Author Topic: Just bought half a cow  (Read 3040 times)

boarder42

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Just bought half a cow
« on: October 03, 2016, 08:26:16 AM »
So i fell into half a cow through random conversations at work.

Been considering doing this for awhile so i've researched it some and more now recently.

Looking for advice on how i should have this bad boy sliced and diced.  Experienced people who have done this before and what any best practices you follow are.

i know i will end up with a lot of ground no matter what i ask for ... so trying to minimize that.

A few things i'm currently thinking - thoughts comments on any thing would be helpful

1. I want the whole packer brisket - meaning has the point still attached to the flat - to make burnt ends
2. i was thinking of doing like a 4 rib roast to smoke and doing the rest of the ribeyes bone in - thoughts
    a. also i see there are 2 ends of the roast whats the real differences
3. planning to split the tbones into strips and filets -
4. we like our stakes rare as possible still mooing ... blue etc.   was planning to do 1.5 inches on them
5. hanger steak we plan to keep intact
6. round steak what to do with it grind or have tenderized?



Cromacster

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Re: Just bought half a cow
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2016, 08:27:53 AM »
Posting to follow.  Just bought a 1/4 for next spring.  I haven't thought about any of this yet, so thanks for bringing up some good questions to ask.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2016, 08:35:19 AM by Cromacster »

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Just bought half a cow
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2016, 08:30:30 AM »
Following. We're getting 1/4 in a couple weeks. (Butcher date in 1 week). We just opted for their "standard cuts".

jeninco

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Re: Just bought half a cow
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2016, 08:38:31 AM »
It will depend on your processor, but we've had great luck getting round steak etc. cut into stew meat, which they package in about 1 lb packages --  perfect for dumping into a crockpot for weekday night dinners. Also, they'll ask if you want the liver (which comes sliced: saute with butter and garlic or shallots, then run through a food processor with more butter and the sherry you used to deglaze the pan and some salt, then spread on toast!), heart, tongue, dog bones (all the neighborhood dogs love me!). Round roast makes great jerky, if you can borrow a  dehydrator (it's pretty easy to cut out the fat, which isn't true on chuck roast.

Mostly their processing is pretty standard: questions tend to be "how do you want your steaks cut", "how large do you want your packages of ground beef, and what % fat", "how many steaks to a package", etc. If you want things done differently, you'll have to tell them up front.

Note that if you're getting grass-fed and -finished beef, even the steaks won't be as tender as you might expect: we invested in a set of steak knives a few years back. The flavor is amazing, though!

Good luck! We've been doing this for about 10 years, and it's lovely to have a freezer-full of most of the meet we'll be eating for the year that was (in our case) grass-fed and finished and processed in a way that was reasonable for the cow and the people doing the work.



ooeei

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Re: Just bought half a cow
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2016, 08:43:13 AM »
I'm not going to be too helpful as I've never purchased a half cow, but one thing I've been doing recently with brisket is rendering the trimmings in a slow cooker and saving the fat in jars.  It's great for hash browns, or to add to refried beans.  If you can, ask them to save any trimmings for you, or to trim minimally.  The fat comes in very handy.

Also keeping the brisket whole is a good call.  Check out amazingribs.com for some good smoking advice.  I use an electric smoker I got free from my parents (won in a raffle) and add way more wood chunks than the instructions say to, and it turns out great.  I use the methodology and rub from amazingribs, even though they don't like electric smokers. 

boarder42

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Re: Just bought half a cow
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2016, 08:59:11 AM »
I'm not going to be too helpful as I've never purchased a half cow, but one thing I've been doing recently with brisket is rendering the trimmings in a slow cooker and saving the fat in jars.  It's great for hash browns, or to add to refried beans.  If you can, ask them to save any trimmings for you, or to trim minimally.  The fat comes in very handy.

Also keeping the brisket whole is a good call.  Check out amazingribs.com for some good smoking advice.  I use an electric smoker I got free from my parents (won in a raffle) and add way more wood chunks than the instructions say to, and it turns out great.  I use the methodology and rub from amazingribs, even though they don't like electric smokers.

i live in KC i've smoked so much in my life.  We're the capital for burntends.  if you havent had them they are the only reason to cook a brisket IMO.  10x better than the brisket.

i used to have a barrel smoker but now i'm super lazy and have my cheap DIY pellet smoker

ITs just one of the small masterbuilt electric smokers but you buy this https://www.amazon.com/A-MAZE-N-AMNPS5X8-Pellet-Smoker/dp/B007ROPJ1M

use that with some pellets it will smoke for 11 hours ... bonus if you want to cold smoke cheese and salmon you just use this and dont turn your smoker on... put an ice bath in there and done.  i use a heat gun to light it vs the blow torch... it works better.

