This summer were thrilled to have Kailee Zimmerman as our summer intern. A past Arizona Beef Ambassador and Arizona FFA State Officer, Kailee shares about her FFA experience, and how important FFA is for the agriculture community.
We each probably have a few key childhood memories that stick out. Maybe these memories consist of visiting a favorite place, spending time with family, or experiencing new things. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of playing in my dad’s agriculture classroom during evening FFA chapter meetings and going to the county fair to watch his students show their animals. I can remember how kind the students were to me and I remember how much fun it was to sit in the bleachers and watch the “big kids” show. Family gatherings were also always filled with my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and parents sharing story upon story of their time as FFA members and all of the fun memories they had. From a very young age, I began a countdown to the day when I could be an FFA member and have a blue corduroy jacket of my own.
The National FFA Organization is the largest youth leadership organization in the country with over 735,000 members across all 50 states and over 10,000 FFA members here in Arizona. More than anything, I wanted to be one of these students!
When the time came for me to enter high school and finally have the opportunity to be an FFA member, I was faced with one of the most difficult decisions I ever had to make. I was going to a school that I loved, but it did not have an FFA chapter. I had to decide if I would stay at my school and miss out on FFA or move schools to one with an agriculture program. After lots of consideration and talking to many people, another option was presented! With the help of our principal, my school was able to get an FFA chapter chartered in 2016 when I was a sophomore. This decision and the forethought of my principal truly changed the course of my life.
Because I attended a small charter high school that focused on classical education, my experience in ag class did not look like I had always imagined it would. We did not have a big facility with a large greenhouse, I was the only student in my chapter that had grown up around livestock, and many of my friends had never even heard about the FFA until they joined ag class. Looking back, I am very grateful that my experience was different than I expected it to be because it allowed me to have a unique perspective on the importance of agricultural education.
Most people entered the class having no idea where their food came from and some even had some negative views about agriculture as a whole. However, these were the students that soaked up the lessons and gained the most out of their experience as an FFA member and an agricultural education student. I learned that there is no “one-size-fits-all” description of who should be involved in agriculture and who should be telling our story. We need everyone – no matter their background – to spread the truth about agriculture and to be better consumers. I believe that agricultural education and the FFA play a major role in doing that. My time as a member of the Trivium FFA chapter taught me that everyone has a place in advocating and working in agriculture, we just simply have to help them find it.
While Tim Petersen is a first-generation rancher, ranching wasn’t his first career path. He was raised in Arizona, spending most of his life outdoors hunting, fishing, and camping with his father, who did work as a carpenter on several ranches, and taught his son a love for the outdoors. This love for the land and the outdoors gave Tim a genuine appreciation for those who managed and cared for the landscapes, leading him to his eventual career as a rancher and owner of Arizona Grass Raised Beef Co.
Tim’s career path varied and has included stints in mule training and real estate appraisal, which eventually led him to real estate development. When the great recession hit in 2008, he was at the top of the real estate game with custom home features in high-end magazines across the state of Arizona. However, 2008 would disrupt that success, as it did for many across the country. While this was a crushing blow to many, Tim used it as an opportunity to pivot, learn and grow, deciding he would do something different, which would pull from his diverse background and heritage. His father worked on ranches in northern Arizona, and his grandfather owned three butcher shops in Chicago, meaning the ranching and meat business made sense for Tim.
The ranching and meat businesses are not easy ones to break into, and Tim knew that. He came into the game with the financial knowledge on managing a successful ranch from his appraisal days. To fill in knowledge gaps, Tim took time to work on a friend’s ranch and even worked at the local Bashas’ meat department, where he learned the basics of cleaning the saw blades and other essential equipment care to the more complex requirements. These jobs may seem menial and unimpressive to some, but Tim had a greater goal in mind, and he took it all as a learning experience. The ranch he was working on at the time was leased, and he eventually took over that lease, where he was able to kick off his ranch and beef business. From there, it’s a tale of hard work and ingenuity.
What started out as a small business that relied on a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspected harvesting facility over 100 miles away has resulted in a more integrated company built piece by piece, from hard work and creative thinking. When Tim started selling his beef directly to consumers, he would haul cattle to the University of Arizona Food Product and Safety Lab. Not long into this business, he located a harvesting facility in Chino Valley, which was ready to sell and, with his business partner, Tim purchased it. This was the best business decision as it allowed him to control the quality of the end beef product and the flow of that product. This harvesting plant is also UDSA inspected, meaning all the beef produced there can be sold anywhere in the USA.
