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Chefs on Favorite Under-Appreciated Cuts of Meat

In honor of The Five Days of Meat, we've asked Boston food and drink personnel a variety of meat-related questions, and we'll share their responses throughout the week. Now, here are a bunch of Boston chefs on their favorite under-appreciated cuts of meat, from tongue and neck to intestines and trotters. (Previously: Boston chefs on the meatiest dish they've ever eaten and the most unusual meats they've ever eaten.)

Josh Lewin - Rachel Leah Blumenthal.jpg"Neck is making a comeback, but definitely still under appreciated. Goat or lamb neck is fantastic on the smoker." — Joshua Lewin, chef of Bread and Salt Hospitality
[Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

John Delpha - Provided.jpg"I think that intestines are underutilized other than for sausage casings. The French make a fabulous sausage with them called andouillette." — John Delpha, chef/partner of Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar (opening summer 2014)
[Photo: Provided]

Jesse Hassinger - Chris Coe.jpg"There are so many. I'll say the pig cheek. They're wonderful. They're kind of small and unctuous, easy to cook, just really tender. Even surrounded by the whole jowl, like cured for guanciale or smoked, it's a really nice piece of meat. The jowl itself has some fat and meat striations to it in addition to that cheek, which just makes it a really nice experience if you're into fatty bacon and that sort of thing." — Jesse Hassinger, butcher at M.F. Dulock Pasture-Raised Meats
[Photo: Chris Coe]

Robert Sisca - Official Site.jpg"The neck of animals. I feel it is the most flavorful and most tender if cooked properly." — Robert Sisca, executive chef of Bistro du Midi
[Photo: Official Site]

Dante de Magistris - Official Site.jpg"Chicken oysters." — Dante de Magistris, chef/owner of Restaurant dante and il Casale
[Photo: Official Site]

Matt Foley - Official Site.jpg"Pig ears, beef tongue, sweetbreads." — Matt Foley, executive chef of The Merchant
[Photo: Official Site]

Michael Schlow - Sophia Tsakmaklis.jpg"Sweetbreads need to be more appreciated. They're one of my favorite things in the world, and I think people think that they're going to be gross, but they're just so delicious. I'd also say oxtail. It's a lot of work, which is one of the problems. My favorite way to have it is braised in a rich stock, red wine, pick off all the meat, use that braising liquid for a sauce, and toss it with gnocchi, Brussels sprout leaves, and walnuts. In the wintertime, it's one of my favorite combinations." — Michael Schlow, chef/owner of Via Matta, Tico, and Alta Strada
[Photo: Sophia Tsakmaklis]

Samuel Monsour - Rachel Leah Blumenthal.jpg"I think I'd have to go with beef heart. We do see it quite often now on menus, but what Jamie Bissonnette taught me about beef heart was that it's a muscle, not an organ, so it's very approachable and very easy to work with. It's an extremely lean muscle because it gets used constantly. You can do a simple preparation, shaving it thin; it's got great flavor, and I love it. What I especially love about it is when you prepare it and give it to someone who has never had it. They're going to like it, and then they think you're a better chef than you are, because they're like, 'I just had beef heart and loved it!' They're so excited that they actually liked it. They tried something new, they ventured out, and now they've kind of expanded their paradigm and cultured their palate a little bit, and you get the credit for that. And it's a pretty simple cut of meat to fabricate and cook. What I like to do is spice it heavy, smoke it, and shave it thin. I think shaved thin is the most palatable for newbies." — Samuel Monsour of The Future of Junk Food pop-up and more
[Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

Brian Poe - Rachel Leah Blumenthal.jpg"Doug [Rodrigues, executive chef] just got in some duck tongue; that'll be interesting. And the tendon was cool — we braised that down and then complemented it with a pork head sauce and calamari, so it was a very unique kind of twist and turn. I think that's where we solidified our action-packed adventure we're in now. It's freaking cool to turn an underappreciated cut into something like that." — Brian Poe, chef/owner of The Tip Tap Room and Estelle's
[Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

Irene Li - Katie Chudy.jpg"This is a toughie — most chefs are now very appreciative of all cuts. We really love tendon, tongue, and heart." — Irene Li, co-owner of Mei Mei
[Photo: Katie Chudy]

