Ground Beef Recipe: FABULOUS TACO SOUP


Taco Soup

First, I'd like to say there are 100's of Taco Soup Recipes out there. Anything from throwing 7 cans in a pot and letting it cook all day to making your own seasonings and using fresh ingredients. With life at such a fast pace these days, crockpots and instapots can be a great help in the kitchen. What makes this recipe so great? It's the lean ground beef (I only use REYER FARMS ground beef) and heirloom tomatoes which I can every summer on our farm.


  • 1 lb REYER FARMS ground beef
  • 1 small onion
  • 3/4 pkg of TACO seasoning
  • 1 pinch of red cayenne pepper
  • 1 can of kernel corn (drained)
  • 1 can of black beans (drained)
  • 1 can of kidney beans (drained)
  • 2 qts of home-canned tomatoes ( I use heirloom) Do NOT drain!
  • water (add if you want to thin the soup)


    Brown onions with ground beef. Beef from our farm is very lean and will not need to be drained! This way you enjoy all the nutrients naturally in the meat. Add taco seasoning and cayenne pepper. Next, add corn, beans and finally tomatoes. Add desired amount of water to thin soup. Cook on stove or in crock pot for 3+ hours. It will be better the longer it cooks so that all the flavors absorb into all the vegetables and beef. Double this recipe for a large family who enjoys leftovers!!

The Cowboy Ribeye- YEEEHAAAWW!

The Cowboy ribeye is arguably the finest steak cut east of the Mississippi. It is the wonderful balance of taste and texture. A rugged romance on the plate to be enjoyed like a sunset that has fallen head over heels for the plains. As I dry the tear from eye and try to compose myself to explain the mastery of this decadent provision, I wonder why all ribeyes do not grow up to be cowboys. I guess not all have what it takes. The Cowboy is a bone in steak commanding the plate with his presence almost intimidating the other spineless cuts cowering in the corner. The trimmed rib bone detracts from the sensitive fat that is key to the Cowboys heart of gold.  The thing to remember is the Cowboy is unique and true, he cannot be conformed to the whim of social grace. He must be loved for who he is. This is no time for a rub of high society or a marinading of false bravado.  Keep it simple and honest, let the Cowboy do his thing.

  1. Wrangle yourself a Reyer Farms Cowboy ribeye!
  2. Grab your cast iron skillet from the chuck wagon and place on medium heat stove top.
  3. 1 tablespoon of cooking oil goes in that hot (nearly smoking) cast iron skillet.
  4. 1 teaspoon of lemon juice rubbed on the steak.
  5. Using tongs place the fat cap of the ribeye in the skillet and delight in the searing as you notice the time.
  6. After searing the fat cap place the steak in skillet and wait. The steak should stick to the skillet and this good! 
  7. We are only going to flip once, the steak will char and free itself at about the same time the blood begins to pin drop on uncooked side.
  8. Flip it. You have made note of the time when you seared the fat and now cook the other side the same amount of time. Forgot the time? Not a problem, just wait for steak to slide in skillet with gentle pressure.
  9. Steak is now plated to rest for a few moments. This is important! You can now salt and pepper the steak to taste. Dark flavored and richly tender with a delightful crust of contrasting texture destined to make a memory.

Nothing fancy but a wonderful med-rare steak that you will enjoy to the last bite. Let us know how it turned out!




Making Your Own Lard

     In the past lard has had a bad rap.  But I thinks it's making a comeback!  Some folks are clueless as to what lard is or where it comes from and how good it is for you - in moderation of course.  Lard is an excellent choice of cooking fat and has way more nutritional value than vegetable oils we use not so moderately.  Fat from pigs that live on pasture (Like Ours here @ Reyer Farms)  are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, E, and A.  Not to mention the FLAVOR is there unlike what I'd refer to as 'pushed pork' from thegrocery that has been grown using methods pushing pigs together on concrete to grow fast, fast, fast.  If you are into making things yourself then this is added cool points!!

  • Rendering pork fat at home

  • 1-2 lb pork fat (back or leaf fat) thawed
  • 1/2-1 cup water
  • heavy stock pot or cast iron skillet
  • canning funnel (on standby)
  • fine mesh sieve or small wholed collander  
  • ( line with cheesecloth or coffee filter)
  • jars for storage

Trim any meat off from fat.  Place fat and water (begin with 1/2 cup water) and turn the heat on medium-low to low (depending on your stove).  Cook the fat; kinda simmering the fat.  Stir often and adjust heat as necessary - you don't want it to splatter and pop (like it does with water).  It may take 30 or so for the fat to begin to melt.  If water has already evaporated at this point add more.  (water prevents burning).  Fat will begin to brown and cook down.

When you have 1/2" to 1" of liquid fat strain some out.  Ladle into jars through fine sieve lined with cheesecloth or coffee filter.  Continue cooking and ladling out the liquid as the fat cooks until the remaining fat becomes dark golden brown; then you are finished cooking.  Lard should turn white as it cools.  That dark golden brown remaining are cracklings (see ideas below). 

Place lard in the jars and allow to cool to room temperature.  Store in the freezer (Long, long time), fridge (  or at room temperature if planning to use soon.  

Rendering Fat in a Crockpot

Very similar to stovetop method.

Chop or shread fat add 1/4 cup of water (more if needed later) and turn crockpot on low.  Keep and eye on it and stir often.  Cracklings and fat will begin to seperate in 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Ladle melted fat into a cheese cloth lined sieve or collander. 


Cracklings will be soft golden brown crumbs of deliciousness left after the fat is gone!  Cracklings should remain cooking until crisp.  They can be roasted in oven or in skillet or even in crockpot after fat has been removed.  Cracklings can be added to cornbread, salads, slaw, or a simple snack by it's self. 

Back Fat vs. Leaf Fat

Back fat comes from the back under skin.  Good for rendering but has more of an odor than leaf fat. Also will have more of a yellowish tint after rendering.  Good for frying and cooking

Leaf fat comes from around the kidneys.  It is white white fat and nearly odorless when rendering.  It results in a pure white lard that is best for pie crust and pasteries

1 pound of fat will yield approximately 10 ounces of lard + cracklings!