Beef Navel - A Rare Culinary Wonder

If you love beef and are passionate about finding tasty bits to savor, don't miss out on the beef navel. Let's find out what beef navel is, how to choose and purchase it, and how to cook beef navel correctly!

About beef navel 

The beef navel is the meat found in the beef breast; it is thinner than American beef, yet still has lots of fat. The primary muscle of the cow is the beef bucket. The cow moves the entire breast muscles when it chews, making this meat area softer than other areas of the animal. The beef navel is frequently used in stews or as salted beef. 


Many people refer to extra fat and tendons as "buckets." The flesh that is cut from the breast by making a cut between the fifth and sixth ribs or by making a cut from the right angle of the shoulder blade to the first portion above the elbow is known as the beef navel. Most of the cow's bib and a part of its shoulder are made up of this. Still, the rest of the animal is not affected by it, and a cow only has approximately 3–4 kg of navel meat.


A famous utilization of beef navel is Vietnamese pho, where beef is frequently used as an ingredient (rare, encrusted, tendon, and dandruff). The beef navel is perfect for cooking Vietnamese pho, braised beef, or grilling thin slices. Although it is crisp and non-greasy, it almost looks like fat. It may be used to make hot pot and pho, and it seems like a slightly blistered baked rice cake when it is boiled. Due to the quality of this meat, the American beef bucket is frequently used to make grilled beef and eaten with a hot pot or thin sand pieces.


Due to its features, which are soft lean flesh combined with a delightful flavor of fat that will melt on your tongue, the beef navel is an essential ingredient for Japanese and Korean BBQ or Shabu Shabu, or hotpot meals.

How to select a quality beef bucket

When purchasing a fresh beef navel, make sure it is brilliant red, fragrant, and not distasteful. Steer clear of beef that is either too thin or overly greasy. In particular, in the Australian beef bucket, the flesh is buttermilk-scented when cooked and is tender but not drained. When defrosted, frozen Australian beef buckets keep their vivid red color and are not crushed.


You should purchase the foods from respected food stores, items with clear origins, and use proper preservation techniques. In addition, ensure food cleanliness and safety if you want the meals to be pleasant and of the highest caliber.

How to properly cook your beef navel?

Smoke beef navel

It would be best if you shaved the extra fat off it to a centimeter because it is a little thicker. The firm, outside fat on a large piece of beef like this does not render down when it is placed in a smoker, but it can provide some protection.


For example, to offer meat protection while slowly cooking it, you can position the side with the centimeter of fat and the tougher fat toward the heat source.


Additionally, everything must be flat and evenly distributed. We want to apply something straightforward but adequate to the skin after cutting. Avoid adding too much sauce. If you apply it too thickly, your bark may get quite thick and crusty. It is best to use salt, pepper, and garlic powder while cooking beef. That is Texas-style BBQ, and we all know how to cook barbecue.


Apply it liberally and evenly, but avoid making it too thick. And be careful to cover the beef completely. After that, you may give it around 15 minutes to set up before putting it in the smoker.


Now, let's smoke it!


Heat your smoker before starting. Afterward, when the meat reaches approximately 170°F (75°C), you can wrap it. You'll know it's done when it probes like butter. Before serving, give it a good 45 minutes to rest.

If you don't have a smoker, it's best to boil it!

In a sizable pot, combine the olive oil, garlic, marjoram leaves, salt, pepper, and juniper berries. Once combined, add the beef navel and season the meat all over. To marinate overnight, cover and place in the refrigerator.


Fill the beef navel saucepan with 2 liters of broth and 2 liters of filtered water. When the water boils, put on the lid of the pot and decrease the heat to low, where it will simmer for about three and a half hours.


Remove the meat to the foil-lined baking pan, and remove the fat from the boiling water with a spoon. Continue to simmer for 30 minutes, or until there are only about 2 cups of meat broth remaining.


To make the dipping sauce, mix the lemon juice, garlic, marjoram leaves, and cooking oil in a food processor and purée until smooth. Pour the sauce into a small bowl, season with salt and pepper, and then stir in a few marjoram leaves.


Lastly, thinly slice the beef navel and serve it with the spice sauce.


Important notes for a perfect boiled beef navel:

  • You only need to skewer the beef navel with a bamboo chopstick to see if the meat is cooked through evenly while remaining tender and not chewy. Please do not remove the meat, cut a piece, and then return it to the pot; doing so will cause the meat to become tough, dry, and lose its natural flavor.
  • When the meat is finished boiling, you can slowly cool it by submerging the bucket in a bowl of ice water. Then, slice the beef into thin pieces so that you may more readily enjoy the tender, crispy flavor of the meat.

Bottom line

Hopefully, with this article, you can better understand beef navels, how to choose and buy them, and how to cook them perfectly. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below!

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