Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Yak Meat

With the yaks came yak hamburger and ribeye steaks. We've had yak hamburger before and it was wonderful but not steak. So for Mother's Day we had the ribeye steaks Larry and Christy gave us.

I was naughty and didn't take pictures. I know, I should have for they looked as good as they tasted. I was selfish and just enjoyed them and oh my, were the steaks phenomenal, worthy of a five-star restaurant.

Yes, you do have to know how to cook yak or you will think your gnawing on shoe leather. One gal told me her in-laws thought yak was horrible because they couldn't hardly cut their roast. That was probably true but any of you that cook wild game on a regular basis know that done right it is delicious, done wrong, it is hardly edible.   The same could be said of Buffalo which I've heard enough bad about also but we use to buy buffalo and really liked it.  Bison and elk are very lean meats along with yak which is 95%  lean. 

So how do you cook yak? For the steaks, we turned our Weber grill all the way up and when it was hot, hot, we tossed on the steak putting nice, dark charred grill marks on both sides. When the inside was red but not running bloody juices, just a hint of pink, we pulled them off. The hamburgers are done the same way though ours were not red inside but that stage lighter than red but not quite a true pink. I can't emphasize enough that you don't over cook your hamburgers or steaks.

 Roasts, Christy ( from Spring Brook Ranch where we got the yaks) said to do like you do an elk, cook at low heat and for a long time.  So if you are a well done, or even medium well done person, you really need to learn to eat differently. Beef steak cooked to well done or medium well done is far tougher than those with a nice light red inside.  Oo...w, yuck, you say. Well, I use to be one of you but I've refined my tastes considerably since then. Come on well doners join me, close your eyes, open your mind and eat something that hasn't been cooked to death. You'll be surprised at the difference in flavor and tenderness.
When we looked at the price of the steaks, our mouths about dropped. Wow, they were expensive but then we've no idea what a beef steak in the grocery store costs either or bison for that matter. Beef -we've raised our own, bison - we've bought off one of the two buffalo ranches nearby, and yak - has been a gift twice.

The flavor of yak is hard to describe. It isn't quite a beef flavor. It's lighter, not as in less flavor but in not as heavy tasting and there is not a greasy after taste. I wouldn't describe yak meat as a sweet beef flavor, as some do, but I would say it is phenomol. My research says it gets its flavor from its unique distribution of fatty acid percentages. Yaks are extremely low in palmitic acid which I have no idea what that is but it is bad for you. It is low in calories, saturated fats, cholesterol, and triglycerides.Yak meat is much higher in stearic and oleic acids that are good for us and high in protein. Combine all this and yak meat may be the healthiest meat you can eat. Certainly healthier than beef, or even buffalo, or skinless chicken breasts. Yak is even lower in fat than salmon. So if you get a chance, try some. I think you'll become a fan.

With all the research I've been doing on all the different assets of yaks, you know what I've been up to. Yup, we're thinking about getting another yak. One we can eat. As for Gracie and Jasmine, we've been combing the bull possibilities and studying their dads and grand dads and great grand dad's pedigrees to make sure we don't cross too closely. For Gracie, I think we will go with a Royal bull. That is the black and white ones. Her dad was a Royal but somehow she didn't end up with any white. We plan on her producing our meat and Jasmine, we want to breed to an Extreme Wooly to produce more fiber. So though we can't breed our yearling for another year, we're studying so when the time comes their backgrounds are memorized. Something we can rattle forth in our heads and make a quick, wise, decision because of the solid foundation of knowledge. We've also been reading web-site after web-site learning about different herds near us. It is surprising how many yak ranches are within a six hour radius and we keep finding more all the time.

Yesterday, I've washed the yak wool Larry and Christy brought.  It's drying but I can hardly wait to try spinning it. I've got some research to do because I wondering about the silky hair and wool that Jasmine has versus the crimpy hair and fuzzy wool of Gracies. I'll let you know but I'm sure the stuff I have is like Jasmines. 

 If the lure of fiber and meat aren't enough, those bushy tails held high in the air as Jasmine and Gracie come high tailing it toward us thrills us that they are excited to see us. Yes, we are making progress on getting them use to us. Their is less tipping of their heads in a threatening way because they are nervous and they've even starting grunting. Yes, grunting, for a yak doesn't moo, it grunts. So if you haven't seen the comedy act of Rexroats versus yaks, come watch. We grunt, they grunt, we grunt, they grunt.

We've got to hurry for the girls will soon start shedding and we've got to have them tame enough to comb them to remove the wool that is compariable to cashmere. There is no squeeze chute in sight to place them in so I want them to become like my mare which just stand there without a halter and begs to be groomed.
Our youngest grand daughter and her mother sitting outside the yaks pen watching before she ran off to play with her beloved goats.

What do our grandkids think of the yaks? They like the goats better. LOL That's okay. It is probably for the best since the yaks have horns and would use them if they felt threatened.

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