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Old 08-19-2006, 09:41 AM   #1
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We Stopped Buying Beef

We stopped buying beef at the supermarket. Originaly because we were afraid we were eating too much and the high cost boosted the food bill. We went to buying only chicken and pork and used these meats as a staple. We now buy our beef at butcher shops in the whole form and finish cutting them at home. I have found that an occasional trip to the butcher shop instead of a weekly beef purchase does a couple of things. When you have to go out of your way to buy it you eat less of it and it becomes a real treat.. like it should be. Been doing boneless sirloin strip when we get the beef urge. Steaks up nice and is great on the grill.
Another twist to our modified beef buying habits is that now on sit down holiday meals like Thanksgiving or Newyears it's Beef. We eat turkeys all year, But now it's beef that's on the menue. I like doing a whole bone in rib roast... Booya! Now that's a plate of beef!... Thoughts?


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Old 08-19-2006, 12:13 PM   #2
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If it works for you, that's great.

Have you calculated the cost of buying the whole form of beef and trimming it yourself? That is, weighing the finished product and calculating the cost.

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Old 08-19-2006, 01:09 PM   #3
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Speaking only for myself of course but I like buying my beef from a specialty meat market where I am on good terms with the butcher. I get great beef at a somewhat reasonable price. The quality and taste is so good that I don't mind paying the extra price. I wouldn't go through the trouble of buying a side of beef and trimming it myself for couple of reasons. First, I'm not about to go through all that work. Second you are buying this side of beef untrimmed so you're paying for fat, gristle and bone that will be thrown out. When you weigh the amount of edible beef after trimming, and divide it into the price per pound, you will find that you really don't save all that much AND you have a lot of beef that you have to eat up. I buy my beef as I want it for that night because I don't like what happens to meat when you freeze it. Even with a Food Saver you lose a certain amount of quality.
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Old 08-19-2006, 01:12 PM   #4
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Exactly concerning waste. But butcher shops are so so so expensive here I could never justify spending the money in spite of the fact that I learned about buying meat and the various cuts by going to a butcher shop with my dad.
We only eat beef maybe once a week--some weeks not even that much. I have not had any problem resisting it or choosing to buy fish, chicken, pork--or take lamb from my freezer from my annual purchase.
If you are really "into" cutting your own meat, get the whole pieces from Costco or Sam's. It would have to be cheaper. And their meat is quite good.
We have whole turkey one day a year--T'giving. Beef on Christmas and it is still a treat because it is whole tenderloin. Pork on New Year's for luck.
When ribeye is on sale for $5.99 (or occasionally $4.99) I buy a roast that is really good. When I was smoking some pork butt last week, I smoked a ribeye roast. It is vac sealed awaiting a special dinner in the near future.
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Old 08-19-2006, 04:32 PM   #5
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Gretchen, you smoked a prime rib? Oh boy, I bet that's going to taste good!
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Old 08-19-2006, 04:37 PM   #6
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I am lucky that I have a local butcher's shop - who raises the majority of his 'beasts' as we call them, on his farm, just outside the city. He also makes his own sausages, haggis and black pudding (I only buy the latter for my husband, I've never liked black pudding!)

All his meat is organic. It may cost more, but I believe it is worth every penny.

My sister used to buy half a cow or half sheep (she lives in Aus) - a lot of it was wasted - fat, sinew etc... I suspect that, pound for pound, my meat was better and cheaper than the stuff she bought
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Old 08-19-2006, 05:26 PM   #7
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The continent (I include you in that!) has a much better record of "staying close to its food" and I applaud that. It just isn't always possible in the US.
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Old 08-19-2006, 06:46 PM   #8
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I only get my meats from a butcher shop (and that means ALL meats..). I've bought whole cows from him a couple times before and then paid him 50 bucks to slaughter them for me. I didn't really like the result. It was a lot of work "finishing" all the cuts, and it overloaded our standalone freezer to the point that we felt obligated to eat it on almost a daily basis.

Which was fine for a while...but by the time you've burned through both tenderloins, all the rib roast (prime rib), the Porterhouses, etc...you're left with all this "extra" stuff that, while good, is somewhat labor intensive and more of a "eat it when in the mood" thing.

I'll stick with popping in to pick up a whole tenderloin, a 4 bone rib roast, some ground round, and a brisket every so often instead of the whole cow or a side.
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Old 09-22-2006, 01:05 AM   #9
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i like my beef nicely sliced but i hate to buy it at supermarket since they always put the trimmings or portions with the most fat underneath the good nicely cut steaks and sometimes the beef will discolour so i rather buy it at butcher store where you see what you get
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Old 09-22-2006, 12:09 PM   #10
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I like to purchase my beef from a local butcher who slaughters and processes locally grown beef. It is corn finished and cut any way you like it. The meat is far better than can be had in the supermarkets and is purchased for about $1.50 per pound, U.S. I get to choose what parts will be ground, and how many roasts and steaks I get, and how thick they are cut. I don't believe there's a better way to purchase beef on the planet. I know this is probably a unique situation. I know of another butcher shop about 10 miles from me that sells the same quality of beef, already cut and in the display case for $12.40 per pound. I'll take my local butcher over those guys any day of the week. And as for the bones and such, they don't get wasted at my house. I ask for the shin and other bones and such to be cut up for soup bones and the toughest meat cuts to be prepared for stew meat. The only thing I don't get is the skin. And that's ok becasue I don't know how to make it into leather anyways.

If you can find a local beef processor in your area, give them a try and you might be surpized at how affordable beef can be.

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