Kevin O'Donnell and Michael Lombardi - Provided.jpg"We both love the neck from any animal. It's our favorite cut and the cut we find most under-appreciated. In classic American butchery, the neck (or the coppa) is largely undersold due to the demand for more and larger loin. The demand for loin requires part of the coppa to be left on the loin and the other part to be left on the shoulder. The coppa itself has so many different muscles that can be perfectly tenderized when cooked properly and has a great ratio of fat to meat." — Kevin O'Donnell, executive chef, and Michael Lombardi, executive sous chef of The Salty Pig
[Photo: Provided]

Dennis Wilson - Provided.jpg"Pig cheeks." — Dennis Wilson, chef of Gather
[Photo: Official Site]

Samuel Jackson - Callaway Photography.jpg"Trotters. I feel that when I was an apprentice (mid 90s) back in Sydney, everyone was doing something with them. These days I just don't see them and feel that it really is something that is under-appreciated not only as an under-appreciated cut but also as an under-appreciated part of the craft." — Samuel Jackson, owner of KO Catering and Pies
[Photo: Callaway Photography]

Peter D'Antonio - Facebook.jpg"Sweetbreads. They are so versatile; they are just a hard sell to customers." — Peter D'Antonio, executive chef of The Westin Waltham-Boston
[Photo: Facebook]

Chris Coombs - Rachel Leah Blumenthal.jpg"Chicken." — Chris Coombs, executive chef and co-owner of Boston Chops and Deuxave
[Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

Tim Wiechmann - Official Site.jpg"Bavette steak, which is on the T.W. Food menu." — Tim Wiechmann, chef/owner of Bronwyn and T.W. Food
[Photo: Official Site]

Kyle Ketchum - Official Site.jpg"Sirloin flap meat. When it is properly sous vide it eats like butter." — Kyle Ketchum, executive chef of Bostonia Public House
[Photo: Official Site]

Tony Maws - Cal Bingham.jpg"Tongue. It's kinda making a run these days but not nearly enough. If prepared correctly, it has amazing flavor and texture." — Tony Maws, owner of Craigie on Main and The Kirkland Tap & Trotter
[Photo: Cal Bingham]

Joshua Smith - Rachel Leah Blumenthal.jpg"The coppa." — Joshua Smith, owner of Moody's Delicatessen & Provisions
[Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

Leo Asaro - Chris Coe.jpg"I don't think it's under-used, but I'm a sucker for flank steak. I don't know why. I grew up on it, and my mom just cooked it perfectly." — Leo Asaro, executive chef of Tico
[Photo: Chris Coe]

"Pork cheeks and bone marrow." — Dan Schroeder, chef of Forum

"Bone-in pork shoulder." — Paul Booras, Director of Culinary Operations of Tavern in the Square

"I feel like there are two parts of the chicken I'd love to see utilized in a dish if cost had no relevance; chicken oysters or the tail on the chicken. If you can turn the chicken tail into a dish, I'd eat it every day." — Carey Dobies, executive chef of Savvor Restaurant and Lounge

· All coverage of The Five Days of Meat on Eater [~EBOS~]

Bistro du Midi

272 Boylston Street, , MA 02116 (617) 426-7878 Visit Website


371 Commonwealth Avenue, , MA 02115 (617) 517-5915 Visit Website

Forum Restaurant

755 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116 857 991 1831 Visit Website

Mei Mei (Boston)

506 Park Dr., Boston, MA 02215 (857) 250-4959 Visit Website

The Merchant Kitchen & Drink

60 Franklin St, Boston, MA 02110 617-482-6060 Visit Website

Il Casale Cucina Campana + Bar

1727 Massachusetts Ave, Lexington, MA 02420 (781) 538-5846 Visit Website


1926 14th Street Northwest, , DC 20009 (202) 319-1400 Visit Website


16901 Wright Plaza, , NE 68130 (402) 932-3078 Visit Website

Bostonia Public House

131 State Street, , MA 02109 (617) 948-9800 Visit Website

Craigie On Main

853 Main Street, , MA 02139 (617) 497-5511 Visit Website

The Salty Pig

130 Dartmouth Street, , MA 02116 (617) 536-6200 Visit Website


75 Northern Avenue, , MA 02210 (617) 982-7220 Visit Website

T.W. Food

377 Walden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 617 864 4745 Visit Website

Boston Chops

1375 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118 617 227 5011 Visit Website

Via Matta

79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116 617 422 0008 Visit Website

The Tip Tap Room

138 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114 857 263 7614 Visit Website


255 Washington Street, , MA 02143 (617) 776-9900 Visit Website

Savvor Restaurant and Lounge

180 Lincoln St, Boston, MA 02111 (857) 250-2165 Visit Website