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Old 11-15-2010, 04:23 PM   #1
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Cuts of meats

Hi,

I'm new here and am hoping you can help me. I never really cooked a lot before and I'd like to start, but I don't understand the various cuts of meat. I don't know the difference between a pork tenderloin and pork loin or the difference between rump roast and round and chuck roast, etc. I've looked it up and have seen the cow charts, etc but that doesn't really help. I am hoping someone knows of a website or can tell me which cuts of meat are best for pot roast for example, etc etc. Thanks in advance!

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Old 11-15-2010, 04:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slm78 View Post
Hi,

I'm new here and am hoping you can help me. I never really cooked a lot before and I'd like to start, but I don't understand the various cuts of meat. I don't know the difference between a pork tenderloin and pork loin or the difference between rump roast and round and chuck roast, etc. I've looked it up and have seen the cow charts, etc but that doesn't really help. I am hoping someone knows of a website or can tell me which cuts of meat are best for pot roast for example, etc etc. Thanks in advance!
Welcome to the forum.

I use a tough cut of beef such as bottom round or rump roast for pot roast (the simmering in a liquid makes it tender).
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:29 PM   #3
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My favorite is a boneless chuck roast. A bottom round is also good.
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Old 11-15-2010, 07:18 PM   #4
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I really think the best way to learn this is just to go to your local store you shop at, go when it is not busy and ask meat department person. that is one, also in our store, for example they have recipe cards near respective cuts of meat, that is also a great tool in learning about different meats and the use of the above.
We of course can tell you, but nothing like actually seeing what there. Also you can pick the recipe you want and go look for that particular part, see what it looks like. But again do go to store, i will be the best.
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:21 PM   #5
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I have a plan. Many of us know the humble cow, and which parts are used for what, and techniques for bringing out the best in them. I propose we make this a project, using this thread. Let's start from the shoulder and give information about how to use various cuts. Then we can move to the loin, the short loin, the belly, etc, until we get to the rump and even the shanks.

I'll start with the area next to the neck, the chuck. Chuck meat can be either very tender and well flavored, to rich, but very tough. The muscles of the chuck are well exercised as they are used to move the animal around. The exercise makes the meat flavorful, but more tough. As you move through the chuck toward the rib, you get the best of both worlds, great flavor, plus a more tender piece of meat. Chuck roasts inclued - the chuck arm and chuck shoulder pot roast. Both are best cooked with slow, moist heat, that is, covered, with a bit of water added to the pan, along with herbs and spices, and cooked in a relatively low temperature, i.e. 300 - 320' F. and for several hours. These are also great when cooked in a slow cooker on the low setting. First, brown the meat in a very hot pan on the stove top, then place in the primary cooking vessel, add onions and other veggies, if desired, season with salt, pepper, and other flavorings of choice, and cover. Place into the oven and let it go for several hours.

You can also get wonderful results in less than an hour if you cook this kind of meat in a pressure cooker with at least 10 lbs. of pressure.

If you are willing to massage, pound, or use other means for mechanically tenderizing the meat, then you can cut it into steaks and pan fry, broil, or grill it. You will then need to slice it against the grain to help make it tender on the plate.

You can slit these roasts and stuff them, then roast long and slow in a moist environment as well.

The meat must be either cooked long, slow and moist to about 195' F., or quickly to no more than medium rare. Anything in between will give you tough meat.

Ok, now, someone else, take the more tender parts of the chuck.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:27 PM   #6
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When you look at those cow charts remember that the parts that do the most work will be the tougher cuts. Now by work that also includes work like breathing. As a general rule a cut labled "top" will be a more tender cut than a cut labled "bottom". The closer the meat is to the working parts like legs the tougher the meat will be. Hope this helps. Oh, tougher cuts work best with long slow cooking like braising but I am sure you have already been told this. Also those tougher cuts, if not cooked long and slow should be cut across the grain or you can end up with shoe leather.
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:52 PM   #7
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Bumping this to keep it going and ask for more participation.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:05 PM   #8
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Chuck also makes some of the best stew meat. Also remember that the last cut of chuck is adjacent to the first cut of the rib, so the farther to the rear your meat, in general, will be the most tender.
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Old 11-19-2010, 02:28 AM   #9
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We have different names over here, do you have the equivalent of skirt?

My favorite steak for the grill is Rib-eye, we have very good meat over here. These two steaks were bought in a store called "Wild Oats" Miami and for me they were very very goodClick image for larger version

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Old 11-19-2010, 07:21 AM   #10
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I struggle with cuts of meat too so this is an educational post for me to read. I try to buy 1 cut of meat every couple weeks that I'm not familiar with (usually whatever is on sale). Then I research that cut and attempt to properly prepare it. For me, I learn best by doing. Like GW suggested, making a project out of this is a great idea! I'm looking forward to more responses about the other cuts on a cow. Also, I hope we can move on to pork once we cover all of the cow.
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