Coming Soon: A Side of Beef!

We’re finally biting the bullet and buying a side of beef! This is something I’ve dreamed of doing basically since college and now that we’re in our own house, this was the right time.  I’m going to sell a little of it (about 20 pounds) to my parents, but the rest is all ours.

Why did we decide to do this?

  • I want to try new cuts of beef (and consequently new recipes and maybe even techniques).  This includes growing in appreciation for the traditionally less-desirable cuts.
  • I want to shift more of our food budget to buying grassfed (and local) meat and this is a much more affordable way to do so than buying individual cuts. I think it’s important to do this to support local farmers and also for our health.
  • We’re the kind of people who love paying for things in a lump sum. I know that’s pretty unique, but I think it’s easier to budget this way.  I lowered my grocery budget for the next year and I’ll shop the freezer instead of the store.

There are a few things you have to decide before making this purchase.  Mainly, where are you going to buy from? It will help you choose a farm if you can prioritize your wants.  Here are some of the things we considered when choosing a farm:

  • Is it important to you if the beef is grass-finished?
  • How local do you want to purchase your meat?
  • Are you able to pick it up or have it delivered?
  • How will the meat be packaged?
  • How much does it cost? What is the pricing structure?

I looked at a few places (it should come as no surprise to anyone that I put them all in a spreadsheet to compare) but ultimately wound up picking a farm that made the process extremely easy.  Their beef is 100% grassfed and they’re located about 2 hours from St. Louis.  I had a choice of having my meat vacuum-wrapped or shrink-wrapped (I chose to pay extra for vacuum-wrapping so it will last longer) and will have it delivered to a drop-off location in St. Louis.  Their pricing was a flat rate instead of paying a deposit, butcher fee, the hanging weight, etc. I appreciated how simple the process was, including payment via Paypal.

They also had a worksheet on their website for me to fill out specifying the cuts I wanted.  I was able to go through it and choose what we wanted. I erred on the side of more roasts, since I figured those could be cut into stew meat or ground at home if I decided I wanted to something else with them, but not vice versa. I even got to pick the thickness of each kind of steak!

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We’ll be picking up the meat at the end of October.  Until then, we’re trying to eat the last few pounds of beef I had frozen and have purchased a chest freezer. I can’t wait for pick-up day!

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