How To Butcher An Entire Cow: Every Cut Of Meat Explained | Bon Appetit

Sharing buttons:


my name is Jason yang and I'm a butcher

at flashers craft butchery today I'm

going to break down half a steer into

all the cuts you would see in your local

butcher shop all right so we're starting

off with the round which is the rear leg

on the steer so you're going to get a

lot of nice big roads out of here right

now I'm actually removing the oyster

steak which is a little steak that sits

on top of the H bone which is a very

tender juicy tasty little cut which is

actually a nice butcher's cut that we

usually take home so you're rarely going

to see it outside of a craft butcher

shop so from here I'm removing the H

bone there's some strong tendons there

you have to sever that hold the femur in

place you want to make sure that you

sever those tendons as you remove this

so that you can get the shank off easier

you can start getting access to the

other muscles and start unbundling them

the H bone is great for stock so we'll

cut that up later right now I'm actually

gonna take the shank off and I'm using

the leverage of the table so I get

through these tough tendons and if you

hear about an athlete tearing their ACL

or MCL or PCL or LCL I'm tearing through

it all over right now so removing the

shank which is gonna be a tough bundle

of muscles but it's great for braising

if you cook it properly and braised beef

from the shank can make some of the most

unctuous delicious meals so now we can

start on bundling the four muscles that

we're looking at we're looking at our

top round we have our knuckle we have

our I round in the bottom round and

you're to see that this is interesting

because it's all seams we could actually

seam the muscles apart right now I'm

kind of pulling the cap which is a

muscle that sits on top of the top round

so I'm just peeling that away starting

to open this up and you're gonna see

some nice seams open it's really

satisfying to do this I'm literally just

flicking my knife with the first quarter

inch and now as I pull away you're gonna

see the top round just slowly peels away

my eye rounds revealed you see some of

that fat in fashion and it comes right

off on these seams so now we're left

with our femur bone which is going to be

what we're going to attack next so we

can get access to the other muscles the

femur bones going to be our longest

marrow bone in the steer so this is

great for bone marrow and great winter

meal so we have a nice marrow bone here

this is great we can cut the knuckles

off those will make excellent stock and

then the marrow bone itself being cut

into rounds or canoe it so cut it right

down the middle so it comes open and can

roast it off it's a really tasty

addition now I'm separating our last few

muscles we have our

knuckle here our sirloin tip which sits

right next to our bottom round so

there's my knuckle let's put that aside

for now and we're left with the

gooseneck so this is going to be a

combination of three muscles or I around

the bottom round is sort of like the

outside of our leg and then the heel

which is the tough muscle behind the

knee so here is removing the I round

putting that aside that can make a nice

roast later and then we have the heel

which can be used for braising there's a

nice cut estate get out of there called

the Merlot with a pretty tight grain

structure but if you cook it to like a

medium-rare and slice it then it can be

pretty nice so now we have our bottom

round which is going to be a little bit

more tender but the whole shape is

really nice for roast beef so when

you're cleaning these parts and we're

cleaning some round parts right now I'm

cleaning the top round I'm really

cleaning this off so we're getting to

what we're going to be selling a steaks

sometimes there's fashio sometimes

there's connective tissue sometimes

there can be some blood or spotting so

I'll shave that off just to make it more

presentable but also to cut it in such a

manner that's going to allow it to

either cook properly

or give you the best texture so from

here I've cleaned up the top round which

we'll take a look at later and now we're

going to look at the I round so right

here you can see the shape I'm going to

leave all the fat on because this can be

really nice when I do the roast beef but

we're going to take off some of the

fashio sometimes you're going to have

some fat that's not going to be good but

then fashion will be like the sheets to

cover the muscles and then here we're

taking a look at the knuckle or the

sirloin tips just taking out the kneecap

here there's two supporting muscles that

we pull out that we don't generally use

but those can be cut into little steaks

as well but what I'm really revealing is

the sirloin tip itself which is made up

of the sirloin tip side and the sirloin

tip Center a lot of these round cuts are

leaner so you can see the some fat cover

on the bottom round but these are going

to generally be leaner cuts you're going

to have to cook them a certain way so

here's the breakdown of the round now

