Beef Connections - Positive Review
When I read this post:
I decided to order a mixed quarter from Beef Connections. I've had a chance to dig into a lot of the beef, and it has been excellent.
The only downside that I can see to ordering beef in this manner is that it takes a lot of freezer space. That being said, if you have a medium sized empty chest freezer you could easily fit a half of a cow in there.
OK, on to the reasons that this whole experience as been awesome:
Cost savings: For a mixed quarter you are looking at 2.50 per pound carcass weight. After butchering mine came out to about 450 dollars for just under 150 pounds of meat. Compare that to the local grocery store! Sure per pound your not saving on stewing beef or ground beef, but a huge part of those 150 pounds are tenderloin, strip loin, prime rib, all the expensive cuts. In the long run, this purchase is saving me a lot.
Meat Quality: The pictures I've attached are of a prime rib roast and a pair of T-bones. Both of which I literally served with a butter knife, just to make a statement. It really is that tender. It is a shame that all of the meat has to be frozen, but you can really see from the t-bone pic how much lovely burgundy colour the meat has retained. The only thing is, as you can see, the marbling is merely average. But still, the flavor is exceptional.
Access to every cut: Oddly enough having all of the less expensive cuts in the house has turned out to be a lot of fun. It has inspired a few stews, london broils, and marinated grilling steaks. All of which have been delicious, and I wouldn't have gone to the extra effort of making them if I was just getting meat at the grocery store.
Customization: They don't just carve up the cow and send it your way, you are given instructions on contacting the butcher so you can get everything cut the way you want it. Sizes/thicknesses, whether you want certain parts as roast or steaks, how much meat in each package, it's up to you.
Last, and I think most importantly, is the fun factor. Meeting in a parking lot to receive close to 150 pounds of beef is very exciting! It's kind of like Beef Christmas. Which is like regular Christmas except all your presents are what you really wanted.
Thanks so much jayt90 for the recommendation!
I know this is an old review, but because of it, we've been ordering from Beef Connections. We order 50 lbs of beef and 25 lbs of pork, and we haven't been disappointed. In fact, the adult kids got together and ordered our father a box for Father's Day.
The sirloins didn't really appeal to my husband, but I savoured every bite. There's something about the meat that makes me order more. We keep half at home and the other half at the cottage. Thanks for the recommendation.
Well wrapped meat that you can identify and maybe label with 'date frozen' and good temperature control (don't leave the freezer door open too long) will support storage times to over a year. I think the real key is how the meat is wrapped. Cryovac is good but often leaks air which will dry out the frozen meat (freezer burn). Butcher paper is surprisingly robust in the freezer. Chest freezers are cheap but make you constantly dig around for the package you're looking for which often breaks cryovac packaging. Storage shelves within a chest freezer would really help keep the meat at an optimum quality and also allow for organized storage.
It is butcher wrap, and each piece is done thoroughly.
The OP ordered a custom quarter, and would have a choice of a quarter of one animal from 7 farms, near Mt. Forest. The contents of the quarter would be half of the half carcass, the rest going to other buyers. If you contact the webmaster (R. Huber at http://www.beefconnections.ca/ ), you could probably get a quarter or half from a particular breed, or an organic farm.
They accommodate smaller orders with boxed beef or boxed pork, 25lb or 50 lb. This could be a mixture of several animals, but takes up less freezer space.
I ordered from Beef Connections this September 2011. All I can say is what a terrific experience and the meat is absolutely heavenly. I had the good fortune to meet the people who raised the animals, and you can sense the pride in what they do. I asked Robert Hubert for my beef to come from the Dewgay farm. Pastured, homegrown feed (NO CORN!), hormone free, that's aged for two weeks. The best Rib Steak I have ever had - my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
I ordered a 50 lb box of beef, half a lamb, a box of roasters and if only there was some pork I would have ordered that too! And they drop off just up the street from me at Euclid and Bloor in Toronto.
My family of 5 is set for the next 6 months easy. We split it between two homes into two small freezers. All of the meat is exceptional. It's packaged well in butcher's paper (as mentioned above), (although chicken is cryovac'd). And when you cook it, the scent is just heavenly. You want to eat every little bit of it. And the cost: about $500. Extremely reasonable for the quality of meat that you get.
Good bye Costco, Metro and Rowe's. Once you Beef Connect you won't go back.
A note to people concerned about ordering such large quantities due to space restrictions, call Robert Hubert and see if he can accommodate you. From my conversations with him, he does take smaller orders, too! Do it now...you won't be disappointed.
I'm glad you are enjoying the meat and the savings. If I had the freezer space, I'd order a quarter of AAA Angus, since different farm options are offered. They have Berkshire pork now, and recently I got White Rock chickens, raised on milk. Their ground beef is exceptional, better than Cumbrae's in my sampling.