[Sca-cooks] Interesting NYT article about "new" beef cuts

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Wed Apr 29 07:49:44 PDT 2009

On Apr 29, 2009, at 8:30 AM, Johnna Holloway wrote:

> Ok I am sorry but this just seems so wrong--
> "the boneless country-style beef chuck ribs — in his meat cases a  
> couple of months ago. The “ribs” have never seen a bone. They are  
> cut from the chuck eye roll to resemble ribs and are intended to be  
> braised, like a short rib. They can be finished on the grill with  
> barbecue sauce. "
> They appear here under "valuse added cuts>Chuck >  Boneless Country- 
> Style Beef Chuck Ribs <http://www.beefinnovationsgroup.com/bonelesscountrystylebeefchuckribs.aspx 
> >"
> Courtesy of BIG  -- Beef Innovations Group (TM)
> http://www.beefinnovationsgroup.com/bonelesscountrystylebeefchuckribs.aspx
> Why am I reminded of McDonald's pork riblet sandwich?

Well, it's not like they're flaked-and-formed, like a McD riblet  
thingy, or high-pressure sieved, like McNuggets, but that was the cut  
I referred to as stew meat not cut in cubes.

I think I also like the one you have to marinate for at least six  
hours, then grill... or braise for what, two hours... and serve at  
least medium rare? I'd consider that rather a mixed message about the  
toughness of this cut.

Regarding consumer foolery, in many ways this is no different from  
both the different cutting techniques found in any butcher shop in the  
UK, France, Italy, and elsewhere, whose cuts (and the names for those  
cuts) differ not only from corresponding cuts of the same muscles in a  
US butcher shop, but also from each other's designations, and  
differing in more ways than simple language differences.

In addition, Americans who eat seafood should be eminently familiar  
with this game: Arctic char  and Patagonian toothfish sound nasty, and  
Chilean Seabass, which is neither especially Chilean nor a bass,  
sounds sexy, so, since there's nothing to prevent the people at the  
primary market, or the local market, from writing just about anything  
they want on the little sign, they can call it Chilean Seabass.  
Similarly, sablefish/coalfish is sold as Pacific, Black, or Rock Cod,  
unless it's smoked, in which case it is sable. Hake and Pollack are  
known, for mysterious reasons known only to the marketing and  
advertising arm of the seafood industry, as "scrod".

This seems to me to combine the two approaches.

As for the possibility of changing the content of the more currently  
prevailing products, such as ground beef, yes, it probably will, if  
this becomes industry-wide. On the other hand, they've been sort of  
setting the stage for this for years. The days of seeing ground chuck  
(or the mysterious and slightly sinister-sounding chuck chopped),  
ground round, and ground sirloin are giving way to "ground beef, 87%  
lean", "93% lean", etc. Even when you do see ground chuck, round and  
sirloin in a supermarket, it's more of a fat-content guideline than  
any actual indication of what cut it is made from. Which, considering  
that it tends to be trimmings and egregious butcher's mistakes (I  
don't necessarily mean the butcher's left thumb, but something like a  
slip of the knife when seaming out a tenderloin detaching a valuable  
chunk of meat that is now useless for filet mignon or roasting, and  
now magically becomes a small piece of some other cut, like sirloin  
tips, or goes into the grinder), it probably makes little difference  
in the end. And you can always write your congressdoofus to ask for a  
re-evaluation of regulatory practices.


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