Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pot Roast in Mexico

As an extension to my previous post titled "Meat in Mexico: Beef", I have received several follow-up questions via email asking for some more specific information.  Here's a question about pot roast.


Any suggestions on what cut I should use for a pot roast?

As you pointed out, most of the cuts here are too lean to cook for 5-6 hours and they end up too dry. I've resorted to using bone in rib-eye, but I'd prefer an actual roast (or something close to it).

By far my favorite Mexican cow...I don't know that many...

As you may know, cuts from the chuck, or the shoulder, of the cow (diezmillo) are best for pot roasts. Popular options are chuck-eye roasts or top blade or cross-rib roasts. You can also use cuts from the round, or the rear, of the cow (tapa), like top or bottom round. The front and the back of the cow are the most used muscles and therefore have the most flavor. These cuts also generally have a lot of marbling and collagen, which of course turns to gelatin during "low and slow" moist cooking and turns your meat wonderfully tender.

But as you know, it's hard to find these cuts in the regular supermarket in Mexico City. There are a few options to get the cut you want. I haven't been happy with the cuete en trozo either because its so lean, but at most places you can ask the butcher to cut it for you, leaving a bit more fat on it.

Alternatively, and my preference to be honest, is to shop at Costco.  Sometimes I feel like it's cheating, but oh well...I'm sure we'll be at a post soon where I have no "cheating"; option so I'll take it while can. At any rate, I buy the large cuts of meat they have, sometimes labeled as chuck or round, but also look for the Spanish words: diezmillo, tapa (which means both round and top round), or cuete (bottom round). I cut roasts out of it myself at the weight I want, leaving all the fat on it that I want!

Finally, if you're adventurous, you can actually ask at the regular supermarkets for cuts they don't normally display, diezmillo en trozo or tapa en trozo, indicating the number of kilos you want. Obviously, as in the States, it depends on the butcher's mood if they decide to accommodate you but if you're persistent I think you'll be successful....at the very least they will accommodate you at a place like City Market.

Anyone else have experience with special ordering from supermarket butchers? Please let us know where you've been successful.