Midwestern Meats

How to Cook your Turkey

How To Cook a Turkey for Thanksgiving

 What You Need

Ingredients
1 turkey, any size
2 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth, water, or other liquid
1 cup unsalted butter, melted, for basting (optional)

Equipment
Roasting pan 
Roasting rack
Turkey baster, brush, or ladle (optional, if basting)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the turkey for roasting: Thirty minutes to an hour before roasting, take the turkey out of the fridge. Remove any packaging and the bag of giblets (check in the body cavity and in the neck cavity). Set the turkey breast-side up on the roasting rack and let it sit while the oven preheats. This takes the chill off the meat, which helps the meat cook faster and more evenly. It also gives the skin time to dry out, which promotes browning and crisping. (Note: Your turkey will likely still feel cool to the touch after sitting at room temperature — that's fine and you can continue on with roasting.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 450°F: Position an oven rack in the bottom third of your oven and preheat the oven to 450°F. If you brined your turkey, as we did, no need to do anything now. If your turkey is straight out of the package, rub it with some salt and pepper before putting it in the oven. We recommend leaving your turkey un-stuffed and un-trussed, both because it's easier and because the turkey will cook more evenly.
  3. Add liquid to the roasting pan: When ready to roast, pour two cups of broth or water into the roasting pan.
  4. Place the turkey in the oven and turn down the heat: Place the turkey in the oven and turn down the heat to 350°F. We recommend roasting turkeys breast-side up. Some people like starting the turkey breast-side down to shield the breast meat, but the idea of flipping a hot, sputtering turkey is not our idea of a good time. Instead, we prefer to simply shield the breast meat with foil toward the end of cooking if it starts getting too browned.
  5. Roast the turkey: The rule of thumb for cooking a turkey is 13 minutes per pound. So our 16-pound turkey was estimated to cook in about 3 1/2 hours. However, some factors like brining the bird, cooking with an empty (un-stuffed) cavity, and leaving the legs un-trussed will contribute to much faster cooking. Plan on the 13-minute-per-pound rule, but start checking the temperature of your turkey about halfway through the scheduled cooking time to gauge how fast it's cooking.
  6. Baste the turkey every 45 minutes: Every 45 minutes, remove the turkey from the oven, close the oven door (don't let that heat out!), and baste the turkey all over. To baste, tilt the pan and use a turkey baster or spoon to scoop up the pan liquids and drizzle them on top of the turkey. Basting with pan juices cools the surface of the turkey and slows down cooking, which in turn keeps the breast meat cooking at close to the same rate as the legs and thighs. In the last 45 minutes or so of cooking, you can also baste the turkey with melted butter or oil. This helps crisp up the skin and turn it a beautiful deep golden brown.
  7. Check the turkey's temperature: Begin checking the turkey's temperature about halfway through the estimated cooking time. Check the temperature in three places: the breast, outer thigh, and inside thigh.  In every case, the meat should be at least 165°F when the turkey has finished cooking. If any place is under that temperature, put the turkey back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Shield the breast meat with foil if needed to keep it from overcooking.
  8. Rest the turkey before carving: Grab one side of the roasting rack with an oven mitt and tilt the whole pan so the liquids inside the turkey cavity run out into the pan. (These juices are used to make the gravy.) Then, lift the whole turkey (still on the rack) and transfer it to a cutting board. Tent the turkey with aluminum foil and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. This gives time for the meat to firm up and the juices to be re-absorbed into the muscle tissue, making the turkey easier to slice and taste juicier.
  9. Carve the turkey: Carve the turkey the same way you would carve a chicken. Remove the wings first, then the thighs, then the breast meat. Once you have the meat off, you can separate the thighs into thighs and drumsticks and carve the breast meat into individual slices.
  10. Don't forget about the leftovers: One final note! Once you've sat down at the table, don't forget about the turkey back on the counter. The leftover meat needs to be refrigerated within two hours of cooking.

Recipe Notes

  • Ways to Add Flavor to Your Turkey: Rub your turkey with butter or oil for a richer flavor and browner skin, rub minced herbs or ground spices into (or beneath) the skin for more flavor, place a few halved lemons or garlic cloves inside the cavity of the turkey..

Written by Rod McConnell — November 18, 2016

Cooking a perfect steak

How to Grill the Perfect Steak

Buy the Best

The most tender and flavorful steaks are Prime grade, but they can be costly so the next best quality is Choice, and with our age program you can't go wrong.  The best steak selection is, YOUR favorite!  All selections can be grilled, so enjoy what you like.  Since you have access to a butcher, take advantage of their expertise. There are ranges within each grade and a butcher will know if your steak is at the top end of the Choice grade or the bottom. The top of the range will give you beef that’s very close to Prime quality.

