Filling out a cut sheet is one of the most daunting pieces in the process of buying half a cow. Here, we break it down in simple terms straight from the farmer. 

Open up our Half Beef Cut Sheet Form to follow along with this article as you fill it out. 

A few things to keep in mind…

Our butcher, Fauquier’s Finest, only allows a certain number of selections per section on the half. Most sections will only allow you to select one option. Our butcher will only cut beef according to the cut sheet. Requests beyond what is listed on the cut sheet will not be honored.

Secondly, the amount of beef you get depends on what your specific steer yields. Visit our How Much Meat is in Half a Cow? page to read more about what to expect and to see some examples of what half beef customers have received in the past.

Lastly, these decisions are up to you! Keep in mind what your family eats throughout the week and what you may want for any events. To see how cuts are packaged and how things look, visit our Farm Shop – we carry most of the cuts available here. 

Ok, here we go!

First, fill out the boxes with your contact info.

Steak Thickness: Totally your preference. If you’ve had our steaks before, we do 1 inch. The thicker your steaks are, the less steaks you will have. The thinner your steaks are, the more steaks you will have. The butcher will cut all steaks to your selected thickness.

Roast Weight: A good rule of thumb is 3/4lb-1lb of meat per adult.

Ground Beef: Your preference.
Your ground beef consists of any trimmings and any section you choose to “Grind”. The “Grind” selection in each section of your cut sheet means that the meat from that section goes into your bulk ground beef pile and is ground together. Ground Chuck, Ground Sirloin, and Ground Round mean that the butcher takes that section, grinds the meat, and packages/labels it separately from your Ground Beef. Our cattle typically yield a 90/10 ground beef lean to fat ratio. If you do not select to “Grind” any section on the cut sheet, you will receive approximately 40lbs of ground beef from the trimmings. 

Ground Beef Patties: 25 pounds maximum. Select your preferred patty size and how many pounds total you would like in patties. If you have had our ground beef patties before, we do 1/4lb patties and they come four to a pack. The patties have butcher paper in between. Our butcher packs four (4) patties per pack.

Stew Meat: Stew Meat in this section (it will appear again in another section later) is the trimmings of the beef that are just a little too good to go with your bulk ground beef. Stew Meat is small hunks of meat packaged in ~1lb packs.

Beef Fat: 3-4lb packages. Mix in with venison or render it down for tallow.

Bones: 3-4lbs of bones per package. If you choose all, you will get all of the bones. This included knuckles, shank, marrow, and more. You will need more cooler space than what is recommended if you get all of the bones. If you would like marrow bones only, you will get 2-3 packages of marrow bones. 

Brisket: From the chest section. There is only one brisket per half cow. If it is trimmed, the butcher will take all of the fat off. If it is untrimmed, the butcher will take off the large hump of fat connected to this cut, but leave the rest of the fat intact. A whole untrimmed brisket weighs about 12-14 pounds. We typically carry briskets that are cut in half and untrimmed, which can be 5-9lbs. 

Rib Plate: The rib cage. 2inch short ribs are standard beef ribs and come approximately four ribs to a package. Korean style ribs are thin cross-cut short ribs. If you don’t want either, grind it. 

Shank: This section is from the knee to the ankle; the shin. Osso Bucco is the shank cut horizontal in 1.5″ discs, with the bone in the middle and the meat around it – there will be 2-4 bones per package. Soup bones are cut the same way, but in 1″ discs.

Rib: Prime rib is an impressive cut for holiday meals. On a half beef, the prime rib will follow your roast weight selection or you can select the whole roast. You can also choose bone-in rib steaks (bone-in ribeye) or boneless ribeyes, aka Delmonicos.

Chuck: The shoulder; fatty and flavorful. Ground Chuck is where the butcher grinds the chuck section and packages it separately. Ground Chuck has more fat in the lean to fat ratio, closer to 80/20, and is perfect for forming meatballs, meatloaf, or your own patties. You can also choose between chuck steak options, bone-in chuck roast, or stew meat. If you were going to keep any roast, this is the one to keep! 

Boneless Chuck Steaks: Choose as many of these as you’d like. This is a separate section from the chuck. Ranch and Denver steaks are heavily marbled, very small steaks. Flat irons are thin and tender. Chuck eyes are about the size of a NY strip but have the fat distribution similar to a ribeye – one of the most underrated cuts. Our recommendation is to get all of them!

Flank: There is only one flank per half a cow. Great to marinate and throw on the grill. 

Short Loin: Everyone’s favorite section. No wrong choices here.

Sirloin: Ground Sirloin is where the butcher grinds the sirloin section and packages it separately. Ground Sirloin is lean and has a lean to fat ratio closer to 95/5. Bone-in sirloin steaks can weigh over a pound. If you’ve ever had our sirloin strips, they are the petite top strip, a traditional sirloin strip. Top strips are slightly larger than the petite. 

Eye Round: From the lean round section. Great for low and slow recipes. There is only one eye round roast per half beef. Kabob meat is hunks of meat packaged in roughly one pound packages, similar to stew meat.

Top Round: Customers choose ground round for a leaner ground beef option. Shaved beef is thinly sliced, perfect for cheesesteaks or stir fry. Fajita meat is thinly sliced strips for, you guessed it, fajitas! London broils are a smaller roast style. 

Bottom Round: Similar options to the top round, but you can choose kabob meat or cube steak. Cube steak is double tenderized. 

Sirloin Tip: Small section, which is closest section of the hind quarter to the center. Usually two or so roasts per half. Sirloin tip steaks are larger, leaner steaks.

Tri Tip: Only one tri tip per half cow. Very marbled, great for the grill.

Inside Steaks: The skirt and hanger. There is only one of each per half, but they are worth it. Due to restrictions by our processor, inside steaks are only available to one side of the beef. If getting these is very important to you, please make a note in the notebox at checkout when you pay your deposit. This may mean we have to move your reservation to the next butcher date to ensure you get these if there is already a reservation for the “inside steak half” of your prospective butcher date. If you can take them or leave them, make your selection, but don’t put a note. 

Organs: You may choose as many of these as you’d like. We do recommend keeping the skirt and hanging tender, as they are great steak cuts. Keep the rest of you are an adventurous cook or for your favorite pooch! Due to restrictions by our processor, organs are only available to one side of the beef. If getting these is very important to you, please make a note in the notebox at checkout when you pay your deposit. This may mean we have to move your reservation to the next butcher date to ensure you get these if there is already a reservation for the “organs half” of your prospective butcher date. If you can take them or leave them, make your selection, but don’t put a note. 

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