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Beef cut for stock/jus


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16 replies to this topic

#1 paulraphael

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 06:41 AM

I'm looking for a good choice of beef for pressure-cooked rich stock and for sous-vide jus/coulis. In both cases the meat will be ground before cooking and donated to the cat afterwards, so texture is unimportant.

 

Ideally one of the cheap/tough cuts, but one with as much flavor and as little fat as possible. Any fat will just render off and will have to be disposed of.

 

My inclination would be to use one of the round roasts, but the last time I used one in a braise the flavor was lackluster. Not sure if that was the cut in general or just the piece I got. Thoughts?



#2 Chris Hennes

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 12:06 PM

I'm very partial to chuck: more fat than you might like, but I've always managed to find a use for it. I've never found round to have much flavor by comparison.


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#3 Plantes Vertes

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 12:14 PM

Am I right in thinking you won't put any bones in the stock, or do you want to add extra meat as well as that on the bones?



#4 rlibkind

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 12:23 PM

Oxtail, shin, any cut of chuck. I agree with Chris: avoid round, not enough flavor.
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#5 jayt90

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 12:36 PM

For richness and light color, it's breast of veal. A dog would be delighted with the leftover tendrils.



#6 huiray

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 12:52 PM

Beef shins?  Fairly cheap.  Or beef shanks.

 

Much more expensive and if you don't mind bones - oxtails give very flavorful stock.  Prized in E/SE Asian beef stocks. (Besides old-fashioned Western-style oxtail soup)

 

Lots of gelatin from both.

 

Just curious, would you make beef stock from marrow bones?  Is it just your taste/usage preference that "no fat" be involved, or are other considerations involved?

 

ETA: After posting I see rlibkind has made the same recs. :-)


Edited by huiray, 05 May 2014 - 12:54 PM.


#7 rotuts

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 02:12 PM

""""   donated to the cat afterwards  """

 

Im interested in this part.  if you have indeed extracted all the flavor, you cat might not be very interested.

 

Ive had Cats and Dogs all my life.  Cats, well, are serious Gourmets, Gourmands, etc

 

Dogs, they will Woof down anything  ( almost ) that you give them if they think you might eat it and see you 'Cook'n''


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#8 Dave the Cook

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 02:27 PM

I used to use a combination of oxtails and short ribs, until short ribs got expensive. Now it's oxtails and shanks, or some form of chuck if shanks aren't available.

 

But you say you'll be grinding it first, and that makes oxtails kind of a pain-in-the-ass cut to use. So I'd say shanks, shins, and chuck, alone or in combination.


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#9 KennethT

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 02:36 PM

I've used beef cheeks with pretty good success with this... once trimmed, it's pretty lean, but very beefy.

#10 paulraphael

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 02:39 PM

I use knuckle bones or oxtail as a foundation; but for enriching stocks I use meat, and for making a jus/coulis (as a substitute for demi glace) I extract additional meat directly into stock. In the past I've used stewing cuts from the chuck. I'm just wondering if there's a good bet that's cheap and that has less than the 15% or 20% fat I typically see in chuck. 

 

I'm looking for lower fat just because the fat won't be used. I want that 20% fat in a burger. In a stock it's waste. Makes more sense to use something leaner even if it's a bit more expensive, all else being equal.

 

Re: donations to the cat ... it's not as welcome as raw meat or juicy steak pilfered from the table, but it's accepted. There's still flavor in the meat. As much as what's in the stock (law of entropy, etc.) The worst thing about the used meat is dryness.

 

Shanks / shins (same thing, yes?) sound interesting. Do you ever see these off the bone? How's the flavor compared with chuck?


Edited by paulraphael, 05 May 2014 - 02:46 PM.


#11 huiray

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 03:07 PM

 

Shanks / shins (same thing, yes?) sound interesting. Do you ever see these off the bone? How's the flavor compared with chuck?

 

Basically from the same region, in my understanding.  I tend to think of "shanks" when thinking about bone-in cuts and "shins" when thinking about off-the-bone.  

 

Yes, I definitely see shins (entire shins) off the bone.  I get them most frequently at the local Chinese grocery store/supermarket I usually go to, typically around a foot or so long (or shorter) and oh, maybe up to 3 inches or thereabouts in diameter on average. Usually around US$3/lb.  No, I doubt they come from organic, grass-fed, specially bred and selected cows. :-)   I cut them up into different-sized rounds (usually) as desired when the time comes to cook them.

 

I haven't done side-by-side comparisons between shin/chuck for beef stock flavor, sorry.

 

Here's a pic of one of those whole shins I get from my Chinese grocery, but which I had cut up into rounds when the pic was taken: http://forums.egulle...-1377519179.jpg

 

p.s. For myself, just personally speaking, I would find a stock or soup without fat to be...not as desirable as one with some fat.  But that's just me.


Edited by huiray, 05 May 2014 - 06:24 PM.


#12 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 03:11 PM

Neck from old beeves makes truly awesome stock!

But almost any cheap cut with a lot of connective tissue will make good stock.


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#13 ChrisZ

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 12:00 AM

I pressure-cooked some beef cheeks yesterday (delicious…) and noted they were the cheapest product at the butcher.  As KennethT says, very beefy and in my experience also quite lean.  FWIW, in our crazy metric part of the world the beef cheeks were $12 per kilo, and their cheapest gravy / stewing beef was $16.



#14 Shalmanese

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 01:19 AM

I pressure-cooked some beef cheeks yesterday (delicious…) and noted they were the cheapest product at the butcher.  As KennethT says, very beefy and in my experience also quite lean.  FWIW, in our crazy metric part of the world the beef cheeks were $12 per kilo, and their cheapest gravy / stewing beef was $16.

 

Beef cheeks might be the cheapest on display but every butcher I've been to, when I ask them if they have any scraps out back, has been willing to sell me bones for chump change.


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#15 paulraphael

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 09:33 AM

I just made my first batch using new methods (pressure cooked stock, sous-vide jus). I'm sold on the method and am now back to tweaking the flavors.

 

I made the stock with a combination of roasted oxtail and ground shin meat, and then the jus/coulis more ground shin meat, and some browned chuck (a piece of 7-bone steak I had in the fridge)

 

The result is good, but the flavor is a roasted beefiness that emphasizes the deeper, darker beef flavors. I'm interested in balancing things a bit. Maybe I can do a bit with aromatics (I didn't put any celery in this batch ... a bit might help). But I'm also interested in other beef cuts for the jus.

 

Any thoughts on what cuts might emphasize brighter, grassier, iron-y kinds of flavors? Helpful if they're also relatively lean, cheap, and available. I'm open to other ways of balancing the flavors as well.

 

Edited to add: I didn't get a chance to experiment with cheeks. How would you describe the flavor?


Edited by paulraphael, 13 June 2014 - 09:34 AM.


#16 rotuts

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 09:35 AM

you might try similar cuts from grass fed beef.  if you have not tried it it has a completely different taste that lingers and is not

 

'fatty'



#17 paulraphael

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 09:43 AM

Rotus, I've thought about that. I suspect it would work well, but hasn't been my first choice, since it's usually sold at boutique butchers and farmer's markets and is priced higher than what I usually put in stock. But it may be worth considering for ecological reasons. I'd still have to pick a cut.