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Jan 17, 2011 01:23 PM

Veal shoulder blade chops....Grain feed or Milk feed

Veal shoulder blade chops are on sale. The grain fed $2.99 lb and milk feed $3.99 lb. Is there really a difference with shoulder, since it will need to be braised.....and if so, what would the difference be. I would think there would be a difference in tenderness and taste, but would it be that much and is it worth the extra $.
Also does anyone know about pork loin....what is the diffence between the rib and the sirloin.
Does seasoned mean the meat has been brined??? "seasoned boneless half pork loin....rib or sirloin portions"???


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  1. h,

    I'm a Milk Fed Veal fan myself. I've been told by many suppliers, the way you can tell the difference, is simply how the veal looks in color. The pale pink is milk fed.....the darker is other. I have no idea if this is true or not, but I have no reason to doubt.

    As for pork, take a look at this video and you will know every thing you need to know about pork cuts.

    Seasoned usually means brined and saline added.

    7 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      Hello fourunder, you are a master of meats! A few quick questions....I am under the impression that shoulder blades or shoulder cuts of any meat require braising...???
      As for seasoned meats.....I don't like the seasoned chicken breast sold at stores and am wonder if any meat seasoned is such a good idea....???? I think it's better to brine yourself....Your thoughts??? Thank's

      1. re: heylids


        I'm probably not the best person to ask when it comes to braising cheap cuts of meat. Simply cooking meat to death so you can chew it has never appealed to me. I grew up in a family that owned restaurants, so I never had anything but premium cuts of beef....cooked no more than medium-rare. My family had steaks.....never any stews or pot roasts. It wasn't until the later in life I stared to enjoy some cheaper cuts of meat, like Top Butt Sirloin, Skirt, Flat Iron or Hanger Steaks. I still think Flank is only so-so. I'm not a Pot Roast or braised Brisket Fan either. However, Brisket smoked on the Grill is a favorite.

        With that said, I would disagree with the notion Shoulder Cuts need to be braised, beef or pork. For beef, there are cuts from the shoulder that are tender without having to braise. The first that comes to mind is the Flat Iron/Top Blade Steaks. There only require simple 3-4 minute grilling/broiling on each side. The Top Blade Roast is also very tender at either low or high temperature roasting. I also like to roast low and slow, Chuck Roast/Chuck Eye Roast @ 200-225* to medium-rare or medium temperature, which has a lot a of flavor and comes out tender. preferring it much more than prepared as a pot roast. For the usual pot roast cuts, the only one I can palate is the Chuck Roast Cut....all the others are not good me. Seven-Blades, if not butchered out, are probably best for braising......but if I'm going to go for a red meat braise, I'll always opt for Short Ribs, Ox Tails or Veal Osso Bucco if I'm going to put the time in. I find them to be much more enjoyable.

        As for the pork shoulder, I will braise it with tomatoes or ....a la Lidia Bastianich's recipe with lots or onions.....making ragout......however, I still prefer the low temperature roasting method overall. Braising allows for one dish with the same leftovers. Roasting it offers much more variety to be served alone, with different sauces or for Cubano and Barbercue/Pulled Pork sandwiches. Some people think chicken is the best buy, but I think pork is.....and it's also much more flavorful and forgiving.

        There are some commercially prepared products that are good in my opinion, but I would only purchase them if they were on sale. In my area, Hormel, Armour and Perdue all have products in the showcases. I have not purchased any beef or pork, but I have tried the Perdue Roasters and Cornish Hens. They weren't terrible, but I would not buy them on a regular basis .....myself, I would not purchase seasoned breasts or they have a saline solution added for shelf stabilization and weight.....why pay for salt and water? I have a friend who supplies a line of condiments to Costco and he also uses his sauces(BBQ) to prepare convenience items, e.g., Spare Ribs, Boneless Pork roasts and Chickens. He originally formulated the product to have an 8-10% liquid weight in the overall product, but was told he had to increase the liquids to 20%, as it was believed the customers prefer it that way. Essentially what that meant was you were paying $6.99-9.99 per pound weight for barbecue I would agree with you and marinade or prepare yourself. It's better and cheaper.

        It's one thing to purchase a seasoned vacuum sealed product from a manufacturer....sometimes they can be good and also save you a lot of time in the kitchen like the pork loins/tenderloins you mention....they can actually be very good recipes.....short ribs and lamb shanks come to mind, already fully cooked and only need to be reheated. ..... However, I would strongly suggest avoiding anything the meat & fish departments prepare for convenience. In most cases, they are simply slapping sauce or something like Lemon Pepper or Montreal Seasonings on beef, pork, poultry or fish that has seen better days. They mask the smell of the questionable items with the seasonings. I'm really not one to believe in Conspiracy Theories, but this I believe to be true. I do not know if you view the Chains Board, but Trader Joe's is filled with bad experiences on their prepared foods......frozen or vacuum sealed. I would not consider anyone who likes these products to be a cook.....only a reheater.

