Which cut is what? …Learning meat cut terms

I was looking at a recipe the other day that called for a “blade steak”. What? I know my way around a cow pretty well and I had no idea what that was.

That got me thinking about the queries we often get at the farmer’s market for a particular cut. If a customer is looking for a cut that we don’t have, we’ll try to determine what would be a good substitute. Not just because we want to make a sale (we do), but also because as pretty experienced cooks we know that recipes aren’t written in stone.

Whether you’re using cuts from your CSA share, or having a hard time finding what you need for the dish you want to make, having an understanding of the characteristics of a cut will help you make the most of your meat.

Methods that use a long, moist heat (braising, slow cooker, soups, stews) are well suited to cuts like chuck roast, arm roast, stew meat, round steak, soup bones (from beef) and shoulder roast or shoulder steak (from pork). These cuts are from leaner muscles and benefit from the chance to cook slowly and tenderize.

Methods that cook quickly and/or to a rare – medium temperature (grilling, searing, stir fry) will work well with cuts like skirt steak, hanger steak, sirloin steak, NY strip, ribeye, filet mignon or stir fry strips (cut from the sirloin) from beef and chops or tenderloin from pork. These cuts are from areas with more marbling and will be tender, even more so with a marinade.

If you have questions about what you can do with a particular package, either from our market cart or your CSA bag you can always ask us. Send an email, or post to our facebook page, we’re happy to offer ideas. And, if all else fails, ask the google. That’s what I did about my blade steak dilemma and I found this (in case you’re wondering):

Definition: Probably one of the must under appreciated steaks, the Top Blade Steak may be more commonly called the “Flat Iron Steak”. This tender and flavorful little steak is cut from the top blade roast and comes from the chuck primal.
Perfect for the grill (or broiling) this steak has such a great flavor that it requires no real seasoning. Tender enough to cook through medium without a marinade (though I would if I were forced to cook this beyond medium). This is a perfect steak on its own.
Also Known As: Flatiron Steak, Top Boneless Chuck Steak, Petite Steak, Lifter Steak, Triangle Steak, Book Steak, Chuck Clod Top Blade, Butler Steak, Shoulder Top Blade Steak


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