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First Impressions: Carne Collective

Lindsey Morse
ByLindsey MorseNov 1, 2021 | 0 comments

First Impressions is a series that introduces and reviews new brands to My Subscription Addiction, drawing from readers’ requests for an insider’s first look. Interested in seeing more reviews from this brand, or have another box in mind that you’d like to see reviewed? Let us know in the comments.

Carne Collective works with the best campos in Argentina to connect subscribers with premium grass-fed beef. The company sources meat directly from top family-owned ranches, and all cattle is pasture-raised, hormone-free, and raised without antibiotics. Meat is shipped from Argentina to Carne Collective’s packing facility, where it’s cut to order and shipped frozen to consumers. When you sign up for a subscription, you can choose from several curated options or create your own custom box. Delivery can be set up on a schedule that works for you. Choose to have meat delivered every two weeks, four weeks, or eight weeks.

My Subscription Addiction received this box at no cost in exchange for an honest review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).

The Breakdown – What’s Inside The Box

 

Curated boxes range in price from $149- $249, but customers can also hand-select which cuts they’d like to receive in each shipment. In total, Carne Collective offers 13 different cuts to choose from. This review features a custom shipment of the following:

  • Beef Filet Mignon (4)
  • Beef Skirt Steak (2)
  • Beef New York Strip (2)
  • Beef Ribeye (2)
  • Beef Flank Steak
  • Beef Ground Chuck

The retail value of this box is $230, and all subscriptions ship for free. If you’d like to sign up for a subscription, just be aware that cancellations are only allowed after the first three months. If you sign up for shipments every eight weeks, that means you’ll need to receive at least two shipments before you’re allowed to cancel.

 

I got the chance to try out several different cuts from Carne Collective. Here’s a closer look at my experience with the meats I received along with my honest review of each one!

Beef Filet Mignon- Retail Value $17.25 Each

WHAT I LIKED: Filet Mignon is my personal favorite cut of meat, so I was thrilled to receive four steaks in the shipment I received to review. While not the most flavorful cut, filet mignon is super tender and lean. When cooked properly, this is a steak that your knife will sink into “like buttah.” Since the flavor of filet mignon is mild, many people will wrap the cut in bacon or serve it with sauce, but I’m a purist. Just pan sear it in butter (medium rare, please!), and I’m a happy camper. After thawing, it was immediately apparent that this beef is high-quality, and the taste-test did not disappoint. The flavor was excellent, and I dare say a bit more pronounced than the filets I purchase locally.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: This isn’t my first time trying a meat delivery service, and shipping frozen is pretty standard. That said, I don’t think you can beat a steak that’s been butchered and handled fresh. Adding to that, it’s important I remind myself that this is Argentinian beef; this meat has to travel a good long way to my door. Freezing the meat is the best way to preserve the freshness.

Beef Skirt Steak- Retail Value $19 Each

 

WHAT I LIKED: Next up, skirt steak, a cut that’s on the other side of the spectrum from filet mignon. Skirt steak is big on flavor, but it’s not the most tender cut. As such, it can be a little unforgiving. Recipes will often call for tenderizing skirt steak with a mallet before cooking to physically loosen up the protein, and this is a cut that does well with a relatively short cooking time. If you cook it for too long, it’ll get tough and chewy. My favorite things about the skirt steak that Carne Collective sent were the flavor and the freshness. Despite arriving frozen, this meat tasted like it had been freshly butchered.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: Skirt steak isn’t my favorite cut. (I’ve cooked it for too long once or twice before and then grumbled my way through a disappointing dinner.) I didn’t hand-select the cuts I received in this box, but that’s an option available to subscribers. If I were to sign up for a personal subscription to Carne Collective, I could easily fill my shipments with cuts that I do enjoy.

