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Old 04-23-2005, 12:33 PM   #51
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Reviving an old thread here, but I'm new so it's better than starting a new one on the same topic.

We buy our beef on the hoof, generally a side that we split with my sister. I am fortunate enough to have married the farmer's daughter, and we buy our beef from a childhood friend of hers in eastern Colorado. He and his dad raise about 25 - 30 head a year just for local sale. They buy them as calves in the spring, range feed them till about the end of October, then start giving them a feed mix from the local elevator. They are sent to the packing plant (Brush Locker in Brush, Colorado) as yearlings in February,, aged and then custom cut per the end user's cutting instructions. We generally make the 1-1/2 hour drive to pick it up packaged and hard frozen in March.

IMO, this beef rivals anything that I have ever gotten in any specialty meat market, or in any restaurant. The hamburger has just enough fat to cook properly, with nothing to pour off, the steaks are incredible. We don't get many oven roasts as we prefer the steaks and only get a few pot roasts, short ribs, and a lot of ground beef in addition to the steaks. The best part is that we get the whole thing still for only about $2.00 a pound. I can get equivalent rib steaks at Tony's Market here in town for about $25 a pound (last time I looked - it's been a year or so)... no decision necessary...

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Old 05-02-2005, 05:24 PM   #52
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Not to put the cat amongst the pigeons here.... BUT....

Aberdeen Angus is THE best beef in the world... bar NONE!

Obviously, as a Scot I HAVE to say that, but.... if it wasn't the truth, why on earth would all the US, Canadian and Aussie herds have imported AA into their herd bloodlines

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Old 05-02-2005, 09:01 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Lifter

USDA "probably" only grades what is in fact "edible", as the USA is a market driven economy, that, if its "edible" by grading, there's a ton of smoke and mirrors about the "quality" thing...
I gotta add my 2. All beef sold in the US has to be "Inspected" for wholesomeness (read: edibility). You can check the labeling on any package of beef, and somewhere, either on the plastic, on the box, on the paper label, and on the meat of sides or sub-primal cuts, there will be a circular stamp that reads "U.S. Inspected" with some other stuff. This is required by law.

"Grading" (read: quality) is optional. Most meat packers will have their meat graded. From what I remember in college, USDA Inspectors look at many features, including the animal when it's alive, after it's slaughtered, the quality of marbling, etc. There are only six grades: USDA Prime, Choice, Select, Cutter, Canner, and Institutional. The last three you will not find in stores, as they get sent to canneries (Dinty More Beef Stew, Canned beef broth, dog food, etc.), or some place that doesn't have to worry about what their "customers" have to say about the quality of meat. USDA Prime is the best of the six, with Choice second, and Select third. USDA Prime is hard to find in a grocery store (I've never seen it), but I wouldn't be surprised if a friendly butcher would order some for you. USDA Choice and Select are what normally shows up in stores. Certified Angus Beef, from what I was taught, is somewhere between Prime and Choice, but isn't really a "grade".
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Old 05-03-2005, 05:20 AM   #54
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Where does anyone ever fiind prime beef in this country? I have not seen it in years in a local supermarket or at a specialty meat market. I have friends who raise cattle in Canada and their beef is great.
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Old 05-03-2005, 05:40 AM   #55
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We don't appear to use the same sort of classification system that the US uses.

Our 'classifications' appear to be organic; Scotch (or English or Welsh or N Irish) beef; 'Home produced' (could be from any of the above named countries within the UK); Aberdeen Angus. We also have some 'foreign' beef - but it must be shown with country of origin, eg Australia.

I'm lucky. I buy most of my meat from a local butcher who is also part of a local farming family. I know exactly where my beef was chewing the cud - ditto locally raised lamb and chickens I try not to buy supermarket beef. They don't seem to butcher the beef etc to my high expectations!
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Old 05-03-2005, 07:09 AM   #56
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Each year in May before the fishing season and October after the season we drive to a small butcher shop about 60 miles from here. Everything is home processed and excellent, particularly the oxtails, which are to die for. I talked to them yesterday and our order will be ready for pickup later this week. They have intense pride in their product and won't let anything sub-par out the door. I'm glad that there are still a few people like this out there.
...and that's the way it is in northern Minnesota.
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Old 05-03-2005, 08:27 AM   #57
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We're pretty lucky here in the UK, Otter as small, independent butchers still seem to be able to make a good living, despite the upsurge in the meats supplied by our large supermarkets.

Mind you, I could buy Aberdeen Angus fillet of beef at my local supermarket for less than half it costs me at my butchers! BUT, it doesn't taste the same....

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