Disclosure: “Simply Perfect Prime Rib Roast | Ninja Cow Farm” is a post sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Although I was supplied products and/or compensated for writing this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I only recommend products or services I believe in and use myself.
Growing up in Iowa, in rural Iowa to be more precise, it’s pretty hard NOT to be a carnivore. Iowa is ranked 7th in the states for cattle production and 1st in hog production (North Carolina is 2nd).
Although I grew up in town, I was a country girl at heart (still am!). My best friend lived on a farm and I spent as many weekends as I could with her, helping with her chores and riding horses every chance we got. In my junior year of high school, she talked me into taking FFA as an elective (Future Farmers of America for you city-folk), and at one time I could actually name all the breeds of cattle and show you where each cut of beef came from on the cow! Needless to say, I have a deep affection for a good cut of beef. 🙂
Ninja Cow Farm
So to say I was excited when the NCDA asked me to be a part of their Got To Be NC Beef campaign is an understatement. But when I found out I was going to visit Ninja Cow Farm in Garner I was ecstatic! Isn’t that the coolest name for a cattle farm ever?!? (How they got the name is a long story so click here to read all about it.) Go ahead I’ll wait… So funny, right?!?
It was a perfect fall day just before Thanksgiving when we took our tour of Ninja Cow Farm. I brought three of my girls and my husband with me (my oldest was at college and my 13 yo was on a school trip). As I drove up the long driveway off Old Stage Road, winding through the beautiful property, the girls oohed and aahed with every turn, asking “Is that the farm?” at each house we passed. After a minute or two we finally ended up at the end of the road, Ninja Cow Farm. Several cows were at the fence to greet us when we got out of our car.
The owner of the farm, Dan Moore–whose family has been farming in North Carolina since the late 1700s, drove us around in his Gator utility vehicle and told us all about Ninja Cow Farm, introduced us to his animals, and explained how his farm is run. Ninja Cow Farm is an 84 acre, half wooded and half pasture farm that houses Baldy Angus cows (a cross between an Angus cow and an Hereford bull), pigs, chickens, and bees.
Not only does Ninja Cow Farm have a unique name, they have a very unique and innovative farming operation. So innovative, Dan and his family won the 2015 Conservation Farm Family of the Year award in Wake County.
There’s a lot of choice for consumers when it comes to NC Beef. It can be grass-fed, grain-fed, organic, non-GMO, heritage, certified animal welfare approved, among other niches. Ninja Cow Farm is special not just because it doesn’t use any commercial feed, but because every day Dan goes to Raleigh Farmers Market and collects all the produce that cannot be sold and feeds it to his livestock.
Feeding his livestock the recycled produce diverts 7 million pounds of waste from the landfill. And it’s good for the soil, as well, through composting the organic material that the animals don’t eat. (They also recycle over 200,000 pounds of cardboard and 24 truckloads of wooden pallets every year.)
Dan began this innovative way to feed his animals completely by accident. He was at the Farmers Market with his three kids and a chance conversation with one of the farmers started him on the organic farm path. She sent home with them a bag of sweet corn husks to feed their cows. The farmer told Dan that if he came back again she would have more things for him to take back to the farm. And by doing this he would really be helping the farmers out.
The next time he visited the farmers market they gave him produce, and each day he came back he brought more and more discarded produce and organic material home to feed to the livestock. It took some trial and error to discover which animals could eat what produce. For example, a pig can’t eat raw white potatoes because their stomach can’t break them down (they can eat cooked potatoes), but a cow’s stomach breaks down food by fermentation so they can eat the potatoes raw.
Most of what Dan collects at the farmer’s market gets fed to the pigs, but the cows will receive 2,000-3,000 pounds of food a day. Not because the cows need to eat it, but because they will eat things the pigs won’t.
Another thing that makes Ninja Cow Farm unique is the technique used to feed the cows. It’s called ‘mob grazing’. The cows move into a paddock of fresh grass every single day, and that section isn’t grazed again for 30-90 days. The cows spread their manure across the landscape evenly and by the time the cows get back to the first section, new grass has grown. This yields healthier top soil, which produces healthier grass, and healthier cows.
