Beef is a BEAUTIFUL thing!
The cow has graced us with so many different parts to be eaten, and so MANY delicious things you can do with beef. From ground chuck and beef, to the perfect filet (some call the filet over priced), to slow roasted and smoked brisket; the cow is such a versatile AND integral part of the grilling and smoking world! However, there is SO MUCH MORE to beef than the average consumer would know. Most of us, me included, get our beef from the grocery store or the local burger joint.
HOWEVER, according to many master butchers out there (the artisan kind),they have a well-known and deep seated knowledge of all the good parts of the cow that we won't find at our local grocery store! There is ONE cut of beef that is unanimously stated that it is underrated and we should show it some more love.
Fair warning here, you will have to go to one of these artisan butchers to find THIS cut of meat.
The "beesknees" on Beef Knees
Make no bones about it (pun intended) that this might be the most underrated cut of beef. Like me, before I did my research and spoke to some local butchers, this is a little known cut of beef. Beef knees, generally, are dried out and sold as a meaty treat fro dogs. Don't let that scare you! There are MANY ways this cut can be enjoyed at your own dinner table! You MIGHT just have to get around the fact that it is beef knees.
It can be best used when it is slow cooked in water or stock. You can infuse the beefy flavor into broths, soups, stews and more!
(Courtesy of: Two Kooks in the Kitchen)
I wanted to see, before writing this article, if the beef knees was really the beesknees of underrated beef. I found a local place that served Tenerumi in Insalata. This was a warm beef salad that is boiled in broth with vegetables. Once the meat was cooked through, it is taken off the bone and tossed with a fresh vegetable salad and was dressed with a simple flavoring of salt, pepper, olive oil, and vinegar. It was DIVINE! The beefy flavor, the taste of the vegetables. I was SMITTEN!
So I traveled to my local grocery store, for more investigative work, and I asked the butcher there if they carried or could order me some beef knees. His response, "Are you making dog treats?" Side note: this didn't really happen, it was for more dramatic effect.
Sadly, I don't think he was joking, but I moved on. As stated earlier, you won't find this in your local grocery store, so try to find a local butcher that carries it or can get it for you. MOST butchers are aware of the many under used cuts of beef and can help guide you to buying something, you might never have tried before.
Until next time, make sure you eat well, you do well, and serve good food.