Here in Texas we love to grill. I mean it is winter and 80 degrees.. So what better time to fire up the grill and cook a steak to celebrate the holidays. But have you ever wondered exactly where your steak comes from and the story behind the steak? Most of us I am sure just head to the grocery store and pick a steak that looks good and has just the right amount of fat or leanness for what we are in the mood to eat. The Texas Beef Council invited me on a ranch tour and grilling lesson to give some insight into where that steak from the grocery store comes from and the story behind that steak.
What is the Texas Beef Council?
The Texas Beef Council is a nonprofit organization which is dedicated to beef demand in the state through programs of promotion, research and education. They help ranchers and farmers to educate the public about just where your beef comes from and do the marketing for the ranches in Texas who have joined. The TBC launched the Beef Loving Texans campaign in 2016 to share unique recipes, stories, cooking, and shopping tips with consumers. Beef gets a bad wrap a lot of times and the TBC wants to shine a light on the benefits of beef. All in moderation of course.
What is the Story Behind the Steak?
We were taken out on a tour of a ranch just south of Sugarland called the J.D. Hudgens Inc. Ranch. This is where my preconceived notions of how ranching works was turned a bit on its head. See at J.D. Hudgens they breed the American Brahman. This type of cattle is born to be able to withstand the harsh heat of Texas. So what this ranch does is breed their cattle to then pass on to other ranchers who crossbreed to make a certain type of beef. It is almost like a chain. Taking the purebred cattle, mixing with other cattle, then goes on to another rancher for more growth before heading to the processor. It was way different than what I thought it would be of one ranch had their specific cattle and then does everything all the way down to getting them ready for grocery stores. Really cool to think about it in this new way and to see how much work goes in to getting that perfect steak ready for grilling.
The J.D. Hudgins ranch also breeds for showcasing like you see at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. They have won many awards over the years and we even got to hang out with some of these massive cattle. Seriously I just wanted to go up and hug them. It was funny to see that they loved being petted and around people.
Let’s Get Grilling
Besides getting to meet the cattle, the best part was getting to grill our own steaks and learning the proper steps to getting your meat just the right temperature. One trick that I learned is that it really is best not to use those brushes to clean your grill. What you can do is cut an onion in half and rub on the grill to loosen anything stuck to the grill. Then if if needs an extra little scrub, ball up some foil to “brush” off the grill.
Being able to get a firsthand view and knowledge of the story behind the steak was eye opening. It was nice to see that cattlemen have an organization that is helping them have a voice and spread knowledge of just where that steak that you get from the grocery store comes from and the hard working people behind it all. Don’t be afraid of beef people!
If you want to learn more and discover some new recipes head over to the Beef Loving Texans Homepage or follow them on social media for tips and tricks to cooking your steak. Speaking of I need to find a recipe for some hamburger for tonight’s dinner. Thanks again Texas Beef Council for having me out on the tour!