What can I expect from a half beef?
Grass-fed beef cooks faster than grain-fed beef and requires a different temperature.
Steaks should be cooked to no more than medium rare to keep them tender. Cook roasts either low and slow or fast and hot, depending on the roast.
Meat from a typical beef will consist of approximately:
- 22% steaks
- 22% roasts
- 26% ground beef and stew meat
- 30% fat, bone, and shrinkage
CHUCK (~50# per side):
The chuck or shoulder is a tough but very flavorful cut of meat. Ribs, roasts, and stew meat are great for long, slow cooking, which breaks down the tough muscle fibers. Use moist heat, such as a slow cooker, for the roasts and stew meat.
Beef short ribs, a popular cut, are larger than pork spare ribs. A full slab of short ribs contains three or four ribs and fat and is about 3-5 inches thick. These are great for braising.
RIB (~10# per side):
The rib section is tender and flavorful. Rib roasts are excellent when roasted. Ribeyes are great for pan-frying, broiling, and grilling. Rib steaks are great for grilling and broiling.
LOIN (~15# per side):
The loin steaks are very tender. They are mutually exclusive because they contain parts of each other. If you choose Porterhouse and T-bones, there is less waste because they are bone-in. These steaks are great for grilling or broiling.
SIRLOIN (~10# per side):
The sirloins are extremely tender cuts and great when broiled or grilled.
SIRLOIN TIP (~9# per side):
Sirloin tips are flavorful but tougher sections of meat. However, they can become extremely tender.
You can easily tenderize them with an acidic-based marinade. Also, roasting with dry rubs or braising works well.
ROUND (~30# per side):
The round contains a lean, moderately tough section of meat. Marinades and braising liquids (such as broth, wine, or beer) give this meat great taste and tenderness.
Top round steaks are great when marinated and grilled/broiled. The secret to tender, moist top round roast is to cook it slowly in a small amount of liquid.
Eye of round roasts are great for roasting while the steaks are great for marinating and grilling/broiling.
The 1" cubes are great for long, slow, moist heat cooking methods, like slow cookers.
Cube steaks are pounded with a meat mallet or put in an electric tenderizer to tenderize them. They are great for pan-frying.
BRISKET (~6# total):
The brisket is a boneless cut that requires long, slow, moist-heat cooking to break down the muscle fibers, making it tender and very flavorful.
It's great for braising, pot roasts, or slow cookers. Cook fat-side up and, when done, cut in thin slices across the grain to make it very tender.
FLANK (~1.5# per side):
While flank steaks are very flavorful, they are also quite tough if not cooked and cut properly. They are frequently used for fajita meat.
These steaks are best when marinated overnight in typically acidic mixture of liquids (like lemon juice, wine, or pineapple juice) and then grilled or broiled.
Flank steaks are cut differently from other steaks. Slice them diagonally along the grain. This makes the steak more tender.
PLATE (~1.5# per side): (Left Whole):
While skirt steaks are very flavorful, they are also quite, tough, if not cooked properly. The're frequently used for fajita meat.
These steaks are best when marinated overnight in typically acidic mixture of liquids (like lemon juice, wine, or pineapple juice) and then grilled or broiled. They are also great braised.
Ground beef is great for pan-frying, grilling, and broiling.
Stew meat is great for long, slow, moist-heat cooking, while kabob cubes are great for grilling and broiling if made from the more tender cuts of meat. If they are from tougher sections, marinade first to tenderize before grilling or broiling.
OFFAL AND BONES
Offal refers to the internal organs of a butchered animal. Some offal dishes are considered gourmet food.
Organ meats are typically a great source of essential vitamins and minerals.
The bones are great roasted and made into beef broth.
What happens if there is something wrong with your beef? It's wonderful to have a freezer full of beef that you can feel good about eating, unless, of course that beef just doesn't taste good. Unfortunately, there is plenty of poor quality beef on the market, especially grass-fed beef. The reality is that it takes a great deal of skill and the right genetics to finish cattle properly on grass alone. Too many producers take short cuts, offer you a "cheap" price on their beef, but then don't want to assume responsibility if their beef is just not up to par. Yet, the last thing you want to do is spend hundreds of dollars on a large order of beef only to find that it tastes like shoe-leather, and the only thing you can do about it is throw it away.
Our pledge: If you are not satisfied with the quality of the beef you ordered from us, we will buy the unused portion back from you.
BlogSpot Series - an Excellent Series on Buying a Side of Beef
Buying a Side of Beef: Lesson one: Buying Shares
Buying a Side of Beef: Lesson two: Live weight, hanging weight and dressed weight
Buying a side of beef: Lesson three - calculating the price of a side of beef
Buying a side of beef: Lesson four: Cuts of beef
Buying a side of beef: Lesson five: providing cut and wrap instructions
Buying a side of beef: Lesson six: Transportation and storage
Buying a side of beef: Lesson seven: Summary and Frequently Asked Questions
Dr. Oz series on Grass fed beef
credit to http://www.cedarroadmeats.com/images/CRM_All_beef_cut_charts.png
We like to share other small businesses. Carol had the opportunity to meet the owner of this business when she was in Mexico City on her other job. Check out these authentic handmade Mexican items.