Cold Filet of Beef

A fork-tender prime cut basted in a zesty marinade….


1 cup of soy sauce

2 cups dry red wine

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 Tbs. Dijon mustard

2 Tbs. caraway seeds

1 4-41/2 lbs. trimmed beef tenderloin, tied and cut in half

2 Tbs. olive oil

2 Tbs. butter


The night before, combine the soy sauce, wine, garlic, mustard and caraway seeds and pour into a doubled plastic bag. Add filets and marinate in the refrigerator overnight, turning a couple of times. To cook, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy skillet. Remove the meat from marinade and pat dry. Seat the meat in the butter and oil until brown, then transfer to a pan and place in oven for approximately 25 mins. (rare) or 35 mins. (medium). Cool to room temperature, approximately 1 hr., before slicing. Arrange on a platter and serve with the two sauces that follow.

Coconut Tequila Snowball

Everyone who tries this wants to know how to make it:

2 oz good tequila

1 oz lime juice

1 oz coconut cream (canned stuff from the Asian food market – do not use Coco Lopez or other sweeted stuff)

1 T ultra-fine sugar (regular will do – it is just slower to dissolve)

6 ice cubes

Blend until pulverized, serve with a little salt on top.  Makes 6 ounces of snow.

Feels very familiar

The Montana Department of Employment, Division of Labor Standards claimed a small rancher was not paying proper wages to his help and sent an agent out to investigate him.
GOV’T AGENT:  “I need a list of your employees and how much you pay them.” 
RANCHER:  ”Well, there’s my hired hand who’s been with me for 3 years.  I pay him $200 a week plus free room and board. 
Then there’s the mentally challenged guy.  He works about 18 hours every day and does about 90% of all the work around here.  He makes about $10 per week, pays his own room and board, and I buy him a bottle of bourbon every Saturday night so he can cope with life.  He also sleeps with my wife occasionally.”
GOV’T AGENT: “That’s the guy I want to talk to – the mentally challenged one.” 
RANCHER: “That would be me.”


Something we have always wanted to get into was making sausages, ham and the like. For years we have been making dried beef, which is an excellent snack made from lightly salt cured and smoked, beef top round.  We just wanted to expand on this and when my brother, Kim and his son, Jake recommended the book Charcuterie by Polcyn and Ruhlman, that was just the impetus we needed.

We built a smoke house about the size of an outhouse (4x4x7) and started making all sorts of things:

  • bacon
  • Italian salami
  • summer sausage
  • thuringer
  • snack sticks (we call them Mohels – if you want to know why you’ll have to ask)
  • mortadella
  • pancetta
  • prosciutto
  • pepperoni
  • smoked salmon
  • smoked cheese
  • and of course, dried beef

Making the sausages can become quite a marathon since we do a bunch of them in a row so they can all go into the smoker at once.  We have an old crank sausage press that I inherited from my family.  The gearing on it is not very user-friendly so it takes a lot of force to press the meat into the casing and after a day of pressing, I am usaually sore the next day.

During the last sausage making marathon we made Mohels and pepperoni (in addition to other items), both of which are difficult to extrude.  The Mohels are difficult because they are extruded out of a 1/2″ nozzle and the pepperoni is difficult because it is so lean and it is just thick. Anyway, whenever I press these type of materials I am pulling so hard on the press crank that I envision the handle breaking off and me punching myself in the mouth. Well, fortunately, it didn’t happen while pressing Mohels… but it did happen while pressing the pepperoni.  The handle broke off and I hit myself in the mouth! Thankfully, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been and since I got ice on it right of way, the swelling was minimal.  Needless to say, we are looking for a better sausage press!

Sunshine on my shoulder, makes me happy

Sun’s out, temp is rising! Gonna be a glorious day! Cows came bounding off the hill this morning to a new bale of hay. Weaning starts today. The river is up and roaring! We have small “ponds” all over the property and in fact, the cows don’t bother going to the water troughs, they just find their own mini-pond to get a drink.

(sigh) Rain (sigh)

The cows and I are getting a bit tired of the rain. It cleared up, just enough yesterday, to play “crazy cow” with Rob Roy (#14). I’d start to leave in the Gator and he’d chase me buckin’ and fartin’. I have no idea how this game started!


My first attempt at Mortadella is a success!!  Mortadella is Italian bologna with flecks of fat and pistachios in it.  Smooth texture, great taste!  It pairs wonderfully with homemade “Almost No-Knead Bread”!  Thanks for the introduction to the bread recipe Mike Adair!!  Mortadella only uses 1 LB. of pork.  Makes meat go a long way.  I’m not sure what my hair dresser is going to say when I walk in this morning with “garlic breath”?!  My wonderful “Mad Scientist” conjured up my very own “sous vide” machine to use to cook my Mortadella.  I’m already planning the next batch.  MMmmmmm!


We are having a beautiful snow.  Since last night we have had about 8″ of wet snow.  This is on top of 4″ from the day before.  The trees are beautiful even if they are groaning under the weight of all that snow.

We’re not even bothering to plow since the rest of the week we are supposed to be about 40F with rain/snow.  Should be a real mess!