is often the most expensive portion of our grocery bill, and it is getting more and more expensive every day. I’ve seen steaks “on sale” for more than $10 a pound. When you live on a low budget, like we do, buying $10 a pound steaks doesn’t happen. But two years ago, for a special occasion, I did buy two steaks at $7.99 a pound. I know my meat and chose two small T-bones that looked pretty good. I cooked them for dinner that evening and they smelled great frying with onions, but when they were on our plates and I began cutting into mine, I found those pretty steaks to be tougher than nails. I got so tired from chewing on mine that I gave the rest of it to my husband, who refused to waste those $7.99 a pound steaks. Talk about a disappointment. It was then and there that we vowed to raise our own meat.
Now we have at least one big steer to butcher every fall, along with our chickens, turkeys, goats, and starting this year, pigs. I also hunt venison every fall, so there’s hardly ever store-bought meat at our house anymore.
Let me tell you just how good our meat is. The taste is heavenly; there’s actual meat flavor in each and every bite. (How they can take away the flavor in store-bought meat is beyond me.) Talk about gourmet quality! And we know the animals are raised with love on good feed, with freedom and plenty of sunshine and without hormones, antibiotics, or cruelty. We also manage to do it inexpensively. For instance, we raise two big steers at the same time and sell the meat from one of them. This pays for nearly all the feed for both of them, as well as the butchering fee. As close as we can figure, we’re getting our gourmet beef for about 90 cents a pound.