I follow several family owned ranches on Instagram. Before the COVID pandemic, a few of the ranchers were selling beef directly to consumers. Some, like our sister Nancy, were selling beef to local customers, others were shipping regionally, while others were shipping all over the US. While we sheltered in place, some of the ranches could not keep up with the demand for their beef, especially after the COVID breakout at the meat processing facility in South Dakota. Since the pandemic, many family ranches jumped on the bandwagon and have started selling direct to the consumer.
Whenever possible, I buy my beef directly from family ranches. On Instagram (they all have Facebook accounts too) I can see their animal handling practices. I see where the animals are raised, what they are fed, that they are humanly raised and harvested. They are hormone and antibiotic free. While most of the ranches are not organic certified, they practice organic farming. The organic certification is just another cost to pass on to their customers, so they don’t bother. I do pay more for this beef than the beef I would blindly buy at the grocery store, but you always pay more for a superior product, right?
Here’s a few links to some of the family ranches that sell direct to consumer:
Today it’s mid November and we finally got our first long awaited rain of the season. It’s been dark and dreary today and some hearty beef soup sounded like a great idea for dinner. I had seen a Taco Soup recipe several weeks ago and happened to have most of the ingredients on hand to make it. The recipe below is my version of the recipe. It’s hearty and filling, making it the perfect comfort food.
Please support American ranchers and use beef raised in the US—preferably purchased from a small family operation!
Beefy Taco Soup Recipe
This recipe is forgiving. If you don’t have an ingredient, substitute it with something else. If a can’s contents are more or a bit less than called for, go ahead and use it all. It’s not going to hurt the soup. If you want a real thick soup, use less broth. Add more broth to thin the soup. Also, I don’t usually add salt to my soup because all of the canned goods are so high in sodium. If you like things salty, you’re going to want to add some salt.
Makes about 10 1/2 cups.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1.25 pounds ground beef
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp ground paprika
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
- 1 14.5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 14.5 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
Shredded Mexican blend cheese, sour cream or crema, chopped green or red onions, diced avocados, and corn tortilla strips/chips
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high and add chopped onions. Sauté for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno and sauté for another minute.
If you are using regular (not extra lean) ground beef, brown the beef in a medium frying pan. Drain the fat off after browning and add to the onions and garlic.
If you are using lean beef, add the beef to the sautéed onions and garlic. Crumble and stir the ground beef until browned.
Stir in the diced tomatoes, beef broth, tomato sauce, tomato paste, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, and lime juice. Add the corn, the drained and rinsed, black beans and pinto beans. Cover pot with lid and simmer 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve hot with the desired toppings.