Your visit to a local butcher store may prove to be puzzling, as well as regrettable in the end, if you do not know how to pick the best cuts of meat. Different types of meat require different cuts. In general, the best cut of beef and pork are the ribs, loins and rump. All of these are taken from the back of the animal. They are more tender than the front sides. Front sides include the shoulder, flanks and leg. There is a greater demand for the back parts as they are generally easier to cook. Front sides can be hard to chew if not cooked properly. They are usually more expensive as the back part of the animal is smaller than the front sides. Most commonly, you would want to consider the back cuts of the meat for your steak meal.
Here are some guidelines to help you pick the best cuts of meat for your beef or pork steak.
- First of all, decide whether to purchase your meat with bones or filleted. Keep in mind that boned meat is easier to cook as it radiates heat while cooking. This makes the filleted meat slower to cook. It is also more costly than the boned meat because it takes more time for the butcher to prepare.
- Choose a well marbled meat cut. Marbled essentially means that there is white fat attached to the meat when cut. This will help the meat self-baste while cooking. This will let your meat stay juicy and tender.
- For beef, the best cut is the top blade steak. Ask the butcher to remove the connective tissues at the middle part of the steak. If it will cost significantly, you may choose to do it on your own. You may cut the part where the tissues meet and discard them. The top blade steak is perfect for grilling purposes.
- For pork, there are many types of cut to choose from. Understand the different benefits of each to help you pick the best cut.
- Porterhouse is a combination of tenderloin and strip loin on both sides. It is widely known as the King of Steaks. The end product of this cut when cooked turns out to be a very tender meat. The only downside of this cut is that it is expensive.
- The T-bone cut is similar to porterhouse. The only difference is that the latter has more tenderloin than the T-Bone cut.
- Filet mignon is a lean part of the porterhouse cut. This cut can be cooked in many ways as long as it is placed under high heat. It has very low marbling, which can be both good and bad. Good because it has low fat and bad because it tends to dry out beyond medium rare cooking. It has the highest price among all the steaks.
- Sirloin is relatively cheaper than other steaks. The top sirloin is tender and tasty. The bottom sirloin on the other hand is a lot less tender as it has many connective tissues in it.
- Rib eye. The rib eye is the most popular steak cut among all the other steaks. Because of its adequate amount of marbling, it is very juicy and flavorful upon cooking.
Choosing the best cut for meat can be very tricky if you do not have an idea about the different cuts. It is not possible to choose just a few cuts for all your dishes. The menu will impact largely on the type of cut that you will need to buy. Each cut has its own distinct taste and aroma upon cooking. Although it is more expensive to buy luxury cuts, it can definitely be truly satisfying and thus, worth buying and cooking.