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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Know Your Beef

Tenderloin, rib-eye, sirloin and what's not. Do you often find yourself in a state of bewilderment whenever you glanced through a steak menu or shopping in the meat section? What and where are those parts from? How and what cooking methods could I possibly utilise to deliver a truly edible meal?

Well... Be confused no more! For I present you with this month's guide of the different cuts and parts of the cattle, their characteristics, the best method of handling, and completed with recommended recipes for you to try.

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Cut from the breast or lower chest of the beef
Characteristic: flavourful, less tender
Good for braising and long, slow cooking in liquids

Check out these amazing recipes by Peggy Trowbridge for a easy, hearty meal with little clean-up.

Chuck and Blade
Cut from the neck, shoulder blade and upper arm, consists lots of connective issues
Characteristic: flavourful, tough, but cost effective
Good for braising and making ground beef

By combining the flavours of simple ingredients and slow roasting process, this recipe makes for a wonderful, heart-warming meal.

Cut from the underside of the beef, located below the loin
Characteristic: tough, but cost effective
Good for grilling after marinated, braising and making ground beef

Budget-minded people would love this versatile, yet cost-saving flank steak.

The tail of the cattle
Characteristics: bony, gelatin-rich meat
Good for braising, and as stock base for soup

Jamie Oliver's creations never fail to amaze me, here's one that would amaze everyone at your dinner.

Jamie Oliver's Oxtail Stew

Primal cut from the center of the cattle, which consists of rib eye, short and prime ribs
Characteristics: tender, mostly marbled with fats
Good for roasting, char-grill and frying

Check out Amy Wisniewski's recipe for an easy shortcut for beginners! Ribs made easy? This is it.

Cut from the hind of the cattle
Characteristics: firmer, leaner, more flavour
Good for making ground beef, or cut into strips for frying

Here's one for the Asians: Paper thin slices of beef seared with garlic and soy.

Cut from the rear of the cattle, consists of tenderloin, bottom sirloin and the prized top sirloin
Characteristics: tender with good amount of marbling
Good for roasting and barbecuing

This main-course salad features bright Mexican flavors, thanks to cilantro, crumbled queso fresco, avocado, and lime juice. Now, eating salad is not quite a chore any more.

Shin/Shank (leg)
Cut from the forearm and hind legs of the cattle
Characteristics: hearty, flavourful cut
Good for long cooking, broth and soup

Braised. Slow-cooked to tender chunks. Turn this inexpensive shank into an incredibly delicious meal.

Cut from the hindquarter of the cattle, contains long fibrous, connective tissues
Characteristics: lean, yet tender
Good for ground beef, corned beef

A classic Sunday roast with a simple onion gravy that compliments the beef and mash perfectly.