Secret Cuts & How to Cook Them!

July 29, 2022

A few of our butcher’s well-kept secret cuts that you should know!

We have decided to shed some light on a few of our butcher’s best kept secretly delicious and under-utilized cuts. All of these cuts are usually on the more inexpensive side but always rich in flavour, what more could you ask for? Ottawa Valley Meats is proud to provide local, drug-free, grass-fed, and free-range animal proteins for your family’s consumption.

Flank Steak

Flank steak is a thin, lean cut from the abdominal wall of the cow. A relatively long and flat cut of meat, flank steak is used in various dishes including London broil, and as an alternative to the traditional skirt steak in fajitas. You can grill, pan-fry, broil, or braise it for increased tenderness. Best cooked to rare or medium rare at the most, anything further will leave it dry and tough.

Inside Round Roast (Top Round)

The top round (also called inside round, because it comes from the inside of the leg), is actually a good cut of meat for roasting, as long as it’s done slowly at a low temperature. Top round is very lean and tough, and thus it’s one of the less expensive cuts of beef. For a budget-friendly cut, top round roast is relatively flavorful. It can also be fabricated into steaks, which are improved by tenderization or marination, but top round is most often roasted and sliced for roast beef. Slow cooking top round at a low temperature ensures that it comes out medium-rare, thus preserving what little tenderness the top round has to begin with. It’s also important to slice it thinly. Roasted top round is ideal for making roast beef for sandwiches.


Shanks come from mainly beef and lamb and are super versatile in low and slow applications. Usually used in braising dishes, spend some time on google to choose a dish that sounds appealing to you. Ottawa Valley Meats always has shanks available for you to order!

Eye Of Round (Steak)

Steaks cut from the tougher full eye of round muscle, but if it is cut properly and cooked correctly, it is a great value steak worthy for any meal of the week. It is best cut thinly and fried to medium-rare for optimal taste and texture. Using an acidic marinade will help tenderize the cut even more.

Pork Shoulder Roast

The pork shoulder roast is a little bit of a tougher cut of meat, which is best to braise. Brown the meat in a skillet and then transfer it to the oven and cook it at a low temperature for a couple of hours or until its internal temperature reaches at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Great for a Sunday night pork roast for the family!


Cheap, nutritious, delicious, and just what the doctor ordered. Heart, liver, kidney, tongue, tail, sweetbreads. We try to keep a good stock of most of these items but they are subject to availability. A little more adventurous for some but some delicious dishes can be created with these cuts.

Give some of these cuts a try and we are sure you will be pleasantly surprised and so will your wallet!

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