Hello cow. Hello bison. Are they food or friends? For me I have never had a “pet” cow or bison (but I would sure love to raise one someday). Right now they are food for me. They are both beautiful strong animals that provide so much nourishment for the human body. I feel like if I am going to eat a food, I have to “get to know it”. Each muscle part of the cow has a certain name. Now lets not limit ourselves to only muscle meats.
Hey this is gutsy talking–bring out the organ meats! Of course grass fed is always best! What cut is that? For now I am just going to teach you the different cuts of muscle meats because the organs are a whole separate post. Since bison is the only real food I eat–I have gotten to know the parts very well (cow and bison have similar anatomy). Out of each “cut” there can be steaks or roasts.
Usually roasts are cooked longer and steaks are cooked like a steak. I prefer to grind the roasts because they are less expensive. I also usually eat my meat raw or at least very rare. (click here to find out why raw meat is healthy.) Figuring out beef cuts can drive you crazy..the names are endless! I hope my breakdown will help you sort things out 🙂 Also,the prices ($) are just general, but will greatly vary from farmer to farmer.
The recipes are outstanding and are contributions from my fellow VGN bloggers (thanks) ! . Sirloin top: More prized for texture and flavor. bottom: Usually sold as sirloin steak. Less tender then top sirloin. Names: Sirloin steak, Trip-Tip steak (Culotte), Trip-Tip roast, Ball-Tip roast, flat bone sirloin, pin bone sirloin, rump steak, wedge bone sirloin, round bone sirloin, cubed steak. Flavor: This muscle region works hard.
Chewier and dryer then short loin. Tender but lacks the fat to keep it “juicy”. Sometimes they are named according to the type of bone that is in it (flat, round, wedge, or pin). It has Grassy and nutty notes. A good blank canvass slab of meat. If it comes without a bone it will dry faster. Fat content: low cook: Good for roasting, grilling, or grinding. Don’t over cook. cost: $ recipe: Sweet and Salty Pineapple Tenderloin skewers, Beef and mushroom Kabobs, Country fried steak Tenderloin Names: : “filet mignon” Flavor: Very tender-usually eaten rare-medium rare.
Mild steak taste-not the most flavorful. Delicate. Fat content: low cook: Grilling or broiling. Eaten rare. cost: $$$ recipe: How to cook beef tenderloin (This applies to most steaks). Chuck Names: Chuck Blade steak, Chuck Eye steak, flatiron steak, arm roast, Chuck Blade roast, Chuck short ribs. Flavor: Provides a good amount of fat and collagen. Well balanced flavor ,but lacks in high note flavors.
.its your regular meat cut. Usually comes with a bone. The collagen gives it a richer taste too. Fat content: high cook: Slow braising, slow roasting, meat stock. The slow cooking = a tender meat! Great for grinding burgers-good fat ratio. cost: $ recipe: italian beef sandwiches, pot roast, Ribs Names: Bone in rib steak, Rib-eye steak, Rib-eye roast, Standing rib roast, Short ribs, Back ribs.
Flavor: A generously marbled cut of meat. Succulent well-bodies flavor of meat. Grilling, slow cooking (fall off the bone). Slabs are best braised. This can be argued as one of the best flavor in any cut. Juicy and tender. Short ribs are rich and nutty–umami is a good flavor to describe them. Fat content: very high cook: Slow braising, slow roasting, meat stock. The slow cooking = a tender meat! Great for grinding burgers-food fat ratio.
cost: $$ recipe: Cocoa-Ancho Beef Ribs, slow cooker beef short ribs Short loin Names: Porterhouse steak, T-bone steak, New York strip steak Flavor: Many of your popular steaks come from this area. Juicy “steak” flavor. The flavor and juices will “lock” inside if you let the steak sit covered after they are cooked. Grassy and savory are good words to describe these cuts. Fat content: medium cook: Dry heat–grilling is best.
cost: $$$ Round Names: Bottom round roast, Top round roast (London Broil)Rump roast, Eye of round. Flavor: Smooth and tender (when cooked right). Popular when used in sausages and burgers. It is the leg region of the cow, so it has very little marbling due to its extensive use. Tougher and dense with little “connective tissue”. Grassy yet mild flavor. Fat content: low cook: Slow roasting or grinding.
Can be difficult to cook due to very low fat content. I like to grind round meat because it is lean and easy to eat raw. cost: $$ recipe: Rogan Josh, homemade beef Jerky (from a roast), easy crock pot meal, beef stroganoff Ox tail Names: Chuck Blade steak, Chuck Eye steak, flatiron steak, arm roast, Chuck Blade roast, Chuck short ribs. Flavor: Extremely savory a rich nutty flavor. Sooo good! The most flavor –compared to any other cut.
The tail never stops moving so lots of nutrients (blood flow) in this area. Leaves a delicious coating on your tongue after you eat it. mmm… Fat content: very very high cook: Stew, stock, brasing. cost: $ recipe: oxtail pho , The best oxtail stew ever!, Oxtail glazed with red wine, orange and rosemary Brisket Names: Brisket First cut, Brisket Front cut. Flavor: Grassy flavor with sour notes.
Tough cut. No bone. Light iron smell (probably because it is near the belly). A little grainy when you grind it. Fat content: medium to low cook: Slow cooking in liquid, smoked, “Pickled” (corn beef & pastrami). cost: $ recipe: Salpicon (cold Mexican brisket), Maple Cider Brisket, traditional corned beef Plate Names: Skirt steak, Plate short ribs. Flavor: Gamey flavor and slight sourness.
