Guide to beef cuts

From rib eye to rump steak, sirloin to silverside, get to know your cuts of beef and what to do with them with Celia Plender's guide


Quantities: When shopping for roasting joints allow 100-175g of raw meat per person for boneless joints and 225-350g for bone-in joints.

What to look for: Buy your beef from a decent butcher if you can and try to get well matured meat as this will have a lot more flavour.

A well-aged piece of meat should be dark red in colour. It should smell meaty, but not unpleasant or sour. Any fat on the meat should be white or cream and feel firm and waxy.


A cow is divided into two forequarters and two hindquarters. As a rule the forequarters are a little tougher than the hindquarters so cuts from that part of the animal are good for stewing, braising and slow cooking as these methods help to tenderise the meat. Hindquarter cuts are ideal for quicker cooking and roasting.


Beef cuts: Shin of beef


Shin comes from the foreleg and is usually bought in medallions with the bone in or out. It's perfect for rich stews, casseroles or braised dishes.

Recipe suggestion: Kate and Wills's wedding pie

Cuts of beef: Brisket


Taken from the belly and rolled into a joint, brisket is economical and ideal for slow roasting, or pot roasting with melt-in-the-mouth, tender results.

Recipe suggestion: Slow-roasted beef brisket

Cuts fo beef: chuck

Chuck and blade

Chuck and blade come from the fore ribs. They are usually sliced or diced into chunks for stewing or slow cooking.

Recipe suggestion: Pot roast beef


Cuts of beef: Topside/Silverside


Taken from the hindquarter, topside is lean and very tender. Topside and silverside are often sold rolled with a sheet of fat around them to stop the meat from drying out. Silverside is slightly tougher than topside, so it can also be used to make salt beef or corned beef.

Recipe suggestion: Roast beef with all the trimmings

Cuts fo beef: Rib of beef

Rib of beef

Marbled with creamy fat, roast rib eye is a juicy joint as the fat helps to keep it moist. You can choose if you want yours bone in or bone out.

Recipe suggestion: Roast mustard crusted rib of beef

Cuts of beef: Sirloin


Hailing from the hindquarters, sirloin is usually boned and rolled. It's leaner than the rib eye and makes for another very tender roast.

Recipe suggestion: Hugh's roasted sirloin


Cuts of beef: Rib eye

Rib eye

Cut from the eye of the fore rib, rib eye steaks have a little more fat than other steaks, which helps to keep them moist. They're ideal for char-grilling or frying.

Recipe suggestion: Butter roasted rib eye steak

Cuts of beef: T-bone steak


Cut across the bone of the sirloin, T-bone steaks are fillet on one side and sirloin on the other, making them both tender and tasty. They work well simply fried with a little seasoning.

Recipe suggestion: T-bone steak with parsnip and wasabi ice cream

Cuts fo beef: Fillet steak

Fillet steak

Considered the most lean and tender steak of all, fillet is ideal for quick cooking, and lends itself well to cooking rare in dishes like carpaccio.

Recipe suggestion: Fillet steak with watercress pesto

Cuts fo beef: Rump


Although rump is a little firmer in texture than fillet, it's said to have more flavour. It is usually quite a large steak, and can be cut into strips or chunks for frying too.

Recipe suggestion: Jamie's steak Indian Style

Cuts of beef: Bavette/flank


Flank is commonly used for minute steaks. It's cheap, tends to come cut thinly, and responds well to very quick cooking. Be careful not to overcook it as it can end up a little tough. Flank can also be stewed or braised.

Recipe suggestion: Shredded beef tacos

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Heston's top 10 tips for beef

Forget everything you thought you knew about cooking beef. Heston's top tips will ensure kitchen magic, every time


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