Cattle produce about 60% edible beef, and the rest is bones, fat, tendons, etc. Tim doesn’t like to see anything go to waste, as many harvesting plants don’t, so he was keen on figuring out what to do with all the extra byproducts. His business partner is health-conscious and suggested they start producing bone broth. Bone broth is nutrient-dense, providing vitamins, minerals, and collagen. Those who are focused on their physical health find it very beneficial. Tim found a commercial kitchen to execute this idea where they eventually started to also make beef and other animal tallow (fat) which is used by restaurants. Pet treats are made from the lungs and other organs. Beef jerky is made from cuts that might not have the marbling needed for a steak or roast but is a better product in jerky form. Ground beef is a popular product, but as anyone who has raised a steer for harvest knows, there is always a lot of ground beef. So, Tim is currently developing a beef jerky that uses ground beef, ensuring that the product is used and not wasted.
Timing seems to be Tim’s best skill, as they launched an aggressive online business about two years ago, right before the COVID pandemic hit. When consumers were unsure about the reliability of their food supply, Tim and his company could keep harvesting cattle, producing beef, and selling it to people around the country. Tim reports that about 80% of his business is now done online. His product is also distributed by well-known foodservice companies such as Shamrock, Sysco, Peddler’s Son, and Custom Foods.
Tim supports the entire beef community and says, “American ranchers and feeders are raising some of the healthiest beef we’ve ever raised.” He’s found a niche in the grass-finished world of beef, and he has done everything he can to ensure the entire animal is used to the best and highest use. Grass-finished beef is a small portion of the overall beef product in the US, but there is a demand for it, and Tim is happy to fill it. Overall, Tim is a businessman who cares about what he sells to his customers. He is always willing to find a solution to a problem and find a niche to fulfill. Tim often says, “The market never lies,” and he’s proven that time and again with his current business and career path.
This summer we are thrilled to have Kailee Zimmerman as our summer intern. A past Arizona Beef Ambassador and Arizona FFA State Officer, Kailee shares about her roots, and how she continues to share about the beef community.
A recent study by the American Farm Bureau Federation showed that the average American is now at least three generations removed from production agriculture. Rapid population increase and urbanization has left just two percent of United States citizens actively involved in raising, growing, and producing food. We find ourselves in the middle of a reality that we have never faced before – the fact that American farmers & ranchers and consumers are divided by a large gap of knowledge and understanding.
Whew! Now is the time when we can take a deep breath! While these statistics may seem daunting, there is great hope! We also live in a world where many people are more interested than ever about their food and where it comes from. We see foods marketed as “farm to table” and “locally grown” becoming more popular. In order to bridge the knowledge gap between food producers and food consumers, it is so important for agriculturalists to share their story!
I believe that the story of American agriculture (especially, the beef community!) is one of triumph and inspiration. Why wouldn’t we want to share it? I am blessed to come from a family with ranching roots. My Nana grew up on a ranch in Southeastern Arizona in the Aravaipa Canyon. As a little kid, I loved hearing stories about the ranch and the adventures my family would have there. However, as I have gotten older, through these stories and experiences, I have also grown a deep appreciation for the work that goes into raising cattle that will produce nutritious, sustainable protein. I am also grateful for the example of hard work, integrity and perseverance that my Nana and other family members on the ranch set for me.
While I did not grow up on a ranch like my Nana, I am grateful to have experienced a small degree of what it is like to raise cattle and provide food for families by raising and exhibiting show cattle. I have raised market steers since I was 11 years old and have shown them at countless jackpot shows and fairs across Arizona. It is hard for me to list all of the lessons that I learned from raising livestock and showing cattle, but one of the most important things I learned was how important it is to be a good representative of the agricultural community. When we first started showing, my parents taught my brothers and me about the importance of being advocates for agriculture as we interacted with community members and visitors at the fairs we attended. Though it was routine for us to care for our cattle and get them ready to show, this was very foreign to many people who attended the fairs.
Throughout my time exhibiting cattle, I was able to have many conversations with people who were unfamiliar with agriculture and knew very little about where their food came from. I loved getting to talk to them and help give a little more understanding about what farmers and ranchers do to provide us with a safe, healthy and abundant food supply.
