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Buying half sides of beef and lamb for the freezer?

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Buying half sides of beef and lamb for the freezer?

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Gone Off!
2 replies 1.1K views
Brit_AbroadBrit_Abroad
19 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Gone Off!
I'm not currently in the UK but maybe in the new future.

Anyone found an abattoir of wholesaler who has supplied them with a half side of beef or even whole lambs and then done the butchering / piecing up yourself? to fill up a chest freezer.

If you have done this, is it cost-effective?

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  • sarah1972sarah1972 Forumite, Board Guide
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    I'm not currently in the UK but maybe in the new future.

    Anyone found an abattoir of wholesaler who has supplied them with a half side of beef or even whole lambs and then done the butchering / piecing up yourself? to fill up a chest freezer.

    If you have done this, is it cost-effective?

    Yes, just ask your local butcher when you move to the UK.

    Mine supplies half and whole lambs, half beef, pigs etc and butchers them to sell on.

    Local farm shops also will sell and butcher.
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  • It's not so much about cost-effective but more about how you think about what you eat IMHO, and the days of every town having a slaughterhouse are long-gone so that there are only a few hundred now spread around the UK.
    Buying as you suggest still won't be anywhere near as cheap as supermarket meat, but it should be cheaper than doing a weekly shop at a decent butchers. The difference is that you should get better-tasting meat of the types you like and with a provenance you can trust.

    Buying whole lambs or half a pig to butcher yourself isn't a problem, lots of places online and probably spread around the country too. Beef you probably could too but even a quarter is a lot of beef - I mean as in well over 100lbs. of the stuff. Personally out of that weight there'd be too much we wouldn't use but you might be the opposite.

    Because I'd waste too much I prefer to buy well-hung Scottish lamb and mutton from an online supplier (there are a few in Wales too) and it has far, far more flavour than any supermarket equivalent. (If you like lamb BTW, try saltmarsh lamb. ) But you're not going to beat the supermarkets' fairly regular £4 or £5/kg offer for UK leg of lamb.
    Beef I can often choose what cattle it's from and how long it's been aged from an online supplier like Farmison (good for other meats too) and - while it's far from being cheap - the quality is exemplary.
    But again you won't beat the supermarkets with their regular offers, and it depend what cuts you eat most too.

    I've not personally tried the "half-a-whatever" route since buying lamb that way twenty-odd years ago because it doesn't suit our needs, but I would hope that wherever you settle there would be a decent farm shop nearby but do your homework first.
    Some of then have cottoned-on to a developing trend and can be more expensive than good online suppliers, as I recently found when sourcing some decent steak with a local breed being (much) more expensive than one of my usual suppliers for the same breed.

    One last thought: across the country are farmers who either shoot or allow others to shoot on their farms to keep pests at bay. These pests include deer which (I'm reliably informed) have increased in numbers to the extent that in some places they are quite a nuisance. Sourcing venison at a reasonable price shouldn't be difficult.

    I hope that has given you something to think about.
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