Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Grass-Fed Beef Plan!

Excited to announce: my plan for our freezer-full of beef! We bought 1/4 cow from Carman Ranch and split it with my sister & brother-in-law. (Which gives us 1/8 cow.) For those of you on the fence, of if you already took the plunge and are unsure what to do next, I thought I'd post my little 1-year plan I whipped up. I found random info (thanks to swagbucks and wikipedia) for cuts I was unsure about.

The green basket is full of 1.5# ground beef chubs. Since we typically use 1/2# whenever we use ground beef (spaghetti, chili, etc) I'm planning on cooking the whole chub (w/ onions, seasonings, etc) and freezing 2/3 in a couple zip-locks for quick use throughout the month. (a little tid bit I learned from OAMC!) We got four packs of "soup bones" I plan to make stock with for random soups and such, anywhere I would use chicken stock I guess. I'll have to read up a bit more on that. I'm going to use this list as a guideline, move different cuts around if need be. And I realize it only goes through September, and it is currently November, so that makes it 11 months and not 12, but I figured we'd probably end up with something extra for the last month, or perhaps 11 months is just close enough and we'll get our 1/8th of a cow earlier next year. We'll see ;) If you have any great uses for roasts other than pot roast, let me know. :) I have 3 roasts, I plan on using two for pot roast and one for stew. Or perhaps vise versa. But i'm certainly open to ideas :)

I hope this is helpful to someone out there!

1/8 Cow in 1 year:


(november) Mystery Meat (ground beef?) 1# 10oz

Sirloin steak (1#) (grill or pan sear)

(december) ground beef (1.5#)

Round steak (2?) 1.5# This is a lean cut and it is moderately tough. Lack of fat and marbling makes round dry out when cooked with dry-heat cooking methods like roasting or grilling. Round steak is commonly prepared with slow moist-heat methods including braising, to tenderize the meat and maintain moisture. The cut is often sliced thin, then dried or smoked at low temperature to make jerky.

Arm roast (3#) Swiss Steaks? Pot Roast? The arm roast, which is cut from the beef chuck primal, is one of the most popular pot roasts. It is also known by the following names: arm pot roast, arm chuck roast, and round bone pot roast. The arm roast can be reduced to a smaller cut known as an arm steak, which is also referred to as Swiss steak.

(Make beef stock twice with bones)


Tenderloin steaks (2) .75# (Christmas eve)

(January) ground beef (1.5#)

rump roast (2.5#) (beef stew, freeze half after cooking) Rump roast is cut from the round or hip, the entire upper leg of the cow carcass. It is also known as Round Roast, Bottom Round Pot Roast, Diamond Cut Roast, or Manhattan Roast. The triangular shaped rump roast provides a juicy beefy roast, and it is inexpensive as well. Rump is best suited to moist heat cooking. A rump that contains a moderate layer of fat and good marbling (layers of fat and meat) will be succulent

(february) ground beef (1.5#)

Chuck roast (3.25#) (Pot roast, left overs as beef stroganoff) The chuck contains a lot of connective tissue, including collagen. Collagen partially melts during the cooking of the meat, making the flavor intensely stronger. Meat from the chuck is usually used for stewing, slow cooking, braising, or pot roasting.

(march) ground beef (1.5#)

(Make beef stock with bones)


(April) ground beef (1.5#)

Brisket 1.25# - (Passover) Brisket can be cooked many ways. Popular methods in the Southern United States include rubbing with a spice rub or marinating the meat, then cooking slowly over indirect heat from charcoal or wood. This is a form of smoking the meat. Additional basting of the meat is often done during the cooking process. However, most of the tenderness from this normally tougher cut of meat comes from the collagen fibers that make up the significant connective tissue in the cut, which gelatinizes and lubricates the muscle fibers, resulting in more tender brisket despite the fact that the cut is usually cooked well beyond what would normally be considered "well done". The fat cap often left attached to the brisket helps to keep the meat from over-drying during the prolonged cooking necessary to break down the connective tissue in the meat.In traditional Jewish cooking, brisket is most often braised as a pot roast, especially as a holiday main course usually served at Rosh Hashannah, Passover, and Shabbat. It is a common cut of meat for use in Vietnamese phở soup.

(May) ground beef (1.5#)

short ribs (1.25#)- Beef short ribs are larger and usually more tender and meatier than their pork counterpart, pork spare ribs. Short ribs are cut from the rib and plate primals and a small corner of the square-cut chuck. A full slab of short ribs is typically about 10 inches square, ranges from 3-5 inches thick, and contains three or four ribs, intercostal muscles and tendon, and a layer of boneless meat and fat which is thick on one end of the slab and thins down to almost nothing on the other. There are numerous ways to butcher short ribs. The ribs can be separated and cut into short lengths (typically about 2 inches long), called an "English cut", "flanken cut" across the bones (typically about 1/2 inch thick), or cut into boneless steaks. Short ribs may be long-cooked, as in pot-au-feu, a classic of French cuisine, or rapidly seared or grilled, as in Korean cuisine, in which short ribs (called galbi), are marinated and grilled over charcoal (long-cooking thinner, shorter cuts are also a korean favourite). A specific type from Hawaii is known as Maui-style ribs. Other popular preparations are barbecue and braising.

(June) ground beef (1.5#)

T-bone steaks (2?) 1.75# (Father’s Day?)

(Make beef stock with bones)


(July) ground beef (1.5#)

Rib steak (.75#) (Anniversary?) A rib steak is a beef steak sliced from the rib primal of a beef animal, with rib bone attached. In the United States, a rib steak is usually a rib eye steak with the rib bone still attached to the meat; however in some areas, and outside the U.S., the terms are often erroneously used interchangeably. The rib eye or "ribeye" was originally, as the name implies, the center best portion of the rib steak, without the bone.

It is one of the more flavorful cuts of beef, due to the muscle getting a lot of exercise during its life, un-like the fillet, its marbling of fat makes this very good for slow roasting and it also goes great on a grill.

(August) ground beef (1.5#)

Flank steak (1.25#) – Stir fry

(September) ground beef (1.5#)

short ribs (1.5#)


Tara said...

Wow! I'm slightly envious. :)

The book "Nourishing Traditions" has a great recipe for beef stock/broth.

I like to make Italian beef in my crockpot with roasts. All you add to the meat is Italian dressing seasoning (dry) and as many peppercinis as you like. It cooks all days and is so juicy and flavorful. I make sandwiches out of it but my DH will eat just a bowl of it plain. :)

Tori said...

Love your one year plan. I work for La Cense Beef and right now they are having a Grassfed Beef Holiday Sale. In case anyone is interested in getting the meat on sale it’s a great time to buy. I just stocked up myself.