chuck roast - Canadian translation, please
I'm appealing to my fellow Canucks to please tell me what the hell a chuck roast is called up here. I've never made a pot roast, so the cuts are completely unfamiliar to me, but I'm pretty sure I've never seen anything by that name, and all of the alternates I've seen online (seven-bone, etc.) are unfamiliar as well.
Note: I'll be buying the roast from a supermarket, not a butcher, so I can't just ask a white-jacketed guy with a big knife what I should be looking for.
A chuck roast is called...a chuck roast.
As others have mentioned, the chuck is cut and trimmed in numerous different ways. Most cuts from this area appear in many different guises.
Many of these cuts are tough, and require very slow, low heat cooking. Cuts labeled "shoulder" often fall into this category. Adding to jayt90's comment, it is important that the meat be brought to this final temberature very slowly.
Note that some cuts from the chuck actually make quite tender grilled steaks. You will find the most variety at a Jewish-oriented store or a kosher butcher. Mainstream Toronto supermarkets sell very little chuck as roasts or steaks. However, boneless blade roasts, which are from the chuck, are fairly common and quite good.
The hip (e.g. rump roast) consists of a few large muscles, and tends to be lean and dry. The shoulder/chuck in contrast has many smaller muscles, each surrounded by connective tissue (eventually connecting to tendons and bones). That tissue is initially tough and chewy, but when cooked long enough becomes gelatinous, contributing moisture to the meat. Hence meat from this area great for long slow cooking.
But when trimmed right, those individual muscles can be tasty and tender. One of the latest innovations in trimming the chuck is the flat iron steak. It is good for fast cooking, such as grilling. But I'm not surprised that observant butchers knew how to trim the chuck to provide grillable pieces.
It's too bad that these things are not more mainstream. Flatiron steaks have become trendy, which means prices will continue to rise (their economy was one of their great assets). However, they are still a "boutique" cut in Toronto.
There's one cut from the chuck (the several names for which escape me) that is an extension of the ribeye.
The Boneless Bottom Blade makes a nice braised roast...or even a low temperature oven roast(2.5 hours @ 225*)
It's also known as an Under Blade or Chuck Roast
It may be called cross rib, or blade, or boneless shoulder roast. I note that these are often boned, rolled, and tied for presentation and value added (cost). A blade roast with bone in, will be just as tasty.
The trick in cooking is to slow cook or braise until just done, when the collagen breaks down, at 170-190 F internally, depending on the quality of the beef. Too much longer, it will get dry and stringy. Too little time, will be a tough roast. A thermometer probe is a big help.