There are as many ways to cut a cow as there are to skin a cat. And there is a hierarchy to these cuts, a precise architecture of prestige dictated by rarity, tenderness and taste. Upon being broken down, a singular cow is parceled into meaty ZIP codes as varied as the 175 that belong to the five boroughs.
Workaday brisket, pulled from the chest, might be Williamsburg, stringy and flavorful. Beef shank, which is unsung, overlooked and used for stock, makes a good Staten Island. And chuck, nothing special but packaged cutely and patted gently, is best cast as the West Village. As for the finest steaks—which are made of both the rarest and most tender cuts—they find natural kinship with the Upper East Side, New York’s tony silk-stocking district. Read More