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On a lighter note...

My butcher has agreed to provide me with callette cuts if I can describe how the cut is fabricated. I've been looking this up on the net and trying to find something that will assist him. Alas, I've not found anything that helps.

Grasping at straws, I thought I'd check the Meriam-Webster dictionary in case there were alternate spellings etc. There is an entry for callet.

Etymology: perhaps from Middle French caillette frivolous person, from Caillette fl1500 French court fool

chiefly Scottish : PROSTITUTE

No irony here....considering how I'd prostitue myself for a steady supply of this steak! :lol:

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On a lighter note...

My butcher has agreed to provide me with callette cuts if I can describe how the cut is fabricated. I've been looking this up on the net and trying to find something that will assist him. Alas, I've not found anything that helps.

Grasping at straws, I thought I'd check the Meriam-Webster dictionary in case there were alternate spellings etc. There is an entry for callet.

Etymology: perhaps from Middle French caillette frivolous person, from Caillette fl1500 French court fool

chiefly Scottish : PROSTITUTE

No irony here....considering how I'd prostitue myself for a steady supply of this steak! :lol:

It's actually "calotte," and yes, I believe it's derived from the (French) word meaning skullcap, as it's the "cap" of the ribeye.

God I'm smart.

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It's actually "calotte," and yes, I believe it's derived from the (French) word meaning skullcap, as it's the "cap" of the ribeye.

God I'm smart.

Well done!! Now if you could please go back to work on that world poverty thing, hrmmmm?? :lol:

Amazing what happens if you get the spelling right. Here's a great article on the particular cut from "Nation's Restaurant News" which includes, among other things, how CityZen utilizes this cut. There are many good suggestions on cooking technique, too.

I'm going to my butcher tomorrow to see how much he's going to charge me for this. I wonder if I can take out a second mortgage without Lisa finding out.

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Amazing what happens if you get the spelling right. Here's a great article on the particular cut from "Nation's Restaurant News" which includes, among other things, how CityZen utilizes this cut. There are many good suggestions on cooking technique, too.
I usually eat my wife's deckle in the kitchen before serving the meal. There is no way my wife would even touch my deckle much less eat it. :lol:
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On a lighter note...

My butcher has agreed to provide me with callette cuts if I can describe how the cut is fabricated. I've been looking this up on the net and trying to find something that will assist him. Alas, I've not found anything that helps.

Grasping at straws, I thought I'd check the Meriam-Webster dictionary in case there were alternate spellings etc.

Or you could ask Michael.

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The muscle being referred to in this thread is the spinalis dorsi. It is indeed the tastiest and richest bit of meat on the whole steer.

The rib roast runs from rib 6 to 12; the calotte, or spinalis dorsi, is the crescent-shaped part at the side away from the bone (hence the "cap" or "roof" analogy). Importantly, it is at its thickest at rib 9, and quickly gets smaller going both ways. With the idea of maximizing this wonderful stuff, I once asked a butcher at Wegmans if they would cut a three-rib roast for me from 8 thru 10, i.e. right in the middle of the normal 7-rib cut, leaving the two 2-rib pieces from either end for somebody else, and he said yes they would. I never got around to actually doing it, tho.

Print out the photo below and eat it for dinner.

http://www.jimmysgrill.com/images/Prime_Rib_cropped.gif

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Spoke to my butcher this morning and described the cut. He says that he thinks he can get it fabricated from the source that way if there's a market for it. So who would be interested in ordering this cut? I'm not asking for a firm committment - just running the idea up the flagpole.

FWIW - he and I looked through the Nat'l Meat Buyers Guide (or some similar name) and they identify another cut as the "culotte" which is a top sirloin cap. Not sure how it compares in taste but my butcher agrees that the cap of the ribeye is easily the best tasting part of the cow.

And johnb - thanks for the detail. Every little bit helps. I will be grilling this delectable cut on my deck this summer!!!

