Beef is definitely one of the most widely used proteins in the food industry, doesn’t matter if it’s an Asian take-away, an American steakhouse or a fine-dining restaurant, beef is on the menu! I personally love Beef, so tasty and versatile but the bad news is that there is no cut of Beef that fits all dishes.
*Here is a little guide to different cuts of beef and what they are suitable for:
– Chuck: high in fat content, very flavourful, suitable for slow cooking in liquid (pot roast, oven roast,…)
– Rib: a very tender cut whose marbling is well-suited for cooking in a hot dry heat or pan-sear for steak.
– Plate: a notoriously tough piece of beef, very chewy and inedible if not cooked properly. This cut needs to be slowly cooked in liquid for hours to break down the connective tissue. Suitable for pot roast, Pot-au-Feu, Slow broil,…
– Brisket: a very tough cut of meat that requires long, slow cooking in order to tenderize. (pot roast, slowly cooked meat to put in Vietnamese “Pho”)
– Top Sirloin: one of the tenderest of the sirloin cuts and should only be used as steaks on a griller/pan…
– Tenderloin: is very tender but is surrounded by a white sheath called a silver skin which must be removed prior to cooking. Suitable for roast or steaks,…
– Bottom Sirloin: a less tender cut than the top sirloin but great with dry rubs and hot grills.
– New York Strip: because of it’s marbled fat, it’s very tender and flavourful, just give it a bit of salt and pepper then pop it on the grill and you will have the perfect steak!
– Porterhouse: a huge cut from the short loin section that includes a bone, a tenderloin steak and a New York strip, normally a steak for 2!
– Flank: is a thin cut that is most often marinated and always cut across the grain before served. It needs to be well cooked prior to serving otherwise can be quite chewy. Suitable for dishes like Grill/Braise,…
– Top Round: is a lean cut of beef that is often marinated before being quickly seared and finished in an oven. Suitable for minute-Steak, grill, broil,…
– Bottom Round: is a very large cut of meat often split into distinct portions called the eye, flat and heel. Bottom round requires tenderization or long cooking times to reach its peak flavor offering.
– Shank: many people in Vietnam love this, it’s really tough therefore requires a long, slow cook making it the most popular cut for beef stew. However, I’ve seen people stir-frying beef shanks!!!
**Temperatures of Steak:
Okay, so I really love a nice juicy and well seasoned steak but a perfect steak has to be cooked to the right core temperature as well so that it suits the tastes of the diners. I normally go for medium-rare if there is no sauce accompanying but if there is sauce, I suggest you go with medium or medium-well as the sauce will complement the steak a lot better. I don’t really agree with the picture that I got on the Net here that well-done should be 100% Brown, for me that’s complete rubbish (in Vietnam they eat like that though…but then sometimes the beef isn’t that fresh so you better play safe and go for a well-done!). Well-done should be still slightly pink and moist, not completely dry. But then maybe I’m thinking of a medium-well Steak which is like that, mind you that some restaurant only have rare, medium and well-done so their well-done should be medium-well not cooked to @$%! :))
*How to cook the perfect steak 2-3 cm steak : (do not forget to season with salt and pepper)
1. Blue Rare: 2 minutes on each side, should be red throughout but a nice sear outside.
2. Rare: 3 minutes on each side, seared outside, red hot and juicy inside, about 75% red actually but fat should be nicely rendered.
3. Medium rare: 4 minutes on each side, seared outside with 50% red center.
4. Medium: 5 minutes on each side most widely ordered steak, has to be pink throughout, slightly pink and wet in the center.
5. Medium-well (My well-done): 6,5 minutes on each side, nearly cooked through, just slightly pink but quite dry but has to be still tender.
6. Well-done: as long as you don’t burn it, and it’s brown/white inside, that’s a well-done =)) Leave your pan and steak there and go out for a drink and chat you will get a well-done 😀
ATTENTION!!! This also depends on the temperature of the stove/grill as well so be careful and the meat has to be thawed already prior to grilling or searing,…