On Friday, I went down to pick up the meat from the two animals we had butchered a couple weeks ago. We have about 650 lbs. of beef coming to us, only 150 lbs. of which we'll be keeping.
The drive down to Potlatch is always so pretty this time of year. The Palouse is almost impossibly green with early winter wheat beginning to grow. And the isolated farms look story-book picturesque.
The butchers keep their facility squeaky-clean.
Here's the freezer unit. Each customer's meat is kept in labeled trays.
Here's the cooler unit, where they hang carcasses for a week or ten days, which tenderizes the meat.
Here's some of the regular as well as specialty services these butchers offer.
Anyway, I loaded my car to groaning with packaged beef, and drove home.
Next step: clean out the freezer!
In order to fit everything in, we had to be brutal in selecting what stays and what goes. Don made some wooden partitions to help keep things sorted and organized.
We inventoried as we packed the freezer so we would know what we have.
A lot of people from our church are interested in the meat, so the freezer won't be this way for long.
It took a lot of creative maneuvering and clever packing, but we finally got almost everything in; though forty-seven pounds of overflow ground beef are being stored in a neighbor's freezer.
With butchering costs, the price of this beef (organic and grass-fed!) is about $1/lb. Of course that doesn't take into effect feed costs, which I'm estimating adds another ten cents per pound.
We haven't bought beef in so many years that I haven't paid attention to beef prices. So last week when I was in Costco (whose beef is, presumably, among the cheapest available), I wrote down some costs. And oh. My. Goodness. I was horrified. When did beef prices skyrocket like this? Who on earth can afford to pay $12 a pound for ribeye steak? No wonder folks are interested in our meat! Raising our own beef is definitely worth it.
And what are having for tonight's neighborhood potluck dinner? Why, pot roast of course!