Cut 1. Neck
As a result of being heavily exercised, the neck and shoulder area of the animal comprise a range of intricate muscles, rich in collagen and full of flavour. Generally they are cheaper cuts of meat as there is a reasonable amount of fat and connective tissue throughout. For best results, it is recommended to cook slowly with plenty of moisture.
Cut 2. Clod
One of the more economical cuts, the shoulder clod is a versatile cut that’s full of flavour with a reasonable amount of fat and connective tissue throughout. For best results, it is recommended to cook slowly with plenty of moisture.
Cut 3. Chuck / Blade
The chuck and blade is Ideal for slow cooking, braising and slow roasting. It’s also very popular for marinating and mincing because of the balance between flavoursome beef and fat content. The feather muscle comes from this area, and when cooked slowly gives a gelatinous consistency much loved by chefs.
Cut 4. Leg of mutton/thick rib
This unusual cut is gaining in popularity. Located inside the shoulder, once fully seamed, the leg of mutton cut is lean, fine textured and full of flavour. Cut thinly, it’s ideal for frying, but will dry out and become tough very quickly if overcooked.
Cut 5. Brisket
Brisket is located further forward than flank, but shares a lot of similarities. With lots of texture and reasonable fat cover, it works well with a moist slow heat. You wont get many better cuts for curing, braising and slow cooking.
Cut 6. Shin
The end of the animal’s front legs, the shin is generally inexpensive. It should be given plenty of time to cook slowly and can be obtained either on or off the bone. Foodies particularly enjoy the marrow in the bone – a very continental delicacy.
Cut 7. Loin
The loin is made up of various ribs known as steaks. Sirloin steak left on the bone with fillet attached is called T-bone and sirloin left on the bone but without the fillet is called L bone. Loin cuts from the hindquarter begin from between the 10th and 11th rib. Rib eye is a forequarter cut taken from the fore rib, between the 6th and 10th ribs.
Cut 8. Fillet
Although the fillet only covers less than 1% of the carcase, it’s always the most expensive. It’s the least exercised muscle of the animal and is known for its tenderness, which is why it’s often referred to as tenderloin. Weighing approximately 2 – 2.5 kgs, it’s made up of the head, the canon and the tail.
Cut 9. Flank
The flank is a long, flat and very flavoursome cut from the animal’s stomach muscles. As a result of being a well-exercised part of the animal, this muscle has an array of fibres and connective tissues. Steaks from the flank must be served rare or should employ alternative, slower cooking techniques.
Cut 10. Rump/Popseye
Rump is made up of three very different muscles – rump cap, rump heart (or eye) and rump tail. These cuts can be cooked as roasts or sliced into high quality steaks, rump heart being the most tender. The cap (or cover), which is least tender, is often served in some countries as piccanha.
Cut 11. Topside/Silverside
Topside can be served whole, rolled, cap on or off. When fully trimmed, there is not much surface or intra muscular fat, so topside should be cooked medium to medium rare to remain moist. If the joint is to be cooked well done a longer slower method will be better.
Cut 12. Hind shin
Shin, also known as leg of beef in England, is rich in collagen and connective tissue and has delicious marrow running through the hollow centre of the bone. It’s essential to cook slowly at a low temperature to produce a rich tasty sauce. Cut right through the bone, it’s perfect for Osso Bucco.