Second CSA goodie bag and what the heck is an arm chuck?!

This post is long overdue since we received our second CSA goodie bag about 2 weeks ago.. buuuutt, it’s better late then never right?

As I mentioned in my first post about my first official CSA goodie bag, getting your cooler delivered to your drop site each month boasts quite an exciting surprise! Besides being exciting it can be kind of well, dumbfounding when you open up your cooler and look at a piece of meat you have never even heard of. This happened to me when I unzipped the cooler to find…. an arm chuck. An arm.. what?

My first thought was… so this is a piece of an arm I’m having (wait… cow’s don’t have arms?)? Not quite. If you look at the picture above, the chuck is part of the neck muscle. What’s great about this cut of meat is it’s pretty cheap when you compare it to cuts from the sirloin or tenderloin. The reason it’s pretty inexpensive is because since the meat comes from the neck (and the neck usually does a lot of work in the daily life of a cow) it tends to be a bit more tough. When a cut of meat is tough and uncommon it makes it inexpensive. That makes it better for people like us who know just because it’s tough and uncommon doesn’t render it worthless. Just means we’ve got to do a little more research before we cook it.

So what’s the best way to cook this type of meat? Well, from what I’ve looked online and asked around it’s best to either slow roast it or to tenderize it.

I’m actually thinking of cooking it today and using the tenderizing method. The way I’m going to tenderize it is by literally pounding it with a mallet and making the pieces very flat. When you pound the meat it actually helps break up some of the fibers and connective tissues transforming it into a more tender piece of meat.

Since we live in an apartment and don’t have access to a grill, I’m either going to salt and pepper the meat then saute it in some butter OR I’m going to lightly bread it with a mixture of salt, pepper and flour then pan fry it on the stove. Either way sounds yummy to me… don’t you think?

Besides the arm chuck in my goodie bag I got a nice sized rib-eye steak and a whole chicken. I know it doesn’t seem like a lot of meat but I’m pretty sure I can make the arm chuck and chicken be a two night meal because of left overs. Plus when you add the other side dishes in, you don’t need a huge helping of meat. So when you think about it and do the math 5 nights of high quality grass-fed, pastured animals for $60 isn’t bad— that’s only $12 per day!

Please tell me again why people can’t afford real food diets? We gain more by using less common cuts of meat and using our mind to figure out how to cook the meat. It’s always good to keep that brain stimulated. 🙂 I will post tomorrow about which way I cooked the beef and how it turned out.

Until next time,
Loriel – Healthy Roots, Happy Soul

This post is part of: Real Food Wednesday

picture credit

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