Rope-y texture and need to be cut against the grain. Slightly gritty. Used for fijitas. Fat content: medium to low cook: Marinated and then quick seared or grilled. Plate Short ribs are good braised or slow cooked. cost: $$ Flank Names: Hanger steak, (“tummy muscle”) Flavor: Long flat cut. Lean and rope-y (similar to plate steak)-sliced across the grain. Commonly used as “stir fry” meat.
Pure and lean. Slightly sour but mild (light) flavor. Fat content: low cook: Marinated and then quick seared or grilled. Cut up and cooked in fat (stir fry). A steak “roll” can be made if you are get creative! cost: $ recipe: Steak roll with tomato gravy (OMG yum!), Grilled Steak Caesar, Chilled Soy-lime Flank steak salad, Seared Bavette, Mongolian Beef, GAPS balsamic flank steak, marinated flank steak, fajitas! Shank Names: Foreshank, Hindshank, “shin of beef” Flavor: This is the leg of the animal so it is dense and tough.
Naturally not tender, but can become so if you cook it the right way. Full of connective tissue (making it good for stock–very healing) which gives it a deep, well-rounded flavor. Fat content: low cook: Long slow cook in low heat. Best for meat stock or soup. cost: $ recipe: deeply rooted beef stew **Ground meat: Learn how to grind your own beef (picture tutorial) here! Ground meat is not a specific “cut” in particular.
There is ground chuck, ground roast, ground sirloin, and then ground beef–but really you can grind any cut. Ground beef is usually a combination of many different cuts (and sometimes even different cows–if you buy it from a unknown source!) Most likely it is a combination of trimmings from the neck, plate, shank, round, flank & chuck. But really it can contain any part of the cow. Usually it is from 20-30% fat (juicy and moist!) Good tasty ground meat usually consists of chuck–Ground chuck— (15-20% fat), this is the most popular and favorite cut to grind.
Round —Ground Round–(10-15% fat) & sirloin —Ground Sirloin–(5-10% fat) are popular too. Usually you pick a combination of cuts to make the flavor and fat ratio to your liking. (You don’t want to buy pure ground round or ground sirloin without combining it with a cut that has more fat, otherwise your ground meat will be dry.) recipe: (ground meat–you can use any of the “ground” options above) meatloaf, beefy taco salad, Sweet n’ Glazey Totally Beefy Meatloaf, Ground Beef, Parmesan and Spinach Fritatta, Chili, Hamburgers, Italian wedding soup, bacon meatballs, cottage pie, ground beef skillet, pumpkin chili, bacon and cheese stuffed burgers What do you think? Did you learn anything? Now maybe you won’t be so scared to pick up that piece of meat you had no idea what it was called 🙂 resources: http://www.
askmen.com/fine_living/wine_dine_archive_250/277_different-cuts-of-meat.html http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2009/10/the-burger-lab-best-burger-blend-profiles-of-eight-cuts-of-beef.html http://www.williams-sonoma.com/pages/selecting-beef.html?undefined ~Stay Gutsy, CarolineSee Also: Milk Jug Cow
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One of the first question someone asks themselves before buying a large quantity of beef is “how much beef will I get?” That question is usually followed by, “If I buy a half or quarter, what part am I getting? The front half or back half?” Since pictures speak so much louder than words, we thought we’d do our best and actually show you how much beef you get with a quarter and half. We also wanted to put it in perspective, so these pictures feature our standard, no-frills refrigerator that is in our kitchen.
🙂 As you look at these photos, please keep in mind that farmers butcher cows at different weights and sizes. At Clover Meadows Beef, we make it easy for customers by not using agriculture industry-lingo and instead telling you the amount of of beef you’ll actually get for your refrigerator or freezer (quarter = 110 lbs, half = 220 lbs, and whole = 440 lbs). Some farmers talk about actual live weight (that includes meat, bones, blood, etc), which is totally fine, but that’s not what you’ll be taking home.
If you decide to buy a cow from a farmer, make sure you know exactly what you’ll be taking home before you buy so you can make space in your refrigerator or freezer in advance. Buying a Quarter Cow: Here’s what our refrigerator looks like with a quarter beef, which is 110 lbs of beef. As you can see, it’s a lot of beef, but it all fits in the freezer (without the freezer shelf or ice bucket).
This includes about 50 pounds of hamburger, and the rest of the beef comes in a variety of cuts like steaks, roasts, ribs, and brisket. If we were to deliver this to your house, it’d be in four boxes that are 12″x12″x12″. Here are two boxes being dropped off at a customer’s house. Buying Half a Cow: So, what if you buy half a cow? What does that look like in your refrigerator? With a half a cow, you’ll get approximately 220 pounds of beef.
It includes 100 pounds of ground beef, and the rest of the beef are in cuts like steaks, roasts, ribs, brisket, and tenderloin. Just for fun, we included a dozen eggs and a half gallon of milk in this picture so you would have some additional perspective 🙂 And what if you buy three quarters or a whole cow? If you do, you’ll have a LOT of beef and you’ll need a freezer. We didn’t take a picture of a whole beef with our refrigerator since it wouldn’t all fit.
With a whole cow you would get approximately 440 pounds of beef. It will be approximately 200 pounds of ground beef, and the other 220 pounds are in cuts like steaks, roasts, ribs, brisket, tenderloin, etc. On average, we’ve found that a whole is great for families of three or more that eat beef with four or more meals a week. With a whole, these families save tons of money and have beef for a year.
Do you have a question about buying a cow? We’d love to help! Respond below in the comments or send us an email at [email protected] FREE beef tips & recipes delivered to your inbox