Preparing and Cooking a #1A: Chuck Eye Roast

It has been quite a while since I’ve added to the meat chart, but I was given a cut of meat to prepare that I might have occasionally overlooked, probably because it was being sold under somewhat false pretenses. It was given a number, 1, with the letter ‘A’ appended to it. But is a chuck eye roast really as good as the much praised rib eye?

Pretty close.

A cow, contrary to the colorful images you see on the wall at the butcher shop, is a contiguous animal. One part flows into the next. Therefore chuck meat that is adjacent to rib eye would be more tender than chuck meat that is under the shoulder blade. A chuck roast is simply that: a roast made from a #2.

A beef shoulder, or chuck, is a collection of muscles of all different sizes going in all different directions. It is one of the eight (depending on the method of butchery) sections, or primal cuts, that a side of beef is divided into at the meat packing plant. It’s an enormous percentage of beef, somewhere near 25% of an entire side. These are the muscles that hold the cow’s head up, help the cow to walk, stand, kneel, and otherwise frolic through the meadows until the inevitable. That means that the meat is not, on the whole, as tender as the less active rib and sirloin cuts. A butcher who knows his or her craft however can tease out some of the softer muscles that can be grilled, broiled, or roasted.

Preparation

A chuck eye roast (ורד הצלע, vered hatzla, called ojo de bife in Spanish) is the somewhat thinner front end of what continues on to become a rib roast. It needs to be trussed so that it keeps it shape. There wasn’t much silver skin to trim, if any. Other than that, there isn’t anything else to do with it in terms of preparation. Use a dry rub or marinade. Cook it on a high heat 240°C (465°F) until the internal temperature is 52°C (125°F). The one in the photo was the size of a #6, so I cooked it for about 40 minutes. As you can see from the photo it’s pretty lean, which means that if you cook it too long, it will be dry.

Alternatively, you can cut it into medallions and make steak au poivre, or cure it as bresaola.

The final product was indeed tasty, and softer than a #6. Because it had no marbling, it wasn’t nearly as juicy as a rib steak though. It was as expected, somewhere in the middle.

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