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Festival of Beef

Have you ever wondered what half a cow's worth of meat looked like?  I had it on my kitchen table last night.  Don't worry, it's all wrapped in paper and stuff.

Actually, that's not even all of it.  There were about 40 more balls of hamburger that we couldn't fit on the table, filling up two boxes.  

So here's how it played out.  Half a cow, a little less than $2 per pound, hanging weight, cost $549 plus tax.  The total was $584 and change.  That's before they trim off the fat and remove bones and stuff.  Here's what we loaded into the freezer last night: 

2 rump roasts
6 T-bone steaks (2 in a wrapped package) 
6 Porterhouse steaks (2 in a wrapped package)
6 pkgs short ribs
15 chuck roasts
12 round steaks
1 flank steak
2 brisket roasts
8 sirloin steak pkgs (these are sized and shaped like a full rack of pork ribs) 
4 pkgs soup bones
1 arm roast
9 Rib steaks (you know, like prime rib, 2 per pkg) -- we're having a couple of these for dinner tonight!
9 pkgs of stew beef cubes
68 pounds of hamburger
2 skirt steaks


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 11th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
love it!! we're looking at buying similar, so much savings in the long run!
Nov. 11th, 2008 06:32 pm (UTC)
It came out to be around $2.50 per pound once trimmed... a little pricey for hamburger but SO CHEAP for the steaks and roasts.

This was a little Amish butcher shop out near Lancaster, so they actually raised this cow themselves. I think that's so cool.
Nov. 11th, 2008 06:31 pm (UTC)
My brother and his GF raise cows to do this. My mom always buys half a cow. I have no idea how she uses up so much with just my dad and her! She does pigs too. My mom has two freezers in her basement!

Bruce and I got a 1/4 of a cow a few years ago. I was so bad at remembering to take stuff out! We wasted sooo much. I still feel guilty.
Nov. 11th, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC)
We got a few people to buy some from us because it's way too much unless you want beef every single day. Wayne's parents, my sister and my friend Stacy all are getting about 35 pounds for $100 from us.

I prefer to quick thaw... so earlier today I took the steaks out of the paper and wrapped them in saran wrap and then put them in a freezer bag in a big pot of warm water. They thawed in about 15 minutes. Now they're in the fridge marinating.
Nov. 11th, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC)
holy shit, that's a lot of food. i'd just be so scared to loose that much money even though I have a freezer. how do i look/go into doing that
Nov. 11th, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC)
We bought a half but you can also buy a quarter.

We just called around to all the butchers in the area and asked if they sold quarter and half cows, what the price per pound was and the average hanging weight, do they trim, do they wrap, do they freeze? We got a range of prices. Some included the trim, wrap and freezing, others charged an extra fee. The most expensive was $2.89 per pound hanging weight. That's alot when you consider that you're going to lose quite a few pounds in fat and bone. The butcher we went with raises his own cows and charged the least per pound plus no additional fee for all the extra work. We live in a fairly farm-heavy area so there were a lot of options.

If you're worried about the huge expense, ask family or friends if they want to split it with you.
Nov. 11th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
Why on EARTH did you need to get that much meat at once? Are you facing a blizzard or something soon?? :)

Wow, we can barely fit two boxes of French Bread pizza & a container of ice cream in our freezer all at once! :)
Nov. 11th, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC)
It was much cheaper to buy in bulk. We're splitting it with three other people. Normally steaks cost like $5.99/lb and up, depending on the cut.

Look at what these people are charging! Arrgghh!

$47 for ONE steak! I got seven of them and I know mine is fresh, fresh, fresh. It was walking around in the field a week or so ago and the only transportation it ever went through was in my car from the farm to my house. We're trying so hard to eat more locally produced foods. I think we may try a pig next time too.

We have a 13.5 cubic foot stand-up freezer in the garage for stocking up so the inside freezer is usually mostly empty.
Jun. 21st, 2009 01:28 am (UTC)
Awesome! A note about freezers...
Something I learned recently:

Freezers are much more energy efficient when they are full. So, if you don't enough to fill 'er up, put some bottles of water in there to take up the space. It takes less energy to keep less air cold. :)

I really dig this idea and might just start seeing about a big freezer.

Do you guys have basements out there?
Jun. 21st, 2009 01:46 am (UTC)
Re: Awesome! A note about freezers...
We do have a basement-- totally empty. The kids ride their bikes down there. Just one little corner with stuff in storage.

We keep the freezer pretty full. When I make chicken-- roasts or parts, I put the bones in a large plastic bag and every three months or so I make a huge pot of chicken stock. So I'm storing bones in there and freezing the stock.

That stuff, plus the cow and the other stuff we buy-- big bags of frozen veggies from Costco, fish, other meats, etc, our freezer is pretty full.
Nov. 11th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC)
That is so... wow. Separate freezer, clearly? That's a LOT of food!
Nov. 12th, 2008 12:55 am (UTC)
HOLY COW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nov. 25th, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )