Butcher Box is a subscription box service that delivers premium quality meat for $129 per month. Each box comes with a selection of meat (about 15-20 meals worth) that has been carefully cut and prepared. The Butcher Box brings back that unique experience you get when you visit your local butcher shop. Their specialty is 100% grass-fed beef, but they also provided mixed subscription options that include heritage pork and organic chicken, too! You can also have the box delivered every two or three months depending on your needs.
The outer packaging is Earth-friendly and protects the contents well.
DEAL: Get free bacon in your first box! Use this link to get the deal.
The meat is vacuum sealed in plastic, packed in an insulated bag, and then kept frozen within the outer soft-side cooler padding and box with a large dry ice pack. I liked that they packed the dry ice bag with the warning label facing upward – I’ve had a bad experience in the past that resulted from another vendor’s failure to do so.
A short welcome note. This month’s feature cut is the flanken short rib.
There are also recipe card included for both Beef Shank and the Short Rib cuts.
The back of the recipe card gives you more information about the cut and instructions for thawing and prepping the meat.
All the delicious bundles of meat included in this month’s Butcher Box! I like that the cuts are labeled individually with the type and weight clearly marked. We also get some add-ons, like extra bricks of ground beef, but pictured are just the cuts that everyone got this month.
Ground Beef: This grass-fed beef is listed as 80/20, but it cooks up on the grill like it is a bit leaner than that. The flavor is great – it has the nice deep grass-fed flavor, without drying out.
Boneless Ribeye Steaks: Ribeye is the king of steaks. These have some nice marbling and are well trimmed on the exterior.
Beef Shanks: These thick shanks are perfect for a slow braise like a crock-pot. We used some simmer sauce we had from another subscription and made an Afghan-style stew with Pulao.
Each shank had a thick bone in the center that contributed some lovely marrow to the dish.
Here is our stewed shank, served with flatbread and pulao. The beef was fall-apart tender after six hours in the crockpot, and flavor was superb. For the stew sauce, we used some Earthy, Spicy, Tingly sauce from the November 2016 Fare Trade box, adding some apple juice, potatoes, onions, and carrots. I seasoned the pulao with some Pulao Spices from our March 2016 Raw Spice Bar, and stirred in some honey-caramelized carrots, onion, and golden raisins.
Beef Culotte: This is a portion of the sirloin cap that is cut across the grain, creating a tender steak. this is a wonderful cut to use as steak or for stir-fry or fajita.
We marinated and fried it in some bulgogi sauce that came in our June 2016 Yummy Bazaar, serving it with kimchi from the same box, some rice, cabbage, lettuce cups, and fresh pear. The meat cooked beautifully, becoming very tender and have a deliciously greasy flavor. It was perfect for pulling apart and pairing with the flavor-soaking rice and tart vegetables.
The Flanken cut came as a stack of thick slabs – two pounds altogether.
I loved the beef – it had the nice flavor I expect from grass-fed, but it was also much more tender and buttery than is common for such lean beef. They have been doing a great job of sending a wide variety of cuts (some I’ve never heard of before) along with recipes and advice for some of the more unique selections. It arrives in a deep freeze, and it is portioned into manageable sized cuts – this is an awesome freezer-stocking box!
This box is of course expensive. Each box comes with 7 – 10 lbs of meat, which is enough for around 20 individual meals (at a 5 – 8oz portion size), which works out to about $6.50 per portion for the meat – and there is no difference in cost between getting all grass-fed beef or mixing your box to include organic chicken and heritage pork. You may see those as “filler” items or as valuable variety.