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Spoke to my butcher this morning and described the cut. He says that he thinks he can get it fabricated from the source that way if there's a market for it. So who would be interested in ordering this cut? I'm not asking for a firm committment - just running the idea up the flagpole.

FWIW - he and I looked through the Nat'l Meat Buyers Guide (or some similar name) and they identify another cut as the "culotte" which is a top sirloin cap. Not sure how it compares in taste but my butcher agrees that the cap of the ribeye is easily the best tasting part of the cow.

And johnb - thanks for the detail. Every little bit helps. I will be grilling this delectable cut on my deck this summer!!!

Seems to me that, if he wants a lot of money for it, the simple solution would be to buy a whole rib roast and then just butcher off that part and do each separately. How bad can that be?

Apparently Jeff Steingarten once had a butcher do that cut by itself and was charged $250 for it. Not nice. I understand he describes it in his book "It Must Have Been Something I Ate" but I haven't read it myself.

Some folks seem to feel that that particular muscle, which is obviously more done than the rest of the roast, is better that way, i.e. sort of medium at least. Something to think about if you really go through with this project.

(I'd join, but as you may know I'm a bit too far away these days).

Read this:

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/284632

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from Jeffrey Steingarten, It Must've Been Something I Ate, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002. Pp. 453-4:

"…But the rib steak offers the most succulent and flavorful muscle of them all: the spinalis dorsi. “You can’t beat the spinalis dorsi,” is what cattlemen and meat scientists say to each other in hushed tones as they finish up a fine steak dinner. Sometimes they just call it the spinalis. It’s the curve of heavily marbled meat topping the rib eye.

Most butchers do not know the words spinalis dorsi though they acknowledge this strip to be the most flavorful and juicy beef you can think of. Some deny it has a name at all. Can you think of anything so good that it has never been given a name? The knowledgeable James O. Reagan, Ph.D., a former beef academic now at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, gave its common or vernacular name as the “rib-eye cap” or “top of the rib.” One very expensive New York City butcher, who with psychic ability was able to sense the extent of my gluttony, proposed selling me a whole seven-rib section for $250 and slicing off the entire spinalis dorsi for a special feast. To such extreme lengths neither I nor my employer was willing to go.

Do you remember that a steer (or heifer) has thirteen ribs on each side, of which the rib section occupies seven? The rib-eye muscle next to the loin at rib number 12 has no spinalis dorsi to brag about, or very little of it. This area is known as the “first cut,” and your butcher may try to force it on you, often at a higher price, because the central rib-eye muscle predominates here and there is less visible fat. Don’t listen to a word of it. As you move backward toward the shoulders, the spinalis dorsi grows thick and plump. But near the chuck, the distinct muscles in a rib steak become more numerous and varied, with large chunks of fat and gristle among them. And worst of all, the spinalis dorsi there thins down to a quarter-inch in thickness as it begins to fan out over the animal’s entire shoulder area.

So, it is the three steaks cut from the center of the rib section, ribs eight, nine, and ten, (counting from the front of the animal) or three, four, and five (counting from the back end of the rib section), that have the thickest piece of spinalis (though number seven is nothing to be ashamed of) plus a fine rib-eye, and only moderate deposits of separable fat at their center. Ribs eight, nine, and ten: These are the three greatest steaks, the very summit and apogee of beef. Plus, of course, the paradigmatic porterhouse."

Later, a colleague offers to treat Steingarten to the purchase of the spinalis; they pick up a seven-rib section at Lobel's, asking the butcher to remove the spinalis in one piece. It measured about 7 by 11 inches, and 1 1/2 inches thick at the center. They grilled it.

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Spoke to my butcher this morning and described the cut. He says that he thinks he can get it fabricated from the source that way if there's a market for it. So who would be interested in ordering this cut? I'm not asking for a firm committment - just running the idea up the flagpole.
You KNOW we are, although I might have to convince Scott that he doesn't want to butcher it himself. :lol:

johnb, that picture is gorgeous.

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Spoke to my butcher this morning and described the cut. He says that he thinks he can get it fabricated from the source that way if there's a market for it. So who would be interested in ordering this cut? I'm not asking for a firm committment - just running the idea up the flagpole.

