|Beef Ordering Info:
Grass finishing is dependent on rainfall and forage growing seasons. We supplement with alfalfa hay during drought and dormant seasons to assure our cattle receive adequate nutrition. If you would like to place an order or be added to our email mailing list to be notified when we are sending product for processing, please send an email to Debbie Davis. Please include your best contact telephone number and your city/town for meat delivery. Demand for healthy Grassfed beef has increased to the point that we rarely have unsold portions in stock. Customers that place orders in advance of an animal being processed are given priority on availability. We usually have a two-month waiting list for product.
Bandera Grassland Grassfed longhorn beef is available for purchase in whole carcasses, sides, quarters and eighth carcasses. Whole carcass and sides are priced is $8.50 per pound. Side weights vary from 204 to 238 pounds, so the average price is $1878.500 per side. Quarter and eighth carcasses consisting of equal cuts from the fore and hindquarters are priced at $8.75 per pound. Quarters average 110 pounds each, so the quarter price will be around $967, and eighths average $483. Organ meats (liver, heart, kidney and tongue) are sold separately at $3.25 per pound.
The cost break for sides and whole carcasses comes from ease of boxing at the processor. It takes approximately one hour per steer to separate into quarters or eighth orders. We are not able to offer side prices to customers that request the order be split into separate boxes for more than one buyer splitting the order.
We send out email announcements when we have unsold beef available and it usually is all spoken for within 24 hours. We make deliveries to the Austin and San Antonio areas and points in-between and are able to economically ship small orders via UPS to cites in Texas that are within the overnight delivery area for UPS Ground shipping service. However, we do not ship during summer months.
The quarters and eighths we sell contain mixed cuts from both the forequarter and hindquarter. The break down of a carcass is approximately 50% trim that is ground for hamburger, 15% premium steaks and 35% other cuts. A quarter will contain approximately:
To any order, customers may request the addition of organ meats at $3.25 per pound. The liver is sliced ½” thick or chopped into cubes and packaged in 1 lb. packages. Our processor can no longer grind liver. It is too hard on their equipment. Kidneys are sold two per package. Hearts are sliced into thirds and sold by the pound. Tongues vary in weight from 2-4 lbs. The thymus gland is only present in young, growing calves and atrophies when it becomes inactive in adult cattle. We slaughter mature steers a minimum of two years of age, therefore, sweetbreads are not available from our cattle. Texas Longhorns are lean, efficient animals with little wasted subcutaneous fat to be trimmed away. However, they do possess some suet, so we are able to request the processor save some for persons wishing to render their own tallow. It is priced 50¢ per pound and must be requested prior to processing. We ask our processor to save the bones and cut them small to fit into stockpots. These are available in 25-30 lb. boxes for $25.
Our ground longhorn is a blend of the chuck, sirloin and round trim and averages 12% fat and 88% lean.
Occasionally we received requests for only steaks. Since we sell whole carcasses and only 15% of those are steaks, we usually cannot accommodate this request. However, from a ground beef product we market, we reserve the tenderloins and whole muscle from which ribeye steaks are cut. These rib rolls are vacuum wrapped and 'wet aged' under refrigeration, but not frozen. We sell these fresh rib rolls for $15 per pound (average weight 7-1/2 lbs.), and tenderloins for $25 per lb. (avg. weight 4 lbs.). Customers may purchase these when planning a party and cut them into steaks for grilling or individual steaks may also be wrapped and frozen for later use.
Our beef is processed at Mercantile Co. Meat in Utopia, TX, a State-inspected facility.
Cooking Tips: We often tell people to cook Grassfed meats over a low flame to avoid loss of moisture because Grassfed meats are lean and lack the fat content that gives steaks from grain-fed meats the appearance of juiciness. To reserve the actual moisture in your meats, sear briefly over high flame to seal in the juices, then reduce the heat for cooking. Shannon Hayes, author of The Grassfed Gourmet cookbook, says it best here.
