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From Nose to Tail: Crowd Cow's Whole Cow Model

By Caitlin Postal - Steak, scotch, and the line where the sky meets the sea.
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Coulotte steaks
Coulotte steaks

There's nothing quite like a good porterhouse or filet mignon, right? Not exactly. There are beloved premium cuts like the sirloin, filet mignon, or t-bone. But those cuts only amount to 12% of the cow, so where's the other 88% when you're browsing the meat aisle at your local supermarket?

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No hormones, no unnecessary antibiotics. Dry-aged beef.

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"Every part of the cow has value and needs to be sold--not just the ribeyes and tenderloins."
-- Craft Beef: A Revolution of Small Farms and Big Flavors

88% of beef cuts go unknown and unloved by most of America. But for those in the know, these cuts can be packed with flavor and unique textures.

Oxtail
Oxtail

At Crowd Cow, we strive to offer every part of the cow from nose to tail. By providing a variety of lesser-known cuts (over 50 different cuts!), we increase knowledge about what's available to consumers, help independent farms stay competitive in the meat business, and cut down on waste. Win-win, right?

Garlic Marinated Hanger Steak
Garlic Marinated Hanger Steak

Brooklyn's hottest steak joints, for example, tout the Flat Iron as something truly special. The Hanger Steak, pictured above, is prized for its flavor and tastes phenomenal marinated. Little-known cuts like the Coulette and Bavette steaks provide a different approach to familiar areas. Kalbi-style ribs are perfect for the grill and rarer cuts like the tongue and oxtail offer a rich sensation for those brave enough to try them.

Unlike a traditional cow share, you don't have to pool a group of friends to divvy up the cuts. With the Crowd Cow model, you get to choose your exact cuts and quantity from the very best independent farms around the country.

Cow diagram
Diagram of cuts

A lot of people know about the different sections of the cow, which are traditionally divided into "Primals" where each Primal includes a larger list of cuts. The Primals generally reflect specific muscles that are used together.

  • Chuck: shoulder region
  • Rib: upper-back region including the muscles connecting the ribs
  • Loin: just behind the rib in the lower back
  • Brisket: breast
  • Plate: sternum area, extension of the Rib
  • Flank: abdominal muscles beneath the Loin
  • Round: thigh of the hind leg
  • Fore shank: front legs
  • Hind shank: back legs

While there are a variety of different cooking techniques and recipes for each cut, the endless array of availability allows foodies like you and me to appreciate all the variations that exist in this tasty world.

Chuck cut
Chuck steak

"The cow this tongue had once been attached to was being made full use of. Nothing wasted. Everything--even the pasts that look a little intimidating at first--honored. Made delicious use of rather than discarded or pawned off to the rendering plant."
-- Craft Beef: A Revolution of Small Farms and Big Flavors

In addition to helping adventurous eaters enjoy new cuts, providing the option helps independent farmers stay in business. When small-scale farms can sell their own cow without aggressively marketing to a ton of different venues, they can focus on the farming (which is what they want to do anyway).

Harlow Cattle Company, cows in the foreground, Mt Rainier in the background
Cattle and Mt Rainier at Harlow Cattle Company

Instead of selling their cattle to industral commodity feedlots in order to remain competitive, these independent farmers no longer have to either fight against the industrial beef industry or resign themselves to going along with it. They get another chance to raise high-quality, premium beef without giving in to the whims of industrial beef.

We're building a nationwide network of small-scale farms, each with different but equally incredible meat. We currently work with more than 60 farms and we're growing. We don't work with a beef broker because we believe in prizing independent ranches like Harlow Cattle Company and Novy Ranches. No one else values these farmers and their farms like we do and no one else is willing to provide the variation of cuts that we do. You get access to variety and quality not available anywhere else because we value working with small farms and offering the full gamut of phenomenal cuts.

Beef Heart Tacos
Beef Heart Tacos

If you're ready to give these cuts a try, I recommend the Heart-y Tacos which use beef heart as the filling. For a crunchy side, toss some Crispy Pan-Friend Kidney. If you need a quick dinner, Sauteed Beef Liver has a mild earthy flavor. You really can't go wrong with beef of any cut.

Crowd Cow box


SHOP: 100% Grass-fed, Grass-finished craft beef

No hormones, no unnecessary antibiotics. Dry-aged beef.

Shop Now   Limited time only.
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