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Need suggestions for what cuts of beef to get from 1/4 cow

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
A friend is giving us part of one of his grassfed cows , but we have to tell the butcher what cuts of meat we want and how much of each. DH is going to ask our friend for suggestions, but if anyone has experience with this, what and how much of each cut do you like getting in your bulk beef purchases? (steaks, ground, roasts, etc.) I'm not even sure how many pounds total to expect from 1/4 of a cow! Boy, do I feel clueless! Thanks for any tips!
post #2 of 11
I actually found my list from this year's cow.

We got half a cow and this was our second year ordering the cuts. We made a couple mistakes the first time and we're much happier with our choices this year. We asked for the steaks to be cut thicker (1") because they were too thin last time. We asked for steaks, roasts and everything else to be made into ground beef. I also requested soup bones and those are the beef shank cross cut. I will definitely ask for that again. It's perfect for making beef soups because there is a nice big bone for flavor and just enough meat for the soup once I take the bone and gristle out. Half a cow (grass-fed) was 185.6 pounds of meat.

I'll give you a detailed list of exactly what we received.

Chuck Roast - 36.6 pounds
Short Ribs - 10.5
Beef Shank Cross Cut - 10.5
Rump Roast - 7 pounds
sirloin - 5.5
strip steak - 8.25
round tip roast - 6.5
rib steak - 8.5
filet - 3.25
ground beef - 89 pounds
post #3 of 11
post #4 of 11
I was going to suggest getting the soup bones, too. It's amazing how much beef broth you can make with those things. Our farmer gives them free to whomever wants them as well as free organ meats. So if liver & tongue are on your list of delicacies, this is an option. Some charge but it's worth asking.

I don't have a list of how many pounds of everything we get but I have more ground, as well. We rec'd a lot of roasts the first few times and I just didn't use them as much. And I've never gotten ribs & always forget to ask but I'll remember now!
post #5 of 11
It totally depends on what you like. We have ours cut into steaks, roasts, ribs, stew meat and ground beef. We also get the bones and dh always wants the liver. I finally asked this time for all the chuck roasts to be ground because I still have lots leftover from previous years and we just never eat them.

As for how much, totally depends on the animal, it can vary alot.
post #6 of 11
We always request the flank steak and the brisket. We only get one big package each for each quarter and they are a couple of my favorite meals (in the case of the brisket several of my favorite meals).

We really enjoy the soup bones too and ironically it's one of the first things we usually run out off.

The first time we got a 1/4 we asked for the liver, heart and tougue. I ended up giving part of the liver to my dad and the rest to the food pantry. We paid $1 lbs to wrap it so not worth it in our case. They are foods/cuts I would love to love, but I just don't .
post #7 of 11
the first time we ordered I just let them choose. that way got some of everything and we knew what we liked (we used everything anyway, just some things we liked better) and for the next time we knew exactly what we wanted!
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the tips! They really helped when I talked with the butcher. And I guess it is a 1/2 of a cow, not 1/4. I can't wait! I made sure we are getting soup bones and brisket...yum!
post #9 of 11
it depends a lot on what you like ... we don't use organ meats nor does anyone else we share the cow with so it is all ground up into the hamburger. we also don't use stewing beef or chuck steaks (low quality steaks) and ask to not receive those.

my brother is a farmer, we typically share 1/4 of one of his cows with 3 other people whenever our freezer needs refilled. our usual order is as much roasts - whatever cut - as possible. i like cooking roasts as it is very easy. then get out as much steaks as possible, then put the rest into hamburger.

and if you're getting 1/2 a full-grown cow, it's a lot of meat!!! if you are buying 1/2 a veal cow, it is considerably less. it will also depend on the weight and size of cow when they went to the butcher.
post #10 of 11
Which 1/4 of the beef are you getting?

Are you getting a front or hindquarter or are you getting 1/4 of the of the total animal? That makes a huge difference because different cuts are cut from different places. For example, you'll get chuck roasts from a front quarter and rump roasts if you buy a hindquarter. Also, you'll get a lot more steaks (and usually pay more per pound) if you're getting the hindquarter versus the front. If you're just getting 1/4 the total of the beef (they cut everything and then divide it equally 4 ways) then that's different.

That said, specifying cuts has been a process for us over the years. I've learned what we use and how we like it best. If I had to do it all over again from the first time I ordered a side of beef, I would probably just have them cut it the "usual" way and work from there (except for asking for the steaks to be cut at least 1" thick as a PP said). Personally for me, I prefer my ribs cut as short ribs. My friend likes hers as a rack of ribs. I prefer more stew meat and she prefers ground meat. So it's really hard to say, from person to person.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnnice View Post
We always request the flank steak and the brisket. We only get one big package each for each quarter and they are a couple of my favorite meals (in the case of the brisket several of my favorite meals).
My favorite too! I wish there was more of both.

I spent a lot of time researching before we put in our order and then I got on the phone with the butcher, he asked me lots of questions and I ended up changing my mind about certain things, which really was for the best. My point is, trust the butcher and let him/her guide you.

"our" farmer had his beef cut into as many steaks as possible. Their family does not want roasts and uses very little ground beef. In our family, I like roasts, hamburger patties, and ground beef. When I want steak, I want a particular cut so I have no interest in random slices of meat. So like someone else said, it is a personal preference thing.
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