These experiences taught me that we each play an important role in advocating for agriculture – even if it feels like our part is small. I hope that the conversations I had left an impact on the people I spoke with. We each just have to be willing to share our story with those around us. As we share our experiences with kindness, people are more likely to listen and respect what we are sharing and, in turn, we are better able to understand their perspectives and experiences.
Though there are challenges facing the agriculture community today, there are also great successes and innovations like we have never seen before. The future is so bright! We each just have to do our part and share our story when we are given the opportunity.
Life with a toddler is hectic, to say the least. Their little brains are working harder than they literally ever will (fun fact: from birth to age three, children’s brains are learning something every second resulting in a million neural connections per second). And do they ever stop moving? Tiffany Selchow, Director of Social Marketing and Consumer Outreach at the Arizona Beef Council, shares in this blog how her family includes beef in their busy lifestyle, made only that much sweeter (and crazy) by their young daughter, to help ensure all nutrient needs are met.
Hayes Katherine, my three-and-a-half-year-old spit fire, is as active as ever and learning more every day. She only holds still for a few seconds at a time and is taking in every word those around her dare to let past their lips. Luckily for us, we live on a working cattle ranch so there are lots of places for her to go to burn off her abundance of energy. During the cooler months, we like to go on long walks down the dirt roads, learning about the flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert and sometimes do so in her best Elsa dress. She also enjoys helping her dad check on the cows, splashing in muddy puddles, and dragging the ranch dogs along with her on most of these adventures. The heat doesn’t stop this girl. Even when it is hot, she wants to be outside, riding her bike or one of the patient ranch horses.
Keeping up with her energy and nutrition needs tends to be a challenge, because another difficulty of toddlerhood is finding food you can both agree on. Children at this age are literally supposed to question everything we tell them, and they take that job VERY seriously. This is where beef saves the day for us. It’s probably pretty obvious that in our house, we eat a lot of beef and should come as no surprise that beef was one of Hayes’ first foods.
In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Women Infants and Children’s Program (WIC) and now, for the first time ever, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, all recommend the introduction of solid foods, like beef, to infants and toddlers, in order to pack every bite with protein, iron, zinc and choline. Babies’ tummies are small, but their nutrition requirements are great. It’s our job as parents to ensure that nutrient-dense foods, like beef, get into that small space and fulfill those requirements.
Beef contains 10 essential nutrients including zinc, iron, and protein in just a few calories. For example, one recommended serving size for adults is 3 ounces of beef. This single serving contains about 160 calories while also including almost half of your daily needs for protein. Break that down into a toddler size portion of beef (1 ounce of beef) and you have something your small human enjoys eating because it’s tasty while also offering you the peace of mind knowing they are getting the nutrients that they need.
Hayes enjoys beef in many ways, but her favorite is in the form of her dad’s delicious and almost world-famous spaghetti sauce served over pasta. While this is a closely held secret family recipe, I’ll give you a small hint: Try ground beef and some Prego sauce and you’ll come pretty close to finding out the secret. We love to do family dinners at the dining room table or out on our ranch house porch and often grill up a Flat Iron Steak while Hayes runs around with the dogs in the ranch yard. The Flat Iron Steak happens to be the second most tender cut of the whole animal so you can basically add whatever seasoning you want, grill it up, let it rest, and then slice against the grain and you are almost always guaranteed a good eating experience. As a smaller kiddo, we used to give Hayes a long slice of beef to let her gnaw away and not worry about choking. Now that she’s a little older, we cut up bit size pieces and put those next to some grapes or other fruit and cheese and she has a plate full of healthy foods she is happy to chow down.
Serving nutritious foods babies and toddlers love to eat, like beef, is simple and easy—puree, mash, chop or shred meat at various stages to meet their changing feeding needs. Check out https://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/nutrition/beef-in-the-early-years for more information on feeding beef to your small ones and don’t forget to click on the recipes tab for inspiration and kid-friendly beef meal ideas.
Paradise Valley Burger Company (PVBC), located in Paradise Valley, Arizona, sits in an unassuming strip mall across the street from Paradise Valley High School. This restaurant may be small in square footage, but it does not lack in big, unique flavors, bringing customers back to try the new weekly special or just to enjoy their usual menu favorite again and again.
