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NEW YORK’S BUTCHER ® SERVING GENERATIONS OF LEGENDARY CHEFS

Sourcing the finest meats and poultry from around the corner to around the world. You won’t find them at your local supermarket. Naturally and humanely raised meats and poultry, antibiotic- and hormone-free, tasting the way nature intended.

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Why Choose Debragga?

Butcher's Guide
 

1 The Chuck

Beef chuck comes from the forequarter. Consisting of parts of the neck, shoulder blade, and upper arm, some are tougher and ideal from braising/slow cooking, and some are tender, and perfect for the grill. Like DeBragga’s flat iron steak.

When butchering, the beef chuck is often separated from the rib where tender rib-eye steaks come from.

The chuck has a good deal of connective tissue, as well, which is why stew meat generally comes from this area. Due to its fat content, beef chuck is also excellent for making ground beef that produces juicy burgers.

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2 The Rib

The top part of the center section of rib—specifically the sixth through the twelfth ribs— is used for the traditional standing rib roast (7 ribs that some marketers refer to as “prime rib”). The rib eye muscle is situated high on the back of the cow. Because it doesn't get much exercise it yields some of the most tender meat on the animal. It also can develop excellent marbling, which makes the rib ideal for dry aging. DeBragga’s butchers cut some of the most tender and flavorful steaks, ribs and chops from this section, including our ribeye steaks, rib chops and our rib roasts. These cuts are best for grilling, roasting, searing, or frying.

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3 Short Loin

The short loin is where we find the most desirable cuts of meat. These include T-bone and porterhouse steaks, the strip loin or strip steak, and the tenderloin, which can be cut into filet mignon steaks. The tenderloin actually starts in the short loin and continues into the sirloin. A whole tenderloin is removed from both sections, trimmed to about 3.5lbs, and sold as a roast; the end can be cut into individual small steaks we call filet mignon. The strip steak, also coming from the short loin, is also known as a New York or a Kansas City strip, and it, too, is considered among the higher-end cuts of beef.

The steaks from the short loin are cut starting at the rib end and working toward the rear. The first-cut steaks are bone-in strip steaks. The center-cut steaks are T-bones. Finally, a butcher may be able to get two or three porterhouse steaks at the sirloin end.

How to cook: High heat from the start, as in a broiler or hot grill, to get a good sear on the exterior. Then finish the steak slowly, over lower heat, until the center is a perfect rare to medium-rare (120-125°F). If using a thermometer, do not insert near a bone.

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4 Sirloin

Beef sirloin is the hip, located below the short loin and the round. We enjoy many flavorful cuts from the sirloin.

The full sirloin is divided into top sirloin and bottom sirloin. Top sirloin is generally fabricated into steaks that are good for grilling, like the top sirloin. The bottom is usually divided into three main components: the tri-tip, ball tip, and the sirloin flap, all of which do well with roasting and barbecuing (and they are sometimes made into ground beef). DeBragga offers a beautiful American Wagyu Tri Tip that really shows the best this cut can be.

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5 Tenderloin

The most tender cut of beef is the beef tenderloin and it is found within the loin at the uppermost part of the sirloin. This is where we get filet mignon.

Beef tenderloin should only be cooked using dry-heat methods, such as grilling and broiling. The meat is already super tender, so long cooking times are unnecessary. Keep it quick and the heat high.

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6 Round

The beef round basically consists of the back leg of the steer. Muscles from the round are fairly lean, but they're also tough because the leg and rump get a lot of exercise. Whichever cut from the round you choose – top round, bottom round or knuckle, they do not have enough collagen (which turns to gelatin when braising or slow-roasting meat). The round is typically ground to balance out the fat in a high-fat beef grind for a burger.

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7 Brisket

Beef brisket is one of the most flavorful cuts of meat, although it is tough and needs to be cooked in just the right way. It's also fairly fatty, helping it cook into moist, meaty perfection.

Taken from the area around the breastbone, the brisket is basically the chest or pectoral muscle of the animal. The characteristically thick, coarse-grained meat needs a lot of time and low-temperature cooking to break down and tenderize.

Brisket is perfect when slow cooked in a barbecue or smoker. Braising brisket low and slow is also an excellent cooking method.

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8 The Plate

Also called the short plate (or "long plate" depending on where it's separated from the rib muscle above it), the beef plate includes the short ribs and the skirt steak.

Skirt steak is the diaphragm muscle and is extremely flavorful. It's also a thin piece of meat, allowing you to cook it quickly over high heat. Because it has coarse muscle fibers, slice it against the grain or it will be chewy.

Beef plate contains a lot of cartilage, especially around the ribs, which is why beef short ribs are ideal for braising. This process of cooking with moist heat at a low temperature will dissolve cartilage and turn it into gelatin.