FWIW - he and I looked through the Nat'l Meat Buyers Guide (or some similar name) and they identify another cut as the "culotte" which is a top sirloin cap. Not sure how it compares in taste but my butcher agrees that the cap of the ribeye is easily the best tasting part of the cow.

And johnb - thanks for the detail. Every little bit helps. I will be grilling this delectable cut on my deck this summer!!!

Isn't your butcher out in the middle of nowhere? :lol:

I think I need to make a call to the Springfield butcher and see what he can do for me.

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Not until summer? And you hold yourself out to be a Canadian? Hmmmm....
Hey man - I represent!! This is what I did all weekend. It doesn't get any more Canadian than that (although my wife didn't post the ultimate pictures where I was playing some pickup with a beer in one hand and the stick in the other. Setting a good example for the kids, I say!).
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Isn't your butcher out in the middle of nowhere? :lol:

I think I need to make a call to the Springfield butcher and see what he can do for me.

Definitely do it - I could use another source. Having said that, Springfield is 29 miles from Silver Spring and Crofton is 26 miles. A hike regardless of who I go to. But this guy's customer service is truly second to none. He will go out on a limb for a good customer (there's a butcher joke in there somewhere...)

ETA: How the #@!@ do I do multiple quotes in a single reply.

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Is there any relationship between spinalis thicknes and ordering a prime rib. The conventional wisdom seems to be that the better rib roast is ribs 10-12, where the spinalis would be thinner. Would a rib roast from ribs 8-10 be a better choice.

That's my guess, but of course we need to put it to the test. My place or yours? (Remember, it's a 550 mile drive, 1100 round trip).

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My butcher called me last night and he's getting in 10 lbs of deckle. Different people define deckle differently, but assuming that it's the rib-eye cap, then we're getting something close to what RTC sells as the calette (and what we've been talking about as the calotte).

Depending on the price, I will go tomorrow and pick up 3-5 lbs (unless he's going to dry age it for a few weeks). Anyone else want me to pick up a few pounds for them? You can get it from me pretty much anytime this weekend in SS, or we can arrange a mutually convenient pickup.

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Isn't "deckl" also the fatty part of the brisket or plate?
Right - like I said, the definition seems to depend on who you talk to. From the Nation's Restaurant News article:
....rib-eye steak actually comes in two parts: the loin and the cap, or deckle. The latter part, which is part of the deep pectoral muscle, is separated from the loin by an unattractive, coarse strip of fat and connective tissue.
In the same article, it goes on to say
The deckle actually is best known as the fatty part of the brisket, the favored cut for pastrami and the aficionado's preferred part of "smoked meat," the Jewish-Canadian cousin of corned beef.

In fact, the deckle is any part of the strip of muscle and fat that lies right on top of the ribs, according to James Reagan, a specialist from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

EDIT: I confirmed with Mike that we are indeed getting the cap of the rib roast. It's gonna be a fun weekend of grilling!!
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I stopped by The Organic Butcher of McLean today. I was chatting with Don, the owner, about the current interest in calotte here. He said that he could probably sell me a piece, and pulled a whole rib quarter out of his cooler. He had just cut up the carcass that had been aging in his cooler for the past two weeks. The piece of muscle that we have been discussing was very obvious and he cut it off, trimmed it up- the whole piece weighed 2.3 pounds. It was a vaguely triangular sheet, which looked a lot like brisket, much thicker at one end. He charged me $15 a pound. This is organic, local beef that has been dry-aged for two weeks, after all.

I trimmed off the silver skin and the bigger hunks of thick fat that were left on, seasoned it with my own dry spice rub and some olive oil and grilled it over Cowboy Charcoal. Medium rare, sliced thin against the grain. Good, but a little tough and not quite as beefy-tasting as I had hoped. I'm not sure that it is all that much better than a hangar steak, which he was selling for $9.99 a pound.