Bret Shapiro, owner, and operator of PVBC, comes from a long line of culinary roots. His grandfather was a butcher in New York City and sold meat to the famous Katz’s Deli, a legendary deli in New York City, and his great grandfather was a baker. Not only is good food in his blood, but it is also a way of life. Growing up he fondly recalls his family driving an hour out of their way to get to the best Chinese restaurant, passing numerous acceptable ones along the way, but knowing the best food was worth it. His restaurant is one of those places for the modern customer. People drive from far and wide, and make sure to stop in on winter vacations. He is often asked about opening more restaurants, but his goal is to stay where he is and focus on quality.
The restaurant comes from simple origins and a deal that didn’t quite pan out. Bret applied to an ad about 10 years ago on Craig’s List. The company was looking for a chef partner to come in and help out in a restaurant. About halfway through the deal, it fell apart. Instead of moving on and looking for something different, he decided to take it over and thought hamburgers were the way to go. While not the path Bret had imagined, it worked out and he’s still serving delicious burgers ten years later.
Paradise Valley Burger Company is known for having new, different, and sometimes wild flavor combos on their burgers. Initially, Bret stuck with the traditional burger set up but was looking for a way to bring people out to his side of town. The restaurant sits on a busy intersection, so it’s challenging to get people to stop and come in. He decided to get them to stop he had to put something on the menu that they couldn’t find anywhere else. The unique Brulee burger has always been a staple with its 1,000-island dressing, bacon, egg, Havarti cheese, pickled onion and burnt sugar bun, but he just kept coming up with new ideas and continues that to today.
All items on the menu are freshly cooked ensuring quality both in the traditional combos and the more exciting ones. The beef is brought in every day and pressed into patties at the restaurant. Each burger, no matter the flavor combo, comes with a double patty, giving you a quarter pound burger. The individual patty is thin for a reason: it gives the maximum amount of char contributing to the flavor profile and allowing that to happen all the way through the burger. No detail is missed at Paradise Valley Burger Co. The brioche buns are sourced from a local bakery where they come in the traditional circle shape. Bret and his staff cut them into squares because this allows for a better bread-to-burger ratio, allowing for more even toasting on the flattop. Bret wants every bite to include all the ingredients on the burger and the square shape allows that to happen.
Not only are the burgers fun and innovative, but so are the sides. Sure, the menu includes the traditional French fries, but it also cooks up things like sweet Maui onion potato chips, French toast fries complete with a side of maple syrup, and even homemade ice cream like “The Canadian” which is vanilla ice cream, short bread cookies, and maple frosting. Every week, Bret puts on his creativity hat and comes up with a new burger, sides, and shakes. His goal is to keep the menu fresh. This gives the regulars the opportunity to come in over and over again and find something new, but he also keeps his classics for those who like the predictability.
COVID affected PVBC like every other sector of foodservice, but Bret was fortunate to have a loyal following who wanted to see this valley classic stay afloat. His goal was to continue to serve quality food in whatever way he could. At the beginning of the pandemic when restaurants were closed, they offered pickup and delivery for a short time. As soon as dine-in services were allowed to resume, customers flocked back to the restaurant to load up on these tasty burgers.
Bret’s passion for his craft is evident and numerous TV producers have noticed. He and his restaurant has been featured on Man VersusFood, Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives, Guys Grocery Games, and Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives- America’s Favorites Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives- Takeout. Bret is an open, friendly person who obviously works hard and does a great job of connecting with the folks around him. After being featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives the first time there was a noticeable uptick in business. The locals who had found this burger joint organically kept coming, but now the people who saw it on TV and wanted to try out one of these delicious burgers for themselves were showing up. No matter how customers stumbled upon this delicious burger joint, they come back. Whether they are on the hunt for the fresh, classic cheeseburger, or coming back to try the newest creation by Chef Bret, this is not a restaurant you only visit once.
If you know a great Arizona restaurant which features beef on their menu and think we should feature their establishment on the Arizona Beef blog shoot Tiffany an email at email@example.com.
Continued concerns about climate change and the desire to protect our natural resources have people all over the globe looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly. These important conversations often lead back to food production – something that, as an Arizona dairy farmer raising crops, beef and milk, I am very passionate about.
My family and I are proud of the role we play in providing high-quality beef and milk in the most sustainable way possible. The U.S. is the leader in sustainable beef and milk production due to the dedication of the entire beef and dairy industries, especially those like my family, who have been farming and raising dairy cattle in Arizona since the late 1930’s.
