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Moo. In more ways than one.

This year, we bought a share of a whole cow. We weren't going to do the bulk beef thing but my sister and mom and cousins insisted they wanted it and we got dragged into organizing the mess. Here's the results:

The hanging weight of our cow was 638 pounds-- and that includes all the fat and bone that is trimmed off in the butchering process.  We paid $1.85 per pound of the hanging weight.  That makes it difficult to calculate what we pay for actual pounds of meat that we end up with. 

Here's the tally of what we got: 

20   1-lb. pkgs of stew beef cubes
11    pkgs of Rib Steaks (these are cut 1.5" thick and wrapped two per package)
18    pkgs of short ribs, with 3 ribs per package
181 1-lb. pkgs of hamburger
10    pkgs of soup bones
4     Roll Roasts-  these are brisket roasts rolled up for ease of cooking.  (I asked that all our roasts be cut to 3lbs)
2     Flank steaks
3     Arm roasts
24   Round steaks
6     Porterhouse steaks (2 per pkg, 1.5" thick)
10   Sirloin steaks
9     T-bone steaks (2 per pkg, 1.5" thick)
4     Rump Roasts

We also got the tongue, liver, kidneys and heart.  

That mountain of meat was divided up between 6 people.   5 people bought a full share and 1 person only wanted $100 worth.  So we divided as if there were 6 shares (because each share was $220) and then we divided the sixth share in half-- the guy got $100 worth of meat, with his very choice selection of cuts-- and we divided the rest among the full 5 shares.  That was the fairest way I could think of doing it.

Wayne and I packed into our freezer: 
33 pounds of hamburger (two of which have already been eaten) 
3 pounds of stew beef
4 round steaks
2 soup bones
1 sirloin steak
3 pkgs. short ribs
1 Round Roast
1 pkg. t-bone steaks
2 pkgs rib steaks
1 arm roast
1 roll roast
2 flank steak
1 skirt steak


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 17th, 2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
It cracks me up when you do this (you did last year too, right?)! Very thrifty AND organized!
Dec. 17th, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC)
It's a lot of money to lay out at once-- $220 per person-- but we still have a little from last year and I know that this cow was raised and treated as humanely as possible, without hormones and antibiotics, grazing in a field instead of in a cramped feedlot, in nearby Lancaster County. The butcher we order from is the guy who raised him (or her, I'm not sure of the sex!).

Edited at 2009-12-17 05:44 pm (UTC)
Dec. 17th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
It is TONS thrifty when you look at the annual cost of meat! And as you point out, much more healtful - for you and the cow.
Dec. 17th, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, totally. We paid $1.85 per pound before loss. I've read that you lose approximately 30% of the weight. For hamburger, it might turn out a little on the expensive side, if you usually buy it on sale at $2/pound. But steaks? I never see any type of steak for less than $4/pound.

The cool thing is, when we cook the ground beef, there is sooooo little fat to pour off. Next to nothing, actually. We had burgers last night and the pan, after cooking, was shiny, there was no fat that was pourable left in the pan.

And it tastes sooooo much better.

Dec. 18th, 2009 01:17 am (UTC)
Why not just put all the meat you got into a big container, and weigh it? Then you'll know how much you got arter the butchering loss. Divide $220 by the weight, and you'll have cost per pound.
Dec. 18th, 2009 02:23 am (UTC)
I thought about that, but the stuff didn't divide evenly per se. I got the flank steaks because no one else wanted it (silly people). I didn't take any of the organ meat-- that all went to my dad-- so short of weighing all of it while it was all together, I don't know that I can get an accurate weight.
Dec. 17th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
I would like to do this at some point. Grass-fed beef is so much better for you, too.
Dec. 17th, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
We bought a quarter (?) cow from my brothers girlfriend a few years back. Never finished the darn thing. I just didn't care for the meat. But, it was a lot cheaper since she only charged us what it cost her to raise it, no profit for her. If I could get it all ground up into hamburger, I'd do it again. My brother gave me a nasty look for that.
Dec. 17th, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
Paul and I have been talking about doing that for a long time. I am amazed how much meat you got out of that split 6 ways. I will have to look into it a bit more now.
Dec. 17th, 2009 11:57 pm (UTC)
This is awesome - I would love to do something like that. I wonder if it's available around here. Although I suppose we'd need a chest freezer, which could be problematic.
Dec. 18th, 2009 02:43 am (UTC)
lol at the pictures.
as someone who does not eat meat, I find it really disgusting. but more power to you for saving money.
Dec. 18th, 2009 10:32 am (UTC)
I don't eat meat either, but I have to say I was relieved none of her photos were of the actual cow or whatever! Just meat wrapped in paper. She does make a good point though that the cow is probably better treated than hormone injected factory farm cows.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )