Where There’s Beef

#2 chuck blade roast. No where near actual size.

This post contains an unsolicited plug. I just bought this piece of meat at my local makolet, Super Turgeman. It is a #2/Tzlaot, or Chuck Blade Roast. Actually, in this case, it’s pretty much an entire chuck top. They have a selection that was quite surprising, and the prices are suspiciously reasonable [jk – Ed.]. But more on the prices later.

There is a label wedged into the folds of meat on the bottom that says “without added chemicals or water.” See the photo inside the post. Who cares about the chemicals? No added water? Huzzah!

Some of the meat already say Kosher for Passover. What??! Already!!?! Cue the panic scene!

So we have a 3kg piece of meat currently thawing that my wife is eyeing with uncertainty, my cat with lust, my teenagers with impatience, and I with curiosity. Now what?

This was meant to be a short blog piece that turned into a longer one, which I am now splitting into two posts. The actual preparation/cooking post will come later. This post is back to being about buying this cut of meat.

No water! Yay! Kosher for Passover! Double Yay!

Is meat really an expensive luxury in Israel? A whole chicken is ₪10/kg at on sale at the supermarket. They go on sale pretty regularly, they’re almost always fresh, they feed two to four people pretty easily. To be a fair and equitable comparison however, 100% edible boneless chicken meat (breast, pargiot) is also in the ₪30-₪50 per kg range, so if you can’t do your own butchering, chicken is effectively the same price as beef, feeding the same number of people. If you’re buying ₪100 worth of chicken for a meal, why aren’t you considering buying meat? It will feed the same number of people, provide nutrients that chicken doesn’t and will most definitely NOT taste like chicken.

I also squirreled away a #6 that was on sale, for another day [and another post or two]. It’s a much smaller piece, weighing just barely over a kilo, so it won’t feed as many people. I challenge you to find me a sit-down kosher restaurant on the planet that will serve you and your plus one a beef main each for ₪35/$10 total [If your local burger pit is your idea of good food, I’m not quite sure why you’re reading this blog. I’m also not sure if it technically counts as ‘beef’]. Yes, I cook restaurant quality food, but that’s sort of the point of my blog: so can you.

If you are within driving distance of Neve Daniel, and you are looking for Shabbat/Purim/Pesach meat, I strongly urge you to come here and shop. You might even run into me. To the gentlemen who run the makolet, keep up the good work. If your strategy is low prices and volume sales, you’re already ahead of the curve.



12 thoughts on “Where There’s Beef”

    1. Vitamin A – Needed for vision, healthy skin and mucous membranes, bone and tooth growth, immune system health
      Vitamin C – Antioxidant; part of an enzyme needed for protein metabolism; important for immune system health; aids in iron absorption
      Vitamin E – Antioxidant; protects cell walls
      Vitamin K – Needed for proper blood clotting
      Folic Acid – Part of an enzyme needed for making DNA and new cells, especially red blood cells
      Manganese – Involved in the formation of bone, as well as in enzymes involved in amino acid, cholesterol, and carbohydrate metabolism
      Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) – Part of an enzyme needed for energy metabolism; important for normal vision and skin health

      Compared to chicken, beef also provides:
      5x Iron – Part of the protein hemoglobin which carries O2 in the body. Necessary for the utilization of energy.
      190x Vitamin B12 – Part of an enzyme needed for making new cells; important to nerve function
      2x Vitamin B6 – Part of an enzyme needed for protein metabolism; helps make red blood cells
      6x Pantothenic Acid – Part of an enzyme needed for energy metabolism

  1. Here is a comparison of beef chuck and chicken breast, using data from caloriecount.about.com:

    The first number of each pair is beef, the second is chicken:

    Beef v chicken
    Beef (chuck)
    Chicken (breast)

    Vitamin B12
    2.3 ug/100 g
    0.31 ug/100 g
    Vitamin C in regular meat cuts
    Vitamin E
    200 ug/100 g
    271 ug/100 g
    Vitamin K
    2.0 ug/100 g
    0.3 ug/100 g
    Folic Acid
    10.6 ug/100 g
    17 ug/100 g
    240 ug/100 g
    114 ug/100 g
    3105 ug/100 g
    1042 ug/100 g
    Vitamin B6
    260 ug/100 g
    600 ug/100 g
    Pantothenic acid
    311 ug/100 g
    965 ug/100 g

    The main story here is B12, you can get the rest from plant sources. And unless you can shop every day for healthy food and have time to prepare it and sit down to take enough time to eat it, which I agree some people can, but if you can’t, a supplement like the Centrum multi which I take will give you 6 ug of B12.

    Other than that not sure why the author of the blog is so down on poultry. I think its all good myself.

    I would like to hear from Culinart Kosher about goat and sheep. What do you think of goat and sheep as a meat source?

    1. Who said I was down on poultry? I do great things with chicken, turkey and duck. All I said was that beef supplies nutrients that chicken doesn’t. Don’t read any more into it. I’m rather surprised that someone from Texas is taking the contrary opinion on this.

      This isn’t a health blog; this is a food blog. We can quibble all day (well, not really) about whose numbers are better, but I stand by my statement, based on my research with the information sourced from the USDA.

      Both lamb and goat are delicious. Goat is nearly impossible to get kosher, which I can’t understand, since the roads here are littered with goat flocks. True story: yesterday we were sitting at a light. There was a flock of goats and a shepherd on the side of the road. I told my wife to give me ₪50 so I could buy a goat. She said no. (Slaughter wouldn’t have been a problem; I have a neighbor who can do it.) I had wanted it for milk (cheese) and to trim my backyard weeds, but I would’ve cooked it when it was done with the grass.

      I will certainly blog about lamb, since it is my favorite meat protein. If I can score a lamb quarter for Pesach (which is when they go on sale) without having to sell my car, I’ll do a photo/video of butchering and maybe an Irish stew or something.

  2. I think that the main chicken vs beef issue comes down to one of deliciousness whereby beef clearly beats the bird hands down. :)

    I’ve been buying shpondra (short ribs – in this case without the bone) from the shuk for NIS 39 a kilo. It’s really superb for making stews (haven’t used it for a cholent yet but I’m sure it will do a good job as it’s fatty and won’t dry out. I’ve been throwing in some aromatics, herbs, fresh and dried mushrooms and using a dark beer as the braising liquid, serving with rice, mashed potatoes or couscous – great stuff!

    Shabbat shalom

    1. OK I have a question, really 2 of them:

      1. Does beef come from cows that are raised in Israel or imported, and if imported from where?

      2. Is the beef in Israel grass fed, or do they stuff them with grain and antibiotics like in the US?


      1. Most of the meat in Israel is imported from South America. This particular piece came from Argentina. Uruguay is another common source. There is a constant rotation of slaughterers and other kosher processors that travel to and from South America. Every once in a while one of the Jewish magazines will write about it.

        There is a beef industry here in Israel, and even a fledgling effort to bring other cattle breeds in (http://longhorn-project.org/), but it still remains much smaller than the demand can satisfy. (Israelis consumed only 17.4kg of meat per person in 2003. That’s only 330g/11.6oz. per Shabbat, no weekday meat. We do not have meat every Shabbat.)

        I maintain that as we create a higher demand for fresh, local beef, that supply will increase and prices will drop. Part of the problem (and this is where my politics peek through) is that Israelis settled the north. That’s nice and all, but we should have settled the south, and left the much more verdant north for grazing/pasture. There’s no grazing in the desert after Passover, unless you’re a goat. Whatever.

        Cattle here is grass fed, mostly. I’m sure that the cows are getting grain now, since it’s the rainy/cold season and there isn’t much grass/hay to be found, even if they’re letting the animals out. You can totally taste it in the milk, too. When we first got here, the kids hated drinking milk. The taste was all ‘wrong’, coming from New York as we were.

        With respect to antibiotics and hormones, I don’t know what the practice is in South America. I’m kind of a “better living through chemistry” person anyway, so I don’t get too fussed about it.

        The real sin of the beef industry in this country is the water weight. By law, up to 10% of a beef product’s weight can be water, which is why I was so excited when the label said no water added.

  3. I have a question about water content of beef. Are you implying that you can raise the water content of beef? How can one do that? Would you soak it? Even if you soak beef in water, it doesn’t get diluted, does it?

    1. By injection. It’s especially popular when brining meats. Basically it’s a syringe. There are manual ones like in a doctor’s office, and there are industrial ones with compressors.

      It has its valid uses for flavor and even moisture retention, but when the meat is flash frozen, vacuum-packed and shipped out, it’s not going to lose much moisture. They do it so they can sell water for NIS35/kg. Like I said, criminal.

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