Meats

Meats
beef rib-eye steak
beef rib-eye steak
Rib-eye steaks are very tender, well marbled with fat, and fairly expensive. They're usually boneless, but you can sometimes find bone-in rib-eye steaks. Note that club steaks are also sometimes called Delmonico steaks.
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beef roast beef
beef roast beef
Several cuts are well suited to oven roasting. The most elegant choice is a tenderloin roast, which is lean and tender, but very expensive. A rib roast (sometimes called a prime rib roast) isn't as lean and tender, but it's juicier and more flavorful. A good compromise between the two would be a rib-eye roast, which is basically a boneless, low-fat rib roast. Other candidates for roast beef are a top loin roast, top sirloin butt roast, tri-tip roast, round tip roast, and rump roast. Don't assume that anything with "roast" in its name will work as roast beef. Some roasts are intended for pot roast recipes, for it takes hours of cooking in a liquid to make them tender enough for civilized consumption.
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beef round steak
beef round steak
Round steaks are very lean, but they're not as tender and juicy as other cuts. They're usually broiled, braised, or cooked in a liquid.
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beef round tip roast
beef round tip roast
This roast is just a cut away from the sirloin, so it's tender enough to be oven roasted or cut up into kabobs. If the roast is trimmed of some fat and muscle, it's called a trimmed tip roast = ball tip roast.
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beef round tip steak
beef round tip steak
This is a steak cut from an untrimmed round tip roast. If the steak is cut from a trimmed roast, it's called a trimmed tip steak = ball tip steak. If you first marinate them overnight, you can grill, broil, or pan-fry these steaks. If not, your best bet is to braise them or cut them into stew meat.
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beef rump roast
beef rump roast
This is cut from the bottom round. A rump roast with the bone left in is called a standing rump roast. Some people roast these in the oven, but they're a bit tough and work better as pot roasts.
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beef shank
beef shank
This isn't a tender cut, but it's rich in flavor and great for making soups.
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beef short loin
beef short loin
The loin is divided into two main parts: the short loin, which includes the choice tenderloin and top loin, and the sirloin, which lies closer to the rump. Since the muscles in the short loin don't get much of a workout, the meat there is very tender.
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beef short ribs
beef short ribs
These are rectangular sandwiches of fat, meat, and bone that are often cut into three-inch sections. They're very flavorful, but tough and fatty, so they're best if slowly braised. You can also grill them over low heat, but the dripping fat tends to cause flare-ups. To prevent this, either braise the ribs first or put a drip pan under them. Short ribs are sold either boneless or bone-in. If the cut is made across the ribs instead of between the ribs, the result is called flanken style ribs = kosher ribs = brust flanken = flanken short ribs. Chuck short ribs are tougher but less fatty than the short ribs taken from the underside of the carcass.
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beef shoulder roast
beef shoulder roast
This boneless cut is located right behind the arm roast on the carcass. It's rather tough, so it's usually cooked in a liquid.
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beef 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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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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bierwurst
bierwurst
This is a chunky, tubular German sausage that's usually sliced and served cold in sandwiches. It's made with pork and beef.
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biltong
biltong
This South Africa's spicy version of beef jerky. It's often made with game animals, like wildebeests and zebras.
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black chicken
black chicken
Many Asians believe that soup made from black chicken has medicinal properties that are especially helpful to women.
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Black Forest ham
Black Forest ham
This moist German ham is smoked over pine and fir, and coated with beef blood to give it a black exterior.
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blockwurst
This is a spicy German pork sausage that's usually served in sandwiches. It comes ready-to-eat.
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blood
blood
Asian markets carry this. Europeans use it to make blood pudding, while Filipinos use it to make dinuguan, a stew.
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blood sausage
blood sausage
These eggplant-colored sausages are made of pig's blood mixed with fat, a filler like bread crumbs, and other flavorings that vary from region to region. They're usually sold precooked, but most people heat them before serving. Regional varieties include Germany's blutwurst, Louisiana's boudin rouge, and Spanish morcilla.
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blutwurst
blutwurst
This is a spicy and salty German blood sausage made from pork, beef, and beef blood. Germans like to snack on it, or mix it with sauerkraut. It comes already cooked, but it's usually heated before being served.
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boar
boar
Boar meat is similar to pork, only leaner, redder, and stronger-tasting. Make sure you cook it thoroughly--it's possible to contract trichinosis from undercooked boar meat.
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bockwurst
bockwurst
This is a mild German sausage made with veal, pork, milk, and eggs, and seasoned with chives and parsley. You need to cook it before serving. Use it soon after you buy it--it's very perishable.
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boerewors
boerewors
This is a spicy South African farmer's sausage, made with beef, pork, and pork fat, and seasoned with coriander. You need to cook it before serving.
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bologna
bologna
This soft, mild sausage is a sandwich staple. It's made from beef and/or pork and usually smoked. It's usually sold sliced and ready-to-eat.
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Boston butt
Boston butt
This economical, rectangular roast is the cut of choice for pulled pork barbecue, since it's marbled with enough fat to keep the meat moist while cooking. You can buy it bone-in or boneless.
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boudin blanc
boudin blanc
This is a white sausage made of meat (pork, chicken, or veal) and rice. France produces a very delicate milk-based version, while the Cajun version includes a lot of rice as a filler, making it chewier and more flavorful.
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boudin rouge
This Cajun specialty is similar to boudin blanc, except that it also includes pork blood. Use it soon after you buy it.
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brains
brains
Even adventurous eaters often draw the line at brains, and it's just as well, since they're loaded with cholesterol. Those who do eat them often scramble them with eggs. It's very important that brains be fresh, so either cook them or freeze them the day you buy them.
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bratwurst
bratwurst
This is made with pork and sometimes veal, and seasoned with subtle spices. It usually needs to be cooked before eating, though some markets carry precooked bratwurst.
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breakfast sausage patty
breakfast sausage patty
These pork patties are heavily seasoned. They're usually fried before serving.
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bresaola
bresaola
A specialty of Northern Italy, this air-dried beef is moist and very lean. It's normally sliced paper thin and used much like prosciutto
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buffalo
buffalo
Buffalo meat tastes like beef, but it's a lot leaner. To keep tender cuts from drying out, cook them to no more than medium rare. Tougher cuts should be cooked very slowly over low heat.
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bunderfleisch
bunderfleisch
This air-dried beef is a Swiss delicacy. It's much more delicate that ordinary beef jerky.
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Calabrese sausage
Calabrese sausage
This spicy dry Italian salami is made out of pork and hot chile peppers.
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