Whole chuck roll - anyone break these down?

Hi all - I’ve been buying whole rounds, whole sirloin tips and whole top sirloins and breaking them down. My local grocer puts these out maybe once a month (not all at the same time) and I cut them up for various roasts, steaks, stir-fries, stews, and jerkies and for making biltong (esp. the rounds are good for biltong).

More recently they’ve put out a whole chuck roll, I think it’s about 25 pounds. I’ve never broken this piece down before. It’s listed at $5.00 a pound.

Anyone have experience with this subprimal and have advice on what all I could break it down into? Other than the namesake chuck roasts and chuck steaks, what’s it good for?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

Ground chuck makes great burgers, chili, spaghetti sauce, tacos.

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Good point on the ground chuck. I think I’ll see what is on youtube. I have in the back of my head that there’s some outstanding steak of some sort or another buried in the chuckroll.

Edit - looks like what I was thinking of were some of the newly whomped up steaks the beef council came up with in the early 2000s to try to sell chuck at prices higher than could be gotten from ground. The Denver and the Flatiron steaks both come from the chuck roll, plus one very similar to the Flatiron called Sierra. At the moment I’m not sure if these latter 2 are different or not. I can’t find one video showing me how to cut both muscles out of the same roll. But both are described as being similar to flank steak.

Denver cut is indeed trendy andexpensiveemphasized text**. It is not at all like flank but more like a prime strip. It is heavily marbled, tender as love and obviously rich in chuck flavor. Is this any help?

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YES it is helpful - that’s one I’d seen a couple of years before and was looking for, but couldn’t quickly find. Thanks. Here’s the more recent one I just saw re cutting out Denver steaks and he also says you can get some chuck eye steaks that are similar to the ribeye because they sit right where the rib roast ends. FWIW, I’ve never seen anything labeled for sale as Denver steaks in my groceries. Oh, and he also mentions the Sierra (which is the one similar to flank in texture) but doesn’t mention the Flatiron.

I think I’m going to grab this thing tomorrow before they pull it back in to the meat dept and waste it for simple chuck roasts and ground (edit - not as if I also won’t get a few nice pounds of ground and stew meat from it, too). Like I said, the whole thing is $5/lb. There will obviously be some waste, but I think I can make it pay off.

When you say the Denver is expensive, do you recall what a typical price/lb range is?

Thanks again.

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Yes, sometimes chuck roll will include the eye, which you can treat like a steak. Otherwise it’s mostly a braising or grinding cut. I love it for beef stew or pot roast, though - if I buy it whole and do it myself it’s always better than the pre-cut stew beef cubes at the store (and cheaper too). Grind the scraps, makes great ground beef too.

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Denver steak was our son’s favorite cut at Barron’s Meats, Noe Valley. As I recall, it jumped from 12.99 to just south of $20/pound.

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Wow, thanks. It’s impressive how a significant percentage of the whole can end up as these Denver, chuck eye, and Sierra steaks.

I finally got to breaking this down yesterday. I kind of goofed up. I skimmed the above-mentioned vids briefly again, but then didn’t get started for a few hours. I started trimming off fat and followed a seam and pulled a gorgeous single-muscle piece that was round and full-length, looked a lot like a pork tenderloin except larger in diameter.

Then I realized I should go back to the vids because I couldn’t recall them pulling a muscle that looked like this. Turns out it was one of the muscles in the eye roll, so I didn’t get any chuck eye steaks. I did roll the remainder of the chuck eye into a couple of suitable roasts. And for that one whole muscle I shouldn’t have pulled out, I’m going to treat it like a top round eye round roast.

Otherwise, I did get the Sierra (made steak fajitas with it last night plus a pound of skirt) and a bunch of Denver steaks (haven’t tried yet). The rest is chunked up for stews and to grind (I’m making bangers & mash for dinner tomorrow so I’ll grind up my beef then, too).

There was one additional muscle that may have been part of a mangled flatiron. I’m not sure because the flatiron does come from the chuck, but usually only if you have an entire chuck/shoulder, not (as in my case) just the smaller chuck roll subprimal. But it looked like it with the bands of sinew running through the middle. I say mangled because the sinew was running at an angle through the depth of the piece, so I could separate out about 8 small clean steak-ettes rather than simply bisecting the thing horizontally to remove the silverskin and end up with 2 pieces, as I’ve seen folk on other videos do.

I don’t know if I’ll buy the chuck roll again. Maybe it’s just my inexperience with it, but I think I get a lot more cleaner stuff (with less work/hassle) from breaking down top sirloins and sirloin tips/rounds.

Unless those Denver steaks turn out just wonderful. That might sway my thinking.