Beef chuck comes from the forequarter. Consisting of parts of the neck, shoulder blade, and upper arm, beef chuck produces tough but very flavorful cuts of meat. This primal cut has a good deal of connective tissue.
Chuck steak has a very good flavor, but can be tough and hard to chew if not cooked properly. It is one of the more economical cuts of beef. Many people will avoid buying it because of the amount of fat and gristle in it — yet this makes chuck a good choice for braised dishes like beef stew or pot roast, both of which tenderize tough cuts. Due to its fat content, beef chuck is also excellent for making ground beef that produces juicy burgers.
Chuck comes from around the shoulders and is often sold pre-diced to be used in certain dishes. The shoulders are one of the hardest working parts of the animal, so chuck can be quite tough if not cooked correctly. Because it has a good fat and tissue content which needs to be broken down, chuck steak is usually used in stews, casseroles or pies, which are cooked for over an hour.