Picking the Best Cut of Meat for Your Pot Roast

The piece of meat you purchase to use in your pot roast may be as crucial to the outcome of the dish as the recipe and cook time. Knowing where the different cuts of beef come from and what makes them distinct in quality and flavor will help you choose the best recipe and cook time for your meal. Some factors a good cook will consider with each recipe are whether or not to cook with the bone in or out, and how much fat is on the meat. You will need to understand what makes each cut of beef special to help you create a flavorful and tender roast.

The most common and traditional cut of beef used in roast come from the chuck. This part of the animal contains a good amount of fat, has good texture, and rich flavor. Pot roast made from the chuck stays moist and doesn’t get stringy.

The chuck includes the entire shoulder of the cow and is separated into three areas: the arm, the blade, and neck. Arm roast may include a round bone from the leg, but you can also get them boneless sold as boneless arm shoulder roast. Many muscles make up the blade section and some are tender enough to be used as steak. Blade roast is the most popular for bone-in pot roast often this roast is called 7-bone pot roast because the bone resembles the number 7.

You can find boneless pieces of the chuck being sold as flat chunks of beef or already rolled and tied. These pieces of meat make wonderful pot roast and you can find them under names like Chuck-Eye Roast, Boneless Chuck Roast, Shoulder Roast, Mock tender, Flat-Iron Roast, and Cross Rib Roast. All of these come from the chuck and will make incredible pot roast. Just be sure to pick the right size for your cooking vessel.

You can also you Brisket for a pot roast. This piece of meat comes from below the shoulder and will make an excellent roast if you leave a little fat attached. You can either purchase brisket whole or buy it in sections. The leaner section is known as the Flat or Brisket First Cut. However, the best cut for a roast is the Brisket Front Cut which is a fattier section.

Some cooks love to use bottom round for their pot roast. This cut of meat is a boneless muscle from the back leg. Many cooks claim that this cut of beef does not contain enough fat to make a delicious moist and juicy roast. If you choose to cook a pot roast form the round you should look for a rump roast which contains more fat than the bottom round.

A lot of cooks claim that leaving the bone in the roast give it more flavor, while others claim that it will just slow down the cooking process. However everyone agrees that you can’t rush a good pot roast and you should let it simmer for hours on a low heat. The long, low heat breaks down tough connective tissue and loosens marbled fat which adds flavor and keeps the meat moist.