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Quarter share in a cow - which cuts?

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I'm about to receive a quarter share of a steer, and apparently the butcher will allow us some say over how it is butchered. Thought I'd solicit some ideas for types, quantities, and configurations (roasts, steaks, ground) others have gotten. Definitely want some brisket (not whole, which is a bummer), short ribs, strip, and marrow bones).

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  1. I think alot of the ground beef comes from trimmings unless you have a particular grind in mind.
    I'd suggest getting a few tomahawk chop rib steaks like this one
    http://fairwaypacking.com/store/conte...
    only 'cause you don't see them everyday and makes a good presentation.
    I assume you're going in with 3 others...many people don't want the less desirable parts (I'm thinking tail, bones, cheeks, feet, heart, liver, etc etc). If your buddies don't want them, its a chance to score big on these items, just make sure the butcher knows you want them as well.

    1. Ask if it is done as "Southern cuts", which means you get a little of all parts of the animal. If yours is a forequarter then you would not get meaty shanks for Osso Buco,Strip steaks, etc. what you will find is a overwhelming percentage is processed as "Chopped Beef or Hamburger" also ask what the butcher's grind is set to. I found on one purchase that it was much more finely ground than I would have prefered, almost paste like in consistency. Of the cuts most sought after on a 1/4/ share you may receive thin steaks or fewer than you expected of thick ones. That is the bad news; good news is as Porker stated, variety meats and bones. Don't forget the tongue, sweetbreads, cheeks, oxtails, Also ask how long the slaughterhouse/butcher hangs the carcass to allow excess moisture and fluids to drain out. The longer it hangs the more tender it becomes. Good Eating!!!!!

      1. I ask for the soup bones and tail. I also ask that the hamburger is packaged in 1 and 2 lbs. packages (there is only two of us nightly). I like my steaks packaged by 2's also. Makes things much nicer. I really like the cube steak! Sounds weird -but it is so much better than anything you can get in the store. Don't forget Brisket if you like cooking it.

        Edit: sorry, I see you mentioned brisket. If you check with the others you are sharing with, maybe they don't want the soup bones (for stock). I got mine for free for that reason, doesn't hurt to ask if anyone else wants to "pass" on some goodies you might really enjoy.

        1. nsenada: I don't know who you're sharing with, but unless you've agreed in advance who gets the hindquarter, someone's gonna be PO'd. I raise beefcattle for sharing, and it's always better form to share and share alike. There is enough to go around, just don't expect a whole lot of steaks and prime rib. When it's all cut wrapped and in your freezer, a 1/4 isn't a stupendous amount of meat.

          3 Replies
          1. re: kaleokahu

            Ditto this.

            Ask for a 1/4th of all cuts of the beef -- incl. the offal.

            1. re: kaleokahu

              Right, this will all be shared out equally from the different parts of the animal.

              1. re: kaleokahu

                And expect a lot of ground beef. I was shocked at how much ground beef I had the last time we bought a half cow.

              2. The cheeks. The tongue. The shanks. The skirt. And whatever steak cuts you can get your hands on (i.e. strip, rib, loin).

                5 Replies
                1. re: AdamD

                  Skirt - yup. Don't let em grind up the skirt into burger!

                  1. re: gordeaux

                    That depends on your taste. My absolute favorite ground beef mixture is ground neck and skirt.

                    1. re: bagelman01

                      Also see if you get the "Hanging Tender" and the kidneys; while beef kidneys are tougher than lamb or veal there are mnumerous ways to prepare tasty dishes from these often overlooked gems.

                      1. re: bagelman01

                        I'd 100% rather have the skirt as a steak, but I don't use ground beef very often, so I don't have a favorite mixture. For burgers, I just go with sirloin and chuck.

                        1. re: gordeaux

                          actually I like inside skirt for steak and grind the outside skirt with the neck for burgers, meatloaf and meatballs. Never used sirloin for ground beef, as growing up we only used forequarters from the kosher butcher.

                  2. Thanks for all the suggestions! We're going to talk with the butcher tomorrow to see how much flexibility they have. Definitely want some cheeks and marrow bones in addition to the usual cuts. I'm not a huge liver or kidney fan, but we may have some in the group that will go for it.

                    1. Just out of curiosity, how much does it cost for the cow and the butcher? Where does one go to make such a purchase?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: AdamD

                        I'd be curious about the costs as well. As a kid, I'd go to an abbatoir with the folks who'd buy a 1/2 cow for the winter. The butcher would cut down the animal and we'd wrap the various cuts. Being a kid, I was oblivious of the cost.
                        I don't know the cost of beef, but I buy whole hogs south of Montreal from $0.90 to $1.20 a pound

                        1. re: AdamD

                          Last time we did this I had a 1/6 share and it cost about $300. I never tallied up how many pounds, but the meat lasted six months, and filled half a freezer chest. A neighbor knows the farmer, and he takes the animals to Blood Farm in Groton, MA to butcher (thats the owner's rather apt last name)

                          1. re: nsenada

                            On a recent episode of DIrty Jobs, Mike Rowe goes with a butcher to a farm. They show the process of killing, dressing the cow then bringing it back to their butcher shop and cutting it up for the farmer family. One of the more informative episodes.