Orders for Sides of Beef include cuts from all sections listed above.
How much freezer space is needed? One cubic foot of freezer space will hold approximately 45 pounds of beef. One whole beef will fill a full-size 10 cu. ft. freezer.Rumor is sometime in 2019 there will be some FSA changes that will force us to require preorders for all sales. If this new rule is implemented, we will no longer have unsold quantities in stock for sale. Paperwork for record-keeping has become so burdensome for meat processors, the government is attempting to discourage the slaughter of older cattle by making disposal of their waste products more difficult. Currently, over thirty-month carcasses must be processed separately from younger cattle. The spines and heads must be disposed of without going to rendering plants. We take advantage of this rule by cleaning up the skulls for sale as decoration. Thirty months is a random age selected nationally as a cut-off for cattle considered free from exposure to BSE, simply because it is a slow progressing disease that is not detectable in younger cattle. Oddly, Scrapie in sheep and goats and CWD in deer and elk are also prion diseases, but there are no government age restrictions or additional processor records requirements for those species. Pure Texas Longhorn cattle grow more slowly than other bovine breeds. Slow growth and greater age in addition to genetic differences contribute to the robust flavors in Texas Longhorn beef. Most of our cattle take a minimum of thirty months to reach slaughter weight. Regulations have been in place since 2003 that do not allow the sale of spine or brains of beef cattle over thirty months. Since then, we have offered tenderloin and strip steaks instead of t-bone steaks that contain a portion of the spine. It has not been a hardship. New regulations in the works will not allow any part of the head to leave the plant if the beef carcass is inspected. We have never offered brain or cheek meat for sale, but we do sell skulls. If we will not be able to keep the skulls from slaughtered cattle for our labeled product, we must sell cow shares of the live animal instead. The only difference our customers will see is the packages of beef will be stamped "Not for Sale." We will still ask our plant Inspector to assure every carcass is healthy and free from disease, the meat just won't carry a retail label. We will have to wait to take animals to the processor until the entire carcass is reserved in cow shares, so please be patient.
Texas Drought News:
We made it through nine years of drought that was only broken by a rainy growing season in 2007. We had to reduce our numbers to comparable with available forage on our ranch to preserve both the health of our range soils and health and genetics of our core breeding herd. This dictated the number of beef calves we keep to grow out for meat sales. We are cautious about building our herd numbers too quickly without certainty our current rainy pattern will continue. We are of the opinion climate change has forever reduced the number of beef animals, particularly Grassfed, that Texas is able to supply to the market. Regardless of short periods of moisture, the drought historical records tell the truth. In the spring of 2012, our Seco Valley Ranch was green with legumes for the first time since the spring of 2010, but warm season grasses that were damaged in the drought had a hard time recovering. Time will reveal how many years are required for healthy climax species of forage to return to this area, or if those species change. We will do our part through planned and managed grazing and closely monitoring our stocking rate. Locally produced, source verified from birth to harvest, Grassfed meats will be scarce and expensive in the coming years.
Our focus is to preserve for the benefit of future generations, heritage Texas Longhorn cattle declared a critically endangered breed by the Livestock Conservancy. Bandera Grassland is the result of our desire to create a viable market for this breed so ranchers will continue to raise them. We reserve our heifer calves to provide replacement breeding animals for other ranchers. Our goal is to make available the right kind of cattle for ranchers building herds. There are numerous horned cattle on the market that we refer to as "wronghorns" because they are introgressed with Bos Indicus genetics. The Cattlemen’s Texas Longhorn Registry reports there are fewer than 2000 historically correct, genetically pure Texas Longhorn cattle in existence. These are animals whose genotypes reflect descent only from Iberian stock brought to the New World by Spanish explorers in the 1500's and no recent introgression from other breeds. These are the kind of cattle we raise. Unlike many other beef breeds they are endangered and not available like a widget from your local supercenter livestock auction.
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P.O. Box 122, Tarpley, Texas 78883 - (830) 562-3650