Beef New York Strip- Retail Value $21 Each

WHAT I LIKED: New York Strip is a classic cut that balances both tenderness and flavor. It’s a great steak to throw on the grill, and it’s also delicious when seared in a pan. Despite my fondness for filet mignon, this is a cut that I always enjoy. I never go out of my way to order it when I’m in a restaurant, but I’m always thrilled with its served to me. Again, the flavor of this steak was on point. Before Carne Collective, I never went out of my way to seek out and purchase Argentinian beef, but I’m starting to see what all the fuss is about.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that while I’m falling in love with the flavor and quality of Argentinian beef, I’m not a huge fan of the fact that it’s raised so far from where I live. I’m a big believer in buying local and supporting small businesses in my own own neck of the woods. I’m not sure I could justify ordering meat from so far away on the regular, but I’d consider it for special occasions.

Beef Ribeye- Retail Value $21 Each

WHAT I LIKED: I always think of ribeye as a “grilling steak.” It’s a cut with a strong flavor that melds well with the flame-grilled taste of the grill, and there’s enough fat that the meat won’t dry out. Whenever I’m craving a juicy steak cooked on my outdoor grill, I usually reach for ribeye. Yet again, this was a great piece of meat. High-quality, fresh, and delicious.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: This is probably a good opportunity to mention cost. This is a premium subscription and is priced as such. To compare, I’m also a big fan of Crowd Cow, another high-quality meat subscription, and their member price for a beef ribeye steak is $14.36. That’s approximately 75% of the cost of the same cut from Carne Collective.

Beef Flank Steak- Retail Value $27

WHAT I LIKED: Flank steak is another cut I don’t often seek out. Like skirt steak, it’s very lean and can become tough if overcooked. It’s a cut that’s best cooked not further than medium, and it’s important to slice it against the grain. I’ll sometimes use flank steak in fajitas, but I don’t often purchase this cut. It was nice to try a selection of products from Carne Collective, and I’m glad I was sent a variety of different cuts to sample, but flank steak will never be my favorite. Even though the quality of this flank steak was better than what I might find locally, it didn’t dazzle me.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: Nothing against Carne Collective, but I’m just not that into flank steak.

Ground Chuck- Retail Value $12

WHAT I LIKED: Ok, so this is not your average ground beef. I used this to make tacos, and the aroma in the kitchen was richer and fuller than usual. It’s hard to describe just how this ground chuck is different from what I usually buy in the supermarket, but the flavor was… meatier? Often when I make tacos, the flavor of the beef gets lost to the spices and other ingredients, but that wasn’t the case here. 10/10 best tacos I’ve made in a good long while.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: Apart from the cost and distance this meat had to travel to get to me, I can’t complain. It was fantastic. If I could purchase this at my local grocery, I would buy it again in a heartbeat.

My Verdict – Is Carne Collective Worth It?

If your idea of a perfect dinner out is booking a table at your local Argentinian steakhouse, or if you don’t mind paying more for high-quality beef from Argentina, Carne Collective might just be the meat subscription for you. The quality of the beef is exceptional, and the freshness and flavor are top-notch. Carne Collective specializes in grass-fed, pasture-raised beef, and they don’t sell anything but. They work with family-owned ranches, ship frozen, and only feature meat that’s been raised without hormones or antibiotics.

Of course, premium Argentinian beef isn’t cheap, and it’s also not local. It’s not fair to hold this against Carne Collective, but it is important to keep in mind if you’re looking to subscribe. Cheap and local this is not; however, if you want to receive regular shipments of prime beef from Argentina, Carne Collective might just be the perfect subscription for you.

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Lindsey Morse
Lindsey Morse
Lindsey is a professional baker, cold brew coffee addict, and rosé aficionado who loves writing about food and wine. When she’s not sharing her love of subscription boxes with the world, you’ll find her in the podcasting studio, perfecting her cake decorating techniques, or cursing her way through the New York Times daily crossword puzzle.

Lindsey Morse
Lindsey Morse
Lindsey is a professional baker, cold brew coffee addict, and rosé aficionado who loves writing about food and wine. When she’s not sharing her love of subscription boxes with the world, you’ll find her in the podcasting studio, perfecting her cake decorating techniques, or cursing her way through the New York Times daily crossword puzzle.
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Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.