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Half side of beef

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    Half side of beef

    We’re getting a half side of beef here in next month, cow was butchered this past week. We’ve done this several times before, but this time I want to think the cuts through a little more. What cuts would you get? I want to be sure to get whole brisket and tenderloin. What thickness for steaks?

    I don’t get out much, well not to stupor markets anyways. But, everywhere I have been, they cut what I call skinny steaks. If it were me, now I’m just sayin my preference, I’d go 1 1/2”. A few times I would ask for a 1 1/2 & I get an 1 1/4. That’s ok, sorta. But dang, there is nuthin like a big thick steak cooked the way CandySueQ cooks em.


      I would definitely do 1.5 on steaks. Makes a big difference over the sad grocery store thin slices. Let’s just say I was really excited when glitchy pointed out that I could buy a Costco ribeye roast and slice to my desired thickness with my new brisket knife.

      Other cuts I would like to get:

      Hanger steak
      Teres Major / petite tender
      Tri Tip roast / steak
      Chuck Roast
      Flat Iron
      Picanha / top round
      Skirt steak
      Dino ribs (beef short ribs 123a)
      Filet Mignon
      Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; October 24, 2021, 08:04 AM.


      • Richard Chrz
        Richard Chrz commented
        Editing a comment
        I agree with a lot of this, I would emphasize dino ribs, flank steak, chuck roast, brisket point, then I’d get a rib roast and find where to age it and use it for ribeyes later on. Although Spinalis Doris still screams to me,

      • IFindZeroBadCooks
        IFindZeroBadCooks commented
        Editing a comment
        I realize that some of my cuts are using the same muscles so I guess it really depends on what the processor is willing to do and your preference.

      I’d ask for as many steak cuts as you can get, like IFindZeroBadCooks lists out in his post - hopefully they can do all the steaks and cuts of meat rather than just a few and then ground beef majority. That has been one reason as to why I haven’t done a side of beef, I don’t want a ton of ground beef.

      Let us know what you are able to get, would be interested to see if the butcher can help you out with this.


      • Donw
        Donw commented
        Editing a comment
        Best then if you buy cuts and not the 1/2 or 1/4 side. You can’t get away from lots and lots of ground beef and stew meat when sharing a carcass. This is one of the reasons so many on line suppliers often offer free or reduced ground beef with orders. They need the space in the warehouse.

      While I would prefer steaks about 1-1/2” or thicker, the fact is that 1” will yield more steaks in the freezer, and thus more meals featuring steak.


        See if you can get a cut sheet from the butcher you're using, that will be a good baseline to start from. Definitely steaks at least 1 1/2" and I like to get one 3 rib standing rib roast then the rest of the primal steaks. Make sure to emphasize full ribs or plate or flanken cut if that's what you want, most will default to short ribs. Then you just have to decide if you want more steaks or roasts or whatever percentage of either.


        • HawkerXP
          HawkerXP commented
          Editing a comment

        1.75 inches is what I cut my steaks at (I dry age the primals) I like pin bone sirloins, one you can't get at most butcher shops. Be sure to specify what % fat you want in your ground. I ask to have the Chuck eye steaks too. I prefer my strips and fillets as opposed to t-bone and porterhouse. Don't forget the beef ribs.


        • BBryans3
          BBryans3 commented
          Editing a comment
          I received 4 of the pin bone in sirloins in my last purchase. 1 fills the dinner needs for 3 of us!

        Thanks for all the great suggestions. I do have a cut sheet hanging around from a few years ago when we got a half, I’ll have to find it, but if I recall it’s very basic (thickness of steaks, how many per package, how many roasts, what size, etc).


        • CaptainMike
          CaptainMike commented
          Editing a comment
          The butchers down here have fairly extensive cut sheets, and the ones I've worked with are very accommodating. We are paying for their service after all.

        • tamidw
          tamidw commented
          Editing a comment
          CaptainMike I’ve been doing searches online for cut sheets to get an idea on what other butchers are asking since the one up here the meat is at has a very basic cut sheet. There’s a lot of them online luckily.

        I’d definitely evaluate the cut sheets from all of the processors in case it is not standard as maybe one will do more than another.


          Have done, afore; will do again.

          One consideration is what does th folk(s) purchasin th other half choose,?

          Cause, their words, an dollars are equal to yours...


          • Donw
            Donw commented
            Editing a comment
            Exactly right. There is a limit to certain cuts available on one carcass and they have to be shared among all the buyers.

          I'd want many of the cuts IFindZeroBadCooks mentions. Just getting some roasts, the basic steaks and a lot of ground beef isn't, to me, worth it. The advantage I see in getting a 1/4 or 1/2 of a steer is averaging down the price of cuts that normally would be expensive (I'm ignoring the convenience factor) so I'd want things like the skirt steak, hanger, bavette, teres major, etc.



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