Guide on Cuts and Preparation
At Ward’s Supermarket, we have a vast array of beef options, and sometimes it can hard to pick the right one. In order to help out for the next time you come grocery shopping, we compiled a list of beef steaks and cuts with details on where they’re from.
Quick Facts on Beef
Fat is flavor, so the more fat your steak has in it, the more flavorful it is (to an extent). Therefore, areas on the cow that are muscular and less fatty are not used in the traditional “steak” format, because of their stringy-muscular texture. Those are generally served in a stew, roast, or made into ground beef.
A key term in beef is “marbling.” Marbling is a term for the strips of fat that run through the lean parts in a cut of steak. It strengthens the flavor of a steak, so the more marbling, the better it tastes. However, if you’re looking for a healthier steak choice, leaner meat (less marbling) is preferable.
Different Cuts of Beef
The chuck comes from the cow’s fore shoulders. Due to this being a relatively muscular cut, it’s best used for broiling or in a pot roast, where its flavors are drawn out. Throw some veggies like bell peppers, potatoes, and onions into a crock pot with some chuck and you’ll have yourself a great tasting stew!
There are many cuts that can be taken from the rib cage area. They vary in size, flavor, and cooking style, so let’s take a look at a few of them here:
Short Ribs: These are a small cut of beef near the breastbone. This meat is extremely tender, and popularly used as barbeque in the United States.
Ribeye: This is a favorite cut of steak. It’s taken from the outer part of the ribs, and it’s characterized by its heavy fat content. Ribeye is tastiest when it’s pan-fried or grilled.
Prime Rib: Unsurprisingly, this is cut from the rib cage. It’s called “Prime” if it’s graded that way by the USDA. If it’s not graded prime, it’s considered a “standing rib roast.” Often, prime rib is served pan-fried and soaking in it’s own delectable juices.
Much like the ribs, there are a lot of delicious cuts to be found in the loin. Many of which you’ll probably recognize:
The Strip Steak (famously specified as New York or Kansas City Strip): Found in the short loin (in the hindquarter part of the cow), these steaks are easy to grill or pan-fry, and due to their high marbling content, they’re bursting with flavor.
Fun fact: Strip steaks are essentially bone-out sirloins, so if you see a sirloin steak without a bone, it’s almost the same cut as the strip steak. Bone-in steaks have more flavor, so keep that in mind while shopping.
T-Bone: The T-Bone steak actually contains the Strip and the Tenderloin cut, so it’s a two-for-one steak. A T-shaped bone splits the tenderloin with the strip, creating a flavor fusion. Generally, it’s grilled or broiled, because the bone makes it difficult to pan fry.
Fun fact: the Porterhouse steak is essentially the same as a T-Bone, but a little bigger.
Tenderloin: The tenderloin is a cut of meat found in the rear of the cow. From it, various steaks can be made, such as the Filet Mignon, Beef Wellington, Chateaubriand, or simply the tenderloin steak. It’s best served pan-fried in its own juice (au jus).
This is an extremely popular barbecue cut, found in the forequarters. It’s used for corned beef, BBQ, or pastrami. When used with plenty of seasonings and sauces, the brisket is unbeatable.
Other Cuts of Beef
Flank: Flank is one of the more affordable cuts, also found in the hindquarters. It’s typically ground up, but has recently been used in steak form for London Broil. In steak-form, it’s best if cooked in a bath in the oven to moisturize.
Round: The round is in the hindquarters of the cow, and as a meat it needs more moist-cooking atmospheres, due to its lack of fat and occasional dry taste.
We’ve Got The Beef
If you’re looking for your choice of locally-raised, farm-grown beef from North Central Florida, stop into Ward’s Supermarket! Feel free to ask any associate in the store if you still need help with choosing the right cut. Happy hunting!