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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Kirchner

Cut Instructions on a Half Beef?

Decisions, decisions...

After harvesting and processing enough beef you start to find an optimum way to complete a cut sheet.

There are several variables that factor into how you might want a have your beef cut and wrapped.

  • How many people are you regularly cooking for?

  • What season is it?

  • Do you like grilling, and experimenting in the kitchen?

  • Or, do you like to "set it and forget it" or the same family favorites over and over again.

If you're a couple whose kids are out of the house, you might appreciate smaller roasts. A family of four or five will probably go through a a larger roast no problem.

If it's fall or winter, then stews, pot roast meals, and other slow cooking cuts will be in demand. But, if it's late spring or summer, you might be grilling a lot or not want to heat up the house with cooking for extended periods of time.

It's amazing how many different ways a skilled butcher can break down a primal section such as the beef chuck or round. A cut we have found and appreciate a lot from the shoulder are Delmonico steaks. These are sometimes considered a poor man's ribeye. It's called that because it's a tender and savory cut great for grilling that comes from the rib end only of the chuck eye roll. Other steaks we like to save include the flat iron, Sierra steak and the Denver steak.

With grass fed and grass finished beef, it's important not to overcook it. This is why with premium sections of the beef we select for thicker steaks. On our cut sheets, we always go with 1 and 1/4 inch thickness on Ribeye steaks and New York Strip. This way there is enough meat there to be able to get a good sear on the outside but not overcook it in the center.

The sirloin section is a great place to get some good steak, kabob meat, and tri-tip for those who enjoy using their smokers. The round primal is the back-end of the animal and the beef can be tougher because those muscles get so much exercise. These cuts require a low and slow approach.

Still there's no downside with the round because it's a great source of stew meat, cube steak, and ground beef.

There are also other cuts such as the brisket, the plate section and the shank. The plate is a great place to get fajita meat, and cuts that are good for marinating and then cooking with high heat such as hanger steak. The shank are the front and back legs. You can have them cross cut, but if you have the meat cut off, then you're left with marrow bones great for making bone broth.

Our beef dry age for 14 days which is pretty much perfect for grass finished beef. But the organ meats such as liver and heart, are harvested and flash frozen on the day of harvest. This is also true of the tongue, oxtail and kidney fat or "suet."

We offer our standard cut sheet to our customers who buy a quarter of beef from us. We do this because we have found that our customers appreciate our experience in making the many decisions involved in completing a cut sheet. This way every quarter gets an equal mixture of steaks, ground beef and slow cooking cuts. It also maximizes the value and servings available in each beef. It's also important to us to honor the whole animal (including organs and bones) which is why we try not to let anything go to waste.

If you'd like a quarter of beef from one of our limited spots with our local USDA processor, hop on over to our farm store and place a deposit to secure yours today.

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