One of the great advantages of having access to a local butcher shop is the years of expertise you have available. For you lovers of the butchers fare, you may not know about some specific cuts of meat that just may surprise you. Here is a sample:
- Beef shank is often the most underestimated cut of beef and is perfect for braising. The beef shank is located at the lower leg of the cow and though it can be a bit tough, after a good braising, it can be one of the most satisfying cuts of beef you have had in a long time. In addition, the shank bones can play double duty as the perfect companion for soups and gravies. The shank’s marrow has a soft and butter like taste that many find to be a special all by itself. French chefs roast the shank for the bone marrow itself as it is used as a glaze or topping on toast or even croutons.
- Try the chuck tenderloin steak from your butcher shop the next time you have the gang over for a cookout or barbeque. Butchers have long known about chuck tenderloin and have long known of its top shelf quality. The steak is located near the cow’s kidneys and has a powerful and rich taste. When properly trimmed and dressed, a good chuck tenderloin steak can supply you with up to two pounds of great eating. Ideally you will use a high heat grilling technique after the cut has been properly marinated. While it will cost far more than other cuts at your local eatery, it is, in reality, an affordable cut of meat when bought from your local butcher shop.
- Finally, ask your butcher about the tri-tip steak. There is only one of these on a cow so you may have to place you order well in advance of when you want to enjoy it. It is in the shape of a triangle and the top part is a wonderful layer of fat that only adds to the rich taste of this cut. The tri-tip steak is also extremely tender as it gets little or no exercise during the cow’s lifetime. It needs little, if any seasoning and can be sliced into several steaks and slow cooked on the grille. However, if you are feeling a bit adventurous, try tri-tip steak the way the Brazilian’s do. It is a huge favorite in Brazil as they stick the entire cut onto a spit and slow roast it. When it is done, the meat practically falls right off the spit.
So, the next time you are looking for something a bit different, try some of these favorites that you butcher will be happy to talk about with you. Again, if you are lucky enough to have a local butcher shop near you, you can take advantage of some great cuts of meat.