What do I get with a Quarter side of Beef?

McLaughlin Farm’s goal is to produce steers that have a live weight of 1100 lbs. Because Highland Cattle are somewhat smaller in stature than some of the more popular commercial breeds, and take longer to mature, this is a reasonable size. For our grass-fed steers we are finding it takes almost 30 months to achieve this size. Under USDA regulations, animals over the age of 30 months require special processing, which we seek to avoid, so we process prior to 30 months in most cases.

A “standard” quarter will have a “hanging weight” of approximately 135 to 150 lbs. Some of our smaller steers have resulted in hanging weights of 125 lbs. The net processed weight is generally about 80% of the hanging weight, but how the side is processed has a big impact on the final result. The hanging weight is taken at the time the animal is slaughtered. Because McLaughlin Farm dry ages all of its beef for 10-21 days, there is some shrinkage by the time the side is processed.

Processing also determines the net weight that the buyer will receive. Our Highland steers are lean and therefore there is not a lot of excess fat to remove. De-boning is the other significant issue which impacts the net result. Generally our bundles are oriented towards steaks (Porterhouse, T-bone, Rib) and they all have bone. (Bone adds flavor when cooking!)

Our usual packages do include certain processing which is normally an “extra”, such as including: cubed round steak, cutting down roast into smaller sizes, vacuum packaging. Buyers of quarters do have a few choices concerning certain cutting options. In addition, certain cutting options apply to an entire half side, thus McLaughlin Farm will match buyers in order to process the side according to the buyers’ wishes. The major cutting decision that requires to be made for the half is if the side will be cut for Tenderloin and Strip Steaks OR for Porterhouse and T-bone steaks! Quarters include Arm, Chuck and Rump Roasts, Sirloin Tip Roast (or Tip Steaks), cuts from the Round (which can be ground as well), Ground Beef, Stew Meat, Short Ribs, Soup Bones and Liver.

Our quarters are “mixed quarters” which includes cuts from the front and back quarters of the animal. A typical assortment of cuts for a ¼ side is set forth in the adjacent table.

Our usual cutting order includes the following steaks: Porterhouse, T-bone, Rib Steak, and Round Steak. The roasts generally included: Chuck, Arm and Rolled-Rump. Unwanted roasts can be ground. We can also select “best of the roasts” and the processor determines if the roast should be ground or not. Some customers ask to have large roasts cut in half.

Finally, all of our cuts are individually vacuumed packed. Hamburger patties are also vacuum packed. Bulk hamburger is packaged in tubes of approximately 1 lb. each. The packaging makes storage very easy!

Typical Quarter of Beef

Steak 20-25 lbs
Roasts 15-20 lbs
Cubed Steak* 3-5 lbs
Short-Ribs 2-3 lbs
Ground Beef* 15-30 lbs
Stew Meat* 3-5 lbs
Soup Bones 2-4 lbs

Hanging weight is usually about 135 lbs.

Liver, heart and tongue available also!

*Net weight depends upon several variables.

All of our meat is dry aged from 14 to 21 days, and is sold based upon the “hanging weight.”  Customers can purchase more than one quarter at a time, but the price per hanging pound is the same.

Beef Bundles

In addition to quarters, McLaughlin Farm offers the following beef bundles.
The “Large Assorted ” bundle includes the largest selection of cuts, with an emphasis on steak. The “Medium” and “Small” bundles also have an assortment of cuts, including: steaks, roasts, ground beef. Braising bundles consist primarily of roasts, stew meat and ground beef. Bundles can be reserved in advance.

A deposit is required to reserve a bundle.

These bundles are priced at a discount to our farm market pricing and are dependent upon the actual cuts included in the bundle, their exact weights and the price of the cut. The weights shown below are target weights. All cuts have exact weights shown on their label, including ground beef, which do vary in weight.  Substitutions of comparable cuts will be made if a cut listed is not available. The number of cuts may vary also depending upon the weights of available cuts in our inventory. Customers are contacted when substitutions or quantities of a cut may be an issue.

Our sausages can be added to any bundle as well, again depending upon availability. The sausages are made with McLaughlin Farm Ground Beef. They are frozen fresh and require cooking. The sausages do not have any MSG or fillers. One or two varieties have sugar. Exact ingredients are available upon request (they are shown on the label too). The varieties include: Sweet Italian, Hot Italian, Green Onion, Bratwurst, Andouille, Chorizo, and Breakfast. The sausages are usually available in links, with 5-6 links per package. Occasionally it is available in 1 lb tubes. These are only made periodically and we may not have all varieties at any given time.

Typical Cuts Available by the Cut at Farm Market:

Steak: Tenderloin, Porterhouse, T-Bone, Rib (bone-in or boneless), Sirloin, Flank, Hanger, Skirt, Round, Cubed Round, and Sirloin Tip.

Roasts and other braising cuts:

Sirloin Tip Roast, Arm, Chuck, Rolled Rump Roast, Brisket, Short Ribs (Tradtional and Korean), Stew Meat, Oxtail, and Soup Bones (meaty, meatless and Marrow).

