Shoulder Roast, Chuck Roast, which do I buy?
Before selecting a roast you should first know what you're going
to do with it. For instance if you want to slice the roast for po-boys
you would select one type, then, if you wanted a roast that will
fall apart you would select another.
Let's start with some typical names of roasts.
Tenderloin, Sirloin, Rib, Chuck, Round, Rump & Brisket
Each comes from its' base or primal cut. For instance, one primal
part of a cow is the rear, and, the cuts that come from that area
are called the Round. Each primal area is divided into
different sections or cuts. We're not going to get into that here as
it quickly becomes confusing.
If you simply remember these base words; Loin, Rib, Chuck and
Round you can choose the right roast for the right dish.
Oh, and don't forget the three grades of beef; Prime, Choice and
Select, the latter two being the grades you'll find at your grocer.
Okay here we go, I'll work from the most tender to the least
Also known as a Filet Mignon Roast, the Tenderloin is known for
it's natural tenderness but not necessarily for its flavor. The lack
of flavor comes from the absence of marbling fat. The Tenderloin is
a roast that is cooked Rare to Medium Rare and seldom more.
The Top Loin Roast joins this group and is larger than the
Tenderloin but still comes from this area. You would cut this roast in steak
thickness after it's
cooked to serve.
The loin is the back (not leg) of the cow. If you were riding a
cow you would be sitting on the loin. These are the least used muscles
which is why they're so tender.
Sirloin Tip Roast
The Sirloin Tip Roast is served as steak, but, can be used for
regular roasting and broiling. This roast has a varying degree of
tenderness and flavor and is an all around good roast. Cutting this
roast into steaks is widely popular.
Notice the incorporation of the base word loin into the
names of these roasts.
The Rib and Rib Eye Roast also maintain a great degree of
tenderness, but it comes from the marbled fat, not the lack of exercise. The Rib roasts are
tastier for the same reason and this roast is also served as steaks
after they are cooked. As with the tenderloin, rare to medium rare
is all it takes.
These cuts are naturally below the tenderloin in the rib area.
Chuck, Arm and Shoulder Roast
These are normally cheaper cuts and will have the most connective
moist cooking (braising) is normally the cooking method because the
connective tissue must be cooked to the point of disintegration for
the meat to be tender. These roasts are my personal favorites. If
you want to cut this roast into bite sized pieces you'll have to
watch so you don't overcook it. If you want it to fall to pieces
cook it longer. Remember, the shoulder roast has a little less
marbling than the chuck.
The Chuck is the neck, upper arm and shoulder. Trimmings from
this area and the Brisket are called Stew Meat.
Round & Rump
These roasts are the most lean and tough, and, should also be
braised. If you want a roast to slice thinly for po-boys this is
the one you want.
These are cuts from the rear of the cow.
The Brisket is the toughest and most stringy cut of beef. It is
similar to the chuck in that it contains a lot of connective tissue.
The Brisket must also be braised and can take anywhere from 6 to 8
hours to cook fully depending on the size. Slicing the Brisket
properly is the key to a nice serving. I explain this at the end of
this recipe... Braised
The brisket comes from around the same place as the Chuck.
I tried to keep this as short as I could and still cover the
topic, I hope now you know what to choose in Roasts for your next
great beef roast meal.
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here... good luck!