1

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Can some experienced paleo people help me with meat selection?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 23, 2012 at 7:12 PM

I'm pretty new to the paleo sphere. I've read numerous blogs, Mark's "Primal Blueprint," and the FAQ; I have a general idea of what kind of meats/foods to be consuming.

However, I am also new to the omnivorous range of eating. I had been a vegetarian for a good amount of time but transitioned back to meat-consumption pretty recently. This has been a tough couple of weeks, as this is the first time I've been out of the house [where mom did most of the meat selecting] and buying the cuts on my own. (I look hopelessly lost in the meat section at the store!)

Here is what I know and some questions that have risen:

  • fatty meats = the best [if grass fed!]
  • lean meats = okay [if grass fed is not available, supplement the fat with coconut oils/good butters]
  • ruminants: main meat consumption
  • limit pork and chicken: they're good meats, but not the best
  • fish: great sources of protein/fats

Warning: the following may sound incredibly dumb.

So with this...

  • What are the fattiest cuts available?
  • What are they called in the meat department? [Yesterday I picked up tri-tip steak at Costco, because it had a fair amount of marbling... -->]
  • I'm looking for white/marbling, right?
  • Does a more vibrant red mean a fresher/better cut?
  • Where are those damn organ meats?!
  • Are there any paleo/primal ways to prepare these meat or are most cooking methods about equal?

Thank you guys for any input you have! All is very much appreciated.

PS: Apologies if you're a redditor on r/paleo. This is a repost!

992862b1b9e443f83aa4e46d14833418

(264)

on April 24, 2012
at 04:32 PM

And here is the most insanely delicious way to prepare them. Make sure you have enough time to cook them one day, refrigerate, and eat them the next day. Taste better when the flavors can sit and meld. http://aliceqfoodie.blogspot.com/2006/11/lucques-short-ribs.html You're welcome.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 24, 2012
at 04:27 PM

I can only get lean meats :( because my butcher says the cows are not fat at all :P I gotta say I love me some oven-baked, extremely-lean stuff. That with 4 pounds of grapes and some ghee and I'm in heaven :)

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on April 23, 2012
at 10:33 PM

whatevs, this one was way easier to read. +1 :)

84c1b9e79af530d5bd93e088f226c9a4

(95)

on April 23, 2012
at 09:38 PM

And they may well be from an ox, which is a castrated bull. But probably not.

2e841984c55e1f346f6e38f60c1620a6

(540)

on April 23, 2012
at 09:36 PM

oxtail is freaking delicious and you can add it to cook along other less attractive roasts to get the fat and flavor up.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on April 23, 2012
at 09:15 PM

oxtails are the tailbone portions of beef tail.

140e2a7ebd23d56038f8b597bab28464

(185)

on April 23, 2012
at 08:21 PM

Lots of great info! Helped a lot. Thank you!

140e2a7ebd23d56038f8b597bab28464

(185)

on April 23, 2012
at 08:20 PM

Crap! My apologies. I swear I searched pretty hard for any related questions!

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on April 23, 2012
at 08:00 PM

what the heck is an oxtail? (I presume it's not from an ox.). Oh well, off to google I go.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on April 23, 2012
at 07:50 PM

I suggest checking out this thread: http://paleohacks.com/questions/38647/meat-101-for-an-ex-vegetarian/

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9 Answers

2
78972387772c994caa78513a83978437

on April 23, 2012
at 07:32 PM

Fattiest cuts: Grass fed Short ribs. Oh. my. gosh. Most fatty and delicious things I have ever had.

992862b1b9e443f83aa4e46d14833418

(264)

on April 24, 2012
at 04:32 PM

And here is the most insanely delicious way to prepare them. Make sure you have enough time to cook them one day, refrigerate, and eat them the next day. Taste better when the flavors can sit and meld. http://aliceqfoodie.blogspot.com/2006/11/lucques-short-ribs.html You're welcome.

2
D290734f36a9ae03e3f60e0fa088d7ed

(1304)

on April 23, 2012
at 07:27 PM

You're on the right track.

