Beef, Getting to Know All the Cuts
Beef - Cooking tips


Getting to Know All the Cuts
The prime cuts are particularly well-suited to hot, short cooking: they can be grilled, pan-cooked or roasted. Less tender cuts are no less flavourful or nourishing. They are more economical, but require longer cooking: these are the cuts to choose for slow simmered dishes like stews and daubes, cuts like neck, chuck and brisket. Ribs, shanks, short plate, flank and oxtail are excellent for braised dishes like pot-au-feu, which require a mixture of lean, gelatinous and fatty cuts.

Choose the right cut for every recipe
It is essential to match every cut of meat to the cooking method that best suits it. Grilled, roasted, pan-cooked, braised or simmered, beef lends itself to countless recipes. Here are a few pointers for cooking beef:

Cooking Method Cuts to choose Average portion per person Cooking time
Grilling Rib, rib eye, top loin, T-bone, porterhouse, sirloin, tenderloin 180 g 1-15 minutes per side, depending on thickness
Roasting Tenderloin, sirloin, top or bottom round 200 g 15 minutes per pound
Pot-au-feu Shank, blade, chuck, short ribs, plate 250 g 4 hours (1 ½ hours in a pressure cooker)
Kebabs (skewers) Top round 200 g 5 minutes
Stews Flank, chuck, blade, brisket, shank 250 g 3 hours (1 hour in a pressure cooker)

Cooking Tips

  1. Never cook meat that has just been taken out of the refrigerator; the interior will be too cold and will not be really tender.
  2. If you are grilling or barbecuing meat, avoid using too intense a heat for thicker cuts. On the other hand, the grill should be very hot to sear a thin steak which must cook in a minute without drying out.
  3. Do not pierce the meat while it is grilling.
  4. To prevent steaks from shrinking while cooking, make some light cuts along the edges.
  5. Beef requires little fat to be tender and flavourful. Therefore it is preferable to trim it, cutting off excess fat before cooking.
  6. Salt the meat half way through the cooking time.
  7. You can marinate the meat using aromatics, spices and oil; it will be all the more flavourful and won't require salting at the table.

Enjoying Beef
To enjoy a really tender roast, let it rest on your oven door, covered with aluminum foil, for a few minutes before carving it.

To add more texture and flavour to long-simmered dishes, combine different cuts of meat: James de Coquet, the celebrated gastronome, called for no fewer than four different kinds in his pot-au-feu recipe.

To lighten sauces, at the last minute add some cornstarch dissolved in a little cold water, a beaten egg white for a frothy sauce, or a spoonful of light cream.

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