We picked up a beef shoulder a few weeks ago and used it for our Cowboy Chilli. Beef shoulder is from the shoulder of the animal, as is beef chuck. The difference as far as we can make out is that the cut named the shoulder is leaner than the cut named the chuck.
We simply cut the shoulder into 25mm or 1" cubes and browned it on the pan before braising in the chilli for many hours over a live fire. I think it cooked a lot faster than the chuck we normally use, and it was not quite as flavoursome, but it was great and is a lot cheaper than brisket.
It also didn't fall apart the way chuck or brisket does - the 1" cubes were mostly still intact - which was a nice change.
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