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.
DIFFERENT CUTS FOR DIFFERENT DISHES
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.
STEWING AND SLOW COOKING
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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