        Last, with regards to brining.....I don't find it necessary with the low and slow roasting method.....with the low heat, it's almost impossible to dry the meat out. I can see the need to wet brine chicken or turkey, to keep the white meat moist during higher heat roasting. As for Pork, I am not a fan of wet brining at me, the process turns the meat, in flavor and texture, into more like a delicatessen ham (cured)....therefore compromising the natural pork flavor and texture.

        Here are a couple of threads where I slow roasted Chuck Roast(Shoulder Cuts):

        1. re: fourunder

          fourunder, I know that braising is with liquid half way up the meat and stewing has the liquid completely cover the meat. What I don't get is that both methods are used to create the same results so why not just use one or the other. They seem a bit interchangible?? Also, though you would not purchase a shoulder blade (veal, beef or lamb), if you did how would you prepare it? I am under the impression that braising is the only real method of preparing this particular cuts. I also have the meat dept. cut the chops 1 1/2 to 2 inch thick, thinking a thicker chop would be better for braising....or should I just have them cut it thicker and in the oven, low and slow as a roast,,,,and if so, would it still need to be well done.....Oh, I think it late and I'm starting to think too much...LOL
          As always, thank's for your insight.

          1. re: heylids

            I would have to say I almost always use more liquid than half, to braise. I would agree the methods are almost interchangeable. The difference, I suspect, has to do with the meat proper, and the controlled process of a simmer. Less liquid guards against the possibility you will boil....and boiling would make the meat tougher.. Stews use chunks...braises are larger pieces of meat.....The size of the meat affects how the liquid is displaced in the vessel. Stew meat is by definition, I believe, simply means meat cut into cubes of 2 inches or less. They can be the same meat as the roast....which would mean it would make more economical sense to buy the roast and cut the meat down yourself. The problem for me in buying Chuck Stew meat is you have no control over the cuts of meats in the package, i.e., you may receive Top Round, Bottom Round or Rump Roast in the package.....not my preferred cuts.

            For a Braised Should Cut, (beef, pork or lamb), I would make a ragout. The decision on which liquid to use would depend on what starch I wanted to have it with. If I intended to have it with pasta (Parppadelle), then I would use a can of crushed, whole or diced tomatoes.....add water and paste if needed. The sauce could be smooth or have texture. You could have it tomato only or include a little cream. I would most certainly add sliced onions or shallots, mushrooms and green peas. If I were going for egg noodles, potatoes or rice....then I would probably shoot for a browner gravy.....with the same onions, shallots, mushrooms and peas. The liquid could be a combination of any of the following:

            beef or chicken stock, wine, beer, juices or soda

            Whether red sauce or brown gravy, I would start out first with a Mirepoix. I'm a big fan of removing the meat when done and finishing the sauce or gravy afterwards, using a hand held emulsion blender. The addition of any shallots, mushrooms or peas would be sauteed and added to the sauce.

            Myself, I would brown the meat after dusting in seasoned flour. i have read some recipes that call for roasting the meat in the oven for an hour before transferring to a Dutch Oven. It's an interesting concept, but I do not know if I could tell the extra level of flavor it supposedly adds.

            Here's a site which looks like it covers Pot Roast thoroughly


            Last, I think if I were to slow roast veal in the oven, I would go for either a veal neck roast or stuff a breast of veal.......not the shoulder blade.....though I'm sure the meat would be delectable if tried.. Veal Neck Roast are usually around 5 bucks per pound in my area.....but Veal Breasts are almost always .99 cents per pound.

            1. re: fourunder

              fourunder, we share the same methods and thought process. I rarely see breast of veal but remember purchasing one at an Asian shop once and it was very tender and tasty. Veal neck roast?? that's interesting, can't really pic that..
              Either way, thanks again for your insight...heylids

              1. re: heylids


                I like to take the rustic approach to my cooking.... simple and where less is more. too many ingredients takes away from the main feature. Check out the following site for Veal and the thread for the Fresh Ham I made last night. You could do the same with a Picnic Shoulder, only increase the time to 11-12+ hours. Or you could do a pork belly, which I have not yet tried....but I imagine I would shoot for 4-6 hours time.


                BTW.....if you grind your own meat, the seven blade/shoulder would make a good purchase to make Ground Veal for Meatballs, Meatloaf or Bolognese.