Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos and a Visit to Family Farm Meats
These slow cooker Shredded Beef Tacos were inspired by my visit to corn and cattle farms with Illinois Farm Families. This group of volunteer farmers’ mission is to educate the public on how our food is raised, I got to visit a livestock farm and a corn farm for a firsthand look at two family run farms in Illinois!
As someone who moved to Chicago from the East Coast, I was surprised that so many farms are located just an hour or two from downtown Chicago. My day started with a combine ride at Larson Farms, you can read more about that here.
Next I went to Family Farm Meats, where I met up with Jenny and her son Owen. In 2012, Jenny purchased her family’s farm and today she raises cattle, hogs, and chickens. The farm is also home to a pet goose named Pearl, and some adorable goats. Jenny is a fifth generation livestock farmer! One thing that I have learned through this collaboration with Illinois Farm Families is that many farms are family owned and run by the same families for generations.
Jenny explained that she purchased the farm she grew up on from her parents because she knew that when she had kids she would want them to grow up like she did – surrounded by animals. Today Jenny runs the farm with help from her 4-year-old son Owen who excitedly showed us around. Owen was dressed in a buffalo plaid flannel shirt, jeans, cowboy boots, and a John Deere hat – he is dressing the part.
Owen takes his role seriously. He wanted to be sure that Pearl the goose wouldn’t wander off, that the piglets born the night before were doing well, and that his five pet goats were happy.
In addition to caring for over 70 animals, Jenny runs a meat store on-site. You can find out more about the store on their Facebook Page. Located in Hinckley, the store sells cuts of beef, pork, and chicken.
I used a bone in chuck roast to make my shredded beef tacos. Jenny recommended cooking the roast low and slow, so I took her advice.
To bring my corn field and cattle farm experiences together in a recipe, I made slow cooker Shredded Beef Tacos, and served them in corn tortillas. Get the full recipe on my site here.
Kit writes about cooking, eating and traveling on her blog The Kittchen. She partnered with Illinois Farm Families to tour local farms and learn more about how her food is grown and raised.