I am a fourth-generation farmer in Palo Verde, Arizona. In 1938, my great grandfather James Edward Gladden started a dairy farm with 12 Jersey cows in Chandler, Arizona. Over the years, we slowly moved west until we reached Palo Verde, where my wife Brooke and I currently farm and raise dairy with my parents (Danny and Sheri) and my brother and his wife (Josh and Heidi).
Sustainable practices are the heartbeat of our farm. We recycle all water and utilize the manure from the cows as fertilizer on the crops that we raise to feed our cows. The alfalfa, corn, sorghum and wheat that we grow all go to the dairy for cattle feed. Additionally, cattle are fantastic upcyclers – meaning, their ruminant digestive systems turn things that humans can’t eat, like grass, other forages, and byproducts, into beef and milk for human consumption. Examples of byproducts that our dairy’s nutritionist formulates into our cows’ diets are cotton seeds (from the production of cotton), almond hulls, spent distillers grains (from breweries and ethanol production), and bakery and produce waste (that might be expired or too “ugly” from grocery stores) and would otherwise be sent to a landfill. By upcycling these materials we add nutritional and environmental value, while cutting down on waste and producing high-quality protein for humans. These are common practices by farmers and ranchers across the country, making the most of the resources available where they raise cattle.
The reality is that farmers and ranchers, like us, make their living from the land and we want to do everything in our power to protect the environment. Preserving natural resources is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes our farm better and allows us to continue farming, year-after-year, generation-after-generation.
Contrary to widespread confusion and due to misrepresentation of U.S. beef production with global numbers, you’ve likely heard that U.S. livestock’s contribution to climate change is immense. Americans must understand that this is not true. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), beef production in the U.S. is only responsible for 2% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Even when the production of animal feed, fuel and electricity necessary for beef production is factored into the equation, it is still responsible for just 3.7% of GHG in the United States.
The same is true for the dairy community: we are always working to have an even lower footprint. Thanks to increasingly modern and innovative dairy farming practices, the environmental impact of producing a gallon of milk in 2017 shrunk significantly, requiring 30% less water, 21% less land and a 19% smaller carbon footprint than it did in 2007.
While caring for the environment and our natural resources, we are also producing high quality and nutritious beef and dairy products to feed a growing global population. Supplying 10 essential nutrients, including protein, zinc, iron and B vitamins, beef supports a healthy lifestyle with many delicious cuts, like Flank Steak, Flat Iron and Ground Beef, which are some of my favorites.
Likewise, the milk from our cows contains 13 essential nutrients including high-quality protein, calcium and vitamin D, that help build and repair muscle tissue, build and maintain strong bones and teeth, and help support a healthy immune system.
We love what we do and want future generations to have the same opportunities we have, therefore making our stewardship of the land and cattle a top priority. Every day we are working to improve our farm and dairy, in turn, benefiting us all. There is something so satisfying about seeing it all come full circle. From seeing newborn calves starting their journey, to a bare field turning into high quality cattle feed over a season, then the cattle enjoying that feed, ending with getting to see milk tankers and cattle trucks leaving the farm headed for a grocery store near you with high quality nutritious and delicious beef and dairy products. It culminates for me when I get home from work to a delicious meal prepared by my wife Brooke loaded with Arizona beef and dairy.
We thank you for supporting Arizona beef and dairy farmers. We are committed to continuously improving the way we care for our land and cattle, to ensure a sustainable food supply.
What’s more Arizona than a cheeseburger topped with beef chorizo and grilled nopales? We can’t think of much. Brad, Phoenix-based master BBQ chef of Chiles and Smoke, is bringing us another delicious recipe and this time it’s to highlight National Beef Burger Day. Check out his blog here and be sure to bookmark or save this page for future use. Brad’s helpful step-by-step tutorial video is at the end of the recipe.
Beef and Chorizo Burger
Author: Brad Prose
Prep Time: 10
Cook Time: 10
Total Time: 20
Yield: 2–3 1x
Arizona inspires this beef and chorizo burger, topped with charred nopales, creamy muenster cheese, and refreshing cilantro crema.
Mix the ingredients together for the crema. Season and adjust. Keep in the fridge until needed.
Preheat the heating surface to medium-high heat. If using a flat top or griddle, set up a 2-zone area with the second side at low.
Lightly salt and sear the nopales for 3-4 minutes per side until lightly charred. Flip as needed. When cooked, remove from heat and slice into thin strips.
