Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Food Preps

question about purchasing half cow - Right board?

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littletea:
We're looking at purchasing half a grass fed cow real soon.  Over the last few months I've been gravitating towards "Natural" beef from some of the nice foodie grocery stores in town just to give me some peace of mind (i.e. what's really in our meat supply).  Done all my research and found a local rancher - Not shocking but all the ranchers have increased their prices by about .50/lb. to 4.50/lb hanging weight. Ouch.  Seems pretty high but the rancher told me they're planning on increasing the price again due to higher costs.  I wonder if it's really a good buy at the end of the day.  Any tips for how to get the most out of our half when it's processed?  Any tips in general?

Crusher13:
If you buy straight from the rancher and have a local butcher process the meat is should be competitive with what you buy from the store and maybe a little cheaper. I would say the only way you stretch it is if you process the meat yourself. That way you can spend as much time as you want deboning for hamburger. The butcher has to balance time spent vs how much meat they get deboning. I don't think you will get much payback on the deboning but the processing will be a significant cost that could be saved. It isn't that hard and you will learn alot. The butcher may even rent cooler space to age the beef for you before you process it. One other note is old homesteaders and my family still does this typically butchers their meat in the fall when the temps are cooler and then has enough all year. It does complicate it to process during the spring summer when temps are warmer because if this is your first time doing it processing a half a beef will be a day long process.

Morning Sunshine:
what do you do with the beef?  We have been ordering from www.tamisgrassfedbeef.com for about 5 years now.  we did a half and a split half the first few years.  then I started looking at all the stuff I just don't use.  And I decided that it was better for me to get what I use a la carte from her.

for example, I bottle all my stew meat, and I want LOTS of stew meat.  So I order about 25# of just that.  Also, 25# of bones (and sometimes organ meat) for stock.  We do not eat a lot of steak, in fact, very often the steak gets cut up and added to the stew meat (I know, heresy, but that is the reality of my house).  But if you eat a lot of steak, ask for it.  I usually get about 10# or so in roasts, but the only thing I do with it is make beef stroganoff - a whole beef roast is more than my family will eat in a week.  Hamburger is something that is growing on us, slowly, but it is coming.

so, sit down, think about what you will do with your beef.  then decide what you need from that.  I actually need to go through my freezer today and see what I have and what I need to order; she likes to get her orders in by April 1.

mrdan:

--- Quote from: Morning Sunshine on March 23, 2012, 02:23:10 PM ---what do you do with the beef?  We have been ordering from www.tamisgrassfedbeef.com for about 5 years now.  we did a half and a split half the first few years.  then I started looking at all the stuff I just don't use.  And I decided that it was better for me to get what I use a la carte from her.

for example, I bottle all my stew meat, and I want LOTS of stew meat.  So I order about 25# of just that.  Also, 25# of bones (and sometimes organ meat) for stock.  We do not eat a lot of steak, in fact, very often the steak gets cut up and added to the stew meat (I know, heresy, but that is the reality of my house).  But if you eat a lot of steak, ask for it.  I usually get about 10# or so in roasts, but the only thing I do with it is make beef stroganoff - a whole beef roast is more than my family will eat in a week.  Hamburger is something that is growing on us, slowly, but it is coming.

so, sit down, think about what you will do with your beef.  then decide what you need from that.  I actually need to go through my freezer today and see what I have and what I need to order; she likes to get her orders in by April 1.

--- End quote ---

Morning sunshine is correct. Getting half a cow makes you have to deal with ALL the cuts. We sell halves and quarters and the biggest issue I have with people is they just don't know what to do with "the other cuts". Now no surprise with MS, she uses all the other cuts nobody knows how to use, and doesn't grill her rib eyes. Usually it's the other way around (this a kudos to you, MS, you rock)

Personally, I like having the odd ball cuts. It teaches/forces me to learn how to cook new and interesting stuff. It also makes me get out of the normal cookbooks and out of my comfort zone. I still like a bone in ribeye though. Sorry Sunshine. :)

Morning Sunshine:
uh, I have a confession.  I do not know how to use those other cuts.  the ribs, the tenderloin, the whatevers sit in my freezer cuz I am afraid of ruining the "good" cuts with my inexpertise.  probably the reason we don't do steaks either.  :D

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