Beef has always been one of the most loved and cherished food options of all time. Many people choose to eat this juicy red meat not only for its incredibly rich flavor, but also because beef is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. It helps to increase metabolism, build muscle mass, improve bone density, and accelerate iron absorption in the body.
In fact, the global beef market revenue amounted to $385.7B in 2018, and forecasts suggest that this number will likely rise in the coming years.
So if you are a fan of this beloved food, it is good practice to know what kind of beef to buy on your next trip to the supermarket. Whether it’s locally sourced or premium Wagyu beef with its rich and tender texture, it is beneficial to know what you’re purchasing so that you can season and cook it using the right methods and techniques.
What Are The Different Cuts Of Beef
First things first, you need to be aware of the different kinds of cuts of beef. This is not only important for when you make it at home but may come in handy next time you are at a fancy restaurant and perusing the menu for the ultimate beef dish.
Generally, all cows are divided into what are called primate cuts. These include the main types of beef cuts such as chuck, brisket, rib, plate, loin, sirloin, flank, round, and shank. These are further broken down into sub-primal cuts to get the exact kind of steak or chops.
This is cut from the shoulder, right behind the neck. It is very flavorful and includes many sub-cuts such as chuck roast, flat-iron, top blade, and chuck arm roast. It is usually used in pot roasts, stews, and pies as it needs to be slow-cooked.
Brisket is cut from the lower breast and contains loads of fat. The two main brisket cuts include brisket flat and brisket point and are usually cooked by smoking them in BBQs or braising them.
This is one of the most loved beef cuts that is cut from the rib area. It is extremely tender, juicy, and packed with flavor. Common cuts include ribeye steak, ribeye filet, ribeye roast, and back ribs. They are best cooked on a skillet or grilled.
Sometimes known as short plate, this is a cut that comes from the cow’s belly and consists of short ribs, inside skirts, and hanger steak. It is best grilled, fried, or braised because it contains a lot of fat and cartilage.
Regarded as one of the tenderest beef cuts, loin comes from the rear of the cow and behind the ribs and above the flank. It is the most commonly available type of beef and contains cuts that you may be familiar with, such as filet mignon, T-bone steak, porterhouse steak, and tenderloins. It is best grilled or fried as it is a lean beef cut that requires cooking at a high heat level.
The sirloin is a part of the loin that is cut just past the tenderloin. Common cuts include tri-tip steaks, bavette, filet of sirloin, and ball tip. It strikes the ultimate balance between tenderness, flavor, and fat, and may be cooked by grilling or frying in a skillet on high heat.
This is one of the toughest cuts that originates from the abdominal muscles. It is usually used in making the famous London broil. Common cuts include skirt steak, flank steak, and short ribs.
This type of chewy cut comes from the back legs and is known for its lean cuts. It is also sometimes known as rump and includes cuts such as rump roast, top/bottom round steak/steak, eye of round roast, butterfly top round steak, and sirloin tip center roast/steak. It is best slow-cooked to really bring out the rich flavor.
Shank comes from the leg of the cow and is often the cheapest beef and least popular cut on the market since it is pretty tough. It includes the shank cross-cut and may be slow-cooked.
What Spices Go Best With Beef
When cooking your beef, you are bound to add some spices in order to bring out the flavor of the beef. Whether you end up braising, making a stew or curry, or grilling or smoking, adding spices can really elevate the richness in the beef.
Some of the spices that you may consider when preparing your marinade include cumin, chilies, cayenne pepper, mustard powder, and red pepper flakes.
If you want to steer clear of spices, you can always opt for dried herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, and tarragon. Similarly, while presenting your beef dish, top it off with some delicious fresh herbs such as basil, coriander, parsley, chives, and rocket.
How To Cook Your Beef To Perfection
Whatever method of cooking you use, it is important to know that beef is a delicate food that needs to be cooked to perfection so that you can enjoy the succulent and luxurious flavor.
Based on the thickness of a particular beef cut, you can cook your beef as blue rare, rare, medium-rare, medium, medium well, and well done.
Blue rare, requiring a cooking time of less than two minutes, refers to beef that is completely red on the inside and just lightly seared on the outside. Rare, with a cooking time of six minutes is seared on the outside and 75% red through the center. Medium, which is seared on the outside and almost half red till the center, requires a cooking time of no more than eight minutes.
Similarly, medium beef, which is quarter pink in color on the inside, required a total cooking time of nine to ten minutes. Medium well is pretty pink on the inside and requires eleven minutes of cooking time. Well done beef is the brownest in color, and requires somewhere between twelve to thirteen minutes, depending on the beef cut.
We hope this guide has made you confident to shop for the right cut of beef next time you head out to your local store. Keep referring back to this article for guidance on what beef cut to get and how to spice your dish.