Cook the chorizo. Stir frequently, making sure it crisps but doesn’t burn. Right before it’s finished, stir in the nopales to mix together. Remove from heat. If using a flat top or griddle, move to the cooler side.
Toast the buns. We have that delicious chorizo fat for a reason.
Mix the salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic powder together. Season one side of the beef burger and sear it on the griddle, face down. Season the top of the burger. Allow it to crisp up on the bottom, about 3-4 minutes. Flip when you have a nice crust and continue to cook until patty reaches 160°F as measured by a meat thermometer.
Divide the chorizo and cactus into small piles to go onto the burger. Place a slice of the muenster cheese on each pile. The cheese will melt, holding everything together. Slide this pile on top of the burger and continue to cook until the preferred temperature.
Build your buns with the crema, and then the burger and toppings.
Brad recommends using a lighter bun, such as brioche or white bread. The burger and toppings are heavier and rich so you want to make sure the bun isn’t as well.
Living in Arizona gives us certain advantages over other states and one of the most important ones is the fact that grilling season lasts all year long! But that doesn’t mean there isn’t something extra special about gathering in the back yard on a warm summer evening as burgers, steaks, and hot dogs sizzle on the grill, the sounds of chatting and play drape across the grass, and a cold drink perspires in your hand. So even though we are blessed with the ability to fire up the grill year-round, let’s celebrate the official start of grilling season with some of our favorite beef burger recipes and cooking tips.
Check out the list below of our favorite beef burger recipes. Click on the title of each for the full recipe.
Because grilling season just isn’t grilling season without a grill, here is a link to all the grilling tips you could want and need. This will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to ensure success with all of your guests’ taste buds.
This week’s #AZBeef blog post is from Lauren Maehling, the Arizona Beef Council’s Executive Director. She shares with us a delicious and simple Prime Rib recipe that is sure to impress your family this holiday season.
Cooking and serving a perfect Prime Rib for a special occasion was a goal of mine but I was completely intimidated for far too long. Overseeing the quintessential holiday protein highlight is a hefty responsibility. There is a fine line between tragic or magic when it comes to preparing the main course of a special meal, and we want to help you confidently dazzle your guests with a delectable Prime Rib this holiday season. It’s taken me a few years to tinker with a recipe, and I’m honored to share this one with you.
Now, about this recipe. There are many ways to prepare a Prime Rib Roast that result in an excellent eating experience (BBQ, smoker, roaster, oven, oh my!). This is a simple yet tasty recipe that has become my go-to that I’ve modified and shared with family and friends over the years. Though this recipe calls for oven roasting, it could easily be adapted to another low and slow cooking method. Whether you follow this one or another preferred stand by, I hope you enjoy, and cheers to the beef farmers and ranchers who work year-round to raise delicious and nutritious beef.
Garlic and Herb-Crusted Prime Rib
Notes: Make sure to read the tips at the end. This recipe isn’t an *exact* science (except for the internal temps – don’t wing those!) But the herbs and garlic are approximate and not set in stone. If you have a little more or less rosemary, it’s going to turn out just fine. It’s ok to wing this part. Really like garlic? Keep on peeling and chopping. Tired of meticulously pulling each tiny individual leaf of thyme (or in my case, is your husband tired of plucking each leaf? 😉). If so, call it good (but see the tip about rosemary and thyme to make your life easier). I realize the recipe looks “wordy” but please don’t be intimidated. I wanted to include as much commentary to help the process.
Prime Rib Roast (officially called a Ribeye Roast and sometimes called a Standing Rib Roast) – I prefer bone-in but boneless is wonderful also. More about this cut here.
Fresh Rosemary: about 8 sprigs or 2 packs if you’re buying it from the market in those little herb packs. Will be about ½ cup chopped. You can use less if you have a small roast.
Fresh Thyme: 6-8 sprigs which is one of those herb packs from the market.
2 heads of Garlic: reserve 5-8 cloves. Finely dice the rest.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Your favorite Steak Seasoning (I like one with salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley)
Prep Work for Herb Crust
Thinly slice lengthwise the 5-8 cloves you set aside (these will be to insert into the roast). Keep these separate from the chopped garlic.
Finely chop rosemary, thyme and garlic.
Mix together herbs with olive oil to a consistency you could rub all over the roast. It should be the consistency of a thin paste.
Preheat oven to 500˚F with oven rack in the lower third of the oven (so your roast and roasting pan are sitting in the middle of the oven).
