Gluten Intolerance and Grain- Fed Meat

According to the University of Chicago Medical Center, Celiac disease (an autoimmune disorder that causes gluten intolerance) affects 1% of healthy, average Americans. That means at least 3 million people in our country are living with celiac disease—97% of them are undiagnosed. What many of them want to know is are they at risk when they consume grain-fed meat? The good news and short answer is no.
Most of us learned about the digestive system in our early elementary years. Dr. Ruth MacDonald, Chair and Professor of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University reminds us that during digestion food proteins are broken down and converted into animal proteins ensuring that meat, regardless of what the animal is fed, will not contain any gluten.
“It’s either going to be broken down and absorbed or it’s going to be passed through the large intestines and out the other end”, states Washington State University livestock specialist, Paul Kuber.
The only way gluten can be in meat is if the meat has been processed using fillers, breading or some other type of preparation that adds gluten containing products. But meat, by itself, is always gluten-free.
The Celiac Disease Foundation and Mayo Clinic list fresh meat and unbreaded poultry and fish as safe to eat for those with celiac disease. So go ahead and fire up the grill and celebrate your Independence with
delicious PHNB beef!
Written by Ellie Smith

Cut of the Month – Tri-Tip

The tri tip is a cut that comes from the sirloin region of the beef carcass. In a roast form, the tri tip is triangular in shape, but can be cut across the grain to make tri tip steaks. Lean and flavorful, the cut provides a beefy experience that is great for family meals. On the west coast it is also known as the Santa Maria Steak, conversely, on the east coast it is known by many in the steak form as the Newport Steak.
Like the brisket is to the South, the tri tip is quintessentially “The” BBQ cut for many west coast meat lovers. As the story is told, in the 1950’s the tri tip was used on the Schaefer Ranch in California when a group of ranchers from the Santa Maria, California area visited and took the knowledge they had gained about the cut home and started to market it as the “Santa Maria Tri Tip” with the help of the local Santa Maria Elks Club. To this day, the tri tip remains a very popular and highly sought after beef cut to many Californians and west coasters alike.
Santa Maria styled tri tip is typically prepared with salt, pepper, fresh garlic, and other seasonings grilled over red oak until medium rare and sliced against the grain. Other cooking methods include being roasted, smoked, baked, grilled, or braised. The tri tip takes very well to marinades and the addition of seasonings and rubs.
– brought to you by Brian Brozovic

Cut of the Month – Patties & Dogs

Hot dogs and hamburger patties are as American as apple pie, well actually, not really. But every year over the July 4th holiday and summer months, hamburger accounts for just over half of the total beef sold.

Additionally,during peak hot dog season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Americans typically consume 7 billion hot dogs. That’s 818 hot dogs consumed every second during that period!The hot dog found its beginnings early, as sausages weburger & dogsre first found in recorded history; as far back as 9th century b.c. Homer’s Odyssey. Later renditions are credited to multiple sources in Germany and Austria where the frankfurter and wiener were founded. From there, the hot dog expanded and has become one of the most popular processed meat items in the world.The founding of the hamburger is just as varied as its’ hot dog counterpart, though most believe the name comes from Hamburg, Germany. History recounts the Hamburg Steak and the hamburger sandwich as possible names giving insight into who and how they were founded.Regardless of how the hot dog and hamburger were founded, it is evident today that we have taken a simple meat product and turned it truly into a delicacy. Both hot dogs and hamburgers go well with grilling, broiling, or searing off in a skillet. Simple in nature, but both work well with additions to enhance their flavor. Bacon, cheese, condiments, etc. The options are endless!

-written by Brian Brozovic

Meet the Ranchers…Hough Ranch

Name: Donald & Lois Hough (Sounds like tough)
Operation Name: Hough Ranch
Location: Joseph, Oregon
How long in business: est 1952 Started ranching and teaching in Colorado, then moved to Joseph in 1971
Segment: Cow/Calf – Natural Program

