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Meat Buying Question: How do you tell what's juicy fat vs. tough gristle??

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  • Meat Buying Question: How do you tell what's juicy fat vs. tough gristle??

    Hubby and I would like to know if there's a secret to choosing the juiciest, fattiest meat vs. learning half-way through your steak that a good portion of it is tough, chewy gristle? Perhaps it's a matter of buying the right cuts? Any help would be appreciated - thanks!
    Ramblings of an Unamused Mouse (Lots of Food Porn, Too!)

  • #2
    I mostly buy the tenderloin cut for steaks or a filet . Throw it in a hot castiron pan with lots of butter (on top & in the pan) salt & pepper, get a good color on both sides and put another big pat of butter on each steak then throw it in the over till it's a few degrees under-done to your liking... (be sure to let it rest for 5-10 min the temp will raise a bit then too..)
    I've never had anything but a tender, juicy steak...


    • #3
      Tenderloin is expensive though.
      Mouse, what you're looking for is a good amount of marbling (threads of fat throughout the steak) without much by way of connective tissue. You also want to cut off any silverskin you see. That's gristle. If you see parts where there's a large amount of nonmeat, look closer. If parts of it seem stringy as opposed to globby or gelatinous, that's gristle. For a decent cut of steak, try a ribeye or a T-bone. If you're HUNGRY, try a porterhouse.
      Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
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      • #4
        Mmmmmmmmmmmmm ribeye!
        The more I see the less I know for sure.
        -John Lennon


        • #5
          Personally, I do not like marbled meat, this is often a sign of grain fed beef. I look for nice yellow fat (indicates grass fed) and buy whole rumps and cut them up myself. This way I get all the fat on it to render for tallow as a bonus. Whole topside is good too, especially nice as a roast.
          F 58 / 170cms / SW 131.5 kgs / Current 112.4/ GW 65
          following Primal Lifestyle and swimming my way to health

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          • #6
            Tenderloin is expensive. and we don't eat it very often. T-bone is a good one and you get a small filet to boot! We usualy just get stew meat, roast, and ground meat...


            • #7
              Gristle is good, as long as it's cooked low and slow.

              On cuts like ribeye, tenderloin, prime rib, etc. the fat will be juicy and delicious when cooked quickly, but on cross-rib cuts, brisket or other tougher cuts, it won't. Just cook the meat appropriately and the fat shouldn't be a problem.