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If you like ribeyes, you'll like this!

scooter

Moderator
I posted about this on another thread but thought I'd start its own thread and add to it with some pics. My favorite part of a rib roast or ribeye steak isn't the eye of a ribeye but the meat that surrounds the eye.
It has a few names: top meat, cap meat, spinalis dorsi (thanks Really Nice!), scarapelli.

Here's a pic of a steak from the loin of the rib roast commonly referred to as a ribeye. The butchers in my area usually trim off the area labeled with a "1" leaving the "Cap", the "Eye" and the area "2".

The cap muscle and the eye muscle are outlined. You can see there are physical differences in the two muscles. The cap meat is darker than the eye meat. The cap is a bit more marbled and there's a texture difference between the two. The cap, IMO, is more tender than the eye and much more flavorful. I agree with member Really Nice! that the area labeled "2" has identical properties to the "Cap" muscle.
As muscles go from one end of a cut to another they rarely stay the same size. Often they start small and end up larger as they progress through a primal cut or the opposite is true.
In respect to the cap or top meat, it starts large at the chuck end (or small end) of a rib roast and the eye starts out smaller. I believe the steak below is from the chuck end. As these two muscles progress through the rib loin toward the short loin the eye muscle gets larger and the cap gets smaller until only the eye remains. This rib "eye" muscle eventually turns into a NY Strip steak further back on the steer.


Anyway, I was discussing the cap meat with my Raley's butcher and he told me out of each chuck primal cut, they get a few steaks from the end of the chuck that connects to the rib primal. They package these steaks as Chuck Eye steaks and refer to them as a poor mans ribeye. Where a ribeye steak in my area will price out on average between $10/lb-$15/lb, the Chuck Eye prices out at $6.49/lb at my Raleys. You can see that on a Chuck Eye steak, the cap meat is larger than the eye. This is the exact same muscle that runs into the rib primal but since it comes from the chuck, it prices out differently. The taste is the same though. Wonderfully tender and full of flavor. As it goes into the Chuck, it starts to take on more tendons making it a bit more difficult to eat but the flavor and tenderness of the meat remains the same.


Out of the package. Again, you can see the physical differences in the two muscles. The Chuck Eye is only available when they butcher up a chuck primal and each chuck primal only yields a few 1" thick chuck eye steaks. They are not available all the time so now every time I'm at my store I cruise the meat section looking for chuck eyes. If not eaten that day they get vacusealed and frozen for when pickings are thin at the meat counter.


 

chaz345

New member
The first thing I though when I read the thread title was IF you like ribeyes? Who doesn't like ribeyes? :)

Having said that, I'm with you on liking the cap area and especially the number 2 area.
 

scooter

Moderator
Wil, do you sell chuck eye steaks as part of your normal counter stock? I'm wondering if it's just a Raley's thing. I've never noticed them before. If you do sell them, what do you charge per lb?
 

Tatonka3A2

New member
Chuck eye steaks are great! We were camping this summer and went to a small grocery store and that was all that was left - Ribeyes, T-Bones, Strips all sold out so we thought what the hell, we would give them a try. WOW is all we could say!! It was a blessing that this was all that was left because I would have never thought to buy them. I now look for them while out shopping.
 

Yambor44

New member
I bought a few of these after seeing your mention in the other thread. Cooked one the other night. A little undercooked at rare. Edges were great center chewy due to my cook.

How do you generally cook these types of cuts?
 

Meat Man

New member
Wil, do you sell chuck eye steaks as part of your normal counter stock? I'm wondering if it's just a Raley's thing. I've never noticed them before. If you do sell them, what do you charge per lb?

We sell this cut, back in the day before boxed beef we called it butchers steak. When we were breaking our own beef you would have such a limited supply of the premium cuts to offer our customers this was the type of cuts we would take home to cook for our families. It's great steak for the money. $5.69 per pound at our shop.
 

scooter

Moderator
Thanks Will.

Yambor, I cook it just like all other steaks. I do the Redneck Sous Vide (slow smoked) with a reverse sear at the end. Cook it at 250 until it hits 138-140. Rest uncovered for 10-15 mins while coals are getting raging hot. Throw the steak over raging coals for about 1 minute per side then let rest again and eat.
 

TentHunter

Moderator
Great informative post scooter!

We get the chuck-eye steaks on occasion. My wife & I discovered these little gems years ago, like Tanya, on a camping trip. Around here they're often called "Chuck Eye - Mock Tender Steaks" (mainly just the eye portion) and are very underrated.

They're not very big, but they make superb breakfast steaks! I've seen folks pick up a pack, look at the size and price, assume they're not that good and put them back. That's fine by me. I just quietly pick them up, put them in our cart and walk away. ;)
 
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