The beef plate is also fairly fatty, so it can be used in making ground beef.

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1 Shoulder (Pork Butt)

Pork butt is actually the shoulder connected to the upper front leg. The rectangular roast at the top of the leg is known as the “butt,” or “Boston butt,” as some call it. The “picnic” or “picnic shoulder,” which comes from the lower part of the shoulder, has a more triangular shape. It’s used for pulled pork or, when cured, for ham. Pork butt is a combination of both lean meat and fat, and is generally pretty large—it can be up to 8 pounds, or more. Pork shoulder is frequently braised for long periods of time, benefitting from the slow cooking and low heat to create rich and juicy meat.

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2 Back Fat (Fatback)

This fat is just under the skin of the back, and offered with or without the skin (the rind). Fatback is a hard fat that is a staple of Southern-style cooking, and is critical to making traditional charcuterie.

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3 Loin

The loin section, found between the shoulder and the leg on both sides of the backbone, contains some of the most popular cuts: tenderloin, sirloin, blade end, chop and the center loin. This section features less fatty but very tender, cuts covered by a layer of fatback. At DeBragga, this is where we get both the Gloucester Old Spot pork chops and porterhouse chops.

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4 Spare Ribs

Spareribs come from the lower ribs of the pig where they meet the breastbone. With their high fat content, spareribs are a rich and succulent part of the pig, most often served barbecued so the fat drips away as it melts. There can be no better example than the Gloucester Old Spot spare ribs. The heritage breed has an excellent fat-to-meat ratio and deliciously rich-tasting meat.

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5 Pork Belly/Bacon

Is there any part of any animal more popular than where we get bacon and pork belly? These fatty cuts of meat come from the side or belly area of the pig, and are particularly high in fat content. Unlike bacon, which is cured, smoked, and generally served in a slab or slice, pancetta (thought of as the Italian form of bacon) is cured with salt and spices but not smoked. Pork belly is bacon that has not been cured, smoked, or sliced. Instead, it’s often braised or seared in small pieces. Any way you slice it, try the Gloucester Old Spot pork belly…it’s the most widely enjoyed meat we know!

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6 Ham (leg)

While the pork leg makes a wonderful roast when butchered into small roasts or left whole (to braise or cook over dry heat), the leg is most often used to make ham—one of the most popular pork preparations. DeBragga’s Gloucester Old Spot legs are sold as both small individual roasts we butcher by hand, or one large fresh roast. You may find these fresh roasts available bone-in or boneless, and either way, they make a festive centerpiece to any meal. The pork leg, or ham, is most often cured and served sliced. It can be very haute cuisine, as in the Italian prosciutto, or broadly available as the sliced ham we see at the deli.

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7 Fore and Hind Shanks (Hock Ham)

The ham hock comes from the bottom part of the pig’s hind leg: it’s rarely eaten whole. It combines bone, meat, fat, gristle, and connective tissue. It’s usually smoked and/or cured before being sold. Ham hock is most frequently used to flavor dishes, particularly soups and stews.

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1 Shoulder

The shoulder offers two delicious cuts: the roast, which includes the shoulder joint and part of the leg bone, and a lamb steak which is a 7-shaped slice from the shoulder blade, cut from the shoulder roast. The shoulder roast is dotted with fat deposits.

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2 Rack

Officially, this primal cut is both sides as a saddle, but in markets, it is generally sold by the side. Hence, each lamb gives two racks. The rack offers the sweet spot for many lamb lovers: both the rack and the chops. The rack is lovely when grilled or roasted as one and then cut into chops and served. Chops are cut from the rack and present a different opportunity for the cook to flavor and serve. Both are exquisite, especially when they are from DeBragga’s apple fed Dorset lambs, which are raised in New York State and finished on apple pomace in the early fall.

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3 Loin

The Lamb Loin is generally sold as a half loin (the full primal cut is a saddle including both sides) and is "trimmed" by removal of the flank, which is rather small in any case and mostly tough membranes. The whole loin is a very meaty cut and includes the short loin part of the tenderloin. Lamb loin chops also come from the loin. They are quite meaty, containing only a thin T-shaped bone. They are actually mini T-Bone and Porterhouse steaks!.

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4 Leg

The whole lamb leg may or may not contain the shank. This cut is prized for its diversity and rich flavor worldwide, and there is no better example of this than the apple fed Dorset lamb leg we offer, boned, rolled and tied.

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5 Breast

This is the lamb equivalent of pork spare ribs, cut from the front of the shoulder back to the division between rack and loin, and from mid-rib to keel. They are delicate and flavorful as you will note from tasting the apple fed Dorset lamb spare ribs.

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6 Shanks

Lamb shanks are popular in all lamb eating cultures. The meat is flavorful and there's plenty of connective tissue to make good soups.

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