Deciphering Our Box

So, you’ve received your box of delicious grass-fed beef and you have some questions about what you’ve found in your box or you’re not quite sure how you can best cook a particular cut… Well, you’ve come to the right place…

The Meat on a Beef Animal

To help us talk about the cuts of beef that you found in your CSA box and to help you figure out the best ways to cook it, we have grouped the beef into 4 different types:

    Tender Steaks:
    T-Bone Steak, Rib Steak, Fillet (Tenderloin), Strip Loin, Top Sirloin, Porter House, and Hanger Steak
    Medium Tender Steaks:
    Wing Steak (Sirloin), Round Steak, Flank Steak, and Skirt Steak

    Roasts:

    Short Rib Roast, Sirloin Tip Roast, Round Roast, Rump Roast, Blade Roast, Cross-Rib Roast

    Ground Beef:

    Hamburger, Hamburger Patties, Sausage

There are a lot of websites out there that will help you locate where each cut of meat actually comes from on the animal… the interactive Canadian Beef website is fun, but personally I find this Beef Chart easier to understand.

The Art of Cutting Meat

Grazing Days beef is processed by a small abattoir named Desormeaux Meats Inc. in Crysler, ON. Processing meat is a bit of an art form. On the one hand there are only so many types of meat on one animal. We will never be able to turn a Rib Roast into a T-Bones for example. On the other hand, there are a number of cuts that are in competition for the same meat. The Sirloin for example can either become a Medium Tender Steak or it can become a Roast. Grazing Days is working closely with Desormeaux Meats to figure out how we can get a wide variety of cuts in the right kind of portions to fit into a 10 lbs or 20 lbs box. As we learned this time around, there is a little bit of trial and error involved…

On October 19th, 2010 – we picked up the meat from our first 5 animals and here was the breakdown…

Type of Meat Weight (lbs) % of Total Target %
Tender Steaks 277 17 10 - 15
Medium Tender Steaks 91 5 10 - 15
Roasts 325 19 20 - 30
Ground Beef 981 59 50
Total 1674    

 

This time around, we ended up with a little bit more ground beef than we anticipated and a lot fewer medium tender steaks than we would’ve liked. We are also looking to get more stew meat instead of having it ground into ground beef in the future. Luckily we have two more tries this year to get the proportions of meat that we would like.

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Grazing Days

Next Page: Our Beef Cooking Guide

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