Why is it important?
primal cuts is a larger section of a carcass from which retail
cuts are made. For example, the "check", a primal cut, is
the shoulder portion of a beef carcass, from which retail
cuts from the shoulder are made.
the part of the carcass from which a retail cut is made is
a good indicator of the relative tenderness of the cut, and
can help in deciding which method of cookery to use in preparing
the cut. For example, the shoulder is a highly exercised part
of the animal, and contains greater amounts of connective
tissue. A cut from the chuck is not expected to be as tender
as a cut from the loin or rib, which are not as heavily exercised,
and contain lesser amounts of connective tissue. Likewise,
the beef round is heavily exercised and therefore not expected
to yield tender retail cuts. It is also important to
note that the more tender cuts usually cost more, so the primal
cut name can also be helpful when making economic decisions.
of the animal can also have an effect on meat tenderness.
For instance, lamb, pork and veal are marketed at a younger
age than beef. Cuts from the ham (or leg) of pork, comparable
in location to a beef round, tend to be quite tender. A leg
of veal or lamb likewise tends to be tender. However shoulder
cuts, in general, are less tender.