What’s a Side of Beef

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What’s a Side of Beef 2017-04-21T21:27:58+00:00

Glossary of Terms

A side of beef is one half of the animal after it has been ‘dressed’ (parts other than the meat removed). A ‘side’ is broken down into larger pieces called ‘primals’. These are further broken down into individual cuts for the customer to cook at home.


At Mack Brook Farm, this isn’t just ‘what’s left over’ after all the other cuts have been taken. There are several cuts we do not sell individually as we grind them into the hamburgers. We believe this is what gives our hamburger its superior taste. “Best hamburger I ever ate!” is the most common reaction from our customers.


The Chuck is typically used for roasts and stew or ground into hamburger. Chuck roast and stew meat are full of flavor and perfect for slow cooking. On one side of beef the Chuck will account for about 50 pounds.


The Rib yields tender, juicy meat. It can be cut into Standing Rib Roasts or Ribeye Steaks. On one side of beef, the rib will account for about 10 pounds.


This is generally thought of as the best cuts on the beef. From the Loin, you can get Porterhouse, T-Bones, NY Strips and Filet Mignon. If you are purchasing a side of beef and want the Tenderloin whole or cut into Filet Mignon steaks, it will automatically mean that you get NY Strip steak. OR you can request T-Bone and Porterhouse steaks that have a piece of tenderloin on one side of the bone. Because of this, it is not possible to request Filet Mignons along with Porterhouse and T-Bone steaks. On one side of beef, the Loin will account for about 15 pounds.


The Sirloin is a very flavorful part of the beef. We cut ours into two pound steaks or one-inch cubes for stew or kebobs. Sirloin accounts for about 10 pounds on one side of beef.


The Round offers many options. The Eye of the Round Roast, which we cut into two pieces, is lean and flavorful. We use Top Round for our Roasts. The Round will make up 65 or more pounds on one side of beef. Much of it is ground into hamburger.


We cut this large piece into halves- a thick and thin portion. It is excellent for marinating, slow cooking, or smoking. There is only one per side and whole it is about 6 pounds.


This cut is excellent for marinating. There is one Flank steak per side and it is usually about one and a half pounds.

Stew Meat

We use lean pieces from the Chuck or Sirloin and cut them into 1-inch cubes.

Soup Bones and Oxtails

These are bones with a good amount of meat on them. They are excellent for homemade stock which is much tastier and healthier – and easier than you think. Recipes

Marrow Bones

These are cut and sold 2 per package.

Organ Meats

We package the Tongue (Recipes) and Kidneys whole. The Heart is cubed and the Liver is sliced.

Side of Beef

For a helpful illustration, view this Beef Cuts Chart and use the glossary of terms.

Beef Cuts Chart PDF