Chuck from the shoulder, vs. "regular" chuck

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Joined Dec 19, 2014
Hi :)

I tried making beef stew several times using supermarket bought cubed stew meat. Wasn't happy with the consistency of the meat when done.

Someone told me to buy a chuck and cut it up. Did that 2x, and both times, the meat in the stew came out great.

I am at the butcher today, and I see large (7-8 lbs) pieces of chuck. I ask for one, and while the girl was putting it into some paper, I noticed cubed stew meat in the case that was a little cheaper than what I was getting (note: cost to me is not a concern when it comes to food). I asked what cut that was, and she said chuck. I then asked what the diff was between that cubed meat and what I was getting, and she said that the cubed meat was "regular" chuck, and what I was getting was from the shoulder.

Is there a such thing as "regular" chuck, which I would assume does not come from the shoulder? And what is the diff? I kinda got the feeling that the girl behind the counter, tho nice enough, was just an employee who was not as knowledgeable as a real butcher.

Thanks in advance.
 
3,072
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Joined May 5, 2010
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As you can see here the chuck basically IS the shoulder. Now while the shoulder has different parts to it. The butcher fabricates steaks and chops and in doing so cuts off pieces that, while still from the chuck, may be of a heavier density with less fat. These pieces get cubed for stew.
 
3,640
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
Sure, but you probably won’t like it very much. I will taste like frozen leftovers and could have a weird texture.
 
2,899
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Joined Jul 13, 2012
I would slice off portions you want to freeze then freeze those before cooking. Cooked meat and fish never fairs well in the freezer even if you vac pac it.
 
4,316
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Joined Nov 5, 2007
Regular chuck vs. chuck from shoulder sounds like nonsense to me. But chuck does have great flavor. One of my favorites was this, sous vide at 140F for like 18 -24 hours then dusted lightly with salt and pepper, into the smoker for about 4 hours at 225F or so.

smoke_sous_chuck.jpg

I'm thinking next time I'll give it a pastrami type dry rub, perhaps after a mustard slather to see if I get better bark on it.

mjb.
 
2,899
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Joined Jul 13, 2012
It's not nonsense - the part of the chuck from the 5th rib has the end of the rib eye cap on it. So to coin an old adage - "the closer to the hoof the tougher the meat" and vice versa. The part of the chuck closest to the ribs the more the tender bits are. it's a complex piece of meat for sure, but there are very tender cuts if you get the right cut of primal to begin with.

I'm looking to buy a front primal (non usda) grass fed 10yr old Amish dairy cow for a decent price if I can get some friends interested.
 
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3,072
562
Joined May 5, 2010
It's not nonsense - the part of the chuck from the 5th rib has the end of the rib eye cap on it. So to coin an old adage - "the closer to the hoof the tougher the meat" and vice versa. The part of the chuck closest to the ribs the more the tender bits are. it's a complex piece of meat for sure, but there are very tender cuts if you get the right cut of primal to begin with.

I'm looking to buy a front primal (non usda) grass fed 10yr old Amish dairy cow for a decent price if I can get some friends interested.
Yes and unfortunately plain old everyday grocery store butchers know none of this as that art is no longer practiced by them. Most grocery store meats come primal and the workers just cut steaks and chops.
And, its a misnomer that USA steers are fed all corn. Most ARE grass fed.....People just read the wrong info and the media doesn't help either.
 
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