Written by Butcher

Under Appreciated Cuts

We are often asked by customers for new cuts they haven’t had before (or are forced to after we sell out of ribeyes and tenderloins).  Here are some of our suggestions:

Beef Chuck Eye – Coming from the same muscle as the ribeye, where it extends from the rib primal into the chuck primal, this steak has a similar taste and texture to the ribeye, but at a much more modest cost. It is our go to recommendation for people wanting to try new cuts and are looking for the richness and marbling of the ribeye.

Beef Shoulder Tender – This tiny muscle isolated from the shoulder clod in the chuck primal looks like a tiny tenderloin, but with more flavor since it is surrounded by hard working muscles in the shoulder yet it still remains quite tender since it doesn’t do much work itself.

Beef Flatiron – Another steak isolated from the chuck, the flatiron lies next to the shoulder blade and can be tricky to clean as it has a line of connective tissue that runs down the center of the flat, oblong muscle. Instead of removing the connective tissue, some supermarkets will cross cut the muscle with the connective tissue intact in the center and try to pass them off as flatiron steaks, but they should really be called top blade steaks when cut that way. A true flatiron has the grain running the length of the steak with the connective tissue removed. After a dusting of salt and pepper and a quick sear on both sides of the steak, cut across the grain for a more tender bite and a delicious meal.

Beef Shank – Customers tend to gravitate to the oxtail for braised stews, but we feel the shank is under appreciated for these dishes. We cross cut the shanks bone in, similar to the oxtail, and end up with a cut that has more meat and marrow than the oxtail and generally costs less.

Beef Heart – The heart is a different type of muscle from the skeletal muscles contained in every other “meat” cut, which leads to a unique texture and flavor. The heart can also be a task to clean as you cut off the hard fat and connective tissue that surround it, but the end result is well worth it. Cut into strips with a quick sear, or used for tartare, the flavor and texture are unmatched in any other cut.

Beef Neck – Very similar to a beef chuck roast, the neck is a hard working muscle that therefore has more flavor and has a good amount of connective tissue which gives slow cooked dishes more unctuousness.  Perfect for winter crock pot roasts during the week.

Pork Shank – This is our go to recommendation for customers looking for veal shanks for osso bucco.  Pork shanks cook very similarly to the veal shanks but have a little more flavor, in my opinion, and give a similar richness to the broth.  We call it porko bucco.

Pork Skirt – Very few people realize the pig even has a skirt since it is usually tossed into the grind bucket, but we love using these in dishes similarly to beef skirt.  Both beef and pork skirt come from the animal’s diaphragm so they have a very similar texture.  Try these next time for tacos of fajitas and you will be hooked.

We always appreciate talking with our customers, so feel free to come by and ask if you have any questions.