Hi Taste Safari! I’m a first year university student in Capetown, having to cook for myself for the first time in my life! I always go into the butcher wanting to buy beef, but when he asks me ‘what cut?’ I have no idea what cuts are best for what. Please advise, and keep up the great recipes, my Mom loves them too!” Helen, Capetown.

Knowing your cuts of meat is a really great culinary skill to have, especially if you plan on being King or Queen of the braai! Having a good relationship with your local butcher ensures that you know where your meat is coming from, and they will always be able to give you advice on the best cuts. But in times of big supermarkets and quick-fix shopping, the meat aisle can be a lonely place! So here’s the quick reference Taste Safari guide to beef cuts:

 

Photo courtesy of GameKeeper at en.Wikipedia

Photo courtesy of GameKeeper at en.Wikipedia

 

Fillet : This is one of the more expensive cuts of beef and is extremely tender and requires little preparation before cooking (a good bash with the rolling pin often helps!). A whole fillet can be roasted on its own, or you can cut it into strips for a stir fry. It is also great for sauce-based beef dishes that require minimum cooking time.
Photo: keevilandkeevil.co.uk

Photo: keevilandkeevil.co.uk

Sirloin : This is the most expensive roasting joint, sold on the bone, or boned and rolled. Perfect for your Sunday roast beef!
Photo: taverntasty.co.uk

Photo: taverntasty.co.uk

Rump Steak: This is a very good cut for stewing and slow cooking processes such as a beef stew as it is thinly marbled with fat, which gives it a moist, succulent texture and an excellent flavour. It is tougher than sirloin or fillet steak, hence why preferred for a slower, braising method.

Photo: www.tenmilemenu.co.uk

Photo: www.tenmilemenu.co.uk

Brisket/ Thick Flank: This is increasingly becoming a more recognized cut, particularly due to the recent economic hardships and is being promoted by celebrity chefs as a recommended cut for pot roasting, stewing, braising and used in pies. It is a cheaper cut of meat, but treated to some very slow cooking and overnight marination, this cut may well surprise you.

Photo: ordrs.com

Photo: ordrs.com

Best Beef Burger Mince: This should ideally come from the rump/sirloin for the juiciest burgers with just the right amount of fat.

Photo: anyoneforseconds.wordpress.com

Photo: anyoneforseconds.wordpress.com

Chuck/Blade/Skirt/Shin/Silverside/Neck : Best cuts of meat for long cooking mince – such as a beef chilli or a Mexican mince sauce for tacos.

So next time you are at the butchers, take your time to select the best cut of beef for the finest home cooking ever !!!!

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