Specialty Food Guide: Understanding the Best Beef Cuts for Steak

30 December 2016
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The quality of your beef will determine the taste of the prepared food, ease of cooking and its suitability for specific types of recipes. Therefore, if you are planning to prepare a steak dinner, it is important to find good meat for this particular purpose. In general, the term 'steak' can be used to refer to all beef cuts which are 'fast-cooking'. These pieces of meat normally contain a low quantity of connective tissue, and they are obtained from one general section of the cattle, that is, around the steer's top. Here are the most ideal cuts of beef to consider for your steak meal.

Tenderloin

The tenderloin is the most premium cut of steak, and it is also referred to as fillet mignon or simply fillet. The cut is obtained from the sirloin and short loin area, and as implied, this meat is sold boneless by butchers. Tenderloin steak is extremely tender, and the cuts are lean when the meat has been handled well. There are different ways that you can prepare this cut in your kitchen to achieve the right taste. One of the best techniques to consider is searing the meat to lock in the flavour and then slowly cooking in an oven.

Top Sirloin

If you want tender steak with a light grainy texture, you should consider getting the top sirloin. This cut of beef has numerous alternative names, including top loin, strip and contré fillet. Top sirloin is typically sold boneless, though you can choose the bone-in cut known as shell steak. You can recognise the meat by the strip of fat on one edge of the steak. In addition, there is some light fat marbling, but you will not find significant pockets of fat. This cut should be cooked over high heat, so you can grill or pan sear.

Rib Eye

Essentially, the rib eye steak cut is a prime or standing rib roast which has been cut to form individual pieces of steak. The meat is obtained from the upper ribcage and it can be sold as a boneless or bone-in product. In general, there are pockets of fat interspersed through the rib eye cut. You will enjoy the contrast of taste between the loose and fatty outer section and the middle section which has a fine grain. Like the top sirloin, you can grill, sear and even broil the ribeye for the best taste.

For more information about meat cuts, talk with your butcher