HarvestBox

Creating Something Different

HarvestBox was started in June of 2015 at Byron Center Meats, a third generation, family-owned & operated meat processing company. The idea started when we asked ourselves, “is there a better way to connect families directly with family-owned farms, giving them an avenue to easily purchase thoughtfully raised, healthy meats?” Or as we like to say, “a better way to eat.”

(Then we got to work, and created a video!)

From there, we watered the idea until it came to life. We began to think, how can we deliver products conveniently, safely, and sustainably all throughout the US. We’ve taken the 70 years of meat processing experience gained here at Byron Center Meats and created something new. We’ve brought to you a variety of meat bundles that use whole animal portions in a variety of cuts families will enjoy using every day.

Finally, we sought out long-lasting, trustworthy relationships with only the best family farm partners. Farmers who share our passion for thoughtfully raised, healthy meats. What started as a quick doodle on a napkin (not kidding) came a nation-wide meat delivery with consumers from nearly every state. Today, HarvestBox is a culmination of a lot of good people working hard to do something different in the name of doing something right. We wanted to bring consumers the ‘local meat market’ feel that we have here in Byron Center. (more…)

New Homemade Flavored Brats

We are introducing, just in time for summer grilling, a number of new fresh (uncooked) flavored brats:

–Feta Cheese & Spinach
–Mango Habanero
–Beer
–Bacon & Bleu Cheese
–Italian Ranch
–Jalapeno
–Sweet Italian
–Deluxe (Bell peppers & onion)  COMING SOON

And, of course, we still offer our original recipe brats and Kielbasa.  All flavors come with five brats in a package (1 lb) and are priced at $4.29.  Spice up your summer camping or bonfires with these delicious choices! Serve on fresh bakery buns from Little Rooster with Mrs. Dogs or your favorite mustard.

6/2/16

Coming Out of the Stuffer Resize Packaging Machine Resize

Coloma Fruits and Vegetables

We love our line of Coloma Nature Blessed fruits and veggies for a lot of reasons–freshness, resealable bags, convenience.  Here’s even more reasons to love them.
“Fresh VS. Frozen
Frozen foods get a bad rap for being processed junk, but the truth is, some of the healthiest foods in the market are in the freezer section.  Here are five reasons to stock up today on iced veggies and fruits:

  1. They’re mature–in a good way!  The minute a fruit or veggie is picked, it begins to lose nutrients, so exactly when it’s plucked, and how long after harvesting you eat it impacts its nutritional value. Because most frozen fruits and veggies are frozen shortly after they are harvested, they are allowed to fully ripen, which means they are chock full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and freezing locks in many of their nutrients.
  2. They’re just as nutritious (or even more so) than fresh. The differences above may be why frozen produce has been shown to be just as nutrient-rich, or even superior to fresh, a fact supported by two new independent studies.  Scientists from Leatherhead Food Research and University of Chester, carried out 40 tests to measure nutrient levels in produce that had been sitting in a fridge for three days, compared to frozen equivalents.  They found more beneficial nutrients overall in the frozen samples, in everything from broccoli to blueberries.  In fact, frozen fruits and veggies packed high levels of antioxidants, including polyphenols, anthocyanins, lutein, and beta-carotene.  This conclusion supports previous research, which found that freezing produce does not destroy its nutrients.
  3. They’re additive-free.  Because freezing preserves food, no unwanted additives are needed in bags of frozen goddies, like spinach and strawberries.  In addition, “naked” produce (e.g. no added salt or sugar) is the norm, so its easy to find fruits and veggies with single word ingredient lists–simply the fruit or veggie itself.  Always check the ingredients, but I bet you’ll find at least a dozen varieties in the freezer aisle with absolutely nothing added.
  4. They’re super healthy shortcuts.  I frequently visit my local farmers markets, and I’m a huge fan of fresh, in-season produce.  But after a long day, I sometimes look at my bounty, sigh, and think, “Ugh, I wish it would magically prep itself.”  One of my favorite things about keeping frozen options on hand is that they don’t require any washing, peeling, or chopping.  And for many people that benefit is the sole reason veggies wind up on their plates.
  5. They’re versatile.  I keep my freezer stocked with a spectrum of frozen fruits and veggies, and use them in a variety of ways.  In addition to adding frozen fruit to smoothies, I thaw or warm it as a topping for oatmeal. Frozen veggies are my chief ingredient in stir fry dishes, but I also love to saute them in extra virgin olive oil with garlic and herbs, toss with a little quinoa or brown rice pasta, and top with a lean protein.”  Reprinted with permission from Coloma Frozen Foods

Who Ever Heard of a Culotte Steak?

Beef Culotte

Who Ever Heard of a CULOTTE steak?

Here at Byron Center Meats we have customers come in the store asking about “those culotte (coo’-lat) steaks” all the time.   And yes, it’s pronounced just like the short skirt fashions of yesteryear.

The culotte steak has become the signature steak of Byron Center Meats.  It is cut from the cap of the top sirloin as a boneless steak.  It’s lean and oh so flavorful!  We offer both 5 oz. steaks (frozen) and 8 oz. steaks (fresh and frozen).

