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  • - This is the shoulder of a cow.

  • (light jazz playing)

  • What most people don't understand

  • is how many steaks actually come from a shoulder.

  • - So today Brent's got his apron on

  • and we're gonna show you where every steak comes from

  • on the beef shoulder.

  • (light jazz music)

  • It turns out that most of the most tender muscles

  • on the animal actually come

  • from one of the most hard-working parts of the animal.

  • This has more complexity than any other muscle group

  • on any animal,

  • and it's the thing we don't let our butchers touch

  • for months.

  • So how are we gonna do this, B?

  • - We are going to break this down the Meat Hook way.

  • First cut is to just take the foreshank off.

  • So the foreshank as we know it

  • is mostly used for braising.

  • You get some really, really good soup bones

  • out of it as well.

  • While this is great for many things, it is not a steak.

  • Do not grill this.

  • So we're gonna put it to the side.

  • - Chuck it.

  • - Next cut, we're just gonna take the bottom half

  • of the ribs off.

  • These are a continuation of the short ribs

  • but aren't quite as meaty or fatty as the short ribs,

  • so we're just gonna take them off and use them as trim.

  • - Do you ever think about when you're doing this

  • it might skip and you'll saw into your thumb?

  • I think about that all the time.

  • - Just sawing through the bone,

  • we're not sawing through any meat.

  • - As you can see, Brent's just following the line

  • that's naturally there.

  • The knife barely even needs to touch it.

  • This is just a natural seam,

  • and this is something

  • as you learn butchering more, and more, and more,

  • you find all these natural seams showing you

  • where the muscles go.

  • - So again, not a steak, going to the side.

  • Next up, we're going to take the entire spine out.

  • This is probably one of the hardest cuts to learn

  • just because it is so tricky

  • and everything underneath it is sellable steak.

  • - This is one of the most important parts

  • of butchering a shoulder,

  • because right underneath all of these neck bones

  • are some of the best steaks,

  • some of the most tender steaks we're gonna find

  • on the animal.

  • This is one of the reasons why it takes

  • so long for people to get the skills built up enough

  • so that they can be breaking down a shoulder.

  • We don't always get the animal with the spine intact.

  • There's a law about if the animal is over 30 months

  • you have to have the spine removed

  • for fear of mad cow disease.

  • With pastured animals that is 99.9% not gonna happen.

  • But the good thing about having the spine intact

  • is it protects all of those steaks.

  • It's also exceedingly different for a processor

  • to take out the spine

  • without cutting into the steaks even a little bit.

  • So this way, we get the fully-intact steak.

  • - That was just the cut to take off feather bones

  • in the first part of the neck.

  • You saw how hard it was for me to do that

  • with a 5-inch knife.

  • If this animal was over 30 and the processor

  • has to take the neck out with a huge saw,

  • that's gonna be way harder

  • and obviously not get the same amount of yield

  • on the steak itself.

  • Now that the feather bones are off,

  • we're gonna take the rest of the neck out.

  • (light jazz music)

  • That's a beef neck.

  • Definitely not a steak.

  • - All right, let's move on.

  • Let's get into some steaks.

  • So the first sub-primal we're gonna deal with,

  • is going to be the chuck roll.

  • Right now Brent is peeling off

  • what we call the Delmonico,

  • which is a configuration of four different muscles.

  • You'll see it sometimes

  • as the chuck eye steak, chuck eye roll, chuck roast,

  • I would say it's in Brent's top three steaks.

  • - A-number one.

  • - Number one?

  • - Number one.

  • - The eye of the rib eye in the surrounding muscles,

  • which are all very, very tender

  • as they're moving up into the shoulder.

  • I think it's a very, very valuable cut

  • that is kind of underrated.

  • - This is the whole chuck flat.

  • We're going to turn this section into our Delmonico steak.

  • So just to cut the Delmonico section,

  • we're gonna split this more or less in half.

  • This is our chuck, or chuck roast.

  • We're setting that aside

  • because it's a beautiful roast, great stew,

  • not necessarily a steak.

  • The Delmonico is my favorite steak

  • because it is literally the middle ground

  • between a rib eye and a chuck roast.

  • So, super flavorful,

  • but not the most tender

  • which is something that I really love out of steaks.

  • I don't love really lean, super tender muscles.

  • I like them to be a little bit more toothsome.

  • Gonna take a nice inch and a half off there,

  • and there we have our Delmonico steak.

  • - It doesn't look like a rib eye exactly.

  • You have muscle separation here,

  • you can see between each layer,

  • and you can see there are different muscles

  • all kind of grouped together.

  • What this gives you is a little bit of more fat

  • in between each muscle.

