• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

  • product-image-quickten.png.a40203b506711f7664fc62024e54a584.pngDid you know that these all-volunteer forums are operated by the 501(c)3 not-for-profit Society for Culinary Arts & Letters? This holiday season, consider a tax-deductible Quick Ten Bucks to support the eG Forums and help us remain completely advertising-free. Thanks to all those who have donated so far!

paulraphael

Beef cut for stock/jus

21 posts in this topic

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

""""   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''

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

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.egullet.org/uploads/monthly_08_2013/post-71503-0-11144700-1377519179.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 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Neck from old beeves makes truly awesome stock!

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


~Martin

Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist, contrarian and natural born skeptic who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


PS: I am a guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A test I have done about using bones to make wonderful stock.

 

I used a lot of bones I had collected. I scraped off as much meat, fat and tendon from the bones as possible and pressure cooked them.

 

A couple of hours later, taste tested the stock. It was just a little more flavorful than plain water.

 

dcarch

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This might derail a little but let me ask this. What is the point of making any stock with bones when the stuff around/inside the bones (meat, fat, cartilage, tendon) provides all the flavor? It seems that other than getting a pile of bones for free, it'd be better to just use scraps instead?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

'Fresh' scraps  :  yes.

 

some people have been getting Ck.carcasses at places that still bone out chicken for next to nothing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This might derail a little but let me ask this. What is the point of making any stock with bones when the stuff around/inside the bones (meat, fat, cartilage, tendon) provides all the flavor? It seems that other than getting a pile of bones for free, it'd be better to just use scraps instead?

 

At least traditionally, bones were a perfect source of cheap scraps. They're always sold with plenty of meat and connective tissue still on them, and some also include marrow. These days they're not always a great value ... I see places charging boutique prices for them, presumably because in some markets they've become special order items for wealthy gourmands. But if you have access to a butcher shop that still sells them cheap, they're a good value.

 

I make stock with a mix of bones and meat, FWIW.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.