When I read this post:
I decided to order a mixed quarter from Beef Connections. I've had a chance to dig into a lot of the beef, and it has been excellent.
The only downside that I can see to ordering beef in this manner is that it takes a lot of freezer space. That being said, if you have a medium sized empty chest freezer you could easily fit a half of a cow in there.
OK, on to the reasons that this whole experience as been awesome:
Cost savings: For a mixed quarter you are looking at 2.50 per pound carcass weight. After butchering mine came out to about 450 dollars for just under 150 pounds of meat. Compare that to the local grocery store! Sure per pound your not saving on stewing beef or ground beef, but a huge part of those 150 pounds are tenderloin, strip loin, prime rib, all the expensive cuts. In the long run, this purchase is saving me a lot.
Meat Quality: The pictures I've attached are of a prime rib roast and a pair of T-bones. Both of which I literally served with a butter knife, just to make a statement. It really is that tender. It is a shame that all of the meat has to be frozen, but you can really see from the t-bone pic how much lovely burgundy colour the meat has retained. The only thing is, as you can see, the marbling is merely average. But still, the flavor is exceptional.
Access to every cut: Oddly enough having all of the less expensive cuts in the house has turned out to be a lot of fun. It has inspired a few stews, london broils, and marinated grilling steaks. All of which have been delicious, and I wouldn't have gone to the extra effort of making them if I was just getting meat at the grocery store.
Customization: They don't just carve up the cow and send it your way, you are given instructions on contacting the butcher so you can get everything cut the way you want it. Sizes/thicknesses, whether you want certain parts as roast or steaks, how much meat in each package, it's up to you.
Last, and I think most importantly, is the fun factor. Meeting in a parking lot to receive close to 150 pounds of beef is very exciting! It's kind of like Beef Christmas. Which is like regular Christmas except all your presents are what you really wanted.
Thanks so much jayt90 for the recommendation!