Beautiful beef cuts
Beef is the most widely used meat in New Zealand and that is due to the great quality and quantity of meat available. It is high in protein, vitamin B12 and zinc. There are many ways to cook beef but primarily you need to make sure that you have the right cut so your meal is a success.
Some cheaper cuts are perfect for braising, slow cooking and casseroles while other higher quality cuts just require a very quick pan-fry to give a beautiful result. The cuts that have sinew and fat on them contain the most flavour as this dissolves during cooking and imparts the extra flavour to the meat.
Shin beef is taken from the front lower leg of the animal. It is full of connective tissue which is very tough so it requires braising or slow cooking to tenderise the meat. It is most suitable for soups and stews. It is a very flavourful cut and worth the time it takes to cook.
Shin cuts are boneless shin/gravy beef and shin bone in/Osso Buco.
Topside is mainly known as round steak in Australia. You are most likely to see it diced up to use in casseroles and stews. You may also make pot roast and corned beef from this cut.
Silverside/topside cuts are topside roast, topside steak and silverside minute steak.
Rump steak has a nice thick layer of fat down the side of this cut and I often gauge the quality of a rump steak by looking at the colour of this fat. If it is a creamy yellow, I think the steak is always tastier.
Rump cuts are rump steak, rump roast, rump minute steak, rump medallion and rump centre steak.
This is a lean cut and is moderately tough. It lacks fat so it needs to be braised or slow cooked to reach its full potential. Dry cooking methods such as grilling or roasting will make it tougher.
Knuckle cuts are round steak, round/ minute steak and knuckle medallions.
This cut is a super tender cut as this muscle does little work. It is perfect for roasts or steaks. It is traditionally used in Chateaubriand, Beef Wellington and is perfect to use for carpaccio (very thin raw steak slices that are marinated).
Tenderloin cuts include, fillet/ tenderloin steak, eye fillet centre cut and butt fillet.
- Eye fillet steaks with red wine sauce
- Zingy beef fillet salad recipe
- Eye fillet beef with horseradish cream recipe
Skirt steak is a long flat piece of meat that is great to use in quick cooking such as stir-frys or any recipe that requires the meat to be pan-seared very quickly. You can dice, roll, slice or season skirt steak before cooking.
The striploin is a very tender cut of meat and is perfect to panfry, barbecue and for any recipe that requires the beef to be quickly cooked.
The striploin cuts include sirloin steak/porterhouse/New York cut, sirloin roast and t-bones.
The cube roll is in the centre of the beast and they say the further from the horns or tail the meat is, the more tender it is.
The cube roll cuts are rib eye/scotch fillet steak, rib eye/ Scotch fillet roast, standing rib roast and rib cutlets.
This is a great cut to use for roasting, braising, stewing and slow cooking. It has a few lines of connective tissue running through it which intensifies the flavour when slowly cooked by melting and flavouring the meat.
Blade and chuck cuts include, blade steak, blade roast, boneless blade steak, chuck, oyster blade steak, blade minute steak, boneless blade steak bone in.
Rolled brisket is a great roasting cut that works perfectly in the slow cooker as well. It is usually rolled and tied with string. It also works well in a pressure cooker.
Here a few other cuts sold commonly in butchers and supermarkets. They are all prepared to make it easier to cook them.
- Diced beef - This is great for stews, casseroles and any type of slowly cooked dish.
- Beef stir fry strips - These strips need to be seared quickly and in small batches so the end result is tender.
- Beef mince - A great convenience product that comes in a range of grades according to the fat content. You need to use mince with a little fat content if flavour is your primary need.