In any case, Don will be glad to sell calotte to anyone interested, just give him a call to see if he has a rib quarter ready to get cut up into ribeyes:

703-790-8300.

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I talked to Bev Eggleston at the Dupont Market this morning about my experience with the calotte. He hadn't heard that name used for a cut of steak, but said that the muscle in question was called the "cap of the ribeye". He said that with grass-fed beef, tenderness and flavor very much depend on breeding, careful pasturing and sufficient aging. His thought was that aging for 14 days probably was not enough. BUT he said that he has some beef that has been aging for 80 days which has amazing flavor and he is going to send some calotte and other steaks to the Dupont Market next week. Warning: it will be $20 a pound. Bev won't be there in person next week, because he is going to New York to meet with some chefs, and to the Boston area to consult with a small meat packer who is having equipment problems. He has become quite the celebrity as a result of _Omnivore's Dilemma_!!

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Quick update. I picked up 6 lbs of deckle aka calotte on Saturday. My butcher tells me (and visual inspection confirms) that this does appear to be the cap of the ribeye. It's from local Hereford beef and has already been aged 21 days. My butcher recommends a couple of weeks of additional aging. He's vacuum packed it for me so that I can wet-age it easily (you don't get any real additional flavour development but the enzymatic action will continue to give you a more tender steak).

Oh...and the cost? I paid $6.99/lb. Neither he nor I could believe it. He was almost dancing with joy behind the counter. I was trying to pick my jaw up off the ground. We'll see how it is. I still believe you get what you pay for and am having trouble believing I'm getting quality at this price.

I will simply salt the hell out of it and throw it on a superhot charcoal grill. No evening hockey game tomorrow so the first of the steaks goes on the grill Tuesday night.

Oh, and FWIW - I found an article in the Apr 2003 edition of Gourmet discussing this cut. It refers to it as the deckle and adds that this is also the name some use for the part of the brisket, leading to much confusion.

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Fired up the grill last night and set aflame the first couple of pounds of deckel.

Lesson Learned #1 - Do NOT attempt to fire up the charcoal grill when winds are blowing at 45 mph. Within seconds of lighting the chimney starter, I had charcoal embers flying all over my deck, backyard, and the neighbour's backyard. It's not fun grilling in the cold, especially when you're sitting there with a fire extinguisher hoping you won't set the house on fire.

Lesson Learned #2 - 45 mph winds GREATLY facilitate heat transfer, especially from my nice hot grill to the cold air outside. It was a bitch trying to keep the grill hot.

Lesson Learned #3 - Deckel is DELICIOUS when tossed straight on blazing hot natural hardwood charcoal. My steaks were about an inch thick but once the muscle fibres contracted, it got much thicker. I got a great sear on the outside while the inside stayed rare. The one mistake I made was not giving the steak enough time to come to room temperature so the first quarter inch was a little too medium for my taste.

Anyhow, at $6.99/lb, I think I've got a damn fine deal. This, along with skirt and hanger, will be my "go to" cut through the summer.

Assuming I don't burn down the house.

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Fired up the grill last night and set aflame the first couple of pounds of deckel.

Lesson Learned #1 - Do NOT attempt to fire up the charcoal grill when winds are blowing at 45 mph. Within seconds of lighting the chimney starter, I had charcoal embers flying all over my deck, backyard, and the neighbour's backyard. It's not fun grilling in the cold, especially when you're sitting there with a fire extinguisher hoping you won't set the house on fire.

Lesson Learned #2 - 45 mph winds GREATLY facilitate heat transfer, especially from my nice hot grill to the cold air outside. It was a bitch trying to keep the grill hot.

Lesson Learned #3 - Deckel is DELICIOUS when tossed straight on blazing hot natural hardwood charcoal. My steaks were about an inch thick but once the muscle fibres contracted, it got much thicker. I got a great sear on the outside while the inside stayed rare. The one mistake I made was not giving the steak enough time to come to room temperature so the first quarter inch was a little too medium for my taste.