PHNB: What brought you from Colorado to Oregon?
LOIS: We found a good ranch available for the right price. The area we lived in in Colorado was growing and becoming a bedroom community. We were looking to expand the herd when we found this property.
PHNB: Tell us a little bit about what a “typical” day might look like at this time of year.
LOIS: Well, first of all we check all the cattle, see what’s going on with them, see if anybody needs any help. Once that’s taken care of everyone gets fed. Then there’s doctoring to be done, grafting twins onto someone who’s lost a calf. Feeding takes up most of the day. Heifers need to be checked – now that we’re getting older checking the heifers at night doesn’t happen every night – we hire help when we need to. Calving season is about two months – into May sometimes. Then branding begins and hopefully turning out.
PHNB: What do you find most exciting about ranching?
LOIS: Oh probably the calving. Helping them out, watching them grow, weaning the babies.
PHNB: How long have you partnered with Painted Hills Natural Beef?
LOIS: We’ve been with PHNB since the beginning.
PHNB: What attracts you to Painted Hills Natural Beef?
LOIS: Seems like we met Merhten Homer at a county fair, maybe a beef auction. He approached us about the Natural Program, we liked the sound of it and signed up.
PHNB: What is your favorite cut of beef and preparation method?
LOIS: Grilled Steak – my favorite is the one that is the best buy [laughs]. I can fix a steak most any way. I just get the best buy. We used to always have something on three legs that we butchered, but these days we buy it from the store more often than not. Beef is my favorite, I prefer it to chicken or pork so that’s what I buy mostly.

Hello May, Goodbye Spring!

May, named for the Greek goddess Maia, is the fifth month of the calendar and last month of Spring. As we pack away winter wear and clean off bbq grills we look forward to a summer of fun in the sun.

This month we celebrate Motherhood, Teachers and remember those who died while serving in our nation’s armed forces on Memorial Day. It is also National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, a great time to renew your commitment to a healthy, active lifestyle and a perfect time for children and families to get outside and play together! The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition has a number of programs to help inspire you to be active, eat well, and stay healthy.

Here at Painted Hills Natural Beef we encourage you to make lean, healthy beef a part of your program. Many of America’s favorite beef cuts are considered lean; meaning that a 3-oz portion has less than 10 grams of total fat. To choose lean cuts of beef, look for “Loin” or “Round” in the name.
Even better news is that grass-fed beef is naturally leaner and has fewer calories than conventional meat. A 7-oz grass-fed strip steak has only 234 calories and 5 grams of fat making it a healthy choice for your May celebrations and your healthy lifestyle goals! logo_pcfsn

Cut of the Month – Top Sirloin

Top sirloin 2Known by many names, the Top Sirloin steak has been an amazing cut since the butchery of beef begun. Folklore claims the King of England knighted his loin “Sir Loin, Baron of Beef” after a memorable experience. In fact, “sirloin” is derived from Middle English and Old French, and roughly translates to “above the loin” referring to its position on the beef carcass.
The Top Sirloin is one of the most versatile steaks. It is well-flavored, juicy, tender, and nutritious. According to USDA guidelines, the Top Sirloin is a lean beef cut perfect for those on a strict diet or demanding healthier alternatives.
More flavorful than a tenderloin, ribeye, or NY Strip, the Top Sirloin combines both flavor and tenderness to yield a quality dining experience at a moderate price. It can be prepared many ways, though, grilled or broiled is suggested. Additionally, the Top Sirloin can be used to make skewers or kabobs, stir fry, sandwiches, salads, steak wraps, and more.
While a good pinch of salt and pepper goes a long way for this steak, the Top Sirloin is also a great cut to try with marinades, seasonings, or rubs. Medium rare is recommended to preserve the juicy and tender attributes of this steak. By following these recommendations, you are sure to have a great beef experience!
-brought to you by Brian Brozovic

4 Basic Steps to Prepare Your Grill for Grilling Season

Hamburgers being flame broiled on the gas grill
Hamburgers being flame broiled on the gas grill

While some die-hard cooks grill straight through the winter, for others grilling season is just around the corner. Whether you’ve had your grill covered for the winter or have used it through snow, sleet, or hail, it’s time to give the grill a spring cleaning. Here’s a quick checklist of things you should run through before you light the first fire of the year.
1. Check the hose: if you have a gas grill, check the hose from your propane to your burners and make sure it’s intact and clean. If there’s any build-up on the hose, be sure to clean it off before starting your grill.
2. Clean it up: take the grates out and give everything a good scrub down. You can use a wire brush and a damp cloth to get the job done.
3. Clean out the grease trap: you remember the grease trap under your grill? Yeah… me neither. For easy clean-up next year, line the grease trap with some sturdy aluminum foil.
4. Test drive: Before you get to cooking, turn on your grill, light it up, and let it burn for a few minutes. Watch it to make sure all the burners are firing and there are no leaks.
That’s the basics – so go ahead and bust out those steaks and enjoy the grilling season! – Christine Smith

