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Does choice, Angus or select make any difference on a chuck roast that your going to braise anyway?

Every once in a while my grocery store will have a sale on Angus boneless chuck roast. It is usually $1.00 more per pound than select chuck roast that is usually on sale also.

I usually take advantage of the Angus in this situation but if I am just going to pot roast it, does it really make a difference? I would think that additional fat in the meat would get rendered out anyway during a low slow braise.

It would certainly make a difference if I was going to grind it for hamburger or something.

Anyway, what do you people think?

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  1. I agree, since the grading system is based on marbling in the muscle, not on the outside. In the outside fat I look for white vs. a yellowish hue, which indicates an old dairy cow. Braising was the process, at least in the past, to make tougher cuts more tender and juicy. In a slow cook dish I would opt for the more economical grade. Kind of like putting premium gas in a car that needs regular to run efficently......lol.....

    1. For braising etc., the leaner the worse and the leaner is almost always more money. Even or especially for grinding, I need that fat for a good burger. The first time I ground beef I mistakenly got a too lean cut (can't remember what now). Alan Barnes recommended that I go back to the grocery and ask for some fat that they'd trimmed off other meats. I did, they were great and from that day forward, in our house, they're called Barnes Burgers.

      1. Wow. Only two responses. I really would like to get more peoples opinion on this.

        I would think that the additional marbled fat in an Angus boneless chuck roast would just render out.

        The braising would melt the collagen about the same.
        Not sure but I wouldn't think Angus would have more collagen.

        I wouldn't think Angus would have any more or less connective tissues either so those would break down and unwind about the same way.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Hank Hanover

          Could you tell, by looking, whether the Angus chuck had more marbling than the select? It's my impression that grading is based more on the appearance of parts that are used for steak (the loin). Grading applies to the whole side, not individual parts.

          I make my own judgment regarding the ratio of meat, fat, and connective tissue, based on appearance and past experience.

          1. re: paulj

            Well the meat I bought (Angus) looked better, had better marbling. I don't know about the connective tissue.

            I understand that the grading is based on an incision into the loin of a side of beef but I would think if there was more marbling in one spot, there would be more marbling everywhere.

            1. re: Hank Hanover

              it would be my belief that the meat with the higher fat content would be more flavorful, al else being equal. Even in a braise, the fat that is rendered off is still present in the braising liquid and usually when I make it, gets emulsified into the sauce. The fat is more flavorful than the lean, so more equals better, if you ask me.

              However, paying an extra $1 a pound...it depends on your money situation. Is it worth it for a possibly small increase in flavor?

        2. Given a choice, I would never buy Select over Choice regardless of price, cut, or cooking method.

          Fun!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Uncle Bob

            Quite a bit of naturally raised, pastured, beef is graded select. There is no feed lot fattening up on by-products and grain. The tougher muscling development is the result of the animal being allowed to move around and graze; as opposed to being crowded in pens and eating chemically altered and hyped processed feed. Based on this difference select is a very good choice for slow roast, braise and, stew recipes.

          2. "Angus" is a breed of cow. Many cows sold as regular beef are actually Angus as well. Certified Angus is a marketing tool. In other words a brand. I've often found zero difference in Certified Angus brand versus choice aside from the price difference and thus I NEVER buy Certified Angus brand. I would buy choice.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Shaw Oliver

              The OP was asking about Angus vs. USDA Select. I suspect you'd chose CAB over USDA Select, no?

              1. re: tommy

                I would. And you're right, I mis-read the part about only select vs. CAB.

                But... I don't want to sound too high and mighty, but in the past I didn't shop at stores that only offered select or CAB and nothing else, so the option doesn't really apply. Here in the south that means shopping at Whole Foods or Publix, not Kroger or Walmart.

              2. re: Shaw Oliver

                Shaw, As well as "Sterling Silver Beef", another marketing brandas is CAB. In supermarkets, there is more 'select" than one assunes.

                1. re: ospreycove

                  Are you suggesting that CAB is Select?