Anyhow, at $6.99/lb, I think I've got a damn fine deal. This, along with skirt and hanger, will be my "go to" cut through the summer.

Assuming I don't burn down the house.

Just for clarification: you cooked it directly on the coals, with no grill/grate? Like some do with skirt steak?

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Just for clarification: you cooked it directly on the coals, with no grill/grate? Like some do with skirt steak?
That's exactly what I did. I wanted alot of sear on the outside and rare on the inside. I gave it a quick spray with olive oil and salted it before I tossed it on. We just had the leftovers for lunch. Just as good the second time around!
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Not to change the subject, but all the talk of calotte got me thinking about Hemp's Meats in Jefferson of Frederick County. The longest lines at the Great Frederick Fair are always for Hemp's meats, and a Hemp happens to work at my school. I told her about the interest of folks in this cut and asked if she would research it to be published on this board. This is her response:

"I asked my husband about the meat you were asking about. They do carry the cut of beef and they call it the "cap of the ribroast/ribeye". All of our beefs are aged 3 to 4 weeks and we can age that cut longer if you like. All of our beefs are grade choice or higher and are all grain fed from our own farms. We use all beef animals. Not dairy animals. No antibiotics or growth hormones are used. Gary said if it's the cut of meat he's thinking about it's about $3.00 to $3.50/lb. Hope this helps. Let me know if you need to know anything else. Have a great weekend."

Intriguing stuff, huh? Here's the web site: http://www.hempsmeats.com/

I searched DR and found that Malawry had posted about Hemp's as well as on Egullet in case people wanted more info on Hemp's.

Curious, if I asked her to bring me some (she'll bring it to school), how much longer should I ask her to age it than the 3-4 weeks?

Pax,

Brian

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Not to change the subject, but all the talk of calotte got me thinking about Hemp's Meats in Jefferson of Frederick County. The longest lines at the Great Frederick Fair are always for Hemp's meats, and a Hemp happens to work at my school. I told her about the interest of folks in this cut and asked if she would research it to be published on this board. This is her response:

"I asked my husband about the meat you were asking about. They do carry the cut of beef and they call it the "cap of the ribroast/ribeye". All of our beefs are aged 3 to 4 weeks and we can age that cut longer if you like. All of our beefs are grade choice or higher and are all grain fed from our own farms. We use all beef animals. Not dairy animals. No antibiotics or growth hormones are used. Gary said if it's the cut of meat he's thinking about it's about $3.00 to $3.50/lb. Hope this helps. Let me know if you need to know anything else. Have a great weekend."

Intriguing stuff, huh? Here's the web site: http://www.hempsmeats.com/

I searched DR and found that Malawry had posted about Hemp's as well as on Egullet in case people wanted more info on Hemp's.

Curious, if I asked her to bring me some (she'll bring it to school), how much longer should I ask her to age it than the 3-4 weeks?

Pax,

Brian

It's hard to imagine he's thinking about the right cut. The spinalis dorsi is part of the rib roast/steak/eye of rib, which if it's well marbled and well aged seldom sells for much under $10/lb, and that includes the bone. It is also the best part of the rib roast. If he strips it out, how can he sell it so cheap, particularly since the buyer of the remainder of that rib roast is going to wonder what happened. There must be some miscommunication going on here.

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It's hard to imagine he's thinking about the right cut. The spinalis dorsi is part of the rib roast/steak/eye of rib, which if it's well marbled and well aged seldom sells for much under $10/lb, and that includes the bone. It is also the best part of the rib roast. If he strips it out, how can he sell it so cheap, particularly since the buyer of the remainder of that rib roast is going to wonder what happened. There must be some miscommunication going on here.
I doubt it. My butcher sold it to me for $6.99/lb, which sounds like an appopriate markup from the $3.50 that Hemps is quoting. I mean, how can there be that much confusion about something that everyone agrees is the "cap of rib eye", regardless of whatever names are attached to it?

I think the low price merely reflects the lack of demand, not the lack of quality. Remember how butcher's couldn't give away stuff like flank steak and now it commands $14/lb??

