In our first post in our Ultimate Guide to Beef Cuts Series we focused on most people's favorite cuts of beef, Steaks. In Part 2, we cut into some of the most versatile and tastiest cuts - Roasts.
Roast cuts of beef are mostly found in the loin area of the cow, yet each cut provides a different flavor and preferred cooking method. Most often, these are prepared as a Winter dish over roast or a stew, but many are also excellent when grilled, smoked, or sautéed. If you aren't exactly sure where to start, take a look at this guide to some of the popular roast cuts of beef.
As the name would imply, this roast is a triangular cut that comes from the bottom sirloin of a steer. Most cuts of Tri-Tip average between 1.5 and 4 pounds. They are quite rare, considering there are only two cuts per animal. This roast is generally lean, but Wagyu Tri-Tips tend to have more marbling, giving this roast a more tender and flavorful bite.
Tri-Tips are very popular as a barbecue roast (our always sell out quickly!). Most often, they are seasoned with a rub and grilled. But this versatile cut can also be smoked, seared, or cut into steaks. This roast should be cut against the grain for the best results.
The Chuck Roast comes from the shoulder and neck portion of the cow. Because the cow uses this muscle to hold its body weight, it's a bit tougher than other cuts. This roast is fairly large, averaging about 3 to 4 pounds. It also has a tendency to have more fat and gristle, which means that you may need to trim it before cooking. However, once cooked properly, this cut can be soft as butter.
The Chuck Roast is slow cooker favorite, either whole roasted or cut into chunks for a stew or chili. Wagyu chuck roasts typically have extensive marbling, creating that fall-off-the-fork texture and rich, beefy flavor. When preparing a Wagyu Chuck Roast, it's sometimes preferred to scrape and discard the top layer of fat that accumulates.
Once thought a lesser cut of meat, the Brisket is now a popular cut barbecue, sandwiches, holiday roasts, and more. Located in the breast section of the cow, these pectoral muscles include a high percentage of connective tissue and get a lot of work, making this another tough cut. As with the other cuts, Wagyu briskets tend to have a higher marbling content than their conventional counterparts. When cooked, this extra marbling creates a more supple experience.
Briskets are sold as
- Full "Packer" Briskets - the full roast which includes the point and fat cap. These are generally between 8 to 16 pounds and are a favorite for barbecue competitors and aficionados.
- Brisket Flats - the half of a full brisket (once cut in half) that has more meat to it. The flat is great for slicing and your more "conventional" brisket experience.
- Brisket Points - the half of a full brisket (once cut in half) that is dense with fat. The point is often eaten as "burnt ends".
Many grill masters will inject their briskets with a stock or marinade as well as marinade or rub the outside of the beef before smoking or grilling. Braising or slow cooking in a small amount of liquid tenderizes the meat for a moist roast.
Image: Lone Mountain Wagyu 100% Fullblood Wagyu Strip Roast
Although the Strip Roast is usually cut into Strip Steaks, buying it as a whole piece allows for the opportunity for an elegant roast that makes an impressive meal centerpiece.
Like the Strip Steaks, the Strip Roast is from the Short Loin. The extensive marbling found in Wagyu Strip Roast make for an incredible culinary experience. Similarly to a pork roast, preparing the strip roast with a rub of fresh garlic and herbs is a beautiful presentation that compliments the beef without masking the qualities of a high quality cut.
Keep your eyes peeled for our third installment in our Ultimate Guide to Beef Cuts series where we'll cover some of the more obscure cuts that definitely don't get the attention they deserve.