Rancher Spotlight: Dear Run Land and Cattle Company

If you’re ever looking to take the Texan lifestyle to heart, look to Doug and Cynthia Dear of Dear Run Land and Cattle Company. Their ranch in Buda, Texas boasts a herd of purebred Texas longhorn cattle complete with their ranch home, which happens to be a two-third replica of the Alamo. “Once we got the house, we had to get longhorns to match the look!” said Cynthia Dear, who dedicates her time to raising her grass-fed and free-range longhorns without the use of implants, growth hormones, or steroids. The Dear Family’s exclusive raising practices take 24-30 months to raise a cow to term, producing an extremely lean beef that is high in Omega 3’s and lower in saturated fats compared to conventional beef. The Dears believe in being good stewards of the land and the longhorn breed and follow sustainable and humane practices throughout their cattle’s life.

Read on for more about the Dear Run Land and Cattle Company, why lean longhorn beef is ideal for those following a paleo lifestyle, and why Cynthia is passionate about these majestic animals.

 

Describe the Longhorn breed:

“Texas Longhorns are majestic symbols of the Old West.  They are descendants of the cattle brought to this continent by the Spanish and early settlers over 500 years ago.  For hundreds of years, they roamed the southwest developing durable genetics.  They adapted to harsh climates, poor grazing conditions, lack of water and predators.  Many of these hardships contributed to their “lean meat” genetics.  Longhorns are not only attractive but appeal to breeders today for these same reasons, their resistance to disease, ease of calving, longevity, and ability to thrive in poor environmental conditions. They also provide health-conscious people with heart-healthy, lean beef.”

What inspired you to start breeding Longhorn cattle?

Our home is a two-third scale replica of the “Alamo” so it only seemed fitting to raise Texas Longhorns.  Can you share anything unique about your herd?  Our herd of Texas Longhorns are a variety of colors, have big personalities and we know each one by name.  We are also the closest longhorn ranch to the state capital.

Why choose Longhorn when cooking beef?

“Bottom line, lean longhorn beef is good for you!  Longhorn meat on the average contains 10% less saturated fat than that of other cattle.

Not only is Longhorn beef leaner than that of other breeds, it also has less cholesterol and calories than chicken!  A 3.5 ounce serving of longhorn beef has 140 calories; 25.5 g of protein; 3.7 g of fat; 61.5 g of cholesterol.   What makes it different? It’s all in the genes, Texas Longhorn beef is naturally genetically leaner, no other beef breed can make that claim. It has less waste fat and is a treasure trove of nutrients, including protein, iron, vitamin B12, zinc, selenium and high in omega 3’s.”

What is important to you in how you raise your cattle and how do you implement these principles in your ranching? 

“Food should be produced close to home by people who love the soil, care for the land, and humanely handle animals.  Our Texas Longhorns are managed using sustainable, humane practices that promote good health for our herd and produce a flavorful lean beef for families and communities.  Our Longhorns never set foot in a feedlot and are grass finished right up to the day they are harvested.”

Lean Longhorn Chocolate Chili

Yield: Serves 6-8

Cynthia Dear of Dear Run Land and Cattle Company shares her recipe for Chocolate Chili, made with lean longhorn beef.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 2 pounds lean longhorn ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) fire-roasted, chopped tomatoes
  • 1 ¾ cups longhorn beef broth (I make my own using the soup bones.)
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. Heat a large, deep pot over medium-high heat, then add the coconut oil. When the oil is melted, add onions, stir with a wooden spoon and cook until they’re translucent about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and as soon as it’s fragrant, about 30 seconds, crumble the lean longhorn ground beef into the pan with your hands, mixing with the wooden spoon to combine. Continue to cook the meat, stirring often, until it’s no longer pink.
  2. In a small bowl, add the oregano chili powder, cumin, cocoa, allspice, and salt. Combine with a fork, then add to the pot. Add tomato paste and stir until combined, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes with their juice, beef broth, and water to the pot. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so the chili enjoys a gentle simmer. Simmer uncovered for at least one hour. Do not skimp on the simmer, it brings the flavors together.
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