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.
When shopping for roasting joints allow 100-175g of raw meat per person for boneless joints and 225-350g for bone-in joints. 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.
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 and are high in flavour due to the fat content being 12-14%. The marbling of fat melts into the meat when cooked, and has a recommended coking temperate of medium to well done to allow the fat to absorb.
Hailing from the hindquarters, sirloin is usually boned and rolled. It's leaner than the rib eye and makes for another very tender roast with 10- 12% fat. It has a little marbling and the belt of fat across the top can be cooked to add flavour and consumed as crackling or removed for a leaner taste. This cut has a recommended cooking temperate of medium to well done.
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. This is a two in one steak which has the flavour of the sirloins marbling and the tenderness of the fillet. The recommended cooking temperate is medium rare to well done.
This is the most versatile cut and the most expensive to purchase due to is being a very small muscle of the cow. Located under the rib cage this muscle is underused which give it its tender melt in the mouth texture. With a very small fat content of 4-8% what is lacks in flavour in makes up for in texture. This cut can be eaten rare to well done.
The leanest cut of them all with a fat content of 2-4% is a firm favourite with those watching their diet. Although rump is a little firmer in texture than fillet, it has a more rich irony flavour. The cut is taken from the cow‚s rear and is a very active muscle which makes it a firmer larger steak. It is the cheapest cut to purchase and is popular with Sunday roasts and perfect for frying.
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