Not necessary but a bonus to the Prime Rib cooking experience, tune in to the Drool Log for 2 hours of uninterrupted satisfying sizzle. It will look fabulous on your TV.
Make sure roast is dry. Pat with paper towels, if needed.
Poke holes approximately 1” into the roast with a paring knife to insert the sliced garlic (tutorial video here). I like to add the garlic all over the top fat cap of the roast. The garlic will add extra flavor, unless you don’t want extra garlic flavor, then you can skip this step.
Coat roast with your favorite steak seasoning. How lightly or heavily you season is up to your preference and taste.
Now coat the entire roast in the garlic and herb paste. Doesn’t it smell divine?
Place the roast bone side down on the rack of your roasting pan. If cooking a boneless roast, make sure the fat side is up. If you don’t have a roasting rack, you can make one like this DIY roasting rack.
Insert an oven-proof thermometer, if you have one, into the center or thickest part of the roast, taking care to avoid the bone (if cooking a bone-in roast). I like a digital instant-read thermometer that can be read outside the oven.
Now is the time to put this grand roast in the oven! Cook at 500˚ for 20 minutes (preheated, of course, in case you ignored that first step).
Keep a watchful eye on the outer crust. If it looks like it is getting too dark (aka burning), loosely cover the roast with a sheet of aluminum foil.
After 20 minutes, lower oven temp to 350˚F.
Total cooking time will vary depending on the size of the roast. Plan on 15 minutes per pound of beef. So, if your roast weighs 8 pounds, your total cooking time will be approximately 2 hours. This is approximate as every oven is different, and that’s why it is very important to watch the internal temperature reading. Internal temperature is more important than the time on the clock.
Remove roast from the oven when meat thermometer registers 115-120°F for medium rare. As the roast rests (next step), the temperature will continue to rise. Some people like more done and some like more rare. It’s up to your personal preference.
Transfer Prime Rib to a cutting board and loosely tent with aluminum foil. Let rest 15-20 minutes. Resting is important – see note below.
Time to carve! First turn the roast on its side and remove the ribs. To do this, follow the curve of the ribs as close and you can making sure to hold the roast steady with a serving fork or tongs. Once the ribs are removed, turn the roast with the fat side up and carefully slice pieces to your desired thickness. I like 1” thick slices, but if you like thinner or thicker, you do you.
Enjoy! You’ll have salty and crusty end pieces for the end-piece lovers, and a nice medium rare in the middle for everyone else.
When picking a Prime Rib Roast, I like to choose one with a large Ribeye Cap. That’s the highly-marbled part of the roast that “hugs” the eye of the Ribeye on the outside. It’s my favorite part because it tastes like “beef candy.”
Bone-in vs boneless: Bone-in cuts of beef draw more flavor from the bones. Plus, the Prime Rib bones are DELICIOUS and your guests may fight over them. But if you have a boneless roast, that’s ok! It will save you one step when carving.
How many pounds of beef do you need? Plan on ½ pound per person (uncooked weight).
Following proper food safety defrosting instructions is very important. If your roast is frozen, plan for plenty of time for the roast to defrost in the refrigerator (NOT at room temperature on your counter). Here are some food safety and defrosting tips.
“Stripping” rosemary and thyme: Unless you want to pluck each leaf individually, easily and quickly strip the leaves off the stems by pinching the stem end with one hand and swipe down the length of the stem with your fingers on your other hand.
Allowing the Prime Rib to rest for 15-20 minutes is very important. Be patient to allow the juices to re-absorb into the meat ensuring a tender, juicy roast. Those few extra minutes provide a great opportunity to make an au jus from the reserved beef drippings and plate side dishes.
Near Kingman, Arizona is the Cane Spring Ranch, owned by ranchers and everyday environmentalists Anita Waite and Sherwood Koehn. As with most ranchers, caring for the land on which Anita and Sherwood raise their cattle is of the utmost importance, and Anita’s passion for the land’s natural resources and wildlife was evident as we toured the vast mountains and valleys of this northern Arizona ranch.
Encompassing 70,000 acres, the ranch is comprised of private, state and federal pieces that make up the whole. In Arizona, and in much of the West, it is common that one ranch might include private (deeded) land and long-term leases of land owned by the different state and federal public land agencies. Anita believes that cooperation and working closely with the various governmental agencies and others, including the Arizona Game and Fish Department, is the best way to manage their ranch. Connections and relationships help ensure the area is used correctly and is available for future generations to enjoy.
