Different cuts of beef and how to cook them

The different cuts of beef you can get…

1. Rib-eye

This cut used to be quite cheap, but is now creeping up in price. It has an open-fibre texture and a marbling of creamy fat. Cook with the surrounding fat still attached, then remove after cooking, says Gordon Ramsey. The fat adds flavour as well as basting the meat during cooking

2. Fillet

This is typically the most expensive cut. It is very lean, succulent and, because it has short fibres, very tender. If you buy from the butchers ensure that the sinewy chain that runs down the side is removed

3. T-bone

Comes on the bone, hence the name. It has a good marbling of fat with a layer of creamy fat on one side – this should be left on for cooking, then removed after, says Gordon Ramsey. Sirloin is on one side of the bone and a fillet on the other, take care when cooking, as he fillet will cook more quickly than the sirloin. There is some marrow in the bone which can be spread on the cooked meat

4. Sirloin

This is typically sold boned and rolled. A prime cut, which is perfect for a classic Sunday roast. Sirloin steak is taken from the same area but is cut into steaks such as ‘T’-bone, Porterhouse and Entrecote. These are prime cuts, which are suitable for grilling, frying, stir-fries and barbecuing

5. Thick Skirt

The ‘butcher’ steak’ because he often took it home. Also know as Onglet or Hanger Steak, it has lots of texture and flavour. It must be cooked very quickly and served rare

6. Oxtail

One of the most, flavoursome and inexpensive cuts of beef. Oxtail is most often sold cut into individual vertebra.  Long and slow braising it will release their excellent rich flavour

7. Featherblade

Also known as Flat Iron, it comes from under the animals shoulder blade. It has a bit of texture and a lot of flavour. It works fairly hard – so it’s best served rare

8. Brisket

Usually sold ‘boned and rolled’, and sometimes salted. This joint is suitable for slow cooking or pot roasting. Brisket is the cut traditionally used for making corned beef; it is also used for lean mince

9. Rump

Although this is a prime cut, it’s often cheaper than fillet or sirloin, because it’s not quite as tender. However many say that it has a far superior flavour than sirloin or fillet. Rump is suitable for quick cooking such as frying, stir-fry, grilling and barbecuing

10. Bavette

It’s part of the Flank and like the thick skirt it has a full, rich flavour and must be cooked very quickly and served rare, and sliced across the grain

11. Minute

Also known as the frying steak, this is quick, versatile and very tasty – the original fast food, it’s perfect in a sandwich but also great in a stir-fry

anatomy of a cow - the adult bible

How to have a steak cooked…

Beef steak can be served in a variety of ways, because it’s a red meat and it doesn’t carry many parasites which can infect us, it can be eaten almost as raw as you like, although it’s never 100% safe. Here is a list of ways you can have a beef steak;

  • Blue (Very rare) – Seared on the outside, completely red throughout. The meat remains gel-like in texture
  • Rare – Seared and still red 75% through the centre
  • Medium rare – Seared with 50% red centre
  • Medium – Seared outside, 25% pink showing inside
  • Medium well done – Done throughout with a very slight hint of where the pink was
  • Well done – 100% brown meat

How to tell how the steak is cooked…

A good way to tell when you’re steak is ready… your cheek is rare, you chin is medium and your forehead is well done.

beef - the adult bible beef - the adult bible

If you’re cooking a chunkier piece of meat for a Sunday (or whatever day you like) roast, check out Jamie Oliver’s ultimate roasting guide here!