To understand the difference between the tough and tender cuts we must be familiar with the structure of the muscle (see Fig. 57). Each muscle consists of bundles of tubes held together by connective tissue. In tough meat, the muscle tubes are thicker and there is more connective tissue present. Exercise strengthens the muscle, and this accounts for the fact that the unexercised muscles of the young animal give us a softer meat. In the mature animal the muscles most exercised furnish the tough meat, and the less used muscles the tender. If you study Fig. 58, you can easily determine where the tough meat will occur, if you think of the proportionate amount of exercise that the different muscles receive. The tough cuts come from the neck and legs, the tender cuts from the middle

Courtesy of Bureau of Publications, Teachers College

Courtesy of Bureau of Publications, Teachers College

Fig. 59. - The hind quarter of beef hanging.

Cuts A, Leg; B, Round; C, Rump; D, Top Sirloin; E, Loin; F, Flank.

Bones g, leg bone; h, socket bone; j, rump bone; k, hip bone; e, back bone; m, part of rump bone; n, wing rib,

Fig. 60.   The fore quarter of beef, hanging.

Fig. 60. - The fore quarter of beef, hanging.

Key

Uses

1.

1st and 2d ribs 3d and 4 th ribs

....................................

Roasts

2.

3.

5th and 6th ribs

.................................

"

4.

7th rib ...

...................................

""

5.

8th rib . . .

................................

"

6.

9th rib ...

.............................

"

7.

Chuck steaks, or roasts, 10th to 13th ribs ..................................

8.

Chuck pot roast

..................................................

9.

Neck ............

........................................

Beef tea, etc.

10.

Yoke ....

..............................................

""

11.

Navel ....

....................................

Stew and corning

12.

Plate .....

.......................................

"

13.

Brisket ...........

...............................................

Corning

14.

Cross Rib ...........

..............................................

Pot Roast

15.

Shoulder ............

..............................................

"

16.

Shin ....

.............................................

Soup

of the back, the toughness increasing as the cuts approach the neck and the hind legs. The muscles of the abdomen are also tender, but they give a coarse-grained meat. The various cuts of meat are shown as they occur in the standing animal in Fig. 58, and in the hind and fore quarters hanging, in Figs. 59 and 60. The individual cuts of beef and mutton are shown in the figures that follow. The tender cuts from the ribs and loin are the most highly prized, and therefore bring the highest price. These cuts are liked because of their tenderness although the nutritive value of the tough meat is as high or possibly even higher than that of the tender. All meat is now high priced, and you will find the reasons for this discussed in Chapter XVII (The Cost And Purchasing Of Food). For the sake of economy we are forced to use the relatively cheaper cuts, and to seek for meat substitutes. We must also take pains to use the cooking processes that will make the tough meats palatable.