beef: it's what's for dinner

Yeah, I know. The title has bad grammar but that's what the ad agency came up with for The Beef Council so I decided to use it too.

At left is a picture from the ad for this week from the grocery store that I usually go to. As you can see, the round section is on sale for half price and I'll probably pick up a eye of round roast tonight, after work, if any look good.

The "Round" sections come from the back end of a cow and are one of the tougher cuts since that's the working part of a cow. It's the equivalent of our buttocks and hamstring muscles, I think. These muscles are best used for pot roasts or if brasied. You can also cut the roast up into steaks but again, you'd want to braise them since there's not a great deal of fat in this section of meat and the muscle fiber is tougher than that in other areas of the cow.

My intention is to cut the roast into steaks and then freeze down most of the cuts. Eventually I'll braise them, probably on my stovetop, though if I do more than one at a time I'd go inside the oven since I'd need more room.

I'll probably stock up a bit on boneless chicken breast also. They're on sale at half price quite a bit--but never when you want it--so I try to always have a few pounds frozen in my freezer. It's such a versatile meat, you can do almost anything with it. With so much muscle there, you'd think the damn birds would be able to fly.

Getting back to cow butts, here's a picture I grabbed online of what this section of muscle looks like.

It's a long tubular muscle that runs down the center of the rear leg. It's yummy too but you have to cook it slow in the presence of moisture. Crockpots work well for this method but I prefer to do it in a pan on my stove (with a tight fitting lid) since it's a lot faster. One hour versus around 4.

Near the end of the braising it's nice to add some diced onions and bell pepper, maybe a little garlic.

Here's a little guide to this cow part that I copied from the Hormel Meat site. It's very informative!

One of the Christmas presents I got was a book on baking. It's quite impressive and soon I'll be trying out a few recipes. Baking is more of a challenge to me than cooking so it might be interesting...


Anonymous said…
I love beef, but I'm so clueless about it. don't know one cut from another -- new york, sirloin, prime rib, strip, tips, I don't know what any of those are.
utenzi said…
Those are the good ones, Dave. That's from the Short Loin Primal and that, along with the Sirloin Primal, are the least used and therefore tenderest muscles on the cow. Not surprisingly they're also the most expensive.
MissMeliss said…
I recommend pouring a bottle of beer over a roast before the actual cooking process, and then using the beer + drippings to baste every half hour or hour. (Actually, it's good even if you don't baste, and just let it cook in the beer). The beer acts as a tenderizer, and it's a good way to get rid of stray bottles after a party. Also, most of the alcohol cooks off.
utenzi said…
Sounds like a good idea, Melissa, but I never have beer in the house. This is a cut that would benefit from tenderizing tho.
kenju said…
No beer? How can you live like that? LOL

My mom taught me to buy top round and have the butcher run it through the tenderizer twice. I flour it and make country-style steak. YUM!

Some of the best meat I have had lately came from Food Lion (to mr. kenju's amazement). I bought a pkg. of 3 tenderloins on sale and my son said they were as good as anything you get at the Angus Barn. I was proud!
srp said…
All right this Blogger thing is getting me down. Yours is the third one I have had trouble with. Just clicking on "post a comment" does nothing... it has to be opened by "open in new tab" or this comment box doesn't come up. Is this another Blogger2 thing?

Anyway, when I was first out of college and making $1.50 an hour as a nurses aid that first summer of marriage.... these tough kinds of cuts were all we could afford. So I cut them into thin steaks, beat them with a little tenderizing hammer, floured and browned them. Then put them in a crockpot with a can of mushroom soup and a can of Dr. Pepper. They came out tender and quite good.

I think I will go to Food Lion tomorrow and check out those chicken breasts... Nyssa makes a chicken dish that went over really well with the grandparents.
Claire said…
Hmmm...interesting post and I'm almost convinced! But I don't see me caving in and eating Beef anytime soon!! :D
Anonymous said…
I love slow cooked beef. It practically falls apart. The beer idea is a good one and is poular over here as is cooking it in Guinness or other stout.

Thanks for your kind comment on my blog BTW. It was much appreciated.
rockyjay said…
OK, your post just got me like super hungry. I'm gonna step outside and have me a juicy steak.

Meat: it's what we can't live without! (even worse grammar).
Ciera said…
Beef!!!! s'ok...when's dinner????? :)

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