Published on 24 April 2024 at 10:54

We all know the word meatball can conjure up many different thoughts; like a slow-fat-baseball pitch right down the middle or an endearing nickname you called your buddy growing up (or maybe still do), but we can all agree on one thing for sure, it also brings back fond memories of those little handmade balls of meat deliciousness.  I bet we all had an auntie, a mom or grandma who made these for us from time to time.  My mother-n-law’s Italian meatballs are some of the best around.  In Italy they call these “polpetta”, but every culture has their own word and way of preparing these little magical bites. 

But first, .... hold on, .... there's more.................did you know when you purchase a 1/4 pasture grass raised and grain finished beef from JNB Ranch you will get about 40lbs of our outstanding ground beef along with some beautiful steaks and roasts?  We just had one of our customers buy a half beef and is having the whole thing made into hamburger (minus the Ribeye's and filet of course).  Have it done any way you would like. 

We are sold out for 2024 but happy to put you on our growing list for 2025.  We are a small family operation and have a very limited number of quality Black Angus beef we raise each year for friends, family and a growing list of clients.  From our ranch to your table, these are born and raised right here on our central coast ranch and processed by our friend Jack at Tri-Way Meats in Hollister.  Grass fed and grain finished, we use top notch Black Angus cattle, no hormones and no antibiotics.  Just give me a call or email to get on the list @info@jnbranchbeef.com

It’s just tastier!


Some great news came out in March for people concerned where their food actually comes from.  A new rule has been established that requires meat, poultry, or eggs labeled as a U.S. product to actually come from animals born, raised, slaughtered, and processed in this country. For years much of the beef you purchased in the supermarkets has been labeled in a misleading way. 

Much of the beef in the US is raised and slaughtered abroad and only "processed" here in the US. 

The abuse of calling something "Product of the U.S.A. means you have no idea how these animals were raised, what hormones or additives were given to them and in what conditions they were raised.  This misleading labeling has been a huge disadvantage to local ranchers who take great pride in providing a quality product and taste to the consumer. 

"This final rule will ensure that when consumers see 'Product of USA' they can trust the authenticity of that label and know that every step involved, from birth to processing, was done here in America," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a statement.

If you really want to know where your beef comes from take a short drive and check out our happy herd.  

Biden Administration Finalizes Higher Standard for 'Product of USA' Meat Label (usnews.com)

How Much Beef is Imported into the USA (youtube.com)


Here is the Italian meatball soup we (Connie) made the other night out of the last of our burger.  It was the first time she made this and it's a keeper for sure.  It had all your veggies in there along with a smooth broth.  Perfect for the last of the cold weather and rainy nights we recently had in Paicines.  Think minestrone soup cowboy style.


How about the Swedish...........

This was a Boerlin family go-to growing up.   Swedish meatballs were something my brother Marc and I always looked forward to.  I loved these little guys and the sauce that went along with them was oh-so-good!   Here is a tasty recipe I pulled down online. Swedish Meatballs - Cafe Delites



Maybe a little trip to Russia

Have you ever had "tefteli"?   My other mother Linda used to make these.   I remember going to her mom's home in Sacramento, CA.  I heard we were having meatballs that evening.  My expectations were high, and I was looking forward to a bunch of those little rounds balls of meat we had growing up in my house.  What do you know, the craziest thing, she brings the dish out with one meatball on it.  One loan meatball........... but that thing was the size of a baseball.  It was fantastic and the coolest thing and that big ol' meatball was all mine!    Now Linda's dad was a hell of a baseball player and winning baseball coach and I have to think those meatballs may have been modeled after one her dad's baseballs? These Russian Meatballs Are the Ultimate Comfort Food | The Nosher (myjewishlearning.com)

Above is Bill Murray and the cast of Meatballs. To the right a bunch of meatballs.

For any of you that can relate…………The Top 300 Scout Songs of All Time (with Lyrics) – Scoutorama  

Are you a fan of Bill Murray?  Here’s the trailer to one of the first movies he did back in 1979 about a counselor at a summer camp.  You guessed it, the movie is called…………Meatballs.  Bing Videos. 

Speaking of summer camp, here I am (I miss that hair) at Camp Pico Blanco (right side picture, middle row, 3rd from the right).  I went on to be a counselor at Pico the following year teaching first aid and wilderness survival.  Memories of the Head Whammy and songs like Bill Grogan’s Goat and Do your Ears Hang Low will forever bring a smile to my face and a touch of anxiety.   I still hang out with three of those guys in the top row and those dudes still have that same hair after 43 years.   I'm a little jealous.

The days are getting a little longer and a touch warmer on the ranch.  The cows and calves are as happy as can be.  I just ran out of our beef, so I am excited to pick up this year’s batch from Jack at Tri Way Freezer Meats.  We dry age all our beef between three and four weeks each year before Jack cuts and wraps it to each individual customer's preference.   I always have him do the 2” inch porterhouse and extra thick cut bone in ribeye for us.  This year we are also doing the dry aged bone in short ribs cut the long way.  I had those short ribs on a fishing trip in Idaho last year and looking forward to recreating that on the ranch.    

Here’s Connie and Shorty out for a little ride. 

Until next time

Happy Trails! 

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