Food & Wine
Try These Tips for Using Different Cuts of Beef
Beef is a really versatile meat that can be used in many different ways. Because cattle are farmed in so many different places, you can find beef dishes from around the world. When you’re buying beef, whether from a butcher or anywhere else, you have a range of different cuts you can consider. Different cuts of beef are good for cooking in different ways and using in various dishes. Some cuts, like many steaks, don’t need anything fancy to make them enjoyable. Other cuts can be great when combined with lots of other flavors using techniques such as marinating, barbecuing, stewing, and more.
There are lots of different cuts of beef, but here are a few of the most common options and how you can cook them.
The short loin cuts include T-bone steaks, filet mignon, and Porterhouse steaks, as well as tenderloin roast and steak. These types of cuts are generally best cooked over dry heat, such as on a grill. They often don’t need a lot of extra flavor, and seasoning them well is a great way to cook them. Of course, there are some classic steak sauces that are popular options for having with quality steaks. These include peppercorn sauce, Béarnaise sauce, Diane sauce, blue cheese sauce, salsa verde, chimichurri, garlic herb butter, and more.
Brisket beef is cut from the chest. It can be tough and chewy if it’s not cooked properly but tender if it’s cooked in the right way. There are two main cuts of brisket, the flat cut, and point cut. In the US, beef brisket is thought of in two different ways. Firstly, it’s a popular BBQ dish that is often smoked or braised. Secondly, there’s Jewish beef brisket, which is braised and is often served on Jewish holidays. Brisket is one of the cuts of beef that should generally be cooked “low and slow,” which makes it perfect for barbecuing or for cooking in a slow cooker or oven for a long time.
Flank and Short Plate
Flank comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow, which makes it a pretty tough cut of meat. However, this means that it’s a good choice for making stews or other dishes where it’s cooked in liquid. It’s usually cut into flank steak, which makes it perfect for recipes like the ropa vieja from The Magical Slow Cooker. It can often be found in Latin American or Asian cuisine. Short plate comes from the belly of the cow and can also be quite tough if cooked in the wrong way. Like flank, it benefits from being kept moist and can be great for the slow cooker.
The sirloin is cut from the back of the cow, past the loin. It’s a tender and flavorful cut of beef, although not as tender as the cuts from the loin. The sirloin cuts include several different steaks, such as the top and bottom sirloins and tri-tip steak. Like other types of steak, it is best when cooked on the grill, but it can also be good when cooked using other methods. Broiling, sauteing, or pan-frying are all good options for cooking sirloin steaks and getting the best results.
Tender beef ribs are great for making a wide range of dishes, whether barbecuing or exploring dishes from around the world. This part of the cow includes rib-eye steak, prime rib, short rib, and rib-eye roasts. To get the tastiest results from the ribs, cooking over a dry heat for a long period is generally recommended. There are plenty of barbecue recipes for ribs, but you can explore some other options too. You can find recipes with Asian flavors like the ribs you might get from your favorite Chinese takeout or try something like a beef short rib ragu.
Chuck beef comes from the shoulder of the cow. It’s tougher than some other cuts but also has a lot of flavor in it, so it benefits from being cooked slowly using methods like braising or cooking in a slow cooker. Chuck cuts offer some really affordable cuts of beef, making them great if you’re trying to budget or be economical when buying meat. If you have a slow cooker, chuck beef is great for making all kinds of recipes in it, from stews to pot roasts.
Different cuts of beef are good for different cooking methods and dishes. By exploring what’s available, you can discover a range of delicious new dishes to try.
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