Everytime I see a Taiwanese TV show about beef noodle soup I go bonkers, especially seeing them use a cut of beef that has 50/50 of meat and tendon. CCTV subscription Ch 243 (comcast) has footage every now and then, such a tease. It looks so beautiful I could cry. ;-)
So last week I ventured to my local 99 ranch butcher and explained what I wanted. I got an odd stare that I should just use the ngau lam cut, which on most Cantonese restaurant menus is brisket or stew, and then was told to buy the tendon separately from the packed foods/refrig section. Perhaps I failed to mention it was for beef noodle soup or something.
Somehow this cut of meat eludes me. A wikipedia search of Beef Noodle Soup says beef ribs, ox tail, or shank cuts are best to use. Ribs and Ox Tail are well...on the fatty side. Shanks...I dunno.
So where in the Peninsula/South Bay would I be able to get the half meat half tendon cut that is perfect for Taiwanese beef noodle soup (check out the website below). Given that the local 99 ranch didn't produce the specific cut I was looking for, would I have to cross the cultural bridge and try to find it at a non Chinese butcher, or some out of the box place like Dittmers in Mountain View? Chinatown's a bit out of reach for me at the moment...