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Oct 1, 2009 07:47 PM

Buying Half a Cow - Cutting Suggestions?

I'm buying half a cow and I have to come up with a cut list for the butcher pretty soon, so I was just looking for suggestions of what I should get it cut into. I'm particularly unsure about the round, I haven't had much experience with that section of the cow. Thanks!

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  1. Andrew in the past I have taken steers to the slaughter house, and have pretty much stuck to the basic steaks and roasts etc. If you want things like the brisket, ribs, liver, etc, ask for it...Stew meat, Cube steaks etc, are other options. At some point you just say put everything else (trimmings) into a 80/20 grind. As for the round...I have asked for Top round Roast...Another option would be some Top Round steaks that are sometimes used for "London Broil" --- The bottom round I usually have it cut into steaks, and (mechanically) tenderized. They work great for "Swissing" --- Your butcher can also give you other ideas...HTH

    1. Andrew, have you done this before? My question is because there is a predominance of ground meat IMHO and so many cuts that our family doesn't usually use. We did it once and never again because we were stuck with a lot of "braising" or other cuts that no one wanted. What has given us success is buying sub-primals - like a whole rib (15-18 lbs) and cut into roasts and steaks, a whole sirloin (again cut into roasts and steaks), etc. Just a thought.

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      1. re: Diane in Bexley

        butchers do give you too much ground hamburger sometimes because they think that's what many people use/want :( it's a lowest common denominator thing.

        but, there are a couple ways to reduce the hamburger-- 1) ask for more roasts/ pot roasts & stew meat chunks instead of hamburger 2) ask if you can pay a little more and get sausage. depending on the processor, you can sometimes get really good all-beef franks or wursts, or other ethnic sausages. you will pay a little more but it's usually really reasonable & you won't end up w so much dang ground beef. although you will get some ground beef no matter what when you buy a 1/2 animal.

        if you want the tail, tongue, liver, shanks, & feet, etc-- just ask for them. again, many butchers assume people don't want these items and it all goes to the grinder. a huge waste imo.