Beef cuts make for some of the best and most tasty meals known to mankind and come in many varieties and cuts depending on what part of the world you live in. However, some staple beef meat cuts remain common to most countries including ground beef mince, beef roasting joints (topside, rolled beef rib etc) and of course the favourite steaks cuts such as Sirloin, Rump or Fillet and effectively cooking beef is a simple and rewarding job!
In essence beef is broken down to two sections in it's simplest form. The Forequarter and Hindquarter. The forequarter contains the front shoulders, leg and breast areas which are the most mobile sections of the cow and therefore in the main, contain the lesser tender cuts of meat. The hindquarter however, contains the bottom and back area which does not have so much work to do and therefore has the tenderest cuts of meat the most tender being the tenderloin, the Fillet Steak of the beef.
Cooking beef requires some knowledge of cooking but for the most part excellent results can be achieved by anyone with just a sprinkling of cooking know how.
How you cook beef obviously depends on a number of factors including the cut of meat and the size along with the equipment you are planning to cook with whether that be using the oven, grill, BBQ or open fire. One of the best ways to judge whether your roasting is cooked to your liking is to take away the guess work and purchase a temperature probe like the one I use which is a Silicone Meat Thermometer 2″ Dial.
These devices are invaluble and cost no more than a single joint of beef and therefore are a great investment for excellent results time after time. In essence, the devices are similar to a long metal probe with either a manual or digital gauge located at the end, you simply place the probe into the heart of the meat during cooking and take a note of the temperature readout. Following a cooking temperature chart you can know what the temperature of the meat is inside and following the temperature calculator can achieve perfect roasting results.
Remember though, just because a cut of beef is not tender to start off with (from the forequarter region) does not mean it should be avoided. Ultimately, flavour is about many things including the diet of the animal however, the fat content of the meat sometimes called 'marbling' carries much of the flavour of meat and avoiding what looks like a 'fatty' piece of meat can be avoiding the most flavoursome cuts. Marbling within the meat actually acts to self baste the meat as it cooks ensuring it remains succulent and moist during cooking. If you are conscious about how much fat you consume then feel free to discard any surplus after eating, just ensure you baste your meat well and leave the fat attached during cooking given this provides many benefits during cooking.
Cooking beef need not be a difficult job and our site has many top tips on cooking all the most popular beef joints so please pay us a visit for some great recipe ideas and tips on how to cook the perfect beef!
The Meat Cooking Expert is bought to you by Thomas Borne. A master Butcher with over 25 years meat retailing experience. Tom trained for 5 years under a local apprenticeship and attended the Smithfield Colledge, London studying meat retailing which resulted in him being accredited with the converted Master Butcher status. To view more detail around the original article including our meat cuts diagram please visit Cooking Beef.
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