Friday, December 6, 2013

What is in a quarter?

For anyone new to ordering meat in bulk it can be intimidating and confusing!  I am going to lay out for you what you can expect to find in your quarter of beef.

When ordering a quarter or side you have the power to choose! You are limited by the cuts and quantities that exist on the animal, but you can choose what cuts you want as steaks, roasts, ground beef or other cuts and how large you would like those cuts.  For example you can get your round as roasts, steaks, stew meat or ground into 1, 1 1/2, or 2# packages.  You can have your T-bone and Porterhouse steaks cut to your desired thickness (but you cant have the whole quarter in T-bones...sorry)!

For a list of the questions you can expect from the butcher when placing your cutting order click here. We also have a chart to show you where the different cuts come from on the animal.
Here are some beef cuts you might find in your quarter or sampler box

We recently ordered a quarter that had a 215# hanging weight the contents of the quarter were:

  • 40# of Hamburger
  • 3# of Ground Beef Patties
  • 4 Sirloin Steaks
  • 6 Chuck Roasts
  • 4 Porterhouse Steaks
  • 6 T-bone Steaks
  • 9 Ribeye Steaks
  • 4 Sirloin Tip Steaks
  • 1 Round Roast
  • 1 Arm Roast
  • 1 Rolled Rump Roast
  • 1 package of Beef Short Ribs
  • 2 packages of Stew Meat
  • 2 packages of All Beef Skinless Wieners
  • soup bones & liver
The size of your quarter will vary based on the size of the animal.  This is a relatively large quarter. 

I hope this helps take the mystery out of ordering beef for your family!  

Have a great day! 


Thursday, November 21, 2013

November Newsletter

All Around the Farm:

As I mulched strawberries with one of the girls yesterday I realized just how blessed and thankful I am.  Yes, it's Thanksgiving, and this is the time where we share what we are grateful for.  I am grateful for many things, but none of our farming dreams would be a reality right now if it were not for customers like you that buy the sustainable products that we raise and thereby sustaining our family.  What a win-win! Thank you for your business and we are grateful to call many of you friends. Harvest time is always a very exciting time!  It is so satisfying to reap the fruits of not only our spring & summer labor, but also our winter planning, budgeting, learning and dreaming. As much as I love seeing the new life emerge in the spring, it is fulfilling to see the crops and many of the animals finish the season.  We are looking forward to the slightly slower pace of winter planning, although along with the cold comes frozen fingers at chore time!

Kissing a goat through the front door window.

Pedro our new donkey! He protects the calves in the pasture from predators.
Bryce putting the turkeys "to bed" in their pasture pen. They are now in the freezer;)

Beef Availability:

We have sampler boxes and custom orders available for early December deliveries/pick up. If you need meat for your holiday parties, now is the time! Please let me know ASAP if you would like to claim one of these quarters.  If you are looking for a box or custom order please let me know by December 7th, but depending on demand our inventories may get low again, so the sooner you can order your Christmas party beef the better. 

Place your order now for early January pick up or delivery.  At this time we have sides, quarters, samplers and custom orders available for January.  Based on the size of our steers right now it looks like we will have limited availability until early spring. If you will need some quality beef before March/April think about placing an order for our December or January deliveries. 

Enjoy a Couple of our Favorite Holiday Recipes:

OK, so this family has strong Norwegian ties not Swedish...sorry!...but, we are gluten free these days and have found some recipes to be even better than the original gluten filled versions.  This is a great party appetizer (I double this recipe and make the meatballs fairly small) just put some cute party toothpick next to the dish and everyone is happy!

I'm not classy enough (nor am I French) to have known what Herbes De Provence was, so here's the recipe for that as well!

  • Your cooking times will vary depending on the size of your prime rib roast. To calculate your cooking time, multiply the exact weight of the roast by 5. Round the resulting number to the nearest whole number. The rib is cooked at 500 degrees F for exactly that many minutes. For example, for a 6 pound roast: 6x5=30, so cooking time is 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and wait 2 hours before opening the oven door. Remove the prime rib and slice into the most perfectly medium-rare meat you've ever seen. ~tip taken from Chef John at the Food Wishes Blog

Rib Eye Steak with Sun-Dried Tomato:

Make a marinade of:
1 Cup Olive Oil
Juice from 1 lemon
1 T dried basil
1 T dried oregano
ground pepper and salt to taste

Marinade 4 large rib eye steaks and refrigerate for at least an hour. 