A Look at Ranching Women

International Women’s Day is observed March 8, 2016. The upcoming event caused me to wonder, what is it like to be a woman on a ranch?
Like many professions, ranching has historically been a male-dominated field, but that’s changing. Today an increasing number of women own and operate ranches.
Woman ranchers value multiple skills, from mending jeans to roping a calf at branding. The two-fer notion of hiring the cowboy and getting his wife’s help for free is becoming obsolete as women realize their own value. Ranching is a culture steeped in individualism. Confidence in your abilities is your biggest asset, whether male or female. It takes courage to learn new things, and to allow yourself to fail in the process. It’s challenging on a day-to-day level.
Ranch women, praised for their fortitude and endurance, are often seen as survivors of their environment rather than people thriving within it. Many find themselves working against this stereotype, proving that women can exist happily in ranching. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Hats off to you, ladies!

Meet the Ranchers…. Widman Ranch

Name: Mike Widman
Operation Name: Widman RanchCattle baker city
Location: Baker City, Oregon
How long in business: est 1864 by great-great grandfather, from Germany
Segment: Cow/Calf – Natural Program
PHNB: Tell us a little bit about what a “typical” day might look like at this time of year.
Mike: We’re running two herds, winter and spring. Calving season arrived early this year, first calve came in last night Sunday (1/24). It’s pretty much me when I calve. I check ‘em at midnight, and throughout the day. The cows always eat before I do. The days and nights consist of tagging, feeding, calving – every cow gets handled on the ranch. We have a wolf issue this year so we have to go through the herds in the bush and check on any calves there. During the snow it makes things a little more difficult. Gotta make sure the calves get dried off and warmed up. There’s always something to be done in the springtime. If your sittin’ still your not moving forward you’re going backwards. Weather is the biggest factor this time of year. The cows gotta work hard. It’s time to get ‘em off the hay and make ‘em earn their keep grazing. If you want to learn the quality of a cowman don’t look at a cowman’s pants, look at the cow herd they run.

PHNB: What do you find most exciting about ranching?
Mike: I started working on ranch when I was about 6 yrs old, buckin’ hay, feeding sheep, caring for cattle. I have a passion for watching those cattle grow. When they get about 60 days old you can kinda tell how they’re gonna be. Every cow and bull has to do their job or they don’t stay around very long.

PHNB: How long have you partnered with Painted Hills Natural Beef?
Mike: Widman Ranch was one of first producers for PHNB in the Baker City area.

PHNB: What attracts you to Painted Hills Natural Beef?
Mike: I like the quality of the cattle PHNB uses. They pay for good choice beef. Our beef grade out Choice to Prime. One thing about Meherten, he likes good cattle. My cattle always ranked in the top 5% of PHNB cattle. I like knowing how my cattle are doing from birth to when they’re on the rail. My cattle are high priority.

PHNB: What is your favorite cut of beef and preparation method?
Mike: Back in the day I’d said a ribeye, but these days a Flat-iron or Sirloin, of course I make a good hamburger. Just throw ‘em on the grill with some garlic, salt and pepper and it’s pretty good after a while.

Cut of the Month- Corned Beef

Have you ever wondered where the term corned beef came from? After some checking and discovered that it comes from salting, a preservation technique that dates back centuries. Often rock salt was used and since a kernel of rock salt looked like a corn kernel it became known as a corn of salt and the salted beef was referred to as corned beef.
Did you know that in Ireland the traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal is lamb or bacon? So why do we pile our plates with corned beef on St. Patrick’s day? According to, the Brits made beef a commodity in Ireland in the 17th to mid-19th century, exporting it all over the world. At that time Irish corned beef was the best on the market. But this corned beef was much different than what we know as corned beef today.
What we call corned beef originated with early Jewish-American Corned-Beef-and-Cabbageimmigrants. They corned brisket, transforming this normally tough cut of meat into the extremely tender, flavorful corned beef we enjoy today. Irish-American immigrants substituted it for bacon, adding it to their popular Sunday dish – bacon and cabbage. A similar dish is the New England boiled dinner, consisting of corned beef, cabbage, and root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, and potatoes.
Corned beef is a versatile cut of beef. Diced with potatoes and served with eggs it becomes corned beef hash. It’s a tasty addition to soups and cabbage rolls. Sliced thin, it is the key ingredient in the Reuben sandwich. Smoked it becomes one of my favorites, pastrami. However you prepare it, be sure to enjoy some corned beef this month!