  • So you're gonna have not a nice real big fat cap here,

  • but you are gonna have a lot of intermuscular fat

  • and a lot of really, really thin fats

  • connecting all of these tissues together

  • so you get a really nice texture.

  • Our next cut is going to be the Denver and the Sierra

  • that's resting on top.

  • - Sits right underneath the Delmonico,

  • also just gonna peel this back.

  • - The Denver, or sometimes called the underblade steak,

  • is really, really good at medium rare.

  • Unlike most steaks I find with grassfed animals

  • that the better texture's at rare,

  • this one tends to loosen in toothsomeness at medium rare.

  • - So right here is just a big ole' ugly piece of flat meat.

  • Once we trim this down,

  • we're going to get a Denver steak out of it.

  • - All we need to do to start is take off the Sierra,

  • we can get a better picture of the Denver.

  • The Sierra looks a lot like a flank steak,

  • which you'll see here in a second.

  • Is it a flank steak?

  • Oh no, no.

  • It is not.

  • Brent, what's your experience with the Sierra?

  • - Don't even give it the time of day.

  • - All right.

  • Sounds like the Sierra and I have something in common.

  • So now to get to the Denver.

  • - The thing about seam butchery

  • is that a lot of muscles will be be directly

  • next to the other one.

  • One of them will be great,

  • and one of them will be not so great.

  • So is the Sierra and the Denver.

  • We really love the Denver, Sierra not so much.

  • - This is our Denver.

  • You just want to take a good look at which way

  • is the graining going.

  • As you can see,

  • there's some natural lines going that way

  • which means we want to be cutting that way.

  • - You can actually see that the muscle fibers

  • are even larger on this steak

  • which is different than the smaller muscle fibers

  • say, on a filet.

  • Larger the muscle fiber,

  • the more you actually want to cook it.

  • Next up, we're just gonna attack the brisket.

  • - You can see there's this natural seam

  • what you would pretty much call the arm pit of the animal,

  • and that's what Brent's following across

  • is trying to just get that seam all the way over.

  • That is what a brisket looks like

  • before it's cleaned up.

  • - Do not grill this.

  • It requires long, slow cooking in order to make it tender.

  • Next up we're just gonna do the shoulder clod.

  • - Oh baby we're getting into the good ones now.

  • Ooh.

  • Right here is the teres major,

  • sometimes called the petite tender,

  • or the shoulder tender.

  • And you can even see,

  • you can pretty much dig your finger underneath that steak.

  • The sinew's so thin.

  • And then you have the clod heart.

  • The clod heart is like the weather.

  • It's really, really hard to predict,

  • you never know what's going to happen

  • until you actually get there.

  • So this one we always have to visually look at

  • to see exactly how tender is the steak gonna be.

  • - We are going to trim out the petite tender

  • and cut some...

  • What do you want to call 'em?

  • - Ranch steaks.

  • - Ranch steaks.

  • - Ranch steaks.

  • - Ranch.

  • - As I mentioned earlier,

  • you can pretty much just reach in there

  • and you can find your line.

  • You don't even need a knife to pull it apart.

  • And I'm not using any pressure here really at all.

  • There's your shoulder tender, teres major, petite tender,

  • whatever you wanna call it.

  • - This is a small muscle,

  • but it's super easy to cook

  • and a lot of our customers' favorite steak overall.

  • If you like a hangar steak,

  • there's only one of those per animal.

  • There's only two of these per animal, so super limited.

  • But if you like the texture and it's a great value,

  • go to your local butcher,

  • pick this thing up.

  • - Now that we have the teres major,

  • we're just gonna trim this up of the excess muscle

  • that's all gonna go into stew or grind,

  • and then we have our clod heart.

  • It really depends on the animal

  • on if this is going to be tender or not.

  • When you're a high-volume processor,

  • killing animals and killing the environment,

  • you probably aren't too worried

  • about little things like old clod heart.

  • But since we're a whole-animal butcher shop

  • we need to find the value in everything,

  • so we always try it out.

  • - So this is our Ranch steak.

  • We love it

  • cause we can actually get a couple consistent steaks

  • out of the whole muscle.

  • It really does matter animal-to-animal as far as tenderness,

  • but this looks great.

  • Similar to the Denver that it has a little bit larger

  • of a muscle structure,

  • but find it's usually about on par as far as tenderness.

  • - Good weekday steak.

  • Easy salt, pepper, put it in a pan.

  • You're done.

  • - That's it.

  • All right.

  • Almost at the end.

  • - This is the one.

  • The flat iron.

  • The second most tender steak on the animal

  • after the filet.

  • It's great at rare,

  • it's great at medium rare,

  • it's great at medium.

  • - [Brent] Our actual shoulder blade,

  • flat iron steaks.