Cook steaks:
Pre-heat skillet (I love to use an iron skillet) with a generous bit of olive oil

Cook steaks for 5-9 minutes each side depending on size of steaks and your preference.  I always have a meat thermometer available to make sure meat is at least 140 f.

Top steaks:
Mix a topping of 1 jar sun dried tomato in olive oil, 1 cup canned artichoke hearts, add 1/2 cup green olives if you enjoy them. 

Don't stop enjoying steak just because grilling season is over...get out a skillet and treat your family to a great steak dinner!

Thanksgiving wishes from our family to yours!

Jen & Bryce and kids

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Kissing Goats

Someone once said "If you throw a bucket of water at a fence and the water gets through so will a goat."  I believe it! We have had Misty and Princess pretty well contained with the cattle...after all, they think they are cows now.  When the guys sort cattle though our little goat friends turn into opportunists and sneak out to their favorite spot on the farm...our porch!  I just thought this picture was to cute not to share!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

50th Anniversary of the 1963 Corn Picking Contest!

Without a doubt the largest event to ever take place on our farm was the 1963 National Corn Picking Contest.  

Tent City in what is now the hay field across from our house.  I wonder if this shot was taken from the rooftop of the house. Agriculture vendors came from all over the Nation to show off their new farm technologies!

Farmers, vendors and the general public descended on this very plot of land on October 23-24th.  The state champion corn pickers from around the U.S. fired up their pickers and tried to become the National Champ by picking their corn more efficiently than the other competitors.  It was serious competition, trust me, I've seen the grainy video!  The winner....Arlyn Zee...Bryces dad's good friend who happens to live and farm only about 5 miles away! Arlyn still has his championship picker displayed in his farmyard.

The North Field where the competition took place.  This is just behind our house and farm buildings where our current corn field is.  The shed in the forground was built for the building company to show off their sheds.  Willis only had to pay for materials.

Bryces Grandparents, Willis and Lenora Riemer and their dog, Boots.  We live in their farm house in Decatur Township on Riemer Road.

We are so proud to be continuing the deep family tradition of farming on this land.  This land and home are such a blessing to our family.  We are so grateful for the legacy that has been laid out before us! We hope to live up to the Riemer family tradition of raising high quality and sustainable farm products!

Thank you to the Brodhead Historical Society for posting these pictures on their site.  Thanks also to our friend Peg from Sandhill Family Farms for turning us on to these archives on the web!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

It's Fajita Night!

Our families favorite default meals tend to be Mexican foods...rather Americanized Mexican foods.  After about a year of marriage Bryce asked me if I could make anything that did not go in a tortilla?  To which I answered can put most of these dishes on tortilla chips too :)

It's tomato, pepper and onion season!  To me it's fajita and pico de gallo season!

Jens Fajitas

1 # Fajita beef
Fajita seasoning or cumin and chilli powder to taste
1 green peper
1 red or orange pepper
1 red onion
lots of firm tomatoes.  I used grape tomatoes in this dish
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
tortillas (we use corn)

1. Brown the fajita beef in a heavy skillet.  I add some fajita seasoning or cumin & chilli powder right to the meat as it browns.
2. Chop up all the veggies to desired size and add to meat when it is browned..
3. When veggies are just about cooked through add chopped cilantro.
4. Serve on warm tortillas.
5. Eat too many and rub your belly when done!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin!

When Making food choices we can support very large multinational food companies whom are more concerned with their bottom line than food safety, nutrition, worker safety and quality, or support local producers who put their pride and skill into their products.  

Riemer Family Farm is a proud member of SSfW!
Yes I am bias to local and naturally raised foods! There are many reasons buying locally makes a difference: building the local economy, knowing what is in our food and how it was raised and supporting sustainable practices with our dollar.  Another advantage is that much less energy is used in transporting food that is nearby! We are committed to only selling our beef within 100 miles of the farm and try to cut down on our trips with the beef trailer by organizing orders by area.  

For much more on local food systems check out this article: Local and Regional Food Systems

or for more on local foods with a lot of gardening inspiration thrown in check out Barbara Kingsolvers: Animal,Vegetable, Miracle

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Beef Kabobs and Marinades Made Easy

Marinades are usually used for two purposes: to flavor and/or tenderize meat. 

