Monday, June 4, 2012

What's "Chuck" steak?

I was asked what is chuck steak as I often use it in slow cooker casseroles.

Chuck eye steaks
Chuck steak is a cut of beef and is part of the sub prime cut known as the chuck.  It is particularly popular for use as ground beef, due to its richness of flavor and balance of meat and fat. 
Different cuts of beef 
Other boneless chuck cuts include the chuck eye (boneless cuts from the center of the roll, sold as mock tender steak or chuck tender steak), chuck fillet (sold as chuck eye steak and chuck tender steak,) cross-rib roast (sold as cross-rib pot roast, English roast, or "the bread and butter cut"), top blade steak, under blade steak, shoulder steak and roast, and arm steak and roast. The average meat market cuts thick and thin chuck steaks (often sold as chuck steak or chuck steak family pack) from the neck and shoulder, but some markets also cut it from the center of the cross-rib portion. Short ribs are cut from the lip of the roll. 
Some meat markets will sell cross-rib pot roast under the generic name "pot roast." The difference between a pot roast and a cross-rib pot roast is the vertical line of fat separating the two types of chuck meat; the cross-rib pot roast contains the line of fat. This is what creates richness of flavor in the roast.
The chuck contains a lot of connective tissue, including collagen, which partially melts during cooking. Meat from the chuck is usually used for stewing, slow cooking, braising, or pot roasting.
 In the United States, chuck has the meat-cutting classification NAMP 113.

I like to use chuck eye steak.  chuck eye = mock tender = chuck fillet = chuck filet = chuck tender = Scotch tender.  This is one of the more tender cuts from the chuck section, so you can cook it in liquid or roast it in the oven.  A steak cut from this roast is called a chuck eye steak.   Substitutes:  top blade roast

Chuck steaks comes from the neck and shoulder of the beef, and they tend to be chewy but flavourful and inexpensive.  Most of them are too tough to grill, broil, or pan-fry--it's better to braise them or cut them up as stew meat.  If you must grill one, make sure you marinate it overnight first.   Substitutes:  round steak (leaner) OR T-bone steak (more tender) 

Blade roast is a cheaper cut of chuck steak - you can use it for casseroles but you need to trim a lot of the fat of it first. blade roast = blade pot roast = blade chuck roast  makes a good pot roast, but it's too tough to cook using dry heat.  Substitutes:  arm pot roast OR cross rib roast OR brisket

Blade roast, or, Blade chuck roast

A good reference point on meats is The Cook's Thesaurus


Annmarie Pipa said...

thanks for this useful information!! good to know!

Anonymous said...

My sister had a neighbour that had an pommy accent. She used to confuse the butcher when she asked for 'chook steak'. We always got a good laugh out of her. I use chuck steak in my slow cooking too. Sue

JohnD said...

You must be careful to shop for Chuck Eye Steak and supermarkets now show the pieces on a flat tray, side-by-side. Unscrupulous butchers will sell you Blade Chuck as a substitute and have it wrapped before you can see it. My butcher will cut mine off the shoulder piece in front of me and always shows it to me.
How would she go asking for chicken oysters? ? Charkin easters lol!

Oysters are two small, round pieces of dark meat on the back of poultry near the thigh, in the hollow on the dorsal side of the ilium bone. Some regard the "oyster meat" to be the most flavorful and tender part of the bird, while others dislike the taste and texture.
Compared to dark meat found in other parts of the bird, the oyster meat has a somewhat firm/taut texture which gives it a distinct mouth feel.

Top chefs prize these and will remove them from any chickens in the kitchen before cooking as a dish made from these will fetch top dollar.