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I doubt it. My butcher sold it to me for $6.99/lb, which sounds like an appopriate markup from the $3.50 that Hemps is quoting. I mean, how can there be that much confusion about something that everyone agrees is the "cap of rib eye", regardless of whatever names are attached to it?

I think the low price merely reflects the lack of demand, not the lack of quality. Remember how butcher's couldn't give away stuff like flank steak and now it commands $14/lb??

I'm hoping Xcanuck is right and emailed my colleague back. I copied JohnB's response plus an earlier post that provided even more detail than what I told her we were asking for, just so she can print it out and show it to her husband to eliminate any confusion. I think there's a real possibility that the "lack of demand" explanation holds credibility. If you read Malawry's post on Egullet about Hemp's, she recounts how she asked them if they sell hanger steaks. They had 50 b/c no one asks for them! Might be similar circumstances. And I don't think it's b/c she's giving me a deal, either, b/c I told her I intended to post her response here. I'll let you know what I find out.

Pax,

Brian

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There must be some miscommunication going on here.

Looks like johnb was right: there was some miscommunication somehow. But to eliminate the miscommunication, the guy at Hemp's dug into his butchering manual and photocopied the directions for butchering the cap of the ribeye so everyone was on the same page. I scanned it, saved it to a Word doc to make it one file and uploaded it to server space I have access to since it's over 5 MB. Feel free to download it at http://ths.fcps.org/teachers/baczkowski/Calotte.doc (might want to right-click and save target as). The price for the cap of the ribeye at Hemp's is actually $8.95 or $9.95 lb. They're still willing to dry age it as long as you want. Hope this adds to people's options.

Pax,

Brian

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Looks like johnb was right: there was some miscommunication somehow. But to eliminate the miscommunication, the guy at Hemp's dug into his butchering manual and photocopied the directions for butchering the cap of the ribeye so everyone was on the same page. I scanned it, saved it to a Word doc to make it one file and uploaded it to server space I have access to since it's over 5 MB. Feel free to download it at http://ths.fcps.org/teachers/baczkowski/Calotte.doc (might want to right-click and save target as). The price for the cap of the ribeye at Hemp's is actually $8.95 or $9.95 lb. They're still willing to dry age it as long as you want. Hope this adds to people's options.

Pax,

Brian

Well, let's keep the confusion growing. The easiest way for me to figure this out is to place an order at Hemp's and compare it to what I'm getting from Mike Smollon. So I called Hemp's just now and placed an order for 2-3 lbs of this. I spoke to Bill at Hemp's and he quoted me around $3/lb for untrimmed and about $5/lb for trimmed - that would be the entire cap off a rib eye roast. Not sure if this is prime or not. I reviewed with him the butchering instructions that Brian posted (and thanks very much for that!!!) and we're on the same page. So I'm not sure where the $9/lb is coming from. I even told him that someone else had been quoted $9/lb and he said that was the price for the whole rib steak, not just the cap.

Anyhow, he's going to call me back later today and confirm the order. Hopefully I can pick it up on Saturday morning and have it on the grill for Sat dinner.

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Bill called me back. Here's what he is saying.

There are two parts to the deckel: large and small. The large is about 2.5 lbs (trimmed), isn't quite as marbled, and is cut away from the prime rib section. The small is about 3/4 to 1 lb (trimmed), about the size of your hand, very well marbled, and is cut directly away from the prime rib. I think what I got from Mike Smollon is the large.

A complete, all encompassing deckel (both large and small) is under $3/lb (untrimmed) and getting into the low $5/lb range for trimmed. Just the small (untrimmed) would be roughly double ($6 untrimmed about $9 trimmed). So now we're back into the price range that Brian was originally mentioning.

So...I have an order in for a full deckel (both large and small) and Bill's also going to try to scrounge up a few small only pieces. I'll pick them up Saturday morning and take pictures before firing up the grill.

And no - I'm not obsessed. Really.

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So I'm not sure where the $9/lb is coming from.

