Different cuts of beef are suited to different meals and recipes. The tender cuts are best suited to frying and grilling, while hardier cuts of beef can be used as braising meat for casseroles or stews. Read on to discover the various cuts of beef and their appropriate cooking methods.
The body parts of cows have differing amounts of muscle, tissue and fat. The way the animal is raised and what it eats also affect the flavour and quality of the meat.
Chuck and blade beef cuts are ideal for braising. These cuts are more tender than stewing steak and can be used to make casseroles and stews. Thick flank or top rump is ideal for braising in pieces or slow roasting as a joint.
Leg and shin are sold as stewing steaks and are good for long, slow cooking. This is quite dense and makes flavoursome gravy and thick sauces. Look for beef that is firm to the touch and investigate useful meat buyers’ guides.
Thin flank of skirt is a thin, long cut of beef with lots of marbling. This is very flavoursome and is often grilled and used to make fajitas; in contrast, thin rib is ideal for minced meat, as it is very dense.
Roasting and grilling
Brisket and fore rib are both sold on the bone or boned and rolled. Fore rib makes great roasting meat and can also be cut into ribeye steak for grilling or frying. Brisket is ideal for slow cooking or pot roasting, and is also used to make corned beef and mince.
Clod (shoulder), neck, oxtail and cheek are tougher cuts ideal for slow cooking. These cuts are ideal for stewing and are also used in burgers and soups. You can often find these cuts in the economy section of supermarket in meat display units from stockists such as Fridge Freezer Direct.
Beef fillet is an expensive, tender and lean cut, perfect for grilling and making beef wellington. Sirloin is also lean and perfect for a Sunday roast; alternatively, it can be cut into a T Bone steak. Rump makes a highly-flavoured steak, although not quite as tender as sirloin. Silverside and topside are also very lean, making them great for roasting or cutting into steaks.