Tenderizing marinades are designed to add flavor and improve tenderness. In general, tenderizing marinades are used on chewier cuts like top sirloin or round steak. More tenderizing is achieved with longer marinade times. If you want to marinate for tenderness, keep meat in the marinade for 4-24 hours.

Kabobs Recipe
Sirloin, Chicken and Veggie Kabobs (photo from
The following ingredients act as a meat tenderizer:

     Citrus Fruit Juice - lime, lemon, or orange
     Wine - red, white, or rice
     Vinegar - basalmic or red wine vinegar, or rice wine vinegar

It is easy to create your own marinade recipe, using one or more of the above tenderizing ingredients, plus some coordinating flavor ingredients such as minced garlic, minced fresh ginger, freshly ground black pepper, thyme, or rosemary.

Refrigerate beef cuts while marinating, and use stainless steel or glass bowls to contain meat and marinade. 

If you are busy like me and like to have marinades on hand make a large batch and store your marinade in a well marked jar.  I also really like Newmans Own Marinades which use natural ingredients.  Mesquite with Lime is my favorite!

Below is a basic Kabob recipe: For more great recipes visit my favorite recipe site

  1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine your marinade with veggies (onion, mushrooms, bell peppers) and beef cut into about 1 1/2" cubes.  Seal, and refrigerate 4 to 24 hours.
  2. Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
  3. Discard marinade, and thread the meat and vegetables onto skewers, leaving a small space between each item. You could add other fruits/veggies at this time as well, like pineapple or tomato.
  4. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill skewers for 10 minutes, turning as needed, or until meat is cooked through and vegetables are tender.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Wild Things-Nettle Soup and more...

Today I have confirmed my in-laws suspicions that their son married a crazy lady!  I think it's totally normal to hunt and gather, but the thought of eating stinging nettles is difficult for some.  I originally learned of the near mythical powers of nettles when I was pregnant last spring and I drank Nettle Tea like it was going out of style.  I was inspired to not only make tea today, but also "Simple Greens Soup" using Nettles also.  My family loves this stuff! I even going to sneak dandelion greens into our next salad!

Simple Greens Soup-"From Asparagus to Zucchini~MACSAC cookbook" Matt Overdevest, Harmony Valley Farm-slightly modified by me

2 T butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 pound potato
4 cups water or chicken broth
1 bunch nettles (a big bunch)
Salt, pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream (I use whole milk) optional

Heat butter in saucepan over medium heat.  Add onions; cook slowly, stirring occasionally until translucent. Add potato and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are soft. Add the greens and cook until they wilt.  Puree the soup with an immersion blender (or in batches in a food processor)until smooth.  Season to taste.  For a creamy version, add cream or milk at the end and heat through. 4 servings.

What are your favorite wild edibles?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sandhill Family Farms Partnership

We are so pleased to be partnering with our good friends and fellow farmers Matt & Peg Sheaffer (photo below) of Sandhill Family Farms.  They have been growing certified organic vegetables for CSA's and markets for a dozen years.  They recently moved to Brodhead and now run their second farm here while their business partners the Millers manage the original farm in Grayslake, IL.

The Sheaffers will be featuring our beef in their meat shares that they offer to their veggie CSA customers.  They also offer dairy, egg and fruit shares throughout the growing season.  They recently highlighted us in their newsletter/blog.  See it here.

We are so pleased to be partnering with such great friends and wonderful farmers.  Please visit their website to see all the wonderful things they are doing.  Including pictures of their amazingly adorable lambs!

On to other news...we have 5 calves on the ground so far this spring.  About 20 more to go! We are having fun and so glad the rain has slowed down!!! Calf pictures to come!

Our freezers are full of great beef again.  I updated our Beef Availability page, so check it out and order your spring/summer grilling beef while it lasts.  We will have quarters and sides available again in the fall.

Have a wonderful day!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Betty Crocker's no fail Beef Stew

OK people, it's almost grilling time! Use up those roasts and stew meat packages while it's still chilly outside! This is also a great recipe for using up any stored winter veggies you may still be lucky enough to have on hand.

Whenever I need a no fail recipe and am not sure what to do I turn to the tried and true "Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook circa 1956" that has been passed down several generations.  With the exception of her love of Crisco and white flour you really can't go wrong with Betty and I often wonder why I own any other cookbooks.

