The Rocker 7 Meat Market

by Katie on September 12, 2011

Opening soon!

Not really…

But if someone stepped foot in our kitchen last week, they would be absolutely convinced a meat market was our next business venture. In fact, toward the end of last week, Brandon and I looked at each other in the kitchen, and both said, “I’m sick of seeing meat.”

Why, you ask?

Well, it all started with a heifer from the 2010 crop. We realized early on she had very poor structure and needed to be sold. Soon.

Then “soon” came and went. And with it, the opportunity to sell her at all, as she rapidly deteriorated in her condition. Before we knew it, we were finding her barely walking around, laying down to do her grazing, and just all around pathetic and sad to watch. We are not ones to watch animals suffer.

So, bright and early a couple weekends ago, we loaded up with our butcher knives and the .22, and set out to do the dirty work ourselves. I chose to stay in the shop area getting coolers ready while Brandon sorted her out and did the really dirty work. Obviously, I kill things. But something about this “thing” being a calf we raised, and us killing her in cold blood (even though it was for her own good – I’m telling you, we had a hard time watching her suffer like that for months), I was just a little uneasy with it all. And it wasn’t like Brandon enjoyed any part of it either. I just didn’t leave him much choice and it had to be done. Gotta love a husband who kills a cow for you, right?

So now we had a dead heifer on our hands. And the processing began. And the processing continued. All. Day. Long.

By nightfall, we had put enough of a dent in the job to where we could call it a night. With some meat already shoved in the freezer, our refrigerator completely full of semi-processed cuts, and half a cooler still remaining.

The thing was, not only did we have to completely butcher and process an entire beef heifer, we also had big plans for making sausage and jerky with a lot of the meat. For a solid week, maybe a little more, our refrigerator was completely full of meat in various stages of the processing cycle. It was a chore to get anything out. And we still had to eat. At the end of every day, there was a pile of mixing bowls and storage containers to wash, as we moved a step in the cycle (from cuts to ground, ground to mixed with elk or pork, split into its respective sausage category, seasoned, etc.).

Yes, there was a point where we thought we were crazy trying to combine all this at once. Did I mention this all started the first night of our baling round? No? Well it did. Which prolonged the whole process, and made it even more insane.

At the end of the whole deal, we ended up with two racks of beef ribs (obviously), several cuts of beef loin, a beef tenderloin, countless roasts, steaks and stew-type meat. On the processed meats side of things, we made nine pounds of breakfast sausage (flavored maple, spicy and regular), 12 pounds of summer sausage (two rolls of jalapeno cheese, one original, one spicy), two pounds of pepperoni, and two pounds of links. As if that weren’t enough, we also made 25 pounds of beef jerky (mesquite, hickory, pepperoni, sweet and hot and teriyaki).

All of this meat was combined with what we have left over from the two old cows we had butchered right before we got married and the three elk we have killed between us the past couple years. Luckily, we have already consumed any deer or antelope meat that has crossed our path in that time frame. We also have an antelope tag and two deer tags to possibly fill this fall.

So don’t be surprised if you really do hear words of the “Rocker 7 Meat Market” opening soon.

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