Technical Description – The chuck roll is prepared from a neck of boneless, square-cut chuck and consists only of the large muscle system that lies under the blade bone. The arm portion is excluded by a straight cut that is not more than 7.5 cm (3") at the rib end and not more than 10 cm (4") at the neck end. Any cartilages, back strap, trapeziusm supraspinatus, intercostals meat and lymph glands are also excluded. When smaller roasts are specified, the boneless chuck roll is divided into equal portions by cutting through the meat perpendicular to the length of the chuck roll. This item may be netted or tied when specified. The chuck roll weighs between 7 – 9 kg (15 – 20 lb).
The chuck roll is sometimes called the bottom blade or boneless blade. Chuck roll is usually supplied vacuum sealed and packed 2 – 3 rolls per case.
The chuck roll has an abundance of marbling throughout the muscle, and can be braised whole, processed into simmering or marinating steaks, or manufactured into pot roasts. Because of the marbling in the chuck roll, the trim makes an excellent source grind that can be called Ground Chuck. The trim can also be used for making a superior beef sausage or value-added meat balls and meat loaf. Remember that if you are making a true beef sausage, no other proteins (except ground veal) can be used and the sausage must be stuffed into a collagen casing.
Traditionally the chuck roll has been used by retailers for bottom blade steaks and bottom blade roasts.
There are other options that can be used if the chuck roll is muscle-cut into different sections, which includes the Delmonico, the Sierra and the chuck flat. These sections comprise about a third of the chuck roll and will add tremendous value to any meat operation.
Included at the bottom of this segment is a link to a video that shows how to manufacture these cuts. The chuck roll is about a third the price of middle cuts such as the prime rib and the loin.
Creating value by merchandising these cuts will create a point of differentiation in your meat operation from other retailers. Remember that it is important to have proper nomenclature to correspond with regulations from the CFIA in Canada.
If you sell these cuts they must have Chuck Bottom Blade in the name. In the case of Delmonico or Sierra, it would state Chuck Bottom Blade Delmonico Steak or Chuck Bottom Blade Sierra Steak. The chuck flat has incredible marbling and can be merchandised in the meat case as Chuck Bottom Blade Short Rib or Chuck Bottom Blade Montreal Steak.
After harvesting these cuts, the remaining chuck roll can be manufactured into bottom blade roasts, stew beef and short ribs. It does take a little bit of practice to manufacture these hidden gems, but it is well worth the effort from both a merchandising and profit perspective.
Blade Eye Roast
Restructured Roasts and Products
Cooked Pot Roast
Top Blade (Chuck Tender)
Technical Description – Top blade (chuck tender) consists of the supraspinatus muscle, which lies dorsal to the medial ridge of the blade bone. The chuck tender is separated from the other muscles through the natural seam. The heavy connective tissue on the thick end of the chuck tender should be exposed and removed. The chuck tender weighs between 2 – 3 kg (4.5 – 6.5 lb).
Chuck tenders are supplied individually vacuum sealed, and usually packed 5 – 10 tenders per case.
The chuck tender is also known as a mock tender, as it is shaped like the tenderloin butt. Other names include Scotch tender or top blade.
Chuck tender is an excellent item for braising or stewing.
The chuck tender creates an opportunity to have braising steaks and braising roasts as part of your winter beef product mix. These are relatively easy to manufacture with very little yield loss and can be purchased at a very attractive price point. Stew manufactured from the chuck tender is very attractive and as the muscle in the chuck tender is tough (which imparts flavour from the collagen and connective tissue), this creates a sensational finished stew dish when prepared properly by your customers. The name mock tender comes from the fact that the mock tender looks similar to a beef butt tenderloin and has been mistaken by meat personnel as tenderloin and cut and labelled as beef tenderloin. It is a mistake that will lose customers, so make sure the product is labelled and merchandised properly in the meat case and labelled properly in storage.
Chuck Tail Flat
Technical Description – Chuck tail flat consists of the serratis ventralis muscle. The fat coverage should be minimal with all heavy connective tissue removed and no ragged edges. The bone-in version of the chuck tail flat is the chuck short rib.
The chuck tail flat is also known as a Denver or Montreal steak. If you merchandise it as a steak you should have Chuck Bottom Blade Montreal or Denver Steak in the name on the label.
Some meat operations will merchandise the chuck tail flat as a boneless short rib and this is an excellent option for your meat case in the wintertime. Customers will be happy with either option as this is a nicely shaped and attractive product that performs well both as a steak and a short rib.
This option was also profiled in the chuck roll section as the chuck flat extends into the chuck roll and can be also harvested from the chuck roll.
Strips for Stir Fry
Technical Description – Shoulder clod is prepared from the large muscle, posterior to the elbow joint in the chuck. The overlying fat is trimmed to an average fat cover of 6 mm (1/4"). The inside is trimmed of all heavy tissue covering the lean, where it is attached to the shoulder blade. All ragged edges and loose meat is trimmed off. Shoulder clod weight range is 2.8 – 4.6 kg (6 – 10 lb).
The shoulder clod can be ordered with two specifications. The long cut shoulder clod NAMP #114 contains the flat iron, petite tender and the shoulder clod muscles. It requires butchery skill to separate and merchandise these cuts. These cuts can also be sourced individually and the short cut shoulder clod NAMP #114 E is profiled in the picture above.
Traditionally the shoulder clod has been processed for chuck shoulder cross rib roasts or steaks and has been merchandised in the Canadian winter as a braising roast or steak. New cutting concepts separating the top clod muscle from the clod heart or centre clod have created some options for steaks that can be used in the summer time to ease the pressure of sourcing steaks at a reasonable price.
It should be noted that the separation of the two muscles in the clod takes some practice but it does yield profitable results as steaks, if cut across the grain properly, as either traditional cross rib steaks or medallions.
If a retail operation uses the short cut clod in the traditional manner, as a braised product, it might be a good idea to manufacture rotisserie-shaped roasts out of the clod that would be more consumer friendly. To see how the clod can be separated into the top clod and clod centre and further manufactured into steaks, please watch the video in the resource section below.
The best cooking results for shoulder clod are obtained through braising or simmering.
Shoulder clod has an extremely good price point value and is an excellent option for retail operations whose customers are looking for traditional braising options or customers who are looking for new cut concepts such as chuck shoulder clod medallions. These cuts will create a point of differentiation from your competitors as well as increase your profit margins as this is an inexpensive section of the beef animal. Remember that sections from the shoulder are viable options to meet the seasonal needs of your meat case as we transition into the winter months in Canada. Trim from the clod can also be used to create source-specific, value-added products using the chuck cache. Shoulder clod is from the chuck area of the carcass, which creates an upsell through a higher quality perception recognized by the great flavour which chuck delivers. Another excellent option for trim from the clod would be for stew beef.
Shoulder Clod Clod Tender Tech Sheet
Shoulder [Clod], Top Blade
Technical Description – Shoulder clod, top blade is derived from NAMP #114 and consists of the infraspinalis muscle, untrimmed. Shoulder clod, top blade weights between 2.7 – 3.2 kg (6 – 7 lb).
Shoulder clod, top blade is also known as flat iron, oyster blade or just top blade.
Shoulder clod, top blade is usually supplied individually vacuum sealed and packed 5 – 10 clods per case.
Shoulder clod, top blade (most commonly known as flat iron) is considered to be one of the hidden gems on the beef carcass, as it is one of the most tender muscles on the carcass.
Removing the shoulder tendon that runs through the middle of the flat iron yields two approximately equally sized portions. These two muscles may be cut into excellent grilling steaks or can be left whole as a roast.
The main issue with the flat iron is that it's visually unusual and might even be considered to be visually unappealing due to the square shape.
For a retailer to have success with this section, it would be wise to introduce the flat iron in the service meat case so that meat personnel can speak to the quality of this cut. Anyone who has ever tasted it realizes how truly tender and flavourful the flat iron is when grilled.
Many restaurants have flat iron on their menus and it will only be a matter of time before customers start looking for and inquiring about this cut in their local butcher shop or supermarket meat case.
The progressive meat operation can order the shoulder clod NAMP #114 and with this spec they can harvest their own flat iron as well as their own clod tenders, also known as petite tenders.
Braising, Simmering, Stewing or Pot Roasting
Top Blade (Flat Iron Steaks)
Technical Description – Top blade, or flat iron steak, is prepared from the shoulder clod consisting of the infraspinatus muscle. For the best eating experience, remove the heavy connective tissue running through the length of the muscle by seaming from end to end.
Top blade, or flat iron steak, is nearly identical to NAMP #114D Shoulder (clod), top blade but is sold pre-portioned.
Technical Description - The teres major muscle is produced when making the clod tender. The small, cone-shaped muscle lies just beneath the triceps brachii, as well as under and to the posterior edge of the scapula/blade bone. The muscle fibres run parallel to the long axis of this muscle, which may have some connective tissue on its external side. Clod tender is trimmed to the silver, with flake fat allowed. The clod tender weighs between 0.4 – 0.7 kg (0.8 – 1.5 lb).
Clod tender is usually supplied vacuum sealed approximately 10 clod tenders per bag, packed 3 bags per case.
Clod tender is also known as petite tender, shoulder tender or teres major.
Clod tender is another hidden gem on the chuck area of the beef carcass. It is a small very tender muscle with consistent grain found on the top side of the shoulder clod.
Only a small amount of trimming of silver skin is required to make the clod tender grill or roast ready.
The clod tender is an excellent muscle for small grilling medallions or it can be grilled or roasted whole.
When describing how to cook the clod tender to your customer, remember to tell them to not cook this muscle past medium as there is not a lot of marbling, and the clod tender will dry out and toughen when cooked past 60°C (140°F).
Some progressive retailers have used the clod tender (petite tender) to manufacture Beef Wellingtons which they sell in their service meat case or deli. Other options with the clod are to create Bacon Wrapped Beef Roasts or Bacon Wrapped Beef Medallions. As a hidden gem, adding value is made simple. An example is a football roast. By cutting a slit down the centre of the clod, a stuffing can be introduced: Use toothpicks to secure the stuffed opening and then tie a string, football style, across the toothpicks to hold the stuffing intact. This process transforms a simple product into a game-day special and brings excitement to your service meat case. Some retailers are using the petite tender for their beef kebab program as the muscle is the perfect size and tenderness to produce a consistently tender, evenly sized beef kebab every time. Please view the linked video to help you understand the merchandising potential of this versatile and tender cut of meat.
Braising, Simmering, Stewing or Pot Roasting
Technical Description – Diced beef is prepared from any part of the carcass trimmed free of bones, cartilage, fibrous and membranous tissue, exposed major blood vessels, glands and blood clots. Meat from heads, gullets, tongues, and glands is not used. All external and exposed internal fat is trimmed to achieve a chemical lean of 85%. The meat is machined or hand-diced to produce reasonably uniform pieces.
Beef Marinating Strips
Technical Description – Beef marinating trips may be produced from any raw skeletal portion of the beef carcass with the exception of the cutaneous, shank, and heel meat portions. The meat shall be practically free of fat and shall be marinated or seasoned as requested.
Common names include beef marinating stir-fry strips or fajita strips.