The hind quarter consists of three “primal chunks”—the loin, the flank, and the round. This part of the cow contains all of the premium, tenderest, high-dollar-value cuts of beef. With so many high-end steaks here, the hind quarter is more expensive than the front quarter. The going rate is about $1200.
This section is full of tender cuts that can be prepared quickly, without moist heat or extended cooking times. It’s great meat for quick meals. Sauté, pan-fry, broil, pan-broil, or grill these steaks for quick and delicious weekday meals. While easy to prepare, it’s also elegant, making it a great option for entertaining. It’s not uncommon for grass-fed steaks in this category to fetch $18-$30/pound at the store.
Three main steaks come from the loin primal. The porterhouse is very popular, pulled from the rear of the short loin. It gets its name from the alehouses that used to serve the steak, alongside a nice porter beer. The steak is made up of both tenderloin and strip steak. The tenderloin can be butchered separately as filet mignon.
T-bone steak is cut from the middle section of the short loin. It’s similar to the porterhouse, but a bit smaller overall, containing a smaller piece of the tenderloin. This cut is usually pan-fried or grilled and can be hard to find at the supermarket.
Often considered the most tender cut of meat, the tenderloin lives up to its name. It responds well to sauces, meaning the meat does not overpower the flavor of the sauce. It can be cut as a whole strip for a tenderloin roast or individual steaks and medallions for filet mignon.
Sirloin Primal Chunk
These tender cuts also respond well to sautéing, pan-frying, broiling, pan-broiling, or grilling. The going rate is about $14-$18/pound at the store. They are broken into sirloin steaks, labeled as top sirloin or sirloin tip steaks or roasts (great in kebabs or stir fry) and sirloin tip roast, excellent dry roasted or marinated.
Flank Primal Chunk
This meat is lean, muscular, and very flavorful. It’s primarily used for flank steaks, London broil, and rolled flank steaks. Flank can also be used for kabobs, bavette, skirt steak, fajita, or stir-fry meat. The flank steak has tremendous flavor and should be sliced thin against the grain for maximum tenderness.
Round Primal Chunk
The round consists of lean meat tailor-made for long, moist cooking methods. It’s the least expensive primal of the hind quarter. Subsections include the top round, the most tender part of the round. This cut can be prepared as pot roast or cut into thick London broil steaks otherwise known as round steaks for braised dishes.
Next up is the rump roast, a very popular cut for pot roast but can also be roasted at low temperatures. The round can be cut into Manhattan steak, San Antonio steak, sirloin tip steak, or tri-tip roast. There’s also cube steak, mechanically tenderized with a perforated hammer to make it better for quick-cooking methods like grilling. The round can also be made into stew cubes, fajita strips, or ground beef.
Scraps and Trimmings
You decide, stew meat and/or ground beef. Generally, all beef packages include 35%-60% ground meat and/or stew meat, depending on the other cuts that you select.
The average hanging weight for a 1/8 rear is 100 pounds, which yields about 66 pounds of finished meat. The total is about $650, or $7.95/pound. This is what many places charge for 100% grass-fed found beef alone but you’ll get premium steaks in the mix (40% steaks, 60% ground). A quarter rear is double the above, usually 200 pounds in hanging weight yielding about 130 pounds of finished meat. The total is about $1200, or $7.50/pound. So yes, you really do save money purchasing meat this way.
With grass-fed bones for soup going for $4/pound and tallow at $2/pound at the store, it makes you wonder why anybody goes that route. Your Source Farms beef share includes bones, fat, and organ meat at no extra charge.