Are you familiar with the saying “a charmed life”? Well, pigs lead a very charmed life. They are the last ones to get up in the morning, the first ones to go to bed at night, they take the most naps and they eat off and on throughout the day. Eat breakfast, nap, eat a 2nd breakfast, nap eat lunch, nap. You get the picture!
The pigs are raised on the ground, in the woods. They roam free and eat a diet of fresh produce every day. The mama pigs are fed bread along with the produce because they can’t consume enough calories to maintain their body condition while nursing. The mama pigs will eat and then pass out right in their food! Dan has about 130 pigs on his farm. They select what they need for breeding and sell off the rest.
At the end of our tour we fed the cows bananas, peel and all! Who would have guessed that cows liked bananas? And boy do they ever! The big cows kept pushing the smaller cows out of the way so they could get all the bananas. After feeding the four cows about 4 cases of overripe organic bananas, we headed into the cute little market that Dan’s daughters help him run.
The family had a great tour of @ninjacowfarm today. Thank you, Dan, for taking the time to show us around, let us feed the cows (bananas!! Who knew?!?) and answer all of our questions. We have already dug into the @simplynaturalcreamery chocolate milk, Celebrity Dairy (@brit.pfann) #Goatsmilk fudge and #goatcheese, and the goats milk #chocolate #gelato will be calling my name after dinner! Cannot wait to cook up some delicious, grass fed #PrimeRib! #NomNom . . . . #GotToBeNC #NCBeef #cow #dairy #moo #farm #grassfed #GotToBeNCagriculture #ninjacowfarm #GrassFedBeef #LifeOnTheFarm #ad @jacknales @gottobenc #eatlocal #ilovenc
In the market they sell all cuts of beef, pork, and chicken, and usually have ground turkey, rabbit and quail, as well. They also sell farm fresh eggs, dairy products like milk and ice cream, goat cheeses, goat milk gelato, goat milk fudge, spices, bee products (honey, lip balm, etc), homemade soaps, jams and local NC wines. On the weekends the girls also sell homemade cookies. The beef and pork sold are from Ninja Cow Farm. They are prepared by a USDA inspected processor and then flash frozen for freshness. The other products come from like-minded, small family farmers in NC.
We left Ninja Cow Farm loaded up with bacon, goat cheese, ice cream, goat milk gelato, goat milk fudge and an amazing bone-in prime rib roast.
Preparing the Prime Rib
I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous cooking the prime rib as it is a pretty expensive cut of meat. But I was worried for nothing! After scouring the internet and asking friends for recommendations, I decided to try a fairly simple recipe from Bobby Flay (adapted a bit because I’m not big fan of that much garlic). The prime rib turned out perfectly, if I do say so myself.
One of the tools I used that made preparing the prime rib so simple is this in oven thermometer. I love it because I can set the temperature, walk away from the stove, and not worry about overcooking the meat.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.
Simply Perfect Prime Rib Roast[mpprecipe-recipe:53]
The market is open Wednesday and Friday from 2-6 pm and Saturday 8am to 5pm, as well as by appointment.
Ninja Cow Farm LLC
7125 Old Stage Road
Raleigh, NC 27603
Check out all of the bloggers from our
Got To Be NC Beef Farm Tours
And What To Make with Your NC Beef
- Beef Marsala Pot Pie | Baldwin Family Farms from Big Bear’s Wife
- Chile-Braised Short Rib Tacos | Moore Brothers All Natural Beef from Nourish and Nestle
- Shepherd’s Pie | Ray Family Farms from Girl Gone Gourmet
- Back to Earth Tacos | Back to Earth Farm from Jenn on a Mission
- Beef Lettuce Wraps | Hickory Nut Gap Farm from Pantry Doctor
- Bring it on: GotToBeNC Organic GrassFed Beef | Proffitt Family Farms from Heidi Billotto Food
- Bourbon Beef Chili | Newsome Farm from Nik Snacks
- Got To Be NC Beef Hearty Chili | Summerfield Farms from The Army Mom
- Sweet and Spicy Grass-Fed London Broil | Baldwin Family Farms from Pastry Chef Online