This post contains affiliate links.  However, I chose to try the meat share and paid for it myself after hearing about it from friends.  If you live in the greater (like an hour+) Boston or New York City area, you can give them a try and get $10 off your first order.

Our first Walden Local delivery arrived on October 16.  This is a meat share program.  You sign up for the level of the program – everything from grind only to custom, types of meat you want to receive (beef, pork, chicken, and lamb), any dietary restrictions, the number of pounds per week (roughly 5-30), and the number of people you are feeding.

We went with a 20 lb custom mix of beef and pork for six people.  As it turns out six is the maximum you can sign up for on their website, but we eat like 5-6 adults currently so that works for now.  Custom still doesn’t mean we get to choose exactly what we get.  We choose the categories we would be happy to receive and they send a mix of those things.  I’m told they are very responsive to emails and other specific info.

So, what was in our first delivery?

They sent a cardboard sheet with some guidelines, a small notebook, and two recipe cards.  Apparently they send 1-2 recipes per month that go with your meats.  We tried and liked both.  It’s all packed in a large reusable cube with two interior liners and dry ice.  The cube, liners, and guidelines get returned for future use at the next delivery.

 

Our delivery totaled 21.5 lbs (yes, the bag is marked):

  • Boneless pork belly – I’ve never cooked this so it will be an adventure.  I’m not sure we’ve ever eaten it either, but maybe at a restaurant.
  • Two boneless pork shoulder roasts, about 1.5 lbs each – This seems small for us.  I’m not yet sure whether I’ll cook what we got and hope I’m wrong or break it down and braise it with some loin chunks I have on hand as I would usually do with pork shoulder (normally without the loin chunks though).
  • Three beef flat iron steaks – This is another cut we don’t have at home.  But, I can see fajitas calling to me here.  Ideally we’d grill them outside, but we’ll have to see how the weather goes.
  • Eight blueberry breakfast sausages – We weren’t sure what to make of these, though apparently they are very popular.  We tried them last weekend and were pleasantly surprised.  I wouldn’t order extra, but I’m not going to put them on my not deliver list either.
  • Three hot Italian sausage – We could grill these or cook them inside.  Given the time of year, my leading idea is to make a Sunday pasta sauce with meatballs and sausage.
  • Three “pastrami”-style beef sausage – The options are similar to the Italian sausages.  If we cook them inside it will be two separate meals so I can keep track of them.  Not everyone in our house likes spicy.
  • Six pork chops – We don’t often have pork chops at home because they are dry.  These were thicker and nicer than typical grocery store options.  We cooked them using the recipe card and they came out quite nice.
  • Two beef chuck roasts, about 3 pounds each – These screamed pot roast, which we do from time to time in the winter.  I used the recipe card (except Instant Pot instead of slow cooker) and it was very tasty.  We did have some leftovers which I used for sandwiches for the kids later in the week.

All in all, it was a good variety.  We wouldn’t normally eat this much sausage so I’m going to have to see how that is going forward and likely come up with some new things to do with them.  But, what we’ve tried so far was indeed tastier than similar products bought at the grocery store.

Now, for better or worse our freezer was already pretty full when the Walden Local delivery arrived because the fall meat sales have started.  So, this needs to be eaten down also and not lost among the new goodies.  I’m not going to go through all the proteins as I buy them each month, but until this comes down a bit I’ll let you know everything we have on hand each time a Walden Local delivery arrives.

 

First, we had chicken nuggets and meatballs.  We will continue to have these available, though I hope our chicken nugget consumption will go down shortly when soccer season comes to an end.

Breakfast:

  • 2½ boxes of breakfast sausage
  • One box of bacon = two meals for us

Beef:

  • Two 2-lb bags of browned 80% ground beef
  • Eight NY strip steaks
  • Beef bones; one stock set
  • 8-10 hamburgers worth of 80% ground beef (not shaped)
  • One package of bone-in beef shanks

Pork:

  • Leftover pulled pork; enough for one meal for the kids
  • Four pounds of pork loin chunks
  • Eight sweet Italian sausages
  • Three half pork loin roasts

Chicken/poultry:

  • Four packages of chicken thighs with bones and skin; one package = one meal for us
  • Four 1.33-lb packages of ground turkey; two packages = one meal for us
  • Six packs of thin-sliced chicken breast; 4-5 packs = one meal for us
  • Four packs of boneless/skinless chicken thighs; 4 packs = one meal for us

Seafood:

  • Some salmon filets
  • Some tilapia filets
  • One bag of shrimp; 1 bag = one kids meal

 

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