Are you telling me that I have stumbled on the first known-to-man miscommunication between husband and wife? :o Her words this morning, "My eyes just glaze over when he starts talking about his meat." I refused to pounce on the obvious jokes.

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When we get ribeye steaks, there is a "c" shaped bit separated from a larger "o" shaped bit by a layer of fat. Is that what we're talking about?

If so my observation is that the "c" shaped bit is more tender but the "o" shaped bit has more flavor. No?

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Bill called me back. Here's what he is saying.

There are two parts to the deckel: large and small. The large is about 2.5 lbs (trimmed), isn't quite as marbled, and is cut away from the prime rib section. The small is about 3/4 to 1 lb (trimmed), about the size of your hand, very well marbled, and is cut directly away from the prime rib. I think what I got from Mike Smollon is the large.

A complete, all encompassing deckel (both large and small) is under $3/lb (untrimmed) and getting into the low $5/lb range for trimmed. Just the small (untrimmed) would be roughly double ($6 untrimmed about $9 trimmed). So now we're back into the price range that Brian was originally mentioning.

So...I have an order in for a full deckel (both large and small) and Bill's also going to try to scrounge up a few small only pieces. I'll pick them up Saturday morning and take pictures before firing up the grill.

And no - I'm not obsessed. Really.

Based on your page from the butcher's manual, and my own previous research into this topic, I am beginning to believe this deckle everybody is talking about is not the actual spinalis dorsimuscle (latin always works better for these discussions, since it's unambiguous, like when discussing fish species), the one that triggered all the discussion. If it is, it is certainly what is being calling the small deckle, not the large.

Refer to the photograph I linked in post #10 in this thread. Here again is the link:

Print out the photo below and eat it for dinner.

http://www.jimmysgrill.com/images/Prime_Rib_cropped.gif

Look at the photo. Unless I'm seriously in error, the spinalis dorsi is the "C" shaped muscle running abound the edge of the roast away from the bone--in the photo, it is partly hidden by the potatoes, and is a bit more done than the rest, which is normal since it forms the outer layer of the roast.

Here's another link. The top three roasts all show the spinalis dorsi clearly--it is the "C" or sickle-shaped part around the "far" edge.

http://www.hormel.com/templates/knowledge/...d=22&id=338

I have looked at hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces of rib roast/steak in my lifetime (it's the only steak cut I buy), and I have never seen one yet from which this portion has been removed. If these butchers are routinely cutting out "deckle," it must be another muscle.

I'm not sure why all this to-do about buying a piece of the spinalis dorsi all by itself anyway. It seems to me the simplest way to experience this particular morsel is to simply make yourself a nice rib roast (cut from the area around rib #9 preferably) and eat the "deckle" part and the rest separately--nothing wrong with that---they are both great. Alternatively, buy the roast, and have your butcher (yourself) separate the two, and prepare them on separate occasions.

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Based on your page from the butcher's manual, and my own previous research into this topic, I am beginning to believe this deckle everybody is talking about is not the actual spinalis dorsimuscle (latin always works better for these discussions, since it's unambiguous, like when discussing fish species), the one that triggered all the discussion. If it is, it is certainly what is being calling the small deckle, not the large.

I have to agree, especially based on the description of "small" and "large" deckles (which doesn't really jibe as far as I know), the reported yield sizes (the largest calette I have trimmed has been 34 ounces, with the vast majority being 28-30--this is in line with the specs from the NAMP guide--but never anything even close to 2.5-3.0 lbs.) and most specifically the prices.

My guess would be that the latissiumus dorsi and rhomboideus (or maybe trapzius) which lay on top of the fat cap covering the rib eye (whichincludes the spinalis and longissimus) and which run into the chuck, shoulder side, are the cuts being produced.

I also have to agree that I don't really see what the big deal is, except for what's caused the fact that there is so much confusion--much of which is obfuscatory in intent--in the world of meat; and getting to the bottom of just what is what is hard at times. That is why I am hosting the demo to clear things up.

It is a superior and rare cut, though.

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