Beef Cuts Guide

This handy beef cuts guide will help you find the perfect cut of beef you need to plan your menu. Not only will it assist you but it can also be useful to train your staff ensuring your kitchen runs smoothly. It will give you advice on how to cook every cut of beef an if your looking for recipe ideas you can always have a look at our choices on our beef recipe page.

For more useful beef cut guides head over to Quality Meat Scotland where you will find videos to help you through the cutting processes or you can access their meat purchasing guide book online.

 

beef_cuts

 

Beef Cuts

 

Neck

Products: Diced
Cooking Methods: Stewing, casseroling, braising – slow cooking.

cuts-Neck-Clod 
As a result of being heavily exercised, the neck and shoulder area of the animal comprise a range of intricate muscles, rich in collagen and full of flavour. Generally they are cheaper cuts of meat as there is a reasonable amount of fat and connective tissue throughout. For best results, it is recommended to cook slowly with plenty of moisture.

 

 

Clod

Products: Diced
Cooking Methods: Stewing, casseroling, braising – slow cooking.

cuts-Neck-Clod 
As a result of being heavily exercised, the neck and shoulder area of the animal comprise a range of intricate muscles, rich in collagen and full of flavour. Generally they are cheaper cuts of meat as there is a reasonable amount of fat and connective tissue throughout. For best results, it is recommended to cook slowly with plenty of moisture.

 

 

Chuck/Blade

Products: Roasting joints and steaks when properly trimmed.
Cooking Methods: Ideal for slow cooking such as casseroling, pot-roasting, braising and slow roasting.

cuts-Chuckblade 
The many different muscles in the shoulder contain a lot of connective tissues. As a result of so many muscles, the chuck and blade has varying degrees of tenderness and marbling.
Popular for marinating, it’s also good for mincing as a result of the balance between flavoursome beef and fat content.
The feather muscle (feather blade) originates from this area, and is so called because of the heavy veining of connective tissue running up the middle. When cooked slowly, this gives a gelatinous consistency much loved by chefs.

 

 

Leg of Mutton/Thick Rib

Products: Diced, steaks (thinly sliced and served rare only to avoid poor eating experience).
Cooking methods: Frying, stewing, grilling, casserolling.

cuts-Leg-of-Mutton 
This unusual cut is gaining in popularity. Located inside the shoulder, once fully seamed, the leg of mutton cut is lean, fine textured and full of flavour. Cut thinly, it’s ideal for frying but it’s always best not to overcook as it will dry out and become tough very quickly.

 

 

Brisket

Products: Flank steak, roasting joints, short ribs.
Cooking methods: Ideal for moist, slow heat including stewing, braising and pot-roasting. Also excellent for curing.

cuts-Flank-Brisket-1 
The flank is cut from the animals stomach muscles. It’s long, flat and very flavoursome. As a result of being a well exercised part of the animal, this muscle has an array of fibres and connective tissues. Steaks from the flank must be served rare or should employ alternative, slower cooking techniques.

 

 

Shin

Products: Stock, stewing, casserole. (Ideal for osso bucco).
Cooking methods: Stewing, casseroling.

cuts-Shin 
The end of the animal’s front legs, the shin is generally inexpensive. It should be given plenty of time to cook slowly and can be obtained either on or off the bone. Foodies particularly enjoy the marrow in the bone – a very Continental delicacy.

 

 

Loins

Products: Sirloin, T-Bone, Porterhouse, Rib-Eye,
Cooking methods: Pan frying, grilling or roasting.

cuts-Loins 
The loin is made up of various ribs which are well known as steaks e.g. sirloin, T –bone, porterhouse etc. Sirloin steak left on the bone with fillet attached is called T-bone and sirloin left on the bone but without the fillet is called L bone. Loin cuts from the hindquarter begin from between the 10th and 11th rib. Rib eye is a forequarter cut taken from the fore rib, between the 6th and 10th ribs.
Cuts from the loin offer a good deal of flexibility in terms of size, flavour and tenderness but all generally are suitable for higher temperature methods of cooking.

 

 

Fillet

Products: Cut into steaks or roasted whole.
Cooking methods: Fillet trimmings from the head, tail or chain are great for stir frying or stroganoff. Add slivers to make tasty Thai beef soups.

cuts-Fillet 
Less than 1% of the carcase but always the most expensive. The fillet is the least exercised muscle of the animal and is known for its tenderness. It is also known as tenderloin or the undercut of the sirloin. It weighs approximately 2 – 2.5 kgs and is made up of the head, the canon and the tail. The fillet can be supplied with or without the “chain” muscle attached.

 

 

Flank

Products: Flank steak, roasting joints, short ribs.
Cooking methods: Ideal for moist, slow heat including stewing, braising and pot-roasting. Also excellent for curing.

cuts-Flank-Brisket-1 
The flank is cut from the animals stomach muscles. It’s long, flat and very flavoursome. As a result of being a well exercised part of the animal, this muscle has an array of fibres and connective tissues. Steaks from the flank must be served rare or should employ alternative, slower cooking techniques.
Brisket is located further forward and, like flank, has a lot of texture and reasonable fat cover. It works well with moist slow heat and is excellent for curing.

 

 

Rump/Popseye

Products: Roasting joints or sliced into steaks. Trimmed rump is also called D rump. Pave (French for paving stone and referring only to the shape) – is often used to describe a trimmed piece of rump that is very uniform and rectangular in shape).
Cooking methods: Roasts or sliced into steaks.

cuts-Rump 
Rump is made up of three very different muscles – rump cap, rump heart (or eye) and rump tail. These muscles do vary in tenderness so seam butchery can improve consistency. These cuts can be cooked as roasts or sliced into high quality steaks. Rump heart being the tenderest. The cap (or cover), which is least tender, is often served in some countries as piccanha.

 

 

Topside/Silverside

Products: Roasting joints of various sizes.
Cooking methods: Topside is generally roasted. Suitable
for either dry or wet roasting.

cuts-Topside 
Topside can be served whole, rolled, cap on or off. When fully trimmed, there is not much surface or intra muscular fat, so topside should be cooked medium to medium rare to remain moist. If the joint is to be cooked well done a longer slower method will be better.
To improve the yield from larger roasting joints roast at a lower temperature for longer. Reducing the cooking temperature to 130 will reduce weight loss to between 15 – 25%.

 

 

Hind/Shin

Products: Hough and shin.
Cooking methods: Stewing, casseroling or confit.

cuts-Hindshin 
Shin, also known as leg of beef in England, is rich in collagen and connective tissue and has delicious marrow running through the hollow centre of the bone. It is essential to cook slowly at lower temperatures with plenty of moisture that will make a rich tasty sauce. Cut right through the bone, it is perfect for Osso Bucco.
Cook slowly on or off the bone until the meat falls away and press into a mould to make traditional Scottish potted hough.

 

Please refer to the Scotch Beef and Lamb website for their interactive beef cuts guide.