As we were picking up our last batch of meats at Willie Joe’s Processing House in Schulenberg, I noticed in their meat counter thinly-cut New York Strips. I asked Willie’s owner why he cut them thin. His answer was that his customers liked them thin for two reasons – they were quicker to cook and more tender to eat. So we will try that in our February batch. You will get the same weight as our thicker cut but it will come in 2 steaks rather than one. Let us know what you think. If we all agree, we may do the same thing with the Ribeye and Sirloin.
Some of you will see a new label in your cooler this month, “Willie Joe’s Processing”. We are making trial runs with this processor. If we like his work, we will print new labels appropriate to his butcher shop, but until we have satisfied ourselves that Willie Joe can do an equally good job as our current shop, no permanent decision will be made. Not to worry — it is still our meat in a different package.
Why are we considering a change? Our most concerning issue for what we do is losing a small scale, custom processing house within a reasonable distance of the farm. Willie Joe’s is owned and managed, hands-on, by a young Aggie (34 years of age) with a degree in Meat Science. In a 4-year period he has established a reputation for excellent work and service to his customers. We have been monitoring his operation for a couple of years and sense that he can deliver superior service and will be around for the long term. A few trial runs with him should confirm this and if so, we will move all of our processing needs to him. We will keep you updated on the trial.