Beef cuts

What is a beef cut?

A "beef cut" can refer tp a primal cut (a portion of meat that has been separated from the whole animal during butchering) such as the "Round", or beef cut may refer to how a retail cut has been prepared e.g. "Round Roast".

Primal cuts can vary in terms of tenderness, flavor, and recommended cooking methods. Where as a  retail cut has more to do with how the meat has been prepared for cooking, e.g. roast, minced etc.

What are some retail beef cuts?

Consumer cuts are taken from the larger primal cut and typically packaged in a meal size, some common beef cuts include:

Steaks: These are typically slices of beef that come from more tender muscles. Examples include ribeye, T-bone, sirloin, and filet mignon.

Roasts: Larger cuts that are often slow-cooked. Examples include chuck roast, brisket, and rump roast.

Ground Beef: This is made by grinding beef from various cuts, and it's versatile for dishes like burgers, meatballs, and tacos.

Stew Meat: Usually, tougher cuts like chuck or round are used for stews and braised dishes.

Short Ribs: These are taken from the rib section and are known for their rich, flavorful meat.

Flank and Skirt Steak: These are thin and flavorful cuts, often used in dishes like fajitas.

Each cut has its unique characteristics, so the choice of beef cut depends on the recipe and cooking method you plan to use. Let me know if you'd like more details or tips on cooking specific cuts!

Primal cuts

What are primal beef cuts?

Cattle are typically divided into sections known as primal cuts. Each primal cut is then further divided into subprimal cuts, which are the pieces of meat that are typically sold in a retail setting.

Here are the main primal cuts and some of the popular cuts of meat that come from each. We have highlighted the typical cuts by names you typically find in the Supermarket

  1. Chuck: This is the shoulder area of the cow. It's known for its rich flavor but can be tough if not cooked properly. Popular cuts from the chuck include:
    • Chuck Roast
    • Chuck Steak
    • Denver Steak
    • Flat Iron Steak
  2. Rib: This section is known for being flavorful and tender. Cuts from the rib include:
    • Ribeye Steak (bone in or boneless)
    • Back Ribs
    • Prime Rib
  3. Short Loin: This is where some of the most tender cuts of beef come from. Popular cuts include:
    • T-Bone Steak
    • Porterhouse Steak
    • Strip Steak (also known as New York Strip or Kansas City Strip)
    • Eye Fillet Tenderloin (which can be cut into Filet Mignon)
  4. Sirloin: The sirloin is located behind the short loin and is a bit tougher but still very flavorful. Cuts from the sirloin include:
    • Top Sirloin Steak
    • Sirloin Tip Side Steak
    • Tri-Tip Steak
  5. Round: The round is the rear leg of the cow. It's lean and less tender than cuts from the front of the cow. Cuts from the round include:
    • Topside (often used for steaks and roast beef)
    • Bottom Round Roast
    • Eye of Round
    • Round Steak
    • Silverside: comes from the thin layer of connective tissue that is often left on the cut, which has a silvery appearance. This cut is typically lean and it is most commonly used for corned beef, where it is cured in a salty brine. It can also be roasted, but due to its lean nature, it can be tougher than other cuts if not cooked properly, hence it's often slow-cooked or braised to keep it tender.
  6. Brisket: This is the breast or lower chest of the cow. It's known for its heavy connective tissue content, making it ideal for slow cooking. Cuts from the brisket include:
    • Whole Brisket
    • Flat Cut Brisket
    • Point Cut Brisket
  7. Plate: The plate, or short plate, is found near the abdomen. It's fatty and flavorful, often used for:
    • Skirt Steak
    • Hanger Steak
  8. Flank: This is a long flat cut from the abdominal area. It's lean and contains tough fibers, but is known for its strong beef flavor. Cuts from the flank include:
    • Flank Steak
    • London Broil
  9. Shank (Gravy beef): This is the forearm area of the cow, known for its tough texture. It's typically used in dishes that require slow cooking, such as soups and stews:
    • Sliced
    • Mince