Who are you people?
Ryan Donovan is a trained chef and butcher. Kurt Krumme is just a guy that wanted some beef. Together they formed the West Side Beef Co. You can read a profile about them on BlogTO.
The idea is a simple one: provide great beef to people who can’t normally access it, at a fair price. Our system lets you order beef directly from the farmer without the complications that arise from having to butcher, store and eat a 400 pound side of beef. We believe in ethical treatment of animals, in supporting local farmers and treating customers fairly. We also believe in deliciousness.↑ back to top
How does this work?
When you place an order we add you to the queue and when we have 15 hungry people we order a side of beef from our farmer Dennis. Keep in mind, there aren't 15 of everything, so while the boxes all have the same value they do differ in content. We then email you details on when and where to come get it. The location is always downtown and we ask for cash. Easy!
What comes in an order?
A typical box contains ground beef, stewing beef, steaks and some braising cuts. The steaks are divided up into primes (ribeye, tenderloin, strip loin) and secondaries (flank, blade, skirt, etc.). You will definitely get some of each. We also make sausages, use the bones and make beef stock and render out some fat.
Can I get individual cuts of meat?
The short answer is no. We aren't much for rules, but this one makes the whole system work. West Side Beef isn’t just about getting the best beef we can find at a fair price, it’s also about considering how you eat meat. Everyone loves throwing a steak on the BBQ, but what about braising a melt-in-your-mouth piece of brisket, or slow cooking a roast to bright pink to make the best sandwiches you’ve ever had?
Caution: if you don't like cooking, this may not be your cup-of-tea.↑ back to top
Will I need a chest freezer to store this?
Probably not, it takes up less room than most people think. It will easily fit in your regular freezer with room left for ice cubes, beer glasses and Mr. Freezies.
What comes in a box of chicken?
Each box costs $95 and has one whole chicken, two half chickens, one flattened chicken in marinade, four breasts, four legs, eight wings two litres of stock and with luck, some chicken fat. Everything comes vac-packed and will easily fit in a normal apartment freezer.
What comes in a box of pork?
Each box of pork costs $140 and represents an 1/8 of a pig. Each box contains 2 rib chops, 2 pork loin steaks, 2 types of sausages, ground pork, raw pork belly, bone in pork shoulder, rendered pork lard, pork stock, Presskopf (it's like pate), and a brine kit to help you brine the belly or the shoulder.
Is this meat expensive?
We don’t think so. One of the reasons we started this was that we didn’t feel there were many places to get good quality beef at a fair price. Sustainable food isn’t just an environmental term. If good food isn’t economically sustainable then we haven’t really changed anything in the long run.
Consider that stewing beef of comparable quality goes for around $11/pound and strip loin or ribeye steaks can be over $25/pound. Our beef works out to around $7.50/pound for everything, because you’re sharing the whole animal. We also make sausage, provide rendered fat and make a rich stock for you at no extra charge. We think it’s a great value and we hope you will to.↑ back to top
Is it Certified Organic?
We offer traditionally raised, pastured beef, but not certified organic. We believe that it’s more important to have a direct relationship with the farmer that raised your food than to get a third party certification. It’s more work to do it this way, but that’s how the organic movement started and we still think it’s the best way.
Our beef is raised on grass (silage in the winter) and then has some grain mixed into the feed for little bit before slaughter. There are no antibiotics or hormones used and the abattoir is nearby to avoid stressing the animals. Our farmers practice the best tenets of good husbandry and that’s worth more than a stamp to us.↑ back to top
Can I get offal?
At the present time we’re not offering tongue, liver or cheeks, however we may at some point in the future. We do include many over-looked cuts however like oxtail, marrow bones and the coveted clod hammer, which will hopefully keep you busy for awhile.
Do you deliver?
Not at this time, but it’s something we’ve considered. If there’s enough demand we would definitely look into it.