Where to Buy Beef Shoulder Clod – A Complete Guide

Beef shoulder clod, also known as beef chuck shoulder clod or simply chuck clod, is an underrated and flavorful cut of beef that is growing in popularity. Coming from the chuck primal of the cow, shoulder clod offers great value and versatility at a lower cost than typical steaks. If you want to get your hands on this up-and-coming cut of meat, here is a guide on where to buy beef shoulder clod.

Overview of Beef Shoulder Clod

The beef shoulder clod comes from the chuck primal, which is located in the front of the animal right above the brisket. It consists of portions of the cow’s shoulder and neck. This is a well-exercised area which results in a tougher yet intensely flavored meat.

More specifically, the shoulder clod comes from the shoulder muscles of the chuck. It usually weighs around 8-12 pounds and consists of two main muscles – the triceps brachii and brachialis. There is a thick layer of connective tissue separating the two muscles.

Shoulder clod is flavorful and moderately tender. When cooked right, usually through slow, moist heat methods, it can become incredibly tender and juicy. It’s an ideal cut for pot roasting, braising, stewing, or smoking/barbecuing.

Due to its marbling and extensive connective tissue, shoulder clod requires slow cooking to break down and reach its full potential. The result is succulent, pull-apart beef that costs a fraction of typical steak cuts.

Where to Buy Beef Shoulder Clod

While beef shoulder clod has traditionally been popular with barbecue enthusiasts, it is now gaining mainstream appeal. Here are some of the best places to buy high-quality beef shoulder clod:

Online Butcher Shops

Online retailers that specialize in high-end meat offer shoulder clod for sale and deliver it fresh to your door. Two recommended options are:

  • Snake River Farms: This premium online butcher has American Wagyu shoulder clods available in various sizes ranging from 4-10 lbs. They also offer American Kurobuta pork shoulder, similar in texture and flavor to beef shoulder clod.

  • Crowd Cow: This e-commerce startup partners with small farms to deliver craft beef and other artisan proteins. Crowd Cow sells grass-fed beef shoulder clods sourced from independent, sustainable ranches.

Warehouse Clubs

Bulk shopping clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club regularly stock beef shoulder clods in larger pack sizes:

  • Costco: Costco has USDA Choice grade beef shoulder clods available in 28 lb bulk packs. They offer impressive value at around $3/lb.

  • Sam’s Club: While stock varies, Sam’s Club sometimes carries cryovaced boneless beef shoulder clods in an approx. 12 lb pack. These are also USDA Choice.

Butcher Shops and Meat Markets

Traditional brick-and-mortar butchers and meat markets represent another reliable way to source shoulder clod:

  • Independent butcher shops: High quality, full-service butcher shops often carry whole shoulder clods that they will custom-cut for you. Ask them to trim and portion the meat to your preferences.

  • Ethnic markets: Mexican, Asian, and halal markets frequently stock beef shoulder clod for dishes like barbacoa or pho. Shop their meat cases or ask the butcher.

Direct from Farms or Ranches

Purchasing beef directly from local producers like farms, ranches, or slaughterhouses allows you to buy entire shoulder clods:

  • Farmers markets: Ask farmers and ranchers at markets if they have shoulder clod for sale. They may have whole subprimals available.

  • CSAs: Some Community Supported Agriculture programs include beef cuts like shoulder clod in their meat shares. Check the provider’s offerings.

  • Farm stands: Drive past farms advertising fresh meat for sale? Stop by and inquire if they have shoulder clod available.

What to Look for When Buying Shoulder Clod

To help you get the best quality beef shoulder clod, keep the following tips in mind when purchasing this cut of meat:

  • Grading: Look for grades of Choice or higher from USDA, like Prime or Wagyu. This indicates increased marbling, tenderness, and flavor.

  • Marbling: Moderate marbling ensures flavor and moisture. Too little may result in dry, bland meat when cooking.

  • Weight: Choose packs in the 8-12 lb range to get a whole shoulder clod at a better value per pound.

  • Thickness: Thicker, well-shaped clods over 3 inches work best for even cooking.

  • Color: Bright, cherry-red lean meat indicates freshness. Avoid brown or gray tones.

  • Expiration: Pick clods with a distant sell-by date so you have time to freeze or cook it.

  • Packaging: Cryovac-sealed plastic bags or butcher paper keeps clods fresh. Avoid torn, leaking packages.

Storing Beef Shoulder Clod at Home

Properly storing your beef shoulder clod preserves freshness and quality. Follow these guidelines:

  • Place in refrigerator immediately, ideally below 40°F.

  • Use within 5 days for best quality, up to 7 days maximum.

  • Rinse, pat dry, and rewrap in fresh butcher paper or plastic wrap if using partial clod.

  • For longer storage, tightly wrap each portion and freeze for 4-6 months. Thaw in fridge before using.

  • If cryovaced, leave sealed and place in refrigerator or freezer. No need to rewrap.

With proper handling and storage, beef shoulder clod’s flavor and texture will shine when you cook it. Enjoy this budget-friendly cut of meat in stews, roasts, tacos, and more!

4 Shoulder Clod Recipes to Try

Once you source some high-quality beef shoulder clod, put it to delicious use! Here are 4 recommended shoulder clod recipes:

1. Slow Roasted Shoulder Clod

Low and slow roasting tenderizes shoulder clod into ultra juicy, fork-tender meat. Roast with potatoes for a hearty one-pot meal.

2. Red Wine Braised Shoulder Clod

Braising shoulder clod in red wine softens the meat and infuses it with rich flavor. The leftover braising liquid makes an excellent sauce.

3. Smoked Beef Shoulder BBQ

A beefy spin on classic pulled pork, rubbed and smoked beef shoulder clod makes phenomenal barbecue sandwiches.

4. Vietnamese Beef Pho

When thinly sliced, shoulder clod transforms into the melt-in-your-mouth beef that is essential for a comforting bowl of pho.

In Summary

With its deep beefy taste and value price, shoulder clod is a phenomenal alternative to pricier cuts of beef. Source shoulder clods from online butchers, big box stores, butcher shops, or direct from farms and ranches. Use proper storage methods to maintain freshness. Shoulder clod is ideal for braising, roasting, grilling, soup, and more. The next time you want affordable, flavorful beef, turn to the shoulder clod!

Breaking down a Beef Shoulder Clod | Professional Butcher

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