Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles - 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.