Fishindude

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Re: Just bought half a cow
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2016, 09:17:16 AM »
Talk to your packer.
I think some of the things you are wanting are going to be special requests and they will likely not do them, or charge you extra.
Normal deal in my experience is you get; steaks, roasts & burger.  How thick do you want steaks and how big of packages are about your only decisions.

MishMash

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Re: Just bought half a cow
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2016, 09:28:17 AM »
We do this routinely and a few things, ask for the shanks, and the ribs. These normally get turned into ground but high holy hell they make great Osso Bucco, and smoked beef ribs are amazingly awesome.  Normally these aren't charged because it's more work to get the meat off them for ground then it is to vac seal and package.
 We also take all the offal, and turn them into dog treats.

I'm assuming since there are tBones, it's not grass fed/finished jeninco, most full grass animals are 3 years plus old at slaughter and rules say (at least here) the spine has to be removed in all animals over 3 so no Tbones.

horsepoor

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Re: Just bought half a cow
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2016, 09:31:31 AM »
It will depend on your processor, but we've had great luck getting round steak etc. cut into stew meat, which they package in about 1 lb packages --  perfect for dumping into a crockpot for weekday night dinners. Also, they'll ask if you want the liver (which comes sliced: saute with butter and garlic or shallots, then run through a food processor with more butter and the sherry you used to deglaze the pan and some salt, then spread on toast!), heart, tongue, dog bones (all the neighborhood dogs love me!). Round roast makes great jerky, if you can borrow a  dehydrator (it's pretty easy to cut out the fat, which isn't true on chuck roast.

Mostly their processing is pretty standard: questions tend to be "how do you want your steaks cut", "how large do you want your packages of ground beef, and what % fat", "how many steaks to a package", etc. If you want things done differently, you'll have to tell them up front.

Note that if you're getting grass-fed and -finished beef, even the steaks won't be as tender as you might expect: we invested in a set of steak knives a few years back. The flavor is amazing, though!

Good luck! We've been doing this for about 10 years, and it's lovely to have a freezer-full of most of the meet we'll be eating for the year that was (in our case) grass-fed and finished and processed in a way that was reasonable for the cow and the people doing the work.

Good advice.  I also have them do some of the tougher cuts as stew meat instead of cube steak.  I've dealt with three different butchers and they usually just want to know what size roasts you want, how thick your steaks should be, how many steaks per package, how many pounds per package of ground, and if you want the offal and bones.

I'd highly recommend getting the bones, roasting them and cooking a nice beef stock.  If you don't want to hassle with canning it, you can cook it down until it's highly concentrated and freeze it in small containers or ice cube trays.

MishMash

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Re: Just bought half a cow
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2016, 09:38:37 AM »
PS I should caveat that with short ribs, if you are keeping your ribeyes bone in.

boarder42

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Re: Just bought half a cow
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2016, 09:39:46 AM »
We do this routinely and a few things, ask for the shanks, and the ribs. These normally get turned into ground but high holy hell they make great Osso Bucco, and smoked beef ribs are amazingly awesome.  Normally these aren't charged because it's more work to get the meat off them for ground then it is to vac seal and package.
 We also take all the offal, and turn them into dog treats.

I'm assuming since there are tBones, it's not grass fed/finished jeninco, most full grass animals are 3 years plus old at slaughter and rules say (at least here) the spine has to be removed in all animals over 3 so no Tbones.

no its not grass fed finished its just locally raised grass/grain combo finished grain.

ooeei

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Re: Just bought half a cow
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2016, 09:49:23 AM »
I'm not going to be too helpful as I've never purchased a half cow, but one thing I've been doing recently with brisket is rendering the trimmings in a slow cooker and saving the fat in jars.  It's great for hash browns, or to add to refried beans.  If you can, ask them to save any trimmings for you, or to trim minimally.  The fat comes in very handy.

Also keeping the brisket whole is a good call.  Check out amazingribs.com for some good smoking advice.  I use an electric smoker I got free from my parents (won in a raffle) and add way more wood chunks than the instructions say to, and it turns out great.  I use the methodology and rub from amazingribs, even though they don't like electric smokers.

i live in KC i've smoked so much in my life.  We're the capital for burntends.  if you havent had them they are the only reason to cook a brisket IMO.  10x better than the brisket.

i used to have a barrel smoker but now i'm super lazy and have my cheap DIY pellet smoker

ITs just one of the small masterbuilt electric smokers but you buy this https://www.amazon.com/A-MAZE-N-AMNPS5X8-Pellet-Smoker/dp/B007ROPJ1M

use that with some pellets it will smoke for 11 hours ... bonus if you want to cold smoke cheese and salmon you just use this and dont turn your smoker on... put an ice bath in there and done.  i use a heat gun to light it vs the blow torch... it works better.

