I’m woefully ignorant when it comes to cuts of meat. If I’m going to make a slow braised beef stew, which would be the best choice from the following:
beef chuck cross rib roast (boneless)
beef chuck top blade roast (boneless)
I usually use a chuck roast but the above two cuts are on sale. Would either be suitable? And when I say “suitable”, I mean good. Would you stick with chuck roast?
I would say the cross rib roast. (I’ve just had a look a U.S. Translations from cuts I would get in the UK). For a stew, I also like shank and brisket. I must put a stew on the menu soon. We’re currently having some unseasonably warm weather, so it doesn’t quite feel right for this week.
Meat cut nomenclature varies within the U.S., not just internationally. I live near Boston, and can’t recall ever seeing a chuck cross rib roast. Blade roast, according to Cook’s Illustrated, is a very good choice if you want a cheaper cut for roast beef. Very flavorful and juicy, the drawback being that you have to carve around the line of sinew that runs through the middle. I would try it for stew, removing the sinew before cooking. You could leave it i the pot during the braise, toss it before serving. It might contribute to the body of the gravy.
IMHO either will work well for a long slow braise. I would make the decision based on which looks best once you get to the market - for me best would be the one that looks like it has the most “marble” fat - the small veins of fat/ web of fat going through the meat - as opposed to the one the has the most surface fat or large “chunks” of fat between the meat layers.
I ended up using the cross rib roast. It was fine but I definitely prefer the texture of chuck roast.
I really wish there were standardised names for the cuts. So confusing!!
Thanks all for the advice.
I debated starting a new thread but I’m going to post here …
If you’re interested in butchering and where some cuts come from there was a very interesting (to me) conversation on the Milk Street podcast with two butchers from NYC - Erika Nakamura and Jocelyn Guest. They did a great job of walking through different parts of the cow and where some cuts come from. I was impressed that I could follow along from a podcast. Worth a listen.
It was the Aug 10th episode titled: Gonzalo Guzman’s Nopalito
For anyone who doesn’t know, Milk Street is Christopher Kimble’s new venture after leaving Cook’s Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen. I don’t subscribe to the publication but I do enjoy the podcasts - and the ones I don’t I just delete. And he has Sara Molton help with call ins - she is one of my favorites when she is live like that (I miss Cooking Live).
Eh - too late to edit.
That is -
What cut is used for what’s labeled and sold as stew meat? My guess is it might vary by region and country.
My guess is that stew meat is bits from various cuts but probably all from the shoulder (chuck) which are usually meats you stew/braise.
… and they talk about that on the podcast - it really was interesting.