We love cow. Steaks, roasts, ground up… you name it, we love it. For many years we have been regular patrons at our local butcher. However, in the recent year, we’ve wanted a better (or maybe just different?) option. After quite a bit of reading, research, and googling, I found West Wind Farm and decided that this was what we should do.
Earlier in the year we picked up some sampler packs from the farm to try before we made the significant investment that buying a half cow represents. The sampler packs I selected gave us a nice assortment of steaks and roasts for testing, as well as some ground beef, short ribs, and stew meat. We liked it enough that, when bulk order day came around, we placed an order for a half cow all of our own.
This cow is pretty awesome. It’s humanely raised, grass fed, free range, hormone-free, and all those good things you want in your food supply. The slaughtering is done with USDA inspection, the meat is dry-aged, and it’s all labeled and flash frozen. Can I tell the difference in taste between it and the grain fed stuff I used to get at the butcher? Honestly? No. But I know that it’s healthier for me and my family and buying this meat makes me feel better about the choices I’m making. I try not to get preachy when it comes to local eating and food sourcing choices, but this cow is a Good Choice.
We got our bulk order form about a month ago and carefully made our selections regarding which cuts we wanted in steak or roast form and which cuts we wanted ground. We also selected thickness of steaks and size of roasts. We paid our deposit and waited.
Cow delivery day finally came and we drove up to Columbia to pick everything up. It all came packaged in five sturdy filing boxes. Everything was wrapped and labeled. (We had the option to get the ground meat in burger form or just bulk, we opted for 1-pound bulk packs because I can always make my own burgers.)
The drive home was very cold – 250ish pounds of frozen cow radiates quite a bit of chill.
Once home I photographed the boxes, loaded everything into the upright “cow” freezer, and took a pictures of the loaded freezer. The guys said I should have taken a before-loading picture of the freezer as well, but didn’t think about this until after I’d already unloaded two of the five boxes.
I was happy to see the packages of shanks, which I’d forgotten about. I have grand plans to cook through the CIA’s Professional Chef book at some point, so having shanks will be useful in stock making.
The verdict? We’ve got a LOT of ground beef. I didn’t count the packs, but I’m guessing it’s somewhere in the 30-40 range. My goal for the year is, of course, to eat it all so we can buy another half cow next year. My plan to achieve this will be to eat cow twice a week until it’s all gone. Wish me luck!