Most popular - Ribeye Steak

Most economical - Sirloin Steak

Most fun - Porterhouse. (chewing the last meat off the bone rules!)

Most powerful - Filet Mignon

Most known - New York Strip Steak

My favorite - All of the above.

Warm It Up

Make sure the steak is at indoor room temperature. If you put a cold steak on the grill, the exterior will burn before the interior cooks to the desired temperature. Do not let the steak sit at indoor room temperature for more than an hour before cooking.

Season It

With Midwestern Seasoning season both sides while sitting out.  This is a game changer! 

Get It Hot

Preheat your grill on high. And then do the hand test. Hold your hand over the grates. You shouldn’t be able to leave it there for more than two seconds. You want to hear that sizzle when the steak hits the grill. That high heat will give your steak a perfect crust.

Know When It’s Done

This is the most nerve-wracking aspect of learning to grill the perfect steak. Invest in a digital meat thermometer.  It will take all the guesswork out of knowing when your steak is done. For rare steak, the internal temperature as measured in the middle of the steak is 125 degrees. For medium rare, it’s 130-135 degrees and well done is 155 degrees.

Let It Rest

Never cut into a steak that’s hot off the grill. Pull it off the heat, tent it with foil and let it rest about 8 minutes. While it is resting, the steak’s fibers will relax, the juices will redistribute back to the center and the temperature will come up.

Tip: If your steak is around 2 inches thick, it will continue to rise in temperature even when it’s off the grill. A good rule of thumb is to pull it off five degrees before target temp. 

Written by Rod McConnell — September 23, 2016

Why Beef Prices are high

According to federal government figures, beef prices are at their highest levels in almost 30 years.

The average price of choice-grade beef in February was $5.28. Numbers aren't out yet for March or April, but they'll be high as well.

"We're in record territory actually," says David Anderson, a professor of agricultural economics at Texas A&M University. He says the biggest reason for these high prices is drought.

"Texas is our biggest cattle state, and 2011 was the driest year on record. And we continue in drought," Anderson says.

That drought, all over the Southwest, leads to higher feed prices, which means cattle ranchers raise fewer cows. Anderson says this decrease in supply is matched by an increase in demand from emerging economies, like China.

"One of the things that happens that we see in people everywhere: When their incomes go up the first thing they do is they upgrade their diets," says Anderson. "And so that usually means eating more meat."

So, as grilling season starts, beef for barbecueing is going to be expensive. But the barbecue editor for Texas Monthly, says there are some cheaper beef cuts that will still taste good, with a little more effort.

He recommends beef chuck short ribs, beef back ribs and shoulder clod, a less tender shoulder cut.

But, you've got to cook those cuts a little differently: "Go low and slow."

That means low temperature and long cooking times: maybe up to eight hours on the grill.

Midwestern Meats has a philosophy of following the market pricing, however, we have decided to lower our margins at this point so we don't have to keep raising prices any higher.  Your support is greatly appreciated and we will try to help with the highest prices we've ever seen.  

Written by Rod McConnell — April 20, 2014

Spicy Chicken Breast

This is a great skinless, chicken breast recipe that can be served over salad greens or as an entree! If serving over salad greens, cut chicken into strips and top with your favorite salsa or dressing.

 

Ingredients

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon onion powder

 

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper

 

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves  ON SALE

 

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, thyme, cayenne pepper, and ground black pepper. Set aside about 3 tablespoons of this seasoning mixture for the chicken; store the remainder in an airtight container for later use (for seasoning fish, meats, or vegetables).
  2. Preheat grill for medium-high heat. Rub some of the reserved 3 tablespoons of seasoning onto both sides of the chicken breasts.
  3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Place chicken on the grill, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, until juices run clear.
  • PREP         15 mins
  • COOK        15 mins
  • READY IN   30 mins

Written by Rod McConnell — February 28, 2014

Valentines Facts

Here’s a look at what you need to know about Valentine’s Day, celebrated every February 14th.

Facts: Both people in relationships and singles express their love through cards, candy, flowers and gifts.

-School children exchange cards and often have classroom parties.

-There are several different theories about the origins of Valentine’s Day.

-The ancient Romans held the festival of Lupercalia on February 15 to protect themselves from wolves. Men struck people with strips of animal hide; women believed that this made them more fertile.

-The early Christian church had at least two saints named Valentine.

-One story says that Emperor Claudius II forbade young men to marry because he believed unmarried men made better soldiers. A priest named Valentine secretly married young couples.

-Another says that Valentine was an early Christian who was imprisoned for refusing to worship the Roman gods. His friends tossed notes to him through his cell window.

-Many stories say that Valentine was executed on February 14 about 269 A.D.

-Cupid: Cupid is a well-known symbol of Valentine’s Day. He is armed with a bow and arrows in order to pierce people’s hearts.

