THE HEIRLOOM LIFE: Five generations of Farm and Family

Published 2:13 pm Thursday, November 9, 2017

Story and photos
by Melanie Hutti
Contributing writer

Nestled at the top of Halls Gap Hill, the K Ridge Angus Farm is continuing the Kirkpatrick family heritage, running five generations deep.

The original family farm, located nearby, was owned by William Abraham Miracle, Greg Kirkpatrick’s great-great grandfather, and is most likely traceable to generations before. Greg currently runs the K Ridge Angus Farm with help from his daughter Laura, who typically has his granddaughter Willow in tow.

The family owns 120 acres of lush Kentucky farmland and leases additional property in the area. They currently house 235 cattle, and as Laura jokingly informed me, “six roosters who were supposed to be hens.”

Laura Kirkpatrick first broke headlines as a finalist in the television series America’s Next Top Model. She continues to advance her modeling career, but made a leap with her family in February this year, introducing Ky Darling Meats to the market.

The dedication to quality and commitment to detail is obvious when discussing business with the Kirkpatricks. The family shared a quick education on the advantages of Angus beef, such as customer-preferred marbling and flavor, as well as the benefits of buying dry-aged beef.

Ky Darling beef ages for two weeks in a controlled room before packaging. This process removes excess moisture, allowing customers to purchase a cut of meat that will shrink significantly less when cooked, giving them more meat for their money. It also concentrates the flavor and tenderizes the beef, producing a quality product that many customers prefer.

Their cattle are pasture-raised and grain-finished, which allows them to roam as well as having access to feed. This process increases marbling, making their beef distinct in both flavor and tenderness. Their Angus are treated with no antibiotics and are administered no added hormones. These decisions are the result of their multi-generational approach to farming, with Laura bringing a perspective of modern wellness and market trends.

This combination of tradition and forward-thinking is what defines the modern heritage farmer. The K Ridge Angus Farm and Ky Darling Meats continue the farm and family traditions consistent with living The Heirloom Life. Find more information by visiting www.kydarlingmeats.com.

Steakhouse Steak at Home
PREP AHEAD: (Tip #1) Remove the steak and one stick of butter from the refrigerator approximately 30-40 minutes before cooking.  The steak will shrink less, and it will be more tender if it is room temperature prior to cooking.  (Tip #2) Pat the meat dry with a paper towel before seasoning to get a better crust.

SEASONED BUTTER (if creating yourself): Take 1 stick of butter, softened, and mix well with peeled, chopped garlic and fresh chopped herbs (parsley, thyme, and rosemary are good, dried is ok if fresh is unavailable).  Form into a log in plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate or place in freezer for a short time to firm up.

STEAK(S): Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Generously season the steak of your choice (a thicker-style ribeye or filet preferably) with salt and pepper, approximately 1 teaspoon of seasoning per side. Heat 1/2 stick of unseasoned butter and olive oil in a cast iron skillet (or oven safe skillet) on medium-high to a searing-hot temperature.  It will begin to smoke slightly when it is ready.  Sear the steak in the hot pan for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until a nice brown crust has formed (watch it closely as I set off the smoke detector with mine). While the steak is searing, continue to spoon the residual butter in the pan on top of the meat while it’s cooking. Once both sides are seared, place in the center of the hot oven for about 6-8 minutes, depending upon how thick your steak is. In the last minute of cooking, take the log of seasoned butter and slice a nice thick piece to place on top. Cook until it is approximately 135 degrees (for in the center, or when you push lightly on the top center of the steak and it gently and slowly bounces back (for Medium Rare). Cook longer if needed.  (Tip #3) When cooked to your liking, allow the meat to rest 5-10 minutes to let the juices cool.  Your steak will lose a lot of its juicy goodness if you cut it while it is still hot.  Serve with a nice baked potato and salad to finish off your steakhouse experience at home!