Ah, so not a newbie as far as smoking goes.  I'm from TX, so am very familiar with brisket, although IDK if burnt ends are different in KC than they are here.  It's just the slightly overcooked ends chopped up, right?  Higher bark:meat ratio = smokier flavor.

Once I move out of an apartment, an ugly drum smoker is on my to do list.  Until then my half assed yet delicious brisket is good enough. I cooked the last one too long, ended up having to chop it all up for sandwiches because it wouldn't hold together in slices.  There are worse consequences for overcooking meat than 7-8 lbs of chopped brisket.

Axecleaver

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Re: Just bought half a cow
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2016, 10:18:45 AM »
You've already gotten some good advice on this, one thing I'd recommend, is if you know you don't want lots of ground beef, ask for them to give you more stew meat and less ground. A lot of the trimmings that end up in ground beef (which most people prefer) can be cut as stew beef instead. You may also be able to get them to make sausage or hot dogs for you instead of ground beef (it will cost more, though).

Definitely get as many bones as you can for soup/bone broth/happy dogs. We made a ton of beef stew and beef and barley soup after we got our cow.

How did you do on price? Half a cow finished on grain is a lot of meat.

mohawkbrah

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Re: Just bought half a cow
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2016, 10:46:34 AM »
don't kill daisy! :'(

boarder42

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Re: Just bought half a cow
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2016, 11:07:58 AM »
I'm not going to be too helpful as I've never purchased a half cow, but one thing I've been doing recently with brisket is rendering the trimmings in a slow cooker and saving the fat in jars.  It's great for hash browns, or to add to refried beans.  If you can, ask them to save any trimmings for you, or to trim minimally.  The fat comes in very handy.

Also keeping the brisket whole is a good call.  Check out amazingribs.com for some good smoking advice.  I use an electric smoker I got free from my parents (won in a raffle) and add way more wood chunks than the instructions say to, and it turns out great.  I use the methodology and rub from amazingribs, even though they don't like electric smokers.

i live in KC i've smoked so much in my life.  We're the capital for burntends.  if you havent had them they are the only reason to cook a brisket IMO.  10x better than the brisket.

i used to have a barrel smoker but now i'm super lazy and have my cheap DIY pellet smoker

ITs just one of the small masterbuilt electric smokers but you buy this https://www.amazon.com/A-MAZE-N-AMNPS5X8-Pellet-Smoker/dp/B007ROPJ1M

use that with some pellets it will smoke for 11 hours ... bonus if you want to cold smoke cheese and salmon you just use this and dont turn your smoker on... put an ice bath in there and done.  i use a heat gun to light it vs the blow torch... it works better.

Ah, so not a newbie as far as smoking goes.  I'm from TX, so am very familiar with brisket, although IDK if burnt ends are different in KC than they are here.  It's just the slightly overcooked ends chopped up, right?  Higher bark:meat ratio = smokier flavor.

Once I move out of an apartment, an ugly drum smoker is on my to do list.  Until then my half assed yet delicious brisket is good enough. I cooked the last one too long, ended up having to chop it all up for sandwiches because it wouldn't hold together in slices.  There are worse consequences for overcooking meat than 7-8 lbs of chopped brisket.

there are 2 parts to a brisket a flat and a point.  most everywhere out side of KC cuts the point off and sells just the flat.  In KC we buy whole packers which has the point on them.  the point is a much fattier cut of meat.  once your brisket is done you cut the point off and throw it back on the smoker for another couple hours to continue to break that fat down till it turns to butter then chop it up --- thats a real burnt end.

boarder42

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Re: Just bought half a cow
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2016, 11:09:50 AM »
You've already gotten some good advice on this, one thing I'd recommend, is if you know you don't want lots of ground beef, ask for them to give you more stew meat and less ground. A lot of the trimmings that end up in ground beef (which most people prefer) can be cut as stew beef instead. You may also be able to get them to make sausage or hot dogs for you instead of ground beef (it will cost more, though).

Definitely get as many bones as you can for soup/bone broth/happy dogs. We made a ton of beef stew and beef and barley soup after we got our cow.

How did you do on price? Half a cow finished on grain is a lot of meat.

my guess is it will be around 3.10 per pound finished meat in the freezer. about 205 lbs butchered.  hanging was 270 at 2.35.

boarder42

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Re: Just bought half a cow
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2016, 01:17:03 PM »
So of my requests these were what they honored
1. I want the whole packer brisket - meaning has the point still attached to the flat - to make burnt ends
2. i was thinking of doing like a 4 rib roast to smoke and doing the rest of the ribeyes bone in - thoughts
    a. also i see there are 2 ends of the roast whats the real differences
3. planning to split the tbones into strips and filets -
4. we like our steaks rare as possible still mooing ... blue etc.   was planning to do 1.5 inches on them

6. round steak tenderized?