The ranch is managed using a grazing pattern, which calls for cattle to be moved to one of four different pastures throughout the year. One pasture is always left empty to rest, much like when a person rests to feel rejuvenated and reinvigorated. The same goes for grasses and forages, allowing recharge and re-growth. This also allows for flexibility in having a “spare” pasture in case of drought or other cattle market issues. This resting pasture can hold their cattle for some time to get through until conditions level out.
Cattle have a preference for what they would like to eat. If they are given access to their favorite forage for an extended period, they will eat all of what they like the most and then move on to their next favorite. By rotating pastures and ensuring the pasture is not overgrazed, the ranch can guarantee the variety of forage remains the same or even increases. Various agencies and institutions have recognized Cane Spring Ranch for its wide range of grasses and forage due to the range management practices. The Arizona Botanical Society has made many visits to the ranch and has identified 28 different types of grass. Another factor in the variety of forage is the various elevations of the ranch, which goes from 3,000 to 7,000 feet. The mountain pasture holds an abundance of Pinion pines and the southern pastures at lower elevations have more seasonal forages.
Water development and improvement are a massive part of the success of this ranch. “If you build it, they will come” is a line from a famous baseball movie, and it also holds for water sources: where there is water, cattle and wildlife will go. Cane Spring Ranch had many wells drilled after Anita and Sherwood took ownership in 1993. Drilling wells at various locations around the ranch ensure cattle will travel to many areas to get water, which leads to their grazing patterns being varied. Cattle grazing in the same spot for an extended period of time is not good for the forage, so having water sources spaced out is beneficial for both the cattle and the land. Water sources are spaced out every two to three miles across the entirety of the ranch. The decision for each water source’s location was collaboration between Anita, Sherwood, the Arizona State Land Department, Arizona Game and Fish, and the United States’ Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Exceptionally diverse, wildlife is an integral component of the Cane Spring Ranch. Mountain lions, deer, javelina, bobcats, black bears, badgers, rabbits, ravens, red-tailed hawks, desert tortoises, and more flourish on the ranch. While the wildlife and cattle mostly pose a symbiotic relationship, there is a need to keep predator and prey populations in balance. Hunting is another component of the ranch management and licensed hunters have access to almost all 70,000 acres. Working with the hunters who enjoy the outdoor lifestyle allows for a mutually beneficial relationship.
Not only do conservation efforts at the ranch find priority in Anita’s life, but she also expands her knowledge and works with fellow ranchers and agency personnel, serving as chairwoman of the Big Sandy Natural Resources Conservation District (NRCD). The NRCD’s were initially formed during the Dustbowl when there was a need to introduce new agricultural processes. Local groups were developed, such as the Big Sandy NRCD, with locally elected officials who would help disseminate information on how to manage ranches and farms in a better way and get funding to put in beneficial projects. A unique trait of the NRCD’s is their ability to do work across all types of land – BLM, state land, and private.
One of the Big Sandy NRCD’s current goals is to increase water augmentation in the surrounding area. Water augmentation means getting water underground to build up the water table, which can be accomplished by slowing the flow of water, giving it more time to seep into the ground, and allowing for less evaporation. If this is achieved, it could put more water in the Colorado River. This is a huge undertaking and involves many agencies, including, Mohave County, Arizona Game and Fish, US Fish and Wildlife, Arizona State Land Trust, the National Resource Conservation Services, and the University of Arizona. While this project will be extremely beneficial to more than just ranchers in this area, the more significant point of this story is what can be accomplished through collaboration and cooperation.
Anita and the Cane Spring Ranch have been the recipients of many awards, acknowledging the conservation efforts, including the Arizona Conservation District Zone 3 – Conservation Rancher of the Year 2000, Arizona Conservation District Zone 5 – Conservation Rancher of the Year 2000, Bureau of Land Management – Recognition for Cane Spring Ranch Land Exchange 2001, Society of Range Management – Range Manager of the Year 2008, Society of Range Management Certificate of Excellence in Range Management in 2010, and Arizona Game and Fish Wildlife Habitat Steward of the Year 2013.
When asked why so much time and effort are put in, Anita answers, “We love the land. We bought the ranch because we fell in love with it and want to do the best possible. And that was always our goal from the day of buying it. We love the cattle, of course, but our focus has been on the land. It comes from our life experiences. You take care of the land, and the land will take care of you.”