Techniques to remember
- The unsung cuts: Cross-rib roast and chuck roast (aka good old pot roast) come from the chuck, an area between the shoulder and neck.
- The secrets: Brown in a hot oven, then reduce the heat and don’t cook past medium-rare. (Any more and the meat will get tough.)
- The unsung cuts: Leg is widely available, but shoulder, if your butcher carries it, is a great find. It has loads of flavor, is more tender, and carves more neatly.
- The secrets: Like the beef, start it in a hot oven, then reduce the heat until you reach rare to medium-rare.
- The unsung cut: Shoulder is a succulent hunk of meat.
- The secrets: This cut tends to fall apart (it’s popular shredded for carnitas), so for a roast, tie the meat to prevent that. Brown it in a frying pan, then braise slowly (common wisdom holds here) until tender.