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Chuck - What is it?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Chuck? What is chuck? There are many different cuts of chuck, yet rarely do I see anyone being specific as to which cut they mean or are using in a recipe. My mom used to get neck meat. Good stuff. I asked at a meat counter for some neck recently, and the woman behind the counter looked at me like I fell out of a Christmas tree. Recently a cook suggested that top blade be used in a carbonnade. Those have been the only mention of specific cuts that I can recall. Maybe there have been others, but surely you will agree that most recipes just call for chuck. So, when you say chuck, what do you mean? And if you mean a specific cut, why not specify it?
post #2 of 14
Shel -

check out: Meat Track UPC System

they don't list TwoBuckChuck, but most everything else.....
post #3 of 14
It comes from the neck and shoulder region of cow. Has about 12 or 13 sub cuts., and they have about 4 subcuts each. A lot of supermarkets give it their own names which is legal. Like mom and pop steaks, london broil even though it is not. Mock filet steak, blade steak, 7 bone chuck roast and on and on.
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post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
So, the question was, "... when you say chuck, what do you mean? And if you mean a specific cut, why not specify it?"
post #5 of 14
When I buy a whole chuck roll there are several cuts I take from it. The rib end will yield some really tasty steaks that are fairly tender, the center makes awesome roasts for the BBQ pit or pot roast, the area further up towards the neck makes great stew meat.

Here is a chart that will help you some http://cordia-farms.com/beef/beef_chart.jpg
post #6 of 14
Being one of the folks who sings the praises of chuck in smoking, stewing, braising, etc. I probably should be more specific regarding the individual cuts. The chuck primal is something like 20 - 25 percent of a side of beef and covers a lot of territory and different muscle groups. Up front there are the tough neck sections, down along the bottom you have the arm roasts, short ribs - I should know this, brisket is down in that area too but I don't think it is part of the chuck primal. Around the center you have your cross rib roast, like the one RPM did the other day. Up near the top and towards the back are the 7 bone and blade roasts or steaks, depending on how they are sliced. These do somewhat less work while the steer is out gallivanting through the grasslands than the arm and neck sections, so they tend to be the most tender parts of the chuck.

For the most part I use cross rib, 7 bone or blade cuts, I'll try to be more specific in any further recipes and recommendations.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #7 of 14
Brisket is its own primal.

Two good beef sites which cover a lot of ground from different perspectives are Bovine Myology (biology/anatomy) and Ask the Meatman (consumer).

BDL
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
I guess I wasn't clear in what I wanted .... never mind. Oh - teamfat got it. Tks!
post #9 of 14
Lets just say the word chuck is semi-generic. Also in different parts of country means different things. It is whatever supermarket wants to call it. Remember all , that buying meat retail and buying wholesale is 2 completely different ballgames.:eek:
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post #10 of 14
I am afraid teamfat is of the mark, chuck is the neck and the upper part of the shoulder and does not come from any other part of a cow. Some people may include a little bit of the end of the rib but thats bad butchery. Ed was close but confyused the issue with sub cuts the French have sub cuts but in the states chuck is neck.
Best of look
Steve masterchefinfrance
post #11 of 14
The chuck is what's called a "primal." Primal cuts are divided into subprimals. The names of the primals are standard nationally; the subprimal cuts are standard with minor variations -- for instance one part of the country will refer to the neck, while another to the neck roll. The names of cuts taken from subprimals are often not national but regional. IMO, this is very much what Chef Ed said except he stuttered "subprimal" into "sub cut."

I disagree with Steve masterchefinfrance on a couple of little things. First, on the issue of "sub cuts", (a) they speak French in France so "sub cut" is not a French term; and (b) "subprimal" is an exact and obvious equivalent. Second, no one referred to any part of the rib primal as part of the chuck primal. Third, teamfat was right about everything but the brisket (and Lucas electrics).

This is a semi-complete list of of subprimals taken from the chuck primal: square cut; shoulder clod; chuck arm; 7 bone roast; arm roast; chuck eye; chuck roll; neck; blade roast; blade steak, under blade roast, cross-rib roast; short ribs, flanken style ribs, shoulder, and mock tender. To the extent that it is incomplete, some subprimals are broken down into several cuts which are also considered subprimals -- and it gets confusing.

Take it for what it's worth,
BDL
post #12 of 14
The names of cuts taken from subprimals are often not national but regional. IMO, this is very much what Chef Ed said except he stuttered "subprimal" into "sub cut."

I disagree with Steve masterchefinfrance on a couple of little things. First, on the issue of "sub cuts", (a) they speak French in France so "sub cut" is not a French term; and (b) "subprimal" is an exact and obvious equivalent. Second, no one referred to any part of the rib primal as part of the chuck primal. Third, teamfat was right about everything but the brisket (and Lucas electrics).BDL

BDL. As I told you before I wish I had your command of the English language, but I think you understand how its done here in the states, and what I meant.
I do not know if they have Mom and Pop steaks in France or Spencer Rolls ? We don't in Florida ,but I did have in New York. It depends on the market and the location and also how uninformed the public are.
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post #13 of 14
I know Chuck. He's a guy who used to work at HP and stuck his hand in running equipment to try to save time, and lost a finger.
post #14 of 14
I mentioned the rib end of a chuck roll having a couple of nice steaks but it is still chuck. Could be where the confusion came in.
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