Beef Category

Fresh beef has cream-colored fat and bright red meat. The best beef is marbled with fine strands of fat, which bastes the meat as it cooks and makes it tender and juicy. Lower grades of beef have thicker marbling or no marbling, so the meat's tougher after you cook it. Choice breeds include Angus, Kobe, Chianina, and lean but tender Piedmontese.
beef shoulder steak, clod steak, English steak, shoulder steak
beef shoulder steak
This makes for a fairly tough steak, but you can grill or broil it provided that you first marinate it overnight. It's even better braised.
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beef sirloin steak, butt steak, flat bone sirloin, pin bone sirloin
beef sirloin steak
The sirloin is near the rump, so the meat's a bit tougher than cuts from the loin or the rib. There are several different sirloin steak cuts, named for shape of the hip bone that's left in them. Going from fore to aft, there's the tender but bony pin bone sirloin, which is right next to the Porterhouse on the carcass, the flat bone sirloin, the round bone sirloin, and finally the wedge bone sirloin, which is closest to the rump and therefore least tender. A boneless sirloin steak is sometimes called a rump steak = butt steak. Sirloin steaks are usually grilled or broiled. Don't overcook them or they'll lose much of their flavor.
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beef skirt steak, beef plate skirt steak, fajita meat, Philadelphia steak
beef skirt steak
These look like thick-grained flank steaks, and they're the cut of choice for making fajitas. Since they're marbled with fat, they also make for very juicy steaks. It's best to pound them flat, marinate briefly, then cook them over high heat
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beef T-bone steak, T-bone steak
beef T-bone steak
Named for its distinguishing T-shaped bone, this choice cut is almost identical to a Porterhouse steak, only it doesn't have as much of the tenderloin muscle in it. It's usually grilled or broiled.
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beef tenderloin roast, filet mignon roast, tenderloin roast
beef tenderloin roast
This is the most tender portion of the entire carcass, and you'll pay dearly for it. You can cut it into steaks, or make a heavenly roast beef out of it. Take care not to overcook it, because it dries out easily.
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beef top blade pot roast
This is both literally and figuratively a cut above the tougher under blade pot roast. Meat from the top blade often is made into a pot roast, or cut up, marinated, and used for fajitas. A steak cut from the top blade pot roast is called a top blade steak.
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beef top blade steak, book steak, butler steak, flat iron steak, lifter steak
beef top blade steak
Though a lowly chuck steak, this cut is tender enough to grill, broil, or pan-fry, as long as you marinate it first. If you don't mind cutting around some gristle, this is an economical and flavorful steak. It's also great for making fajitas.
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beef top loin
These are usually cut into top loin steaks, but a whole or half top loin is also a good candidate for roast beef.
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beef top loin steak
Think of these as Porterhouse or T-bone steaks that have been stripped of the choice tenderloin portion. They're flavorful and fairly expensive cuts. A boneless top loin steak is called a shell steak, and a very thick shell steak is sometimes called a shell roast.
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beef top round roast, top round roast
beef top round roast
This is a fairly tender piece of meat compared to other cuts from the round section. It's also one of the leanest. A thick steak cut from a top round roast is called a top round steak, while a thinner steak is simply called a round steak.
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beef top round steak, butterball steak, London broil, top round steak
beef top round steak
These are thick steaks cut from the top round. They're usually broiled, braised, or cooked in a liquid. A London broil is name of a finished dish, but this cut is sometimes given that name.
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beef top sirloin butt roast
This is a good cut for making roast beef.
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beef top sirloin steak, chateaubriand, top sirloin steak
beef top sirloin steak
Some top sirloin steaks are wonderfully juicy and flavorful but others are mediocre, so this is a risky steak to buy. Don't confuse this with an ordinary sirloin steak, which includes a bone. American butchers call a thick top sirloin steak a chateaubriand, although the French reserve that term for a much better cut from the tenderloin
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beef tri-tip roast, beef loin tri-tip roast, sirloin tri-tip roast
beef tri-tip roast
This is a very flavorful cut that's great for barbecuing as long as you take pains to keep the meat from getting too tough. The trick is to not trim the fat until the roast is cooked so that the juices can tenderize the meat. When it's done, slice it thinly against the grain. This cut is popular in California, but you might have trouble finding it elsewhere. A steak cut from this roast is called a tri-tip steak.
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beef tri-tip steak, tri-tip steak
beef tri-tip steak
These steaks are cut from a tri-tip roast.
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beef under blade pot roast
his cut is tougher than a top blade pot roast, but it's flavorful and economical. It makes a fine pot roast, but it's too tough to roast with dry heat. A steak cut from this is called an under blade steak.
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beef under blade steak
This is a steak cut from an under blade roast. It's not tender enough to grill, broil, or fry, but it's quite flavorful if braised.
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ground beef, ground beef, Ground chuck, Ground round, Ground sirloin
ground beef
This varies in quality depending upon what part of the carcass the meat came from. Ground chuck has a high fat content, which means it makes the juiciest hamburgers and meatloaf. Ground round is very lean, and a good choice if you're trying to reduce the fat in your diet. Ground sirloin is also lean, but it's more flavorful (and more expensive) than ground round.
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stew beef, beef for stew, diced beef, stew beef
stew beef
These cubes of meat are tough enough to require slow cooking in a liquid. Don't use them for kabobs--they're too tough for the grill.
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