Many customers say “You’ll never go wrong with a culotte steak!”  They are priced below other popular steaks like T-bone, Porterhouse or Delmonicos… usually less than $6 per 8 oz. steak.  If you’re wondering if the culottes ever go on sale, the answer is “Yes!”  They are one of the most popular items of our annual truckload sale, always held the week before Mother’s Day.  Many home freezers are filled with culottes as well as other popular items offered that week.

Grilling up your culottes:  We recommend getting your grill up to high temp (about 400 degrees).  Sear each side of the steak quickly until brown to your likeness and then reduce heat down to about 300 degrees.  Cook to your desired doneness (use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of 145 degrees for medium rare – 160 degrees for medium).  Pull the steaks off the grill 5-10 degrees before it reaches your desired temperature because they will continue to cook after removal.  Rest the steaks for 5 minutes under tinfoil before serving for maximum juiciness.

Note:  Grills and grilling techniques vary greatly and grilling temperatures and times may need to be adjusted to meet your needs.  You know where to get great steaks to practice your technique!

 

Welcome To The Sugar Shack

Maple syrup #1
It’s maple syrup time! We thought you might like to know a little bit about the maple syrup that we carry in our store. It is produced at R & M Farms in Caledonia, Michigan, located just 10 miles from our store. They and previous family members have been tapping trees on their centennial farm for more than 80 years.There are two methods of gathering sap from the maple trees. The traditional method involves spiles inserted into the trees and pails hung under those spiles to collect the sap. The preferred method used by many producers today uses flexible tubing attached to the spiles and a vacuum system attached to those lines. By “sucking” the sap from the trees, the yield can be twice as much as the bucket and drip system. Because it’s a closed system, the sap stays cleaner. Maple syrup #2Proper tapping methods do not harm the tree. And the labor of emptying all those pails daily is eliminated. All 600 taps on R & M Farms are hooked up to vacuum lines that direct the sap into a holding tank. From there it is pumped up to the “sugar shack” where the 3’ x 12’ evaporator boils the sap until it’s condensed into syrup. It takes at least 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup! That explains why real maple syrup is costly…but oh so good! We just received our first batch of 2015 syrup fresh from the farm! The pints are $10.59, the quarts are $15.79 and the half gallons are $28.59. Written by Kathy VanderStel who visited the shack on March 14, 2015.

 

Byron Center Expo

October 11 found three of our staff – Diane, Laura and Hanna – at the Byron Center Chamber of Commerce Expo at Byron Center High School.  Our booth showcased items from our Retail Store and our custom deer processing which is in full swing.  They were able to meet and greet lots of people and sampled over 1,200 servings of our homemade, precooked pulled pork…served with Schaws Sweet and Sassy BBQ Sauce of course!.  The popular giveaway item was a $5 savings coupon that the first 150 visitors received.  Thanks for everyone who stopped by and said hello.  Thank you to Amy Zeilenga and the Expo Committee for all the time and effort that went into a great day. See you next year at the Expo.

Welcome to our new website!

Welcome to our new website.

We’re excited to share our new look online and in the store and also preview some new online tools for you.  Check out the “Quality Meats and More” section to plan your next (or first!) shopping trip in our retail store or use the new interactive processing form for your next custom order for your freezer.  Do you need details on a certain meat cut or a suggestion for what to serve at that party you have coming up?  Give us a call to talk about all things meat.  Browse our site and let us know what you think. We’d love your comments and suggestions for even more ways to make healthy and delicious meals for your family a reality.  Maybe you need a quick meal idea for tonight? –  Try our recipe for “Swedish Meatballs.”  Comfort food at its best for these cooler fall nights.

Swedish Meatballs

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1 pound Ground Beef
  2. 1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  3. 1 packet (1 to 1.4 ounces) dry onion soup mix, divided
  4. 2 egg whites or 1 whole egg
  5. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  6. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  7. 2 cups milk
  8. 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  9. 2 tablespoons water
  10. Hot cooked pasta
  11. Freshly chopped parsley (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BEEFED-UP SWEDISH MEATBALLS

  1. Combine Ground Beef, bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons onion soup mix, egg whites, nutmeg and pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 12 1-1/2-inch meatballs. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place meatballs in skillet; cook 17 to 19 minutes, turning occasionally to brown evenly on all sides. Remove from pan; keep warm.
  2. Pour off excess drippings from skillet, if necessary. Add milk and remaining onion soup packet to same skillet, stirring until browned bits attached to bottom of skillet are dissolved. Combine cornstarch and water; add to skillet. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened, stirring frequently. Return meatballs to skillet; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until heated through.
  3. Serve over pasta. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.
  • Test Kitchen Tips
  • Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed Ground Beef. Ground Beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Color is not a reliable indicator of Ground Beef doneness.
  • Meatballs can also be served as an appetizer.

Grilling Tips!

Remove steaks from the grill when a quick-response meat thermometer inserted through the side of the steak to its center reads the desired temperature below. To retain juices and reach final temperature, let steaks sit for 2 minutes before cutting.

Steak Doneness Remove from grill at this temperature Final cooked temperature
Rare 130 to 135 degrees F 130 to 140 degrees F
Medium Rare 140 degrees F 145 degrees F
Medium 155 degrees F 160 degrees F
Well done 165 degrees F 170 degrees F