What is West Side Beef?
West Side Beef is a meat share program that gives you access to the benefits of whole animal cookery, offering the best quality, pricing, and value. We have access to the best and freshest farm raised meat in Ontario, and the skills to know what to do with it. Through our website and online community, we fill orders based on demand for fresh and ethically farm raised meat. Once an order has been filled, we source, expertly butcher, we contact our local farmers and order in chicken, pigs and steer for butchering and portioning. We started with Beef but have since grown to offer Chicken and Pork because of high demand from our loyal customers.
Who are we?
You might be surprised, but we’re actually chefs! West Side Beef is owned and operated by Richmond Station, a bustling neighbourhood restaurant in downtown Toronto. At Richmond Station, we buy all our meat in whole and butcher it on premises in our meat locker. We have a team of young cooks that have been trained in whole animal rail style butchery, and we have a custom meat locker where we do all the cutting and packaging. This is a rare set-up for a restaurant, but as an ingredient-focused restaurant, we know the best ingredients come right from the source. With West Side Beef, we get to share that source with you!
How does this work?
The idea is a simple one: provide great beef, chicken, and pork at a fair price. Our system gives you access to the benefits of buying directly from the farmer without the complications that arise from having to butcher, store, and eat all that meat yourself. We believe in ethical treatment of animals, in supporting local farmers, and in treating customers fairly. We also believe in deliciousness.
Is meat sharing expensive?
We don’t think so. One of the reasons we started WSB was because 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 share will range in price from $8/lbs to $10/lbs depending on the yield, and while that it can be inconvenient to plan and budget for, this reality is true for farmers as well. We work hard to provide great value, and so 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 too.
Is the meat frozen or fresh?
Your order is always fresh on the day of pick up/delivery. While it’s intended for your freezer, we always sell it to you fresh so that you know how recently the meat was processed. Selling the meat fresh also means that you can use your favourites right away and save the rest for later!
Will I need a chest freezer to store this in?
Probably not, it takes up less room than most people think. It will easily fit in a 2 cubic foot freezer (the one attached to your fridge) with room left for ice cubes, beer glasses and Mr. Freezies.
How long will my order last in the freezer?
Because the individual cuts have been vac-packed, your order will last six months in the freezer.
Can I go and visit the farm myself?
Yes, absolutely. We visit our farms all the time and encourage you to do the same. Fill out our contact form and we’ll send you a list with maps and phone numbers so you can make a day of it.
How do I use the Pork Brine included in my Pork Share?
- Put the brine starter kit, 4 cloves of sliced garlic and 2 L of hot water in a pot and bring the water to a simmer.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for 15 minutes.
- Add about 2L of cold water or 2kg of ice and pace the liquid in the fridge until its completely cooled.
What's in the Pork Breakfast Sausage
Our Pork Breakfast Sausage is always made and sold fresh. Below is a list of ingredients:
- Ginger Power
What's in the Pork Bomba Sausage?
Our Pork Bomba Sausage is always made and sold fresh. Below is a list of ingredients:
- Long Chili Flake
- Fennel Seed, ground
- Sundried Tomato
- Black Pepper, ground
- Garlic, chopped fine
- White Wine
What's in the pork brine?
Every so often we get asked what the ingredients are in the brine, typically by customers who are looking to make a bit more at home. You can use this brine on just about anything, including whole chicken, your Turducken as well the pork shoulder and pork belly.
The brine kit included in your Pork Share includes:
- 1250 g salt
- 250 g sugar
- 225 g brown sugar
- 40 g pickling spice
What's in the chicken marinade?
We marinade our flattened chickens in a salsa verde. The ingredients are:
- Vegetable oil
- Chilli flakes
What grade is your beef?
What comes in a Beef Share? How much does each Share weigh?
A Beef Share is typically 18lbs, although we don’t sell the bins by weight but rather by the unit. We ask the farmer to sell to us at a fixed price, and as a result we get sell each Share at a fixed price. Each Share contains ground beef, a round roast or pot roast, a braising cut like brisket or osso bucco, and four or five steaks like flank, flat iron, striploin, top sirloin and ribeye. Each Share also contains sausages, hamburgers, beef stock and beef fat for cooking with. Our beef is always hormone and antibiotic free.
What comes in a Chicken Share? How much does a Share weigh?
Each Chicken Share consists of four chickens: you’ll get one whole and trussed, one flattened and marinated, and two that are broken into breasts, legs and wings. Each Share also comes with chicken stock. Our chickens are from a local farm less than an hour outside Toronto. They are raised in open barns with constant access to the outdoors. They are always antibiotic and hormone free.
What comes in a Pork Share? How much does a Share weigh?
Each Pork Share consists of 1/8 of a whole hog: you’ll get fresh pork belly, a bone-in shoulder roast, some pork chops, fresh steaks, ground pork, breakfast sausage and spicy sausage as well as pork stock, rendered pork lard and a brine kit. Our tamworth hogs are always on pasture, just outside Stratford, ON. Our pork is always hormone and antibiotic free.
Is the meat already seasoned?
None of the meat is seasoned when you get it. We do this so you can season to taste. This includes the whole marinated chicken in the Chicken Share, which will need to be seasoned to your preference before cooking.
Are the contents of each bin Gluten Free?
Yes, every component of West Side Beef is gluten free. We make sure the ingredients we use in the sausages and marinades are gluten free as well.
Is the meat Certified Organic?
The chickens are Certified Organic. The pork and beef are not Certified Organic. What we value more than an organic certification is the relationship that we build with our farmers. This is how we can assure you that everything we sell is free of antibiotics and hormones, raised ethically, pastured on grass, and transported less than 50km to the abattoir.
How do I use the beef fat?
You can find out more about this item in our glossary of terms.
Is the beef grassfed?
Not exclusively. Our beef is always pastured and they always have access to the field. They forage on fresh green grass when it’s available and eat hay in the winter. Their diets also include a mix of Non-GMO grain that’s grown on the same farm.
When will I receive my share(s)?
You purchased a share from West Side Beef and either selected home delivery or pick up at Richmond Station.
If you selected Delivery, this will be made between 10:00am and 1:00pm on the specified date. Someone must be at home to receive your delivery. Product will not be left at your home unattended.
If you selected to pick up your share(s), this will occur between 2pm to 5pm on the specified date. Please enter through the front door and one of our staff will be happy to assist you. You can find the address and parking info here.
How long will I have to wait for my order?
You will be provided with a list of available dates to choose from at the time you order. On this date, your order will be either delivered to your door, or made available for pick-up at Richmond Station.
Can I order individual cuts of meat? How do I order more Ribeye's or bigger Briskets?
We build our orders based on people sharing equal parts of a whole. For that reason, you cannot order individual cuts of meat. If you are seeking out a specific cut of meat for a recipe or dinner party, you are best to visit a reputable butcher such as The Healthy Butcher, Sanagan’s or Cumbrae’s.
Can I place an order for a friend?
Of course, that’s a great idea. Just follow the prompts in the checkout queue and be sure to put in their proper delivery information. It is also important that someone is at home to receive the delivery, so make sure your friend knows when to expect us!
I can't seem to place more than one order at a time. What's going on here?
Because of the unique way that orders are filled (since each order represents a share in an animal), orders must be placed separately. You can order as many shares as you’d like for any of the days provided, you’ll simply need to check out one order at a time.
Can I order offal?
At present time we’re not offering tongue, liver or cheeks, however, we may at some point in the future. We do include many overlooked cuts like oxtail, marrow bones, and the coveted clod hammer, which will hopefully keep you busy for a while.