Well, here it is: my own personal quarter of an organic cow, portioned up and headed for the freezer.
Now, Bossy (as I've come to call him or her) was a real lightweight, coming in at 516 lbs of useable meat (of which we recieved 129.) For your reference, Bossy cost $365, including $75 for butchering and, sadly, I have no idea where she came from, as this was all arranged by a friend (though if you're interested, PM me and I'll find out.) I could tell she was a lightweight, as I was gifted with the odd bits: tongue
, of course, which was closer in size to a veal tongue than I'm used to. Not surprisingly, she came with fewer steaks than I'd have preferred, the majority of what you're seeing there are braising cuts: chuck, round, shoulder, etc. (the clear cryovac package is oxtail) Those are two large-sized laundry baskets, for reference, each probably 1.5 bushel. All told, though, she worked out to less than $3/lb, not too bad even for cheap cuts of quality beef.
Apparently, if not eloquent, Bossy was a social drinker, as I got (as my quarter, mind you) a solid 3 lbs or more of liver - I know you've all seen me eat my way through cow offal, but oddly, I'm not a fan of beef liver - suggestions are welcome. (Sausages?) I was also gifted with the heart, as the only cook willing to deal - and several "meaty soup bones." We got quite a few 1-lb bags of hamburger meat whose origins remain a mystery (fine with me) We dug in a bit this weekend, and I cooked up some minestrone with a beef stock from one of the soup bones, and a meat lasagna with a pound of the ground beef. Both were remarkably flavorful and lean; the ground beef was a good bit dryer than I'm used to, which meant it browned nicely when sauteed. The meat from the soup bone retained its flavor even after being cooked all day to extract the broth.
I'll update as we slowly make our way through this beast...
Edited to add: This thread contains photos of raw beef offal.
Last edited by Mhays
on February 16th, 2008, 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.