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A Side of Beef


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So, we're sharing a side of beef, to be ready some time in July. I am getting half of one side, that is to say, 1/4 of a cow, the two others (one a bachelor, one a married lady with one teenage son at home) are splitting the other side. And we can order it cut however we want.

Has anybody ever gone through this process? How do we make it fair?

For example, I am guessing that I am more likely to braise a shin than the bachelor, and less likely to be fixated on steaks, although I love a good steak.

Luckily we are all lawyers so we can just debate this issue to death, but I want to avoid obvious pitfalls.


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Learned a new word. Cowpooling.

Have decided that the only way to freeze 1/4 cow is a deep freezer.

Now, to make room in the garage . . . .

Cow is coming in July.

Love to hear about your experience. What does it cost, where did you get it, what kind of breed, how was it raised? What cuts and how much did you get? Did you just get sick of beef after awhile.

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OK, I just agreed to buy 1/4 of a farm-raised, grass-fed cow. I'll be getting 118 pounds for $256 already butchered and packaged. It seems like a great deal but hopefully it won't turn me into a vegetarian in a few months time. Anybody ever do this? Any words of advice?

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Grassfed beef is quite different from the grain-fed or grain-finished beef we get in the supermarkets. It is a wonderful product and quite healthy food, but does need a slightly different approach. Based on my experience, it is leaner than grain-fed, although the fat it does have contains CLAs, so don't trim it off!

I recommend a wonderful cookbook called The Grassfed Gourmet, by Shannon Hayes. Click here to find out more about her and her books.

I've enjoyed braising many grassfed beef cuts in braises or in the pressure cooker. They have a great, beefy flavor that really comes out with low, slow cooking.

And, just to clarify, the term "cow share" usually applies to owning a share in a milk cow so that one can obtain the milk straight from the cow. In Virginia, that's the only legal way to obtain raw milk.

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