Meat Cuts



Neck
The neck end yields reasonably lean meat that is generally sold cubed up as stewing steak or as mince. In chunks, it is good in slow-cooked casseroles and stews cooked in rich stock with plenty of herbs.

Chuck
The forequarter, or shoulder, of the animal is known as the chuck or blade. This meat is often sold as braising steak, and is excellent for long cooking because it is usually well-marbled with fat, which helps to moisten and flavour it as it braises.

Fore rib
The area behind the blade bone is the first of the cuts traditionally prepared for roasting. It may either be sold on the bone, or quite often boned and rolled, and is generally both tender and flavourful.

Sirloin and Fillet
The centre of the back is where everybody's favourite steaks – sirloin and fillet – come from. Because these are cut from an area of the animal where the muscles do less work, the meat is correspondingly marked by its great tenderness. A long piece of sirloin, or a round slice of fillet, are best briefly grilled under high heat. Sirloin may also be sold as a whole piece, either boned and rolled or filleted, which makes an incomparable joint for roasting.

Rump
The rump is not, contrary to popular belief, the buttock, but the area just in front of it – the small of the back, as it were. Rump, usually sold sliced into steaks, is nowhere near as tough as many might imagine (it is, after all, next to the sirloin), and has a positive beefy depth of flavour. Like the other steaks, it is best grilled.

Topside and Silverside
These cuts come from the back end of the cow, the topside from the top of the inside leg, the silverside from the outside of the thigh. They are traditionally roasted, but may also be better braised or pot-roasted in stock and/or wine to keep them moist.

Oxtail
The tail, which may be bought in lateral sections, makes superb, gelatinous meat when slow-cooked.

Leg and Shin
The leg joint comes from the hind leg, with the shin from the foreleg. These are cuts that demand slow cooking, when their gelatinous nature helps to thicken the cooking liquor. It is sold diced.

Thick flank
The joint from the front of the thigh is relatively lean and is sold sliced as braising steak.Thin flankThe area beneath the sirloin is much more sinewy and fatty than the sirloin itself. It is mainly sold as minced beef.

Brisket
The brisket comes from the lower part of the animal’s front end, effectively the breast (although this term is never used). It is sold rolled as a roasting joint.


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Pwllywrach Farm, Colwinston, Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan CF71 7NJ Tel: 01446 771033 or Tel/Fax: 01446 775270
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