Meat Quality


Steve Normanton Side of Beef Cutsheet

We ask that you make some decisions about how to butcher your side of beef. If you have never made these decisions before, the process can be  daunting. We have tried to make it as easy as possible, while still allowing you as many choices as possible.

STEW MEAT AND HAMBURGER – If you select the maximum number of roasts and/or steaks on your cutsheet, you will still get about 60 lbs. of ground beef or stew meat. This is because there is always a lot of perfectly good meat that is unusable for roasts and steaks, because it is the wrong shape or size. If you would like more  hamburger or stew meat, you can make choices that will add to your total. For stew meat, specify at the end of the cut-sheet how many pounds of stew meat in a package and how many total packages. Lean pieces will be used from what would otherwise be ground into hamburger.

CHUCK – The chuck is a large section containing about 40 pounds of meat and bones per side. Chuck is often ground into hamburger, but you can also get 4 or 5  chuck and shoulder roasts, which are prized for pot roast and other slow-cooking recipes. Please indicate how many roasts you would like. The trim and any remaining meat will be ground. Note: about 4 lbs. of “short ribs” also are in the chuck section. You can opt to keep them on the bone or have them ground.

RIB – The rib yields about 15 lbs bone-in (or 10 lbs. boneless) of high quality steaks or roasts. This is where steakhouse “prime rib” comes from.  Our ribs grade “choice” or “select,” due to having less fat than “prime.” If you cut the whole rib into steaks, you get about 10 steaks, 1¼” thick, each   weighing about 1½ lbs. bone-in (or 1 lb. boneless). If you opt for all roasts, you can get three small roasts, two medium-sized roasts, or one ginormous roast, suitable for the Flintstone family.

SHORT LOIN – The short loin contains the very best cuts on the beef. From the short loin you can get T-bone steak, Porterhouse, NY strip steak and filet  mignon. If you want the whole tenderloin as a separate roast, you cannot get T-bones or Porterhouses, because the T-bone and Porterhouse have a  piece of tenderloin on one side of the bone (like a filet mignon) and the NY strip on the other. Assuming your steaks are cut 1” thick, you will get about 10 steaks from a side. Note: if you choose T-bones and Porterhouses, you will get a small amount of extra tenderloin, because a small section of tenderloin extends beyond the short loin.

SIRLOIN – The sirloin accounts for about 16 lbs of a side of beef. If you opt to have the sirloin cut into steaks, you will get a variety of types of bone-in  steaks, plus a couple of boneless. Alternatively, the option of grinding all the sirloin adds a nice flavor to the ground beef. You can also choose to have the recently popular “tri-tip roast” (about 2 lbs.) cut from the sirloin.

ROUND – The Round is a large section of beef—32 pounds or more per side. The “eye of the round” roast is a lean, flavorful cut that is often kept as a  whole roast. The Bottom Round can be ground into hamburger or cut into roasts for slow cooking. The Top Round can be ground or cut into roasts (top round roasts are good for cutting into London broil steaks). The Rump can be ground or it can be boned, rolled and tied into a Rump Roast.

Click here to download Steve Normanton Side of Beef Cutsheet