Know Your Meat Cuts

Did you know that beef is divided into sections called primal cuts? From these large areas, the meat cutter makes smaller portions suitable for individual or family-sized packaging. Different cuts of beef require unique cooking methods. A chuck, for example, makes an excellent roast but isn’t as pleasing when pan-broiled. With these details in mind, we have prepared the following information for you to use as a guide when selecting and preparing cuts.

Round

The round consists of lean meat well-suited to long, moist cooking methods.

Top Round- This is the most tender part of the round and it's also one of the leanest. It can be prepared as pot roast or cut into thick steaks for braised dishes. A thick steak cut from a top round roast is called a top round steak, while a thinner steak is simply called a round steak.

Rump Roast- This is cut from the bottom round. A rump roast with the bone left in is called a standing rump roast. A very popular cut for pot roast, but can also be roasted at low temperatures.

Sirloin

"The backbone's connected to the...hipbone" — not a song, but a sirloin. These tender cuts respond well to sautéing, pan-frying, broiling, pan-broiling or grilling.

Sirloin Steaks- These steaks are available in a variety of boneless and bone-in steaks.

Sirloin Tip Roast- Excellent when dry roasted or marinated.

Shortloin

This area boasts extremely tender cuts and can be prepared without the aid of moist heat or long cooking times. Cuts from the short loin may be sautéed, pan fried, broiled, pan broiled or grilled.

Porterhouse Steak- A very popular steak cut from the rear end of the short loin; the name originated from the days when it was served in public alehouses that also served a dark beer called porter. The porterhouse consists of both tenderloin and strip steak. It's best to grill or broil them without marinating.

T-bone Steak- Cut from the middle section of the short loin; similar to the porterhouse steak; has a smaller piece of the tenderloin; usually grilled or pan-fried.

Tenderloin- Is often considered the most tender cut of beef. It responds well to sauces, meaning the meat does not overpower the flavor of the sauce. It can be cut as the whole strip, or into individual steaks for filet mignon.

Rib

Tender and flavorful ribs can be cooked any number of ways. Most recipes call for ribs to be roasted, sauteed, pan-fried, broiled, or grilled.

Rib-eye- Very tender, well marbled with fat, and fairly expensive. They're usually boneless, but you can sometimes find bone-in rib-eye steaks.

Rib Roast- Known as a standing rib roast (bone left in), or without the bone for convenient slicing. Excellent when dry roasted. Each rib will feed about two people, so if you're feeding, say, six people, you should get a three-rib roast.

Rib Steak- Also cut from the rib section, these tender steaks can be purchased bone-in or as boneless rib-eye.

Chuck

Meat is basically muscle, and the chuck happens to be a heavily exercised area. Luckily, this area contains a great deal of collagen-collagen melts during cooking, making the meat intensely flavorful. Cuts from this area benefit from slow, wet cooking methods like stewing, braising or pot-roasting.

Blade Roast- An inexpensive cut which lies next to the ribs. It is more tender than most chuck and makes an excellent roast. Alternatively, the roast can be cut into a rib-eye steak, with meat above and below the bone excellent for stir-fry dishes.

Chuck Steak- Chuck steaks comes from the neck and shoulder of the beef, and they tend to be chewy but flavorful and inexpensive. Most of them are too tough to grill, broil, or pan-fry — it's better to braise them or cut them up as stew meat or kabobs. If you grill chuck steak, make sure you marinate it overnight first.

Short Plate

This section is best used for stew meat, where its rich, beefy flavor can be appreciated.

Flank

This meat is lean, muscular and very flavorful. Flank is primarily used for flank steaks and rolled flank steaks. It can also be used for kabobs.

Flank Steak- This steak has a great flavor, and should be sliced thin against the grain for maximum chewability. Use to make the classic London broil.

Brisket

Traditionally used for corned beef, brisket is best prepared with moist heat. Suitable preparation methods include stewing, braising and pot-roasting.

Brisket First Cut- A leaner cut of the brisket, for those who want the flavor but not the fat of a brisket pot roast.

Brisket Front Cut- Fork tender and succulent — a pot roast made with this cut is truly mouthwatering.

Foreshank

Excellent stew meat.

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