Earlier this week we got a phone call from Potlatch Pack saying our meat was ready to pick up.
This is the meat from butchering our steer Nebuchadnezzar a couple weeks ago. Once the butchers take the carcass away, they hang it in a cool room for at least a week before cutting and wrapping the meat. Hanging makes the meat more tender.
I always enjoy the drive down to Potlatch. It's early spring on the Palouse and the winter wheat is not even a green haze yet. Everything's still brown, but the snow is mostly gone.
(These photos were taken by holding up the camera randomly and snapping a shot through the car window while going 60 mph.)
Chance (left) and his uncle Mel (right) keep the facility squeaky-clean. Here they were just hosing down and tidying up at the end of the day.
The bill for the butchering, cutting, and wrapping came to $269.06 for a hanging weight of 374 lbs. "Hanging weight" means the carcass halves, minus the hide, innards, head, hooves, etc. Subtract about 20% of that for the final weight (the discarded bone, fat, etc) which means I came home with about 300 lbs of meat. This comes to a bit under $0.90/lb. for homegrown grass-fed organic beef.
The men salvage boxes from the local grocery store to pack meat in, but they ran out just before I got there. I offered to dash over to the grocery store and get some empty boxes, but then we decided just to pile the meat into the back of the car. Keep in mind this meat is frozen rock-hard solid.
We get a combination of steaks, roasts, and ground beef, with a few bits of things like stew meat and cube steak thrown in for good measure. The nice part about butchering a steer is you get the super-dooper expensive cuts like filet mignon and rib eye along with the common cuts, all for the same price.
At home, we shuffled things around in our chest freezer the best we could and packed it absolutely to the brim with meat.
As it was, we simply couldn't fit it all in, so we called a neighbor and asked if we could "rent" some of her freezer space in exchange for some roasts or steaks. She was already getting the heart and liver, the three packages you see on the lower right-hand side.
Needless to say, this is enough meat to last us a long, long, long time! Thanks Nebuchadnezzar.