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Cuts of beef: identifying, choosing, using


Kim Shook

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In its listing of cuts that it offers, our best local butcher shop, Louise Earl Butcher, lists both picanha (spelled "picaña," which I guess is also OK) and tri-tip, one right after the other. I'm sure they'd be glad to talk with you if you call. 

 

Here's a picanha/picaña vs tri-tip video: 

 

 

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https://www.thespruceeats.com/top-sirloin-cap-or-picanha-p2-4119892
 

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It's relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to ribeyes and other notable steaks, and is packed with beef flavor. This makes it one of the best cuts of meat for grilling. Tri-tip and sirloin steaks are often confused with the top sirloin cap, but a knowledgeable butcher will know exactly what you're looking for. Traditionally, picanha is grilled on long skewers, but for the home cook, it will be a lot easier to cut the steak into portions for smaller skewers.

 

 

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  • 1 year later...
On 9/8/2021 at 5:30 PM, Alex said:

In its listing of cuts that it offers, our best local butcher shop, Louise Earl Butcher, lists both picanha (spelled "picaña," which I guess is also OK) and tri-tip, one right after the other. I'm sure they'd be glad to talk with you if you call. 

 

Here's a picanha/picaña vs tri-tip video: 

 

 

This was interesting.  I have access to both of these for the same price, about $32 a kilo.  I had never come across for a source for picanha, but now I have.  Is one better than the other?

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11 hours ago, ElsieD said:

This was interesting.  I have access to both of these for the same price, about $32 a kilo.  I had never come across for a source for picanha, but now I have.  Is one better than the other?

Denninger's has it. And usually at $9.99/lb so $22.50/kg.

 

I leave on the fat cap - cut into thick steaks - skewer onto my Espetosul battery powered rotating skewer and cook on the egg.

 

 

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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On 9/9/2021 at 4:19 AM, heidih said:

 

That explains that picanha is rump cap but doesn't really compare. I basically think of the picanha as the back end of a full tri-tip but it might depend on your local butchering practices. I prefer tri-tip, personally because what I get here is the foreward bit cut off and I don't need the fat cap.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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it comes down to what the butcher calls the cuts.

 

picanha is rump.  as far as i understand it  its not what I think of as cap .

 

I think of cap as flap meat     

 

this place 

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpFuaxD-0PKLolFR3gWhrMw/videos

 

and

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOF-qS4Q_gQ

 

Im not able to search YouT as I have an ad blovker

 

but quit3e some time ago , SVS had a fine video on how to cut a full

 

rump into steaks , and which steaks were far better than other steaks from the same rump.

 

SVS has gotten a bit odd in the last year or so .

 

how many knives does one really need ?   I/m guessing SVS is hedging their bets

 

by getting every one of them.

 

tri-tip

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tri-tip

 

picanha

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picanha

 

I guess in places its called rump cap.

 

try-tip and picanha  love SV as a first step in the cooking process.

 

 

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Thanks, all.  The farm describes it as coming from the top of the rump.  Maybe I'll get one of each.  Sure wish I could still bbq, especially over charcoal.  I'll definitely be SVing it, followed by a sear in my cast iron pan.  We're going to the farm tomorrow, so we'll see what they have.  They have both pork and beef, cut on site by the owners.  They don't advertise beef cheeks or pork cheeks so I plan on asking about those as well.  Their beef cattle are comprised of Blonde of Aquitaine and Limousin cattle in case anyone's interested. They are bred with a Limousin, apparently good-narured bull, also on site.  

Edited by ElsieD
Changed butchered to cut (log)
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14 minutes ago, rotuts said:

@ElsieD 

 

 

Id enjoy seeing pics of the cuts you get .

 

Ive never had nor seen cheeks in my meat case travels.

 

you should ty some if they have them

 

and they meat your budget .

We have enjoyed beef cheeks a number of times, but have had to order them.  The last order was from a different place and I wasn't happy with how they were trimmed, which is why I'm going to ask about them at this farm.  I've only been able to get pork cheeks once, and they are even better than beef cheeks.  They are incredibly delicious.  They are also much harder to find.  But if and when I get them, I'll post a picture.

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On 8/25/2023 at 11:32 AM, rotuts said:

@ElsieD  

 

hoping the farm  will allow pics of its met counter.

 

I didn't take any pictures because the store consisted of 3 freezers and a cash register.  In such a small space I didn't feel comfortable whipping out my phone to take pictures.  I could have asked if it was okay but that didn't feel right either.  We did buy some stuff, but the only thing I bought that was different was frikandellen.  The following is from Wikipedia:

 

"It is the most popular fast food snack in the Netherlands, followed by kroket. According to the AKSV (the General Association of Manufacturers of Cooking Supplies and Snacks in the Netherlands) 600 million frikandellen are produced each year in the Netherlands. Most of these are also sold in the Netherlands, where more than 37 frikandellen are consumed per capita per year.[7][9]

ServingEdit

In the Netherlands, it is most often served with curry ketchup or mayonnaise, though some eat it with tomato ketchup, mustard or apple sauce. Very popular is a frikandel served together with mayonnaise, curry or ketchup and chopped raw onion: a frikandel speciaal.[7] The frikandel speciaal usually has a deep cut lengthwise through the middle to provide room for the chopped onions and the sauces. Some people prefer the taste of a frikandel if the cut is made before frying, resulting in a larger crisp surface. Sometimes the sausage is served on a bun and is then called a broodje frikandel."

 

There isn't much to look at, they look like sausages, so no picture.  

 

  The rest of the stuff I bought were things like sausages,, beef patties, beef satay,  very mundane stuff and a small tri-tip steak.  But, we and the owner had a nice little chat and I found out that 3 of their pigs were losing their heads this week, so to speak, and I am getting 6 pork cheeks for $15 which I think is a great buy.  Also coming my way is a full tri-tip, a full picanha, and hopefully some beef cheeks.

 

 

 

Edited by ElsieD (log)
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@ElsieD 

 

Wow , and thank you for the pics.

 

wonderful looking meat , and very nicely trimmed /

 

hope you are able to go back there from time to time.

 

I look forward to Cheeks some day .

 

dust off the SV system , fire up the charcoal starting chimney w lump

 

very quick char .

 

it would be asking a lot for pics to be taken of the results .

 

so Ill politely ask anyway.  

 

 

Edited by rotuts (log)
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That looks like a great haul! I'm a big fan of pork cheeks, though they're hard to source and I haven't cooked them in ages. They're one of my favorite ramen toppings though. I go 48hrs at 140F/60C. Sometimes I brine before, sometimes not. Sometimes I put nitrites in that brine to up the pinkness and cure it a bit. Sometimes they get some smoke on them too. Anyway, it looks like you're in for a lot of good eatin'!

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The pork cheeks will be cooked sous vide for 48 hours at 140 followed by a sear. At least that's the plan.  I'm really pleased that I seem to now have a place where I can get them.  They are indeed hard to come by.

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  • 6 months later...
46 minutes ago, FrogPrincesse said:

I love beef cheeks in long braises (or in the pressure cooker), so they should work great in a stew like peposo! I also see some peposo recipes using beef shins, another cut that you don't see that often and is tasty as well, although not as luscious in texture compared to cheeks.

What's the difference between shins and shanks?

 ... Shel


 

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3 hours ago, FrogPrincesse said:

I am not a butcher (although I took a butchery class once), but it’s the same thing as far as I know.

 

This webpage disagrees. In fact, it disagrees so much, it disagrees with itself, too.

 

But interesting discussion.

 

https://thecookingfacts.com/is-beef-shank-the-same-as-shin/

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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