How does Bluebonnet Meat Company track my animal through processing?

The market has an animal tracking process that begins with the tag we place on the animal upon receiving and ends with your name on your packaged cut of meat.  We understand that the animal you brought to us as well as the meat produced by it is very important to you and we have put controls in place so that you will always receive your animal’s meat.  Please note, we only process one animal at a time.
In addition, the State of Texas Meat Quality Assurance Inspector monitors our tracking program to ensure our controls are working.  If you would like to receive more information about how we track meat through our system, please ask and we would be happy to walk you through the system in detail.

I’ve never done this before.  Please outline the process.

First step for processing an animal with us is to make an appointment.  There is       definitely a seasonal variation in wait times for appointments.  During the fall/winter/and spring the wait time for an appointment ranges from 1 months to 3 months.  During the summer months it ranges from 2 weeks to 1 month.  Give us a call at 903.989.2293 to book your appointment time.

Secondly, drop the livestock off on the appropriate date/time.  At that time, we will go over your cutting instructions with you.  If need be, we can call another stakeholder in the meat to take an order after that time.  Please have all necessary contact information ready at drop-off.

Finally, we will call you when your order is ready!  All the meat will be boxed and frozen.  Each cut of meat will be individually labeled with you name and what it is.  We ask that you make arrangements to pick up your order as quickly as possible.  After 60 days, we consider the meat abandoned.  Payment is received at pick-up.  We ask that you call when you’re on your way to pick up the order.  That way, we will get the boxes pulled from the shelves and be ready to load you up quickly.  You may want to bring coolers or blankets to cover the boxes, but that is usually not necessary to get your meat home frozen.

How long will processing take?

Processing time varies widely depending on which products are ordered.  Small animals can be processed as quickly as 4 days (depending on drop-off), but hams and bacon can take as long as 3 weeks to cure.  The bulk of time between drop-off and pick-up is usually used by allowing the meat to hang in our refrigerator which develops tenderness and flavor for your finished product.

Can I customize how my meat is cut?

Absolutely!  We utilize an order sheet where special requests can be made.  If you have any questions about what we can do, please ask.

Can I get nitrate/nitrite – free cured products?

The “no nitrates added” products that are frequently seen in the natural markets often   have more nitrates in them than the conventionally cured and smoked products that we produce.  Our cured products contain no MSG or filler chemicals.  We use salt, sugar, nitrates, and in some cases sodium erythorbate (to speed curing), and time to cure the meats.  The meats are then smoked up to 24 hours with real hickory wood to make a great-tasting ham, bacon, jowl, or smoked sausage.

How do I cook the meat I received?

Below are links to just some of the resources on the internet for cooking meat.  Oftentimes, you can do a search for your particular cut of meat and many recipes will be found.  Have fun cooking and don’t forget to share any great recipes you find with us.

Beef http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/
Pork http://www.porkbeinspired.com/
Goat http://www.iowameatgoat.com/content/Goat-Meat-Recipes
Lamb http://americanlamb.com/