Having a basic understanding of the available cuts of beef can help expand your options when it comes to choosing what to cook for dinner. The following guide provides some essential tips;
Ribeye is also known as the Delmonico steak or market steak, among other names. This cut comes from the rib section of the steer. The ribeye is best cooked on the grill and is also excellent when broiled or pan-fried.
The strip steak goes by several names, such as the Kansas City strip, top loin, and shell steak (when sold bone in). The strip steak comes from the short loin section. The best methods of cooking are grilling, pan-frying, or broiling. There is less fat on this piece of meat than on the ribeye. Since the fat tends to drip and catch fire on the grill, it can be easier to manage over the coals.
The tenderloin is also known as filet, filet mignon, and châteaubriand (when cut as a large, center-cut roast feeding two or more). The filet comes from the short loin section and is known for being exceptionally tender. This is partly because it does not have as much connective tissue or fat. For this reason, the filet is not as flavorful as the others. Basting this steak in butter will help the flavor profile. The grill also works well.
The T-bone consists of two steaks in one — a strip steak and a filet separated by a bone. Another name for it is the porterhouse. It comes from the front end of the short loin section of the steer. The unusual shape of the bone makes it difficult for pan-frying. As a result, the best way to cook a T-bone is on the grill or to broil it. Grilling will pose a bit of a challenge, however, as the filet portion will cook faster than the fattier strip section. To solve for this, position the strip closer to the heating element of the grill.
Flank and Skirt Steak
Flank steak is from the bottom abdominal area of the cow, so it contains a lot of hard-working muscles. The meat has a lot of tough fibers running through it and is fairly lean. It’s a thicker, wider cut of meat than skirt steak. Flank steak has tons of intense beefy flavor but can be a little tough. Eat it thinly sliced and cut against the grain for maximum tenderness.Flanks steaks take to marinades very well, and some marinades can help to tenderize the meat. High heat and quick cooking is the best way to cook flank steak. It can be stuffed, grilled, or seared.
Skirt steak is a thin, long cut of beef from the diaphragm muscles of the cow. It is also lean and contains a lot of tough fibers. Skirt steak has even more intense beefy flavor than flank steak. It does contain more tough muscles than flank steak, though, so should only be cooked to rare or medium rare for the most tender texture. It should also be cut against the grain when served. Skirt steaks take to marinades even better than flank steaks and are best cooked quickly over high heat, although it can also be slow-cooked and braised. Skirt steak is best seared or grilled and makes a great stir-fry meat. It is the classic cut used in fajitas.
Chuck RoastThe bone-in chuck steak or roast is one of the more economical cuts of beef. In the United Kingdom, this part is commonly referred to as "braising steak". It is particularly popular for use as ground beef, due to its richness of flavor and balance of meat and fat.
Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal. The beef brisket is one of the nine beef primal cuts, though the precise definition of the cut differs internationally. The brisket muscles include the superficial and deep pectorals. As cattle do not have collar bones, these muscles support about 60% of the body weight of standing/moving cattle. This requires a significant amount of connective tissue, so the resulting meat must be cooked correctly to tenderize the connective tissue.