May has been a month of many celebrations: Africa Month, Worker’s Day, Mother’s Day and more. Did you know that May is also National Beef Month? For many celebrations, beef usually makes an appearance on the menu, whether it is in the form of a hamburger, steak, ribs or your favorite cut of beef. Meat is an excellent source of various vitamins and minerals. For those who enjoy a good piece of beef, here are the most common cuts of beef that you should familiarize yourself with.
When you visit a butcher or restaurant, you may be unaware of the kinds of beef cuts available. Many of us know the rough difference between the most popular cuts of steaks, however there are other unusual cuts that you may not be aware of and the correct ways in which to cook these.
“Knowing whether something should be flash-fried or slow-cooked makes all the difference to the flavour and texture of the meat,” says Essery Hamilton, Owner of Cattle Baron at the Pearls Mall in uMhlanga.
Here is where the cuts are located:
Prime beef cuts are prepared from the Hindquarter of beef, which is one side of the back half of the cattle carcass including one leg and a rib. The cuts from this section are:
- Shin- used for making consommé, or for beef stewing.
- Topside- used for braising, stewing, and second class roasting. Can be used for making biltong.
- Silverside- used for pickled in brine then boiled. This cut of meat is also used for making biltong.
- Thick flank- used for braising and stewing
- Rump- used for grilling and frying as steaks, braised in pieces
- Sirloin- used for roasting, grilling and frying in steaks
- Wing ribs- used for roasting, grilling and frying in steaks
- Thin flank- used for stewing, boiling, sausages
- Fillet- used for roasting, grilling and frying in steaks. Fillet also produces a number of variations such as: Chateaubriand double fillet steak which is cut from the head of the fillet, with all nerve trimmed off and a little fat left on the steak; Fillet steaks, this is the middle of the whole fillet; Tournedos, is also part of the middle cut of fillet, located just under the chateaubriand. This piece contains a bit of fat and nerve tissue and Tail/ mignon of the fillet – the end piece of the fillet which has a lot of sinew and fat usually used for mincing and stroganoff. Thicker, juicier cuts of meat are found on the hindquarter.
Chef Thagan Pillay of Cattle Baron provides some grilling tips Cattle Baron style.
Grilling techniques are critical to creating the perfect steak. Most importantly a well-aged superior grade of meat referring to that of rump, sirloin, fillet and meats on bone) that needs to be expertly cut and artistically worked with both a mallet and hand. Ensure you have a clean hot grill, good quality olive oil, melted butter, meat basting and of course good seasoning.
Celebrate National Beef Month and beyond in style; grab the sharpest knife, a good piece of meat and get slicing, dicing and cutting or rather pop in to Cattle Baron where you can leave it to the experts.
Information provided by Essery Hamilton, Owner of Cattle Baron in uMhlanga with influence by Chef Thagan. At Cattle Baron you can expect the finest cut meat grilled to perfection, just as the slogan states. Visit them at Shop C 1 Pearls Mall, 7 McCausland Cres, uMhlanga, 4320 or call them for a booking on 031 561 9011.