  • My personal preference is for ribeye because I think it is one of the fattiest cuts. Dry aged beef is the best - beef becomes more tender when the connective tissue has broken down a bit.
  • White interspersed with the muscle is what you're looking for. If the meat is grass fed the fat will look more yellowish. You wont find grass fed beef at costco. Check whole foods.
  • A more vibrant red does not necessarily mean a fresher cut. It may, but they also may just have sprayed it with something to make it redder.
  • As far as cooking methods go, it really just depends on the cut. I like to pan sear steaks and finish them in the oven. Other [tougher] cuts are better with wet cooking (braising) for longer periods of time. You can try stir frying the meat in ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil. Whatever method you choose try not to char your meat as the carbon may be a carcinogen (also, there is a difference between charring and browning, the latter of which is a result of the Maillard reaction and is responsible for a lot of flavor).

This didn't answer all your questions but I hope it helped.

140e2a7ebd23d56038f8b597bab28464

(185)

on April 23, 2012
at 08:21 PM

Lots of great info! Helped a lot. Thank you!

1
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on April 23, 2012
at 07:49 PM

I would direct you to the following question (Meat 101 for an ex-vegetarian) to go over the different cuts of beef out there. http://paleohacks.com/questions/38647/meat-101-for-an-ex-vegetarian/38654#38654

I would strongly suggest ribeye (as has been advocated) as well as oxtails if you have access to a crock-pot (or other more ambiguously-named ceramic slow cooker).

2e841984c55e1f346f6e38f60c1620a6

(540)

on April 23, 2012
at 09:36 PM

oxtail is freaking delicious and you can add it to cook along other less attractive roasts to get the fat and flavor up.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on April 23, 2012
at 08:00 PM

what the heck is an oxtail? (I presume it's not from an ox.). Oh well, off to google I go.

84c1b9e79af530d5bd93e088f226c9a4

(95)

on April 23, 2012
at 09:38 PM

And they may well be from an ox, which is a castrated bull. But probably not.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on April 23, 2012
at 09:15 PM

oxtails are the tailbone portions of beef tail.

1
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on April 23, 2012
at 07:48 PM

I'd go for grassfed oxtail- very fatty and pretty economical. I get it from www.vermontgrassfedbeef.com Save the bones- they're fantastic to make broth!

0
3351f6c8ec1ea64435e419f380ca6468

(1255)

on April 24, 2012
at 06:10 PM

Maybe this is simplistic, but grassfed ground beef is economical and generally has a good amount of fat in it.

0
2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on April 24, 2012
at 04:26 PM

You've gotten some good information in previous answers on steak cuts. Steak is awesome, but it's fairly expensive compared to larger (and tougher) roasts. Roasts will have various names in the store- arm, chuck, shoulder, etc. Any roast around 3 pounds will fit in a typical slow cooker or dutch oven, and will be fall-apart delicious if braised. Google "braised roast beef" and you'll come up with a motherload of great tips and recipes. Braising a roast isn't quick, but if you can do one on a weekend day or stick it in the slow-cooker during the day while you're gone, it's minimal work and maximum eating potential.

I do this with pork roasts too (again, with various names, but usually a shoulder or butt roast), and it's perfect.

0
F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

on April 24, 2012
at 04:15 PM

On a non-paleo fat/cooking style related note, I would highly recommend boneless New York Strip as the most delicious steak you can buy at the market.

To cook: high heat (10) on a cast iron skillet. Coat both sides of steak with oil, kosher salt, black pepper. Cook 2 minutes on high heat in the cast iron skillet for each side. Then pop in the oven at 450 degrees for 3-5 minutes, depending on how well done you like your steak. I like mine rare so I go 2-3 minutes. Boyfriend's is medium so 3-4 minutes is good for him.

Personally, I don't like eating fat off of steak, thus a ribeye is way too fatty for me. It's also too fatty to be cooked properly on a grill, so that sucks for diversity in cooking methods.

New York Strip is pricier, but if you see it on sale for $8.99 or so, that's a good deal. Typically goes for $10.99 though.

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on April 24, 2012
at 12:10 AM

Does a more vibrant red mean a fresher/better cut?

Nope. It probably means it was treated with carbon monooxide to keep a pleasing red color.

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