I'm going to cut these down even further

into the cuts you'd see at the butcher

shop here we have our sirloin tip so I

was going to cut some nice sirloin tip

steaks here this is also called the

knuckle this is a nice flavorful steak a

little bit more texture a little bit

chewier but definitely a very tasty

steak we also have our I round which I

think makes an excellent little small

roast beef

muscles aren't shaped the way we

necessarily want them to be but when you

tie them up into a uniform shape they're

gonna cook more evenly the bottom rounds

also a great roast beef as well so I'm

going to tie that up as well for a much

bigger roast beef you can see that it's

going to be nice big sound roast beef

give us great slices for the top round

we mentioned talked earlier it's great

for tartare also excellent for jerky can

be done as a roast but we cut it for our

top round liner broiled steaks here are

the final cuts from the round later I'll

come back to the shank and cut it down

using the bandsaw next I'm going to

break down the loin so we're taking a

look at the loin which consists of basic

two sections here we have our drop and

then we have our short loin so here I'm

going to take off the flank

first this is a nice lean piece of meat

takes a marinade really well still right

on the grill I'm just peeling this away

all these things just sit on top of

membranes these are actually really easy

to take out because I'm peeling blow

away and essentially I'm cleaning them

you're going to see there's not much I'm

going to do to this afterwards because

it just comes right out and we have our

flank and it's all set to go then we can

throw it right in the case that we need

to do so next I'm just going to cut off

a little bit of the drop here just to

make a little bit easier for me to see

my sirloin flat and I remove some of the

fat too so the so on flap is a great cut

called the bavette in France means bib

and it's gonna look like a bib when we

pull it out this is actually a great cut

that has a really nice grain structure

full of flavor

often times great marbling and easy just

to throw right on the grill and so I'm

just going to peel that out cut off a

little bit of the trim there and we're

left with our short loin now so now I'm

going to pull out the rest of the suet

this is the internal fat that coats the

kidney protects on these organs here and

this is great to render down to make

tallow you can use it for candles skin

care products we have a variety of

people that buy them from us but I think

it's a great frying fat now we're going

to pull the tenderloin

so the Tenderloin is going to have a big

head with two arrow Barb's and it's

going to run through and then it's going

to taper all the way down to a thin tail

so here you're going to see me working

both sides of it because it's so big

that you're not going to be able to take

off one side

peel out the rest so with this deboning

process I'm going to actually work one

side first work the other and then meet

somewhere in the middle and then I'm

pulling off a side muscle here the psoas

minor so the tendons the psoas major

this is a Sohus minor it's the CH

Annette in French cooking a little bit

of tendons in there but it's one of my

favorite cuts so now we have a strip

loin and so now I'm going to separate

the loin section which is we're going to

get our New York strip steaks or shell

steaks because of the bone structure

that goes around it and we're going to

have our sirloin bone in and then we'll

have our loin now I'm just pushing down

using leverage using the gravity having

a nice fulcrum point so I can dislocate

the loin from the sole one so I want to

take a look at the sole on resection

with my favorite cuts I'm gonna start

deboning this so this is an interesting

bone because it's concave so it really

curves in so you have to keep your knife

ever turning towards the bone so now I'm

gonna take out the ball tip here so

that's going to go to trim it's a little

bit of the sirloin tip that's left

behind and I wanna take off the tri-tip

which is really nice cut very you know

popularized in California you'll hear it

as the newport steak this is about a

pound pound and a half it's excellent

for grilling throw around on the grill

Texas they smoked them and then now we

have our top sirloin so here's the

breakdown of the loin now I'm going to

cut these down even further into butcher

shop ready cuts so here we ran ahead and

cut some your strip steaks I'm going to

go through the feather bones then finish

with my saw I think that here is really

an obsession with tenderness and

oftentimes people will be like I want

tenderloin specifically or what's your

most tender cut and I think it's okay to

chew and have interesting textures there

is nothing as tender as tenderloin

I've definitely cook steaks that I

thought were as tender as tenderloin but

I think that these days I'm really

looking for more complex flavors good

textures and you can find that anywhere

in the animal here are the final cuts

from the loin this is what you've seen

