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.

The eighth side is equal to half of the quarter.

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: English, 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 steaks and roasts 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

Hanging weight is usually about 125 lbs.

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

Liver, heart and tongue available also!

*Net weight depends upon several variables.

We sell the following based upon the hanging weight:

  • 1/8 side
  • 1/4 side
  • 1/2 side

All of our meat is dry aged from 10 to 21 days, and is sold based upon the “hanging weight.”

|_. Typical Cuts Available by the Cut at Farm Markets |_ |Tenderloin |Porterhouse Steak |T-Bone Steak |Rib Steak |Sirloin Steak |Flank Steak |Round Steak |Cubed Round Steak |Sirloin Tip Roast |Sirloin Tip Steak |Brisket |Rolled Rump Roast |Chuck Roast |English Roast |Arm Roast |Stew Meat |Ground Beef-tubes |Ground Beef-patties |Sweet Italian Sausage (fresh) |Hot Italian Sausage (fresh) |Bratwurst Sausage (fresh) |Oxtail |Beef Bones |Tongue |Heart |Liver

Call or email for availability and pricing.

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!”

McLaughlin Farm dry ages its beef for 14-28 days!

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.

Gallery on the Farm