Old Fashioned Beef Stew (recommended by Mrs. Edward Kruger)
edited by Mrs. Bryce Riemer (ugh, I'm glad some traditions have changed)

     2 lb of chuck or round roast cut into pieces or use 2 packages of stew meat
Cover with:
     1 qt. hot water
Simmer 2 hrs., adding water if necessary.
     2 cups diced potatoes (3 medium)
     1 Cup diced turnips
     1 Cup carrots
     1/2 cup diced parsnips
     1 cup celery
     1 green pepper, diced
     1/2 cup diced onion
     1 T salt (I omit or use much less)
     2 beef bouillon cubes or I use "Better Than Bouillon Organic Vegetable base" because it's not full of junk
Cook until vegetable are tender, about 30 min. If desired, thicken liquid for gravy (see 3/7/13 roast post). The flavor of this stew gets better each time it is reheated!
12 servings.

Thanks Betty & Enjoy!
Mrs. Bryce Riemer :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Stromboli Sandwich Recipe

Here is a great recipe shared by one of our wonderful customers/friends.  Thanks so much Deanette!

Thank you so much for delivering my beef order to school! You are the very best! So wonderful seeing not only both of you but your beautiful girls also! As I promised here is another family recipe that is extra special with Riemer Family Farm ground beef!

My Dad’s Stomboli Sandwiches

1 lb ground beef
1 T finely chopped onion
½ cup tomato sauce
½ cup catsup
2 T grated parmesan cheese
½ t garlic powder
¼ t fennel seed
1/8 t ground oregano
6 hamburger buns
Garlic spread
6 slices mozzarella cheese

Brown ground beef & onion – drain. Add tomato sauce, catsup, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, fennel seed & oregano. Cook for 20 minutes.
Split rolls & spread with garlic spread on top half of each roll. Divide meat mixture evenly on bottom halves of rolls. Top each with slice of mozzarella cheese and close sandwich with bun top.
Wrap each in foil and heat in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

T= Tablespoon
t= teaspoons


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Frosty Icicle Farm Pictures

These pictures are from early Friday morning.  Now the farm is a wet mucky mess, but we really enjoyed the beauty of winters last dance!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Roast Guide-Braising Beef or Pot Roasting

Ok, well obviously the winter has put me into a blog slump! Not to mention the fact that I'm helping run the farm, homeschooling 2 kids and have a baby forever connected to me & I'm trying to keep the house together and everyone clothed and fed! That's just the life of a mom though.  I have been newly inspired to blog about food...well specifically beef roasts!
A Recent Riemer Round Roast (say that 10 times fast)
Since it's still very chilly and wintery outside I am going to share a few quick and simple guides to the common beef roasts and common cooking methods.  Starting with Braising or Pot Roasting.

Braising beef according to Wikipedia: Braising relies on heat, time, and moisture to break down the tough connective tissue collagen in meat, making it an ideal way to cook tougher cuts. Many classic braised dishes such as coq au vin are highly evolved methods of cooking tough and otherwise unpalatable foods (*not that Riemer Beef is ever unpalatable). Pressure cooking and slow cooking (e.g., crockpots) are forms of braising.

Ideal cuts to Pot Roast are the Chuck, Round and Brisket (think corn beef and hash)

Beef Cut
Approximate cooking time (Covered Over Low Heat)
Chuck Pot Roast (Shoulder, Arm or Blade)
2.5-4 #
2-3 hrs

Short Ribs
2 x 2 x4 inch
1 3/4 hrs
Round Roast
3-4 #
3 hrs
Round Steak
1 to 1.5 inches thick
2 hrs
2.5-3.5 #
3 hrs

With any of the above cuts follow these steps:

  1. Slowly brown on all sides in small amount of oil in heavy pan.  I love to use my iron skillet. Season the beef with herbs or spices as desired. 
  2. Add small amount of liquid (1/2-2 cups). You can use broth, water, juice, beer or wine.
  3. Cover tightly and simmer gently over low heat on top of the range or in a preheated 325 degree oven according to the cart above.
  4. With about an hour left to cook you can add your favorite veggies.  Root veggies work best i.e. potato, carrots, turnips.
Don't forget the gravy! the cooking liquid can be thickened with flour or cornstarch and reduced for a sauce!

Enjoy, stay warm and stay tuned for more recipes...I promise!
*my addition