Well, time got away from me and I am a bit behind with my posts-so prepare for a blog blast! The first thing I wanted to share with you all was a great local burger night that we had at home. We rarely have burgers at home, but when we do, we don’t mess around. For this night, I wanted to make sure that all our ingredients came from the big CO. On our recent trip to Durango, Mom and I had recently visited the James Ranch and we were blown away by all the beautiful cheeses, vegetables and meats. The ranch is just outside of Durango, near Hermosa, CO. The James family has cared for the land since 1961 with the goal of producing nutritious, delicious and humanely-raised food for the community.
First off, the cheese…goodness. James Ranch makes it a point to grass feed their cows, or “the girls” as they affectionately call them. The cows are (very) humanely cared for and only milked during the summer months, so that they are allowed rest during the winter. The folks at the ranch make their cheese from the raw milk, rather than milk that has gone through the pasteurization process because using raw milk from grass-fed cows preserves the Omega-3s and vitamins that can otherwise be lost. Making sure that their herd is grass-fed also encourages the folks at the James Ranch to manage the land in a more natural way. The ranch does not use chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides; opting instead for rotating the herd between pastures to preserve topsoil and allow the land time to rest. The care that the family at the James Ranch puts into their cows and cheese making process is evident in the incredible taste of their cheese. We brought the Young Belford cheese home and couldn’t stop eating it! It was a mild, creamy cheese that was perfect melted over a burger or with apples or…snuck out of the fridge for a midnight snack…
We also purchased some of their excellent ground beef for our burgers. We simply mixed the room-temperature meat with some diced, sauteed shallots, a dash of Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper and Kurt, my fabulous fiance, grilled the burgers to perfection. We grilled them slow and low, being sure not to poke and prod or smash the burgers. We cooked them until medium rare, an internal temperature of 125F, and then let them rest for 10 minutes. Simply wonderful.
We put these great burgers together with the James Ranch ooey-gooey cheese and eggs from their happy chickens, topped it with local greens and crispy bacon from the farmer’s market for a great Colorado burger. The incredible meats and cheeses from the James Ranch highlight how taking the time to care for the animals and the land they are dependent on, makes all the difference. To learn more about the James Ranch please visit http://jamesranch.net/