Ground Beef and Fresh Sausage:

Ground Beef (1 lb tubes), Ground Beef-patties,  Sausages (Sweet Italian, Hot Italian, Bratwurst, Green Onion, Andouille, and Breakfast

Organ Meat:

Tongue, Heart, Liver and Kidney. Suet is also available.

What is Dry Aging?

Dry aging requires the beef to be hung in a cold, moderately humid cooler, exposed to the air. This process results in some drying (and some meat loss) but it concentrates the beef flavor and increases tenderness. Hanging time for McLaughlin Farm beef is 14-21 days! Dry aged beef is rarely found in the stores, and few producers that do dry aging, do it for this length of time. Dry aging is exceptional, and is only done for some of the finest restaurants in the US.

McLaughlin Farm has been very pleased with the results of this process. Comments from our customers include:

“The flavor of your beef reminds me of the meat my dad served!” “You do not get steak like this in the store!” Or, “You don’t need anything on this steak besides salt and pepper!”

Wet aged beef is what you typically find in most supermarkets. It is vacuum-sealed and “aged” in the packaging, usually in route from the processor to the grocery store! Some commercial brands even offer marinated meat in this form. Some tenderizing may occur during this process, but not very much. In addition, beef may have a metallic off flavor due to the process.

How to order McLaughlin Farm beef!

Our production period usually begins in March or April and runs through late October. Early production is usually for the farm market, but some quarters are worked in during the spring and summer. Most quarters are delivered in the fall. A reservation list is maintained, and we are often sold out for the year by mid-summer. The initial deposit to be put on the reservation list  is $100/quarter, which is non-refundable. Large bundles have a single deposit, which varies depending upon the bundle.  A second deposit is required for quarters at the time the animal goes to the processor, and this is when we ask the customer for their cutting preferences. The second deposit per quarter is $200/quarter. The balance is due when you receive your beef.

For pricing and availability, or to answer any other questions,  please click this box and send us the requested information and we will provide you with the information.

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LARGE Assorted Bundle

Approximate Weight: 70-75 lbs
Approximate Cost: $575-$600
Deposit: $150.00

  Cut* lb.
4 Tenderloin Medallions 2.00
4 Strip Steak, bone-in 4.00
4 Rib Steak,bone-in, cap off 5.00
2 Sirloin Steak, boneless 2.00
1 Skirt Steak or Flank Steak 2.00
2 Round Steak 2.00
1 Round Steak, Cubed (2 per pkg.) 1.00
4 Sirloin Tip Steak 4.00
1 Rump Roast 3.00
1 Arm Roast 3.00
3 Chuck Roast 9.00
4 Stew Meat 4.00
3 Short Ribs 8.00
16 Ground Beefapprox. 90/10 16.00
2 Marrow Bones 2.00
4 Meaty Soup Bones 6.00

MEDIUM Assorted Bundle

Approximate Weight: 40-50 lbs
Approximate Cost: $350-$375
Deposit: $100.00

  Cut* lb.
2 Tenderloin Medallions 1.00
2 Strip Steak, bone-in 2.00
2 Rib Steak,bone-in, cap off 3.00
1 Sirloin Steak, boneless 1.00
1 Skirt Steak or Flank Steak 2.00
1 Round Steak 1.00
1 Sirloin Tip Steak 1.00
1 Rump Roast 3.00
1 Arm Roast 3.00
2 Chuck Roast 6.00
2 Stew Meat 2.00
2 Short Ribs 5.00
14 Ground Beefapprox. 90/10 14.00
1 Marrow Bones 1.00
2 Meaty Soup Bones 3.00

SMALL Assorted Bundle

Approximate Weight: 30-35 lbs
Approximate Cost: $220-$240
Deposit: $75.00

  Cut* lb.
2 Tenderloin Medallions 1.00
2 Strip Steak, bone-in 2.00
2 Rib Steak,bone-in, cap off 3.00
1 Sirloin Steak, boneless 1.00
1 Round Steak 1.00
1 Sirloin Tip Steak 1.00
1 Arm Roast 3.00
1 Chuck Roast 3.00
2 Stew Meat 2.00
10 Ground Beefapprox. 90/10 10.00
2 Meaty Soup Bones 3.00

LARGE Braising Bundle

Approximate Weight: 45-50 lbs
Approximate Cost: $290-$310
Deposit: $75.00

  Cut* lb.
2 Rump Roast 6.00
2 Arm Roast 6.00
4 Chuck Roast 12.00
4 Stew Meat 4.00
2 Short Ribs 5.00
10 Ground Beefapprox. 90/10 10.00
2 Marrow Bones 2.00
2 Meaty Soup Bones 3.00

SMALL Braising Bundle

Approximate Weight: 20-25 lbs
Approximate Cost: $150-$175
Deposit: $50.00

  Cut* lb.
1 Rump Roast 3.00
1 Arm Roast 3.00
2 Chuck Roast 6.00
2 Stew Meat 2.00
2 Short Ribs 5.00
5 Ground Beefapprox. 90/10 5.00
1 Marrow Bones 1.00
2 Meaty Soup Bones 3.00