-In Roman mythology, Cupid is the son of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty.

-In ancient Greece, Cupid was known as Eros, the young son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.

-Timeline: 496 A.D. – Pope Gelasius I names February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day. 1847 – Esther Howland, of Worchester, Massachusetts, becomes one of the first U.S. manufacturers of valentines.

-1868 – The first “chocolate box” is introduced by Richard Cadbury, when he decorates a candy box with a painting of his young daughter holding a kitten in her arms. Cadbury also invented the first Valentine’s Day candy box.

-2013 – The National Retail Federation estimates that U.S. consumers will spend $18.6 billion on the holiday.

 



Written by Rod McConnell — February 10, 2014

All I need to know about Life I learned from a Cow

All I Need to Know About Life I Learned from a Cow 

1. Wake up in a happy mooo-d.

2. Don't cry over spilled milk.

3. When chewing your cud, remember: There's no fat, no
calories, no cholesterol, and no taste!

4. The grass is green on the other side of the fence.

5. Turn the udder cheek and mooo-ve on.

6. Seize every opportunity and milk it for all its worth!

7. It's better to be seen and not herd.

8. Honor thy fodder and thy mother and all your udder
relatives.

9. Never take any bull from anybody.

10. Always let them know who's bossy.

11. Stepping on cowpies brings good luck.

12. Black and white is always an appropriate fashion
statement.

13. Don't forget to cow-nt your blessings every day.

Written by Rod McConnell — February 03, 2014

Skirt Steak - a diamond you may have never heard about.

Skirt Steak Stir-Fry

This quick and simple recipe makes for a great weeknight meal.  I’ve kept it simple by utilizing a bag of frozen prepared vegetables to eliminate hassle and quicken the process.  Of course, you can always utilize fresh vegetables if you’d like.  (Prep 5 minutes.  Cook 15 minutes.  Serves 2)

1/3 Cup Soy Sauce
1 Cup Beef Broth
1 Tablespoon Corn Starch

2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
¼ Cup Yellow Onion, finely diced
¼ Cup Carrots, finely diced

2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger, minced
1 Bag Frozen Stir Fry Vegetables

1 lb Skirt Steak, thinly sliced

Green Onions, sliced

Hot Cooked Rice (to serve)

In a mixing bowl, combine the first three ingredients, stir, and set aside.  Next, add oil to a wok or skillet over high heat; add onions and carrots and cook until just tender, about 1 minute.  Add garlic, ginger, and frozen vegetables and sauté, stirring often until the vegetables are just tender and slightly charred, about 2 – 3 minutes.  Add steak and cook for another minute, or until just browned.  Pour in soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat, and stir to evenly distribute the flavor.  Garnish with sliced green onions.  Serve over hot cooked rice.

 

I would make more than what you need for dinner, leftovers are awesome.  

Written by Rod McConnell — January 04, 2014

How to cook your Turkey

Buy the best All Natural Fresh Turkey from Midwestern Meats

-Place fresh turkey on a rack, breast side up in a pan.

-Rub entire turkey with your choice of cooking oil, bacon fat or butter.

-Make a foil tent to cover the turkey, crimping foil edges under  the edge of the pan. 

-Cook turkey in a preheated 325 degree oven for 12-15 minutes per pound, or until  the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees or ,depending on personal  preference, up to 180 degrees.  Your  pop up timer will pop when the turkey is ready.

-During the last half hour of baking, remove the foil and let the turkey lightly brown.  Do not over bake your turkey.

-Watch your pop up timer, if your Turkey has one, this will tell you when the turkey is ready.  If you want to check with a thermometer, insert in the thickest part of the breast and the innermost  part of the thigh and wing, looking to reach 165 degrees up to 180 degrees if preferred. 

-Bake your stuffing separately in a greased casserole dish, using juices from the turkey to baste the stuffing. 

Written by Rod McConnell — November 16, 2013

Spicy Chicken Breasts

This is a great skinless, chicken breast recipe that can be served over salad greens or as an entree! If serving over salad greens, cut chicken into strips and top with your favorite salsa or dressing.

 

Ingredients

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon onion powder

 

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper

 

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves  ON SALE

 

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, thyme, cayenne pepper, and ground black pepper. Set aside about 3 tablespoons of this seasoning mixture for the chicken; store the remainder in an airtight container for later use (for seasoning fish, meats, or vegetables).
  2. Preheat grill for medium-high heat. Rub some of the reserved 3 tablespoons of seasoning onto both sides of the chicken breasts.
  3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Place chicken on the grill, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, until juices run clear.
  • PREP         15 mins
  • COOK        15 mins
  • READY IN   30 mins

 

 

Written by Rod McConnell — October 26, 2013

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