Different Cuts of Beef

Different Cuts of Beef

Brisket - This has an excellent flavor, but tends to be fatty so always look for a lean piece. It is best boned and rolled, when some of the excess fat can be discarded. Cook by a long slow method such as braising or pot-roasting.

Silverside - This is a popular joint, always boneless, which can also be bought salted to serve as the traditional boiled beef and carrots. It needs the long slow cooking achieved by boiling or braising, or if preferred, pot-roasting.

Sirloin - A boned and rolled joint with a good layer of fat to protect it, coming from the back of the animal. It is very suitable for roasting. It can be bought with the 'undercut' (fillet) on it. The rolled joints are usually 18cm / 7 inches across. Steaks can also be cut from the sirloin.

Ribs - Ribs come as wing rib, top rib and fore rib joints and they too can be bought on the bone or as boned and rolled joints. The flavor is particularly good when cooked on the bone, and this joint makes a most impressive centerpiece. Roast for preference, but these joints can also be pot-roasted or braised.

Stewing meats - These include leg and shin which are the cheapest cuts and need the longest and slowest of cooking to really tenderize them, though the flavor is excellent. Chuck and blade steak are the best cuts of stewing steak and they require less cooking. These cuts should not have too much thick fat on the outside, but the flesh of the meat should be well marbled or streaked with flecks of fat. For all stewing steak, either stew, braise or casserole. It can also be used in meat pies, and boiled for stock.

Topside - This joint is usually boned and rolled. As it is a very lean cut with little or no fat of its own, a strip of extra fat (barding fat) is often tied on by the butcher to prevent it from becoming over-dry when cooked. It can be roasted, although pot-roasting or braising often gives a better result, as the liquid involved keeps it more moist.

Minced or Ground Beef - Various qualities of mince are available, some of which, such as minced steak at the top end of the price market, are almost fat free. At the other end of the market is the cheapest quality which does contain a lot of fat. Mince tends to make use of the cheaper cuts of beef, like the flank. Mince may be sold finely minced, medium minced and coarsely minced; each to be used for different purposes.

Steaks - Steaks come in several different cuts, and are all suitable for grill or fry. Rump is the joint next to the sirloin and one of the most usual cuts made into staeks and used for grilling and frying. There is a layer of fat all along the top edge of this steak. More Steaks Recipes

Fillet is cut from the centre of the sirloin. It is probably one of the best known and most expensive cuts of beef, and steaks cut from it have no fat at all. It is very tender, but the flavor is probably not as good as that of rump. Sirloin is cut into two parts to give the porterhouse steak and the T-bone steak. The upper part of the sirloin is cut into think steaks which are called 'minute steaks'.

Entrecote is really the part of the meat between the ribs of beef, but a slice from the sirloin or rump, which is thin rather than thick, can also be termed an entrecote.

Chateaubriand is a thick slice taken from the end of the fillet, weighing from 375g / 12 oz upwards, which can be grilled or roasted. It is an excellent cut and well worth trying for a special occasion. It is often offered in restaurants as a 2-portion serving, so that it can be cooked in the piece to keep it succulent.

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