Beef cuts

Beef is categorized as red meat – a term referring to mammalian meat, a kind of meat that contains higher amounts of iron in comparison to other kinds of meat, such as poultry and fish, for example. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, especially iron and zinc. In addition, it is a meat rich in proteins of high biological value. Therefore, a moderate intake of beef is recommended as part of a balanced and healthy diet.

It is the 3rd most commonly consumed type of meat in the world, after poultry and pork. In addition to its high nutritional value, beef is consumed in such large quantities worldwide because it is a kind of meat that can be utilized in so many ways. Depending on the part of the animal’s body that we use for cooking, we can have a different taste effect.

Beef cuts

Each country has its own type of beef cuts (American, French, Argentinean, Brazilian, etc.). In Greece the most common cuts are:

  • Chuck and Blade:Chuck and blade come from the neck of the calf (about 1/3 of it) and is one of the softest and tastiest cuts of beef. It is used to prepare soups, stews, casseroles, but also for minced meat.
  • Front of Chuck and Chuck Roll: The part we call front of chuck and chuck roll is located in the lower 1/3 of the calf’s neck, just below chuck and blade. It has a similar texture to chuck and blade (but slightly fattier) and is suitable for stews, casseroles, rolls, but also frying.
  • Chuck Eye Steaks: They are located at the top of the neck of the calf (the first 5 sides of the back). It is a cut ideal for grilling or cooked in a non-stick pan. Deboning the steaks, makes the cut also suitable for baking in the oven.

On the chuck eye steaks, is found the sirloin cap which is usually preferred for preparations with minced meat.

  • Rib Steaks: They are located on the back of the calf and are the continuation of the cut from where we get the chuck eye steaks. They are cut into slices, with or without the bone, and are ideal for grilling, or cooked in a non-stick pan. This cut can also be removed as a whole, as a single piece. In this case, it is ideal for cooking in the oven.
  • ForeRib: They are located on the back, right after the steaks. It is a very tender beef cut, which is cooked quickly – ideally on a grill. However, it can also come out as a single piece, ideal for cooking in the oven.
  • Fillet Mignon and Tenderloin: It is one of the finest cuts of meat. We find it internally to the spine of the calf, between the last part which are fore-ribs and short-ribs. It is a lean cut of beef, ideal for grilling or frying.
  • T-bone steak: T-bone steak is a single cut (with a bone, as the name suggests) that includes part of the steak and the fillet. It is ideal for grilling.
  • Short-Ribs: They are the ribs of the calf, which is one of the fattest parts of the calf, containing several bones and connective tissue. They are usually used for stews, but can also be cooked in the oven or on the grill when used as a single cut. The ribs can also be minced, after deboning of course.  
  • Chuck and Blade: Are located between the steaks and the shank. It is a tasty cut of beef and quite popular, given that it can be used in various preparations such as boiled, cooked, and baked.
  • Top Rump: It is a piece of meat without a lot of fat, ideal for roasting, either whole or in pieces. It is located on the inside of the thigh.
  • Plate & Flank: It is essentially the belly of the animal and is one of the parts with high-fat content. It is a very soft beef cut and is usually minced.
  • Brisket: Like plate and flank, brisket is one of the parts with the highest fat content. In this kind, however, the fat can be easily separated from the rest of the meat, which makes it an ideal cut for cooking in pot or in the oven.
  • Top Sirloin and Rump: It is located on the back of the calf and covers the part from the back to the abdomen. It is one of the fattest parts of the beef. Ideal for pot, but can also be cooked in the oven, or even on the grill.
  • Top Round: We find this part on the back of the animal, on the outside of the thigh. It is a lean and somewhat dry meat, so it requires special treatment during cooking. It can be minced, and can be cooked in the oven, and the pan. From this part we get the meat for schnitzel and also the escalopes.
  • Round: It is a fine piece of beef thigh meat, low in fat and high in collagen. Ideal for casserole and juvette stews. Cut into thin slices, it can be grilled or fried, and if we keep it in one piece, it can be cooked perfectly in the oven.
  • Beef Knuckle: The beef knuckle or shank is found on the tip of the animal’s foot. It is a part with a high content of collagen, which makes it ideal for stews, soups, casseroles, but also broths. From the knuckle, we also take the ossobuko.
  • Oxtail: The oxtail is a lean part of the beef but its meat is quite hard-to-chew. We use it for making broths but also in casseroles.
  • Hock: Hock is rich in collagen. We use it for tripe or soups.
  • Picanha:It is the cap from top sirloin and rump, and has become quite a popular cut beef in recent years. It is usually roasted as a whole in the over, or sliced on the grill or a pan, after roasted in a pan.  
  • Calf Head: From the calf’s head we use the tongue, the brains and the cheeks. The tongue and the brains are suitable for stews, while the cheeks can be cooked boiled, in casseroles or in juvette.

Of course, a calf’s head can also be cooked as a whole in the oven.

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