the case of the butcher shop next I'm

going to break down the rib all right so

we're taking a look at the rib so this

is going to be familiar everyone I mean

if anyone has ever seen the Flintstones

they're gonna think of this giant you

know rack of ribs there's a couple of

nice cuts I'm gonna harvest out of here

or taking a look

skirts right now so we have our outside

skirt and we have our inside skirt so

right now I was pulling off some of the

membranes which can be a lot of

membranes to cover bones or they cover

muscles these are tough membranes that

is going to pull off and once I pull

them off I can start getting access to

my skirts here here I'm removing the

outside skirt it's going to be the

darker richer one it has a more

minimally taste very similar to a hanger

steak a little bit more tender this is

what you're gonna see for carne asada

off in Brazilian barbecue with the

inside skirt we could leave it whole we

can cut into portions but in general cut

it across the grain just to make it more

tender like a mechanical form of

tenderization every time you cut across

the grain you shorten the muscle fibers

to increase tenderness so next I'm going

to take off the navel there's some

cartilage that holds all this in place

that go along the rib bones so here

we're using like a basic handsaw and

it's great because you can do a lot of

this was just a hand saw a boning knife

and a table it's really elegant using

the leverage the side of the table

gravity pumping as well so we have our

plate here a short rib plate and then

now we have our rib so here's the

breakdown of the rib now I'm going to

clean these up and break them down

further into the cuts you'd see at the

butcher shop the navel which you could

smoke for beef bacon for example it's a

pretty tough cut so it can be braised

down ropa vieja is a very popular dish

so removing some of the cartilage here

and then we'll have our navel right now

I'm just cleaning some of the membranes

off of the skirt steaks you know inside

skirt an outside skirt I wanna get rid

of some of the tough fashio but I want

to leave some of the fat on too because

I think some of the fat on there is nice

doesn't have to be completely barren of

fat and then for the rib I'm going to

actually hand shine the rim here I'm

basically lining up my saw so I can get

through the spine net and I'm cutting

through so I can eventually cut through

the steaks by hand

in this case I'm going to take the chine

and the feather bones all up at once so

there's going to be lifter meat that's

going to sit on the outside of the steer

so this is going to be tough so I'm

going to pull this off

and then I'm going to hand cut steaks

down now that the chines gone the

feather bones are gone we're gonna hand

Tufts and I swear mice these are the

final cuts from the rib later

I'll come back to the short rib plate

and cut it down using the bandsaw next

I'm going to break down the Chuck

alright so this is to me the most

interesting cut just because there's so

much you can pull out of here so many

flavors so many textures I'm taking off

a little bit of sweetbreads here that

left behind by the slaughterhouse really

tasty the best chicken nuggets you'll

ever had I'm essentially going to saw

off the upper shoulder neck all in one

piece I like to do it this way so I can

decide what I want to do with that big

bone-in piece later and it gives me

access to a lot of the other items so to

start peeling this away you can see I'm

using the edge of the table I'm going to

hang this off the edge of the table so I

get tight on the bone and the Chuck's

going to counterbalance the entire

shoulder so I can start pulling away

this little cap that sits on top and

then we have our entire Chuck and neck

together bone in now there's going to be

another short rib plate I'm going to

remove these are the first five ribs and

these are actually be meteor so ramírez

going to cut across the top rib and

start to peel this away

take that off I can sawed off the

breastbone it's going to be great for

stock so this is going to be our chakra

plate now this is going to be meteor I

have a better ratio of meat to bone so

now that I've taken off the short rib

plate I have access to the brisket I can

peel the brisket away here I'm going to

remove some of this fat around the neck

just so I can see the seams of the

brisket so here I'm going to find a seam

almost kind of like at the armpit the

bristles going to wrap right here on the

shoulder clod on the triceps and it's

going to find that little armpit seam

and just seen this guy off and now I can

pull away and it's very satisfying

seemed just to roll expecto muscle off

so the brisk is coming right off

and then we have our complete brisket

all right so we're left with arm steaks

our Chuck arm steaks I have the entire

arm here what I'm going to do is I'm

actually going to dislocate the shoulder

blade keeping the triceps intact

this isn't giving me a more manageable

piece to work with I'm going to take off

the arm so then we're left with the

triceps muscle you know the clod and

then the scapula we're just going to

also have some different steaks there so

you can see I'm pointing to the teres

major here so this is a nice little

steak about a pound pound and a quarter

that they found was quite a little

tender steak so I'm basically just

removing some of the fat connective

tissue just so I can see a little bit

better now I'm just starting the tip and

then I'm starting to pull away and then

once I see that silver skin it's going

to be quite easy because I'm basically

just peeling two muscles apart so I have

it off here now I'm pulling the under

blade which is a muscles on the

underside of the shoulder blade so this

is another cut that has great texture

pretty tender good flavor this is an

excellent everyday steak excellent for

chicken-fried steak which we'll see what

the flat iron as well now we're looking

at our shoulder clod so this is going to

actually seam on to the flat iron so I

have to be careful when I cut this so we

have our shoulder clod set aside I pull

it off a little side muscle that can be

made into a roast as well but we've

revealed here's our clod heart which is

what we use for either a roast or rancho

steaks so I'm just pulling off this

layer on top of the flat iron here so I

can see a little bit better there's a

ridge that runs along the scapula so

once I've identified that rich I'm going

to score the bone skin get really tight

so I can try to pull this guy off all in

one piece so this one I think is

regarded as the second most tender

muscle in the steer it's interesting

because it actually has a long tendon

that goes through it so you have to

separate that out when you clean it here

I'm removing the mock tender or the

chuck tender this sits on the scapula

but it's not as difficult to remove just

because there's less of ridges it's

sitting on so I just pull that guy out

and usually we put this to trim but it

could be tied as a roast or if you

wanted to have lean stew here's the

breakdown of the chuck and now I'm going

to cut these down further into cuts

you'd see in the case that your

butcher shop with cutting meat there's

always different ways to present it

you're rarely going to do something so

badly you can never use the meat again

whether you chop it up in half present

it as two pieces whether you've messed

it up in such a matter that we can't

really case it or sell it properly we

can use it as our trim you know it's

going to be delicious for ground beef

for our burgers prepared foods so I tell

people all the time I want you to be

able to cut confidently so now we're

taking a look at the Chuck so we have a

bone-in Chuck here so I'm going to

debone this by first taking some of the

meat away from the vertebrae and I'm

going to pull it off all in one piece so

here we have our neck roast separating

that from my shoulder just squaring that

off so I could have a nice roast or a

braise and then I'm going to start

breaking down my Chuck steak out this

tough tendon flip it over there's going

to be a little bit of a cap that I'm

going to take off and then we can start

breaking out our Chuck so from here I'm

gonna seam the chuck eye off the Denver

I'm going to face this a little bit

because just because that was part was

exposed that's where it was split and

here we have some chuck rib eyes a lot

of flavor a contender Nastase right here

from the shoulder so I pulled off the

chuck eyes so that can be nice roast as

well a truck i roast and now we're gonna

cut these beautiful beautiful Denver

steaks we see the nicely marbled and

these are excellent steaks and this is

like my perfect like butcher's cut right

now here are the final cuts from the

Chuck I'll come back to the chuck rib

plate and cut it down using the bandsaw

next I'm going to hop over to the

bandsaw and cut some osso bucco from the

shank the bandsaw is a great tool in a

butcher shop something that can allow

you to make precise cuts as well as save

you a lot of time and effort in cutting

through bone cutting down these osso

bucco to about an inch and a quarter

this is really nice size for a pot it

exposes the marrow you want all that

marrow dripping out all over our beef as

we braise it so I'm going to be scraping

every time I'm using the bandsaw it's

because every time you're cutting bone

there's going to be some dust some

debris that comes off and when it sits

on the meat it can change the color it

can oxidize the meat a lot faster so you

don't want that on there I want to

remove that for my service immediately

next I'm going to cut down the chuck rib

plate from the chuck the bandsaw is

going to allow me to make nice thin cuts

on the rib plate that would be very

difficult to do by hand this is going to

be an excellent grilling cut and now I'm

going to cut down the short rib plate

from the rib so here I'm cutting the

English cut short ribs I can either do

blocks of 2 inches or 4 inches these

will be excellent for a breeze and here

are the final cuts from the bandsaw and

finally these are all the cuts you get

from a side of beef