Rich history and conservation farming lead the way at Emtman Brothers Farms, where Randy Emtman and his extended family raise grass-finished Piedmontese-Angus cattle on fresh pastures in Eastern Washington.
Ever since he was a boy on his grandfather’s farm, Randy always knew that he would farm on family land. All the kids wanted to be farmers and, as adults, many of them are. Randy, his brother, his son, and their families are all part of the everyday at Emtman Brothers Farms. With so many hands on deck, the breadth of work means that each person can focus on doing what they love.
“This is definitely a family operation,” he said. “There are a lot of generations and families involved. Everyone has an area that’s their speciality so we cover all bases”
In the 1880s, John Emtman emigrated from Germany to America where he began a homestead just south of Spokane. Now, five generations of the Emtman family raise a herd of grass-finished Piedmontese-Angus cattle on the residual grasses left after harvest.
As the agricultural standard shifted away from burning residual grasses after harvest, the Emtman family decided to keep a cattle herd that could graze on the leftover grasses.
“Our herd is smaller than most cattlemen, but it’s nice to have them around because they clean up all the leftover hay,” Randy said.
When a family friend wanted to grow their herd of fullblood Piedmontese cattle, the Emtman family offered to help out. In order to develop a beef that the whole family could enjoy, they began to experiment with crossing breeds. As Randy told us, Piedmontese beef is extremely tender and lean, even lower in fat and cholesterol than skinless chicken! When crossed with Angus, the beef carries health benefits and a ton of flavor.
“Beef is not just beef,” come words of wisdom from Randy Emtman. “There are a lot of different ways to do it and different breeds to raise, each with their specific attributes, and people have different tastes.”
We are pleased to offer Emtman Brothers Farms’ lean and tender grass-finished beef and the family history that goes with it. If Angus is your go-to beef (and even if it isn’t), you will love the texture and flavor of this Angus and Piedmontese pairing.
Grass-fed, grass-finished beef is delicious, make no mistake about it. Speaking of mistakes, many people who write-off grass-fed beef make the mistake of preparing it the same as the grain-finished beef that they're so used to. At Crowd Cow, we've found more often than not, that the difference between a great grass-fed steak and a sub-par one all comes down to knowing how to cook it correctly.
At Crowd Cow, we've had the good fortune to taste a lot of grass-fed, grass-finished beef -- from different cuts and different producers. We've found that grass fed beef usually takes 25-30% less time to cook. You might be used to cooking your rib steaks 4 minutes per side, but for grass-fed beef, you'll want to only give it 3 minutes. Better yet, try sous-viding your grass-fed steaks or preparing them with a reverse-sear.
Lastly, consider a marinade or rub. These can often overwhelm more-mellow grain-finished beef, but are perfect for rounding out the flavor of grass-fed beef, and marinades in particular are helpful in keeping the meat moist, preventing it from overcooking and drying out.