The beef shoulder, or chuck, gets lots of use, so the muscles in it ― albeit flavorful ― are well developed; they usually do best when braised until tender. But there's one chuck cut I consider a choice contender for the barbecue: a boned beef cross-rib roast. Cooked just to rare or medium-rare, it delivers the chuck's rich taste with succulence (roasted longer, the lean roast gets dry and chewy). According to meat authorities, the cross rib comes from the arm half of a square-cut chuck. This bare-bones fact can be helpful when you shop, because the cross rib has other poetic but unapproved (by the meat industry) names: boneless Boston cut, boneless English roast, or English roll. Regardless, it's a fairly inexpensive roast, easy to carve, and marvelous with curried potatoes.
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