A few months back, I got roped into joining in on a co-op purchase of a whole cow that was estimated to come in at around 600 pounds. It was grass fed, organically raised, and was to be humanely butchered, packaged, and frozen. I made an initial $200 deposit, and this morning I paid the $290.50 balance at what was billed as a “Cow Party”.

Thirteen of the “partners” got together at 11:30am to draw lots to form a line to take turns choosing individual cuts from the cow. Though it was just one entire cow, the butcher threw in some additional tongues, testicles, and other additional offal for us to select from as well.

Here’s what was included in my 18 turns:
1.2 lb New York steak, bone in
1.0 lb New York steak, bone in
1.2 New York steak, bone in
1.4 lb Ribeye, bone in
0.5 lb top sirloin steak
0.5 lb top sirloin steak
2.4 lb bottom round roast
2.5 lb beef tritip large
0.4 lb top sirloin steak
1.9 lb beef short ribs
1.1 lb stew beef
1.1 lb stew beef
1.1 lb stew beef
1.2 lb beef cheek
1.4 lb beef oxtails
0.9 lb beef oxtails
1.4 lb beef testicles
1.3 lb beef fat

Everyone also went home with an additional box of ground beef. Mine contained 16 packages of 1lb each of ground meat as well as 2.2lbs of beef ground with heart and 0.9lbs of beef ground with liver.

This comes out to 41.6 pounds of meat in all and price of roughly $11.78 per pound.

Sadly I missed out on some nice shoulder cuts, some tongue, and I had tried to get some tripe instead of the testicles, but alas, there were apparently other menudo fans in our group.

My freezer is chock full of some serious meat for a while. Most of the cuts are fairly straightforward and I’ve already got a good idea of what I’m going to do with them. I will have to take a peek at what I ought to do for the Rocky Mountain Oysters. I’m leaning toward turning them into some delicious tacos, but I’ll take any suggestions from those who’ve done other variations before.

I do want to make an inventory of the price per pound for individual cuts versus typical markets to see how the pricing works out, as I suspect that some likely did better than others within the “lottery” system this set up. The tough part will be finding local markets that purvey this high a quality of meat for a reasonable comparison.

Spoils from a cow party was originally published on Chris Aldrich

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