In going through my web site statistics this morning, I saw that already this month, several people have found my site by searching for "what is paleron", "paleron" and "paleron recipes". No wonder: my site is ranked number one on Google when searching for "paleron". Who knew?
The best cut of beef for braising (besides the shin) is a small (about 4 pound, 2 kg) roast from the shoulder. It sits between the shoulder blade and the neck and is called variously upper blade roast or top blade roast. My butcher calls it by the French name paleron. By whatever name, it has outstanding flavor.
In the trade, specify NAMP 114D. This brochure shows the full shoulder clod broken down into primals: the paleron is the roast labeled 'c' in the photo.
The roast comprises two long, flat steaks sandwiching a layer of connective tissue. Generally in grocery stores, the roast will be skinned and split horizontally (removing the cartilage) into what are called flat-iron steaks or upper blade steaks. These flat steaks are best grilled like any other steak.
Sometimes the roast will be sliced vertically into small steaks (often called petite steaks) with the connective tissue in the center. Although you can grill these, this is really a braising cut. What makes this cut ideal is that with long, slow braising, the connective tissue melts into unctuousness.
Back in 2005, I published a recipe on the restaurant web site for braising these petite steaks.