A great way to tackle grilling season: Go in on a full steer with a bunch of friends, and divvy up the meat between you. This only sounds good in theory, however, because a good cow share is hard to find as are enough friends who have the desire (or freezer space) to go all in. That’s where Crowd Cow comes in. A beef-delivery service, it lets strangers divvy up choice cuts (actually, all the cuts) of a 100 percent grass-fed cow from a local, sustainable ranch.
Think of it as a virtual cattle auction, except instead of buying the entire steer, you get a “share” of the cow. With Crowd Cow, you also get the privilege of knowing everything about it, the farm, the grass ⏤ yes, it’s like that chicken episode of Portlandia. The whole process is straightforward: Crowd Cow emails when around 50 shares of a new cow are put on the block. Customers jump online with credit card in hand and pledge to buy the beef. Shares can include single cuts (brisket, NY Strip, flank steak, etc.) for as little as $7, or combo packs that top out around $99. The ‘Grill Master’ share, for example, includes a 32 oz. rib steak, two pounds of short ribs, and four half-pound burgers. If all the shares sell, credit cards are charged, the cow’s butchered, and beef shows up at the door in a week. If they don’t, everybody goes to the grocery store.
The meat’s dry aged for 14 days and comes flash-frozen in vacuum-sealed/sous vide-ready pouches ready to throw on your Cinder Grill. No part of that cow is wasted ⏤ Crowd Cow even sells the heart